The new Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries initiative - which aims to lend donated bikes to the less well off was today launched by Five-time Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault and Brian Robinson, the first British rider to win a stage in the race. The two Tour legends were joined by Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Scott Thwaites.
The first phase of the project sees people living in the region that in July hosted the Grand Départ of the 101st edition of the Tour de France asked to donate old bikes or ones they no longer use to allow other people to take to two wheels.
In the New Year, phase two will see community and not-for-profit organisations across Yorkshire bid for funding to operate bike libraries, aimed at ensuring that everyone in the region, and children in particular, can have access to a bike.
The scheme from Cycle Yorkshire is supported by Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire Bank, whose customer experience & marketing director, Helen Page, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Cycle Yorkshire to launch the new Bike Libraries initiative.
“At Yorkshire Bank we’re committed to supporting the local community and we hope, through this wonderful scheme, more people will be able to enjoy the benefits of cycling.”
Bernard Hinault, who visited the region on a number of occasions ahead of July’s Grand Départ, said: “The Tour in Yorkshire was incredible. I have never seen so many people out supporting the riders and it shows the passion for cycling here.
“That’s why this project is so important, as it can give our next generation the chance to experience cycling. I’d encourage anyone who can help to do so.”
Under the three-year project there will be Bike Libraries providing repaired and refurbished bicycles all across the region, with further information available here.
The concept was devised by Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity, who is encouraging people to get behind the initiative, saying: “I’m delighted that Yorkshire Bank shares our passion for helping everyone in Yorkshire to have access to a bike.
“They’re turning this dream into a reality and we need the public to help us do the same by donating bikes that perhaps have been sat in a garage gathering dust.”
The initial list of places where people can donate bikes to the project is:
Bike Rescue Project - York
Get Cycling -York
York Cycleworks - York
Pedallers Arms - Leeds
Meanwood Valley Urban Farm - Leeds
Cycle re Cycle - Bradford
M C Foundation - Bradford
Recycle Bikes - Sheffield
cycle:recycle - Hebden Bridge
Reverse The Cycle - Pontefract
Barnardos Bikes - Keighley
The Bikery - Bradford
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.