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Lizzie Armitstead helps launch Yorkshire's first Bike Library

Olympic silver medallist hopes initiative backed by Yorkshire Bank will help more people get onto two wheels

Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead has helped launch the first Yorkshire Bank Bike Library in Leeds, and says she hopes the initiative will help get more people cycling.

The initiative encourages people to donate unwanted bikes which are then repaired or refurbished and made available for people to hire.

Yesterday Armitstead, who won the UCI Women Road World Cup overall title last year, attended the opening of the first bike library at the Fearneville Leisure Centre in Gipton, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Three more are due to follow next month.

The new facility was set up by Fearnville Bike Hub Leeds, whose Jeremy Hayes said: “We are delighted to be chosen as a Yorkshire Bank Bike Library.

“We have been involved in cycling in the community for a while and believe with the backing we have received we can create a multi-discipline and all-inclusive cycle hub for the people of Leeds.”

The three-year grassroots initiative enables community and not-for-profit organisations across Yorkshire to bid for funding to operate bike libraries.

The goal is that all people in the region, and especially children, are able to enjoy access to a bicycle.

Operated by Cycle Yorkshire, the scheme is backed by Yorkshire Bank and Welcome to Yorkshire.
Bikes can be donated at locations across Yorkshire, with further details available here.

The Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries scheme was formally launched last December by Brian Robinson, the first British rider to win a stage in the Tour de France, and five-time winner of the race, Bernard Hinault.

In this video, Welcome to Yorkshire CEO Gary Page and Helen Page, customer experience and marketing director of Yorkshire Bank, talk about the concept.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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severs1966 | 9 years ago

A lovely initiative with the best of intentions, but is the reluctance of people to ride bikes through the incredibly frightening, deadly traffic in Leeds caused by a shortage of bikes?

Or is it caused by the incredibly frightening, deadly traffic in Leeds?

It will be a shame when the first rider of such a bike stops riding it because they were nearly run over, or actually run over. It will be a shame when they report the incident to the Leeds police, who (as always) will do nothing. It will be a shame when they tell all their friends and family not to ride a bike, even if it is cheap or free, because of the likelihood of their impending death or serious injury.

It continues to be a shame that the people in charge of the road layout in Leeds care so little that they consider the building of ONE cyclepath to be a game-changing event, even though it is not yet finished and it is already being used as a car park, as predicted from the start, because the Leeds parking enforcement people will not prevent this.

Therefore it will be a shame when someone on one of the bikes from this most excellent scheme is slammed into by a car when riding on the main carriageway because the bike path is full of cars, or because they are riding on one of the other 999,999 roads in Leeds which have no bike path whatsoever because Leeds council hold cycle consultation meetings and ignore the data collected.

Or you could say 999,998 roads because Regent Street has a cycle path, which is so badly designed that it sucks riders into danger at every junction. It will be a shame if a rider of one of the bikes from this most excellent scheme is squashed, and even more of a shame if the rider is still on board, at one of these junctions.

It is a already shame that people are donating their unwanted bikes if the reason that they were unwanted in the first place is because a bike owner in Leeds might not dare to ride their own bike in their own city... And therefore the thing is getting no use via a climate of danger and fear.

This, of course, is Leeds' REAL "Tour de France Legacy"

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