Legendary Tour de France five-time winner Bernard Hinault was joined by Yorkshire Tour legend Brian Robinson, the first Brit to win a stage of the Tour de France, and Leeds pro cyclist and Commonwealth medallist Scott Thwaites to officially set the new Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries’ wheels in motion today. (December 12).
Following the county’s hugely successful hosting of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 in July, people across Yorkshire are now being asked to donate their old or unwanted bikes at one of many donation stations across the county.
The New Year will see a second stage of the project get underway when community and not-for-profit groups will be able to bid for funding to run bike libraries, which will see donated bikes fixed and ready for people to borrow. The hope is that everyone, regardless of their circumstances will have access to a bike, particularly children.
Yorkshire Bank has teamed up with Welcome to Yorkshire to support the Cycle Yorkshire initiative to turn the ambitious and ground-breaking scheme into a reality. The three-year deal follows on from the hosting of what has been described as the grandest of all Grand Départs of the Tour de France and epitomises Yorkshire Bank’s ‘We care about here’ ethos.
Helen Page, Yorkshire Bank Customer Experience & Marketing Director, 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 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.”
Scott Thwaites, who rides for one of the top cycling teams, Netapp-Endura, said: “I think people always remember their first bike or the first time they hopped on a saddle. For many it’s the start of lifelong enjoyment but not everyone’s fortunate enough to have access to a bike – hopefully this project will change that.”
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who came up with the idea said: “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 repaired and renovated bikes will be available for people of all ages to borrow free of charge and by next year there will be Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries across Yorkshire. Information on where they will be and when they will be open will be on www.cycle.yorkshire.com/bikelibraries.
*The first wave of donation stations are at:
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