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Britain: A Great Nation of Cyclists?

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Writer Gerry Stergiopoulos said, "If you want to know why the British are so good at cycling, just look at the price of public transport".

Team GB have a staggering 12 medals in the Olympic cycling disciplines - seven of which are gold in the track cycling and matches our Beijing trophy haul. In 2008 Chris Hoy said he never thought Great Britain would manage so many medals in one event again and was gushing with pride not only for his wonderful successes but for a country that's falling head over heals in love with cycling.

A conservative estimate of the crowd that lined the streets with flags and face paint in support of the Olympic road cyclists was in the region of 500,000.

With the Bradley Wiggins affect we are truly proving ourselves to be the greatest nation of cyclists. But will it continue? Will the grass roots of talent and cycling enthusiasts be nurtured and will city cycling continue to be promoted?

With the 'Get ahead of the games' transport marketing, we have seen an awesome promotion of varying ways of getting to work, and thanks to the bright blue 'Boris Bikes', London has been easily crossed on two wheels.

But I'm fearful that once the Olympics are over we may just pop the helmet back in the bottom of the under stairs cupboard.

Budgets tend to be the biggest issue for cycling clubs and cycling events across the country. I have hosted many cycling events over the last three years and have seen a definite steady growth in popularity and success, but the growth is small and still a struggle for many.

The support for our athletes falls firmly on the shoulders of sponsors. Sponsors who are not always impressed with an Otley based criterium race. In cycling, local small business advertisements along the side of the road are what make the race truly happen. Local cycling shops sponsor their inspired riders and the community really come together. It brings a strong spirit to every race and a massive sense of pride to those who worked so hard to bring the races to their home town.

Perhaps that is all we need.

Leaving the games behind and making a difference ourselves will make a much stronger impact that constantly looking at large sports brands and government funding. Join your local cycling club, go to the British Cycling website and find out when and where your nearest race is and simply turn up!

Our power in numbers encourages the local and larger businesses to donate and grow the sport.

More importantly - buy a bike. Cycle into work and save yourself the rising cost of public transport.

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