Free bike hire for all after gold rush

Bike operations manager Stewart Dyer (kneeling), Cane Jolly (left) and Rob Draper at work.

Bike operations manager Stewart Dyer (kneeling), Cane Jolly (left) and Rob Draper at work.

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DID the Olympics inspire you to get fit and on your bike?

Blackpool families inspired by Team GB’s cycling successes in London are being offered free rides on the resort’s fleet of hire cycles this Sunday in a bid to boost interest in the sport.

Blackpool Council is giving people free rides for two hours this Sunday.

Residents can use the bikes for no charge between noon and 2pm, allowing them to tour Blackpool on two wheels.

The cost is usually £7 for a non-member of the scheme to rent the cycles for a day so it is a great offer for those wanting to get out and about.

Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for streets and transport on Blackpool Council, told The Gazette the authority wanted to ride the wave of public interest in the sport since the Games closed on Sunday.

He also pointed to Lancashire rider Bradley Wiggins’ victory in the Tour de France as evidence of a boost in British cycling’s fortunes.

He added: “It’s been an incredible summer for cycling in Britain and the whole nation is on a sporting high, eager to relive the exploits of their heroes and become more active.

“To celebrate the fantastic achievements of British cyclists this summer, both in the Olympics and the Tour de France, people can now experience the Blackpool Hire-a-Bikes for free this Sunday afternoon.

“You can use them to tour any part of the town, whether it is travelling along the Promenade, or going for a ride in one of our parks.

“The choice is yours, and it’s completely free.

“I hope as many people as possible take it up, and experience Blackpool on two wheels.”

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In June, the cycles were rented out 1,077 times across Blackpool but with Olympic mania hitting the UK last week bosses saw 700 rentals in a single day.

Cleveleys Road Club and cycling enthusiast Les Cross said; “Anything free like this which will help get people interested is great.

“British Cycling say they have got up to 200 new members a day since the Olympics so interest has definitely increased.

“People can start at any level and work their way up and we have members from 15 and 16 up to 70 who still race.”

To make the most of Sunday’s offer, pre-book a bike this week on (01483) 472804, before picking it up from one of a number of different locations and taking it out.

Existing Hire a Bike members can use their usual pin to unlock the bikes.

If the cycling experience takes a grip, people can then join the Hire-a-Bike scheme as a member for a flat fee of £10.

The rate is £1 per hour to rent a cycle after that.

To join the scheme, visit www.hireabikeblackpool.co.uk or call (01253) 320094.

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