As the Tour of Britain spends its second day in the North West today, pedal power is driving one Blackpool business forward.
A group of cyclists from the Cybele Velo endurance training centre in Coleridge Road will be heading up to Whinlatter Pass in the Lake District to see the likes of Tour de France winners Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome fly the flag for Britain in the international race.
The riders are from an informal group which has sprung up in Blackpool following the opening of the training centre. They meet each Saturday morning there for a ride out on the roads of Lancashire, for exercise and friendship.
The hub is the brainchild of international triathlete Scott Leadbetter and after a tough start when it opened in February thanks to the Beast from the East, it is now powering ahead.
Scott said: “We have cyclign clubs and triathletes coming down to train but we have seen a whole new demand from people looking to get fit and lose weight. I think because we are a comfortable friendly place which is not intimidating as some find the conditioning gyms, people feel more relaxed.”
He said the cycling machines offer low impact fitness training for people with dodgy knees.
“We have had people come along who have never been on a road bike before, done the training on our stationary machines and gone out and bought bikes to join the Saturday ride. They meet at 7.30 for a 8am roll out.
“I think it is the social side as much as anything else. We have also now got a ladies night on Wednesdays for those who don’t feel comfortable training when there are men around and upstairs we have hot and cold yoga plus a health bar and cafe with the Italian coffee which is a favourite with cyclists.
“We have seen so many people come in over weight, one person was 20 stone, many suffering anxiety, but they now feel part of the club. Exercise is very good for helping reduce anxiety.”
The gym features specially designed indoor bikes linked to a computer to tailor training to each athlete’s needs.