Tour of Britain set to help create cycling legacy in Norfolk and Suffolk
The people of Norfolk are set for a cycling revolution over the next few months as an enduring legacy of the Tour of Britain's visit next month is created.
Cycling experts Activating CIC (Community Interest Company) have teamed up with Norfolk County Council to create the Norfolk Cycling Academy (NCA), an inspirational legacy for hosting the Tour of Britain, aimed specifically at young and novice riders.
The scheme is designed to eliminate any barriers to cycling and will deliver traffic-free coaching and training for youths, families, novice adults and women to build confidence, technique and ability.
Activating CIC has also been funded by the county council to produce a tandem cycling programme for visual impaired people in partnership with Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind (NNAB).
Kevin House, who runs not-for-profit social enterprise Activating CIC with Neil Turner, said: 'Cycling is riding on the crest of a wave at the moment after inspired performances by the likes of Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and Olympic time trail, Lizzie Armitstead's silver in the Olympic road race and Team GB's amazing performances on the track.
'And with the Tour of Britain coming back to Norfolk and Suffolk in September, there is no better time to convert the inspiring performances by our elite athletes into record participation levels among children and adults in our local communities.'
The NCA will be based at the Norwich Airport Park and Ride with coaching delivered by level three British Cycling coach Russell Parkins and bikes and helmets will be provided for those who do not have access to them.
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It will build on the work Mr House and Mr Turner's Pedal Revolution Academy, which takes cycling into schools, by delivering cycle sport sessions in 24 high schools, funded by Sport England, and 24 primary schools, funded by Norwich bike shop Pedal Revolution.
There will also be the opportunity for people to continue cycle training during the week with Activating CiC's unique indoor, group riding sessions which will be based at City Academy.
Meanwhile, Activating CIC will be visiting Diss, Great Yarmouth, Wroxham and Attleborough to deliver its tandem cycling programme, starting in the autumn.
Mr House said: 'Participants will be taught a variety of skills that will build their confidence and cycling ability so that they can access the joys of cycling. In Great Yarmouth, some visually impaired people have already had the chance to ride with us and have thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that they took part in a 10 mile time trial.'
Elsewhere, Breckland Council has commissioned Activating CIC to deliver its Tour of Britain Legacy in Swanton Morley, Dereham and Mattishall. They will be holding free family cycling days where people will be able to get their bike safety checked, learn some top bike maintenance tips and get on their bikes and develop confidence and bike handling skills.
Families will then be able to put into practice the skills they have learnt on a family ride along the Tour of Britain route between Swanton Morley and Mattishall.
Activating CIC will also be delivering family cycling sessions for South Norfolk Council's Tour of Britain legacy. These will be held every Saturday morning in October from 10am to 12pm at Wymondham Leisure Centre and will teach bike maintenance and bike handling skills.
And Suffolk County Council has commissioned Activating CIC to deliver bike roadshows in five major towns including Lowestoft, Ipswich and Southwold in September. These will focus on free Dr Bike sessions so that people can feel confident that their bike is safe to ride on the road.
The Tour of Britain will return to Norfolk and Suffolk on Sunday, September 9. Following a route from Ipswich to Norfolk Showground, it will be the first stage of the professional road race which last year attracted crowds of 150,000 across Norfolk.
Bringing the Tour of Britain back to the region has been made possible by Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils joining forces and Southwold-based Adnams sponsoring the joint stage.