The phenomenal success of the GB team in BMX competitions at the Tokyo Olympics made people rush to get on bikes.
Cyclopark in Gravesend has signaled a resurgence of interest among young and old alike, keen to get in the saddle to emulate the hero athletes who have won a handful of gold and silver medals.
Among those who won the gold medal, Beth Shriever gave spectators a glimpse of her skills at a weekend event in June featuring some of the UK’s biggest names at the Multi-Sport Cycling Center.
Tom Pidcock, who also won gold in the mountain bike event in Japan, won the National Cyclocross Championship at the Wrotham Road complex in 2019.
Managing Director Simon Jones said there had already been an increase in the use of cycling and skateboarding before the Olympics, which had now accelerated to a level comparable to the wealth of British medals won.
He said: “We have garnered a lot of interest from all ages, especially women, which is fantastic to see.
“We are currently running a BMX session for women and we have a waiting list for beginner BMX sessions at the moment.”
One of its trainers, Oliver Jones, has taught more than 100 people since it fully reopened in March.
He said: “The oldest he taught was 65 and the youngest was four.
“We have 30 on the waiting list and a new coach starting in September to meet the demand.”
Mr Jones said there were rising stars to watch for who might be heading to the next Games in four years.
He said: “Biking is great for fitness and an activity the whole family can participate in together.
“The Cyclopark is perfect because we have our own 8 km of traffic-free roads and trails to practice. There are also the environmental implications of having more people cycling.
“All indications are that cycling – in all its forms – will continue to develop, especially for off-road cyclocross and gravel riding. There is also a huge demand for confidence sessions on the bike.”
He added that the center was running a pilot project over the summer with local primary schools to give free private lessons to children who currently cannot ride a bicycle.
In the fall it is launching a cycling initiative to encourage all ages and abilities to participate in the sport and in December it will host a national cycling event.
To learn more, visit Cyclopark.com.
Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend