Being a relatively new convert to cycling, 2012 is actually the first time I’ve ever taken an interest in the Tour de France and followed it on telly.
And of course, it’s been wonderful to watch Wiggins and Froome dominate, although my cycling club buddies assert it was even more fun to watch when everyone was doping.
Ah, the good old days…. .(?!)
After the initial euphoric and triumphant wave of celebration dies down, what will be the likely impact of Wiggo’s achievement?
Where will the ripples from his big splash be felt?
People are naturally speculating that there’ll be a general rise in the numbers of people taking up cycling, many just for fun and some in a competitive sense.
Others, perhaps more realistically predict a brief rise in popularity, followed by a gradual decline back to the current levels as the novelty wears off.
One thing that seems obvious to me, is that if new cyclists are to stick to it, there also needs to be some change in the infrastructure. This has to happen in order to lead to more general changes in terms of how cycling and cyclists are perceived by the public. We’re talking about government policy changes, driving action at a local level, and it needs to be driven by a clear vision of where we want to end up.
The Welsh Government are making some interesting moves along these very lines, and are currently consulting on their ‘Active Travel’ bill.
So go on, have your say.
Yes, wear your Wiggo T-shirt down the pub by all means, but take a few minutes to respond to the consultation and you could be participating in something that will pave the way for a more fundamental change in terms of how our society (at least in Wales) nurtures cycling into a more prominent role in future.
Read the Active Travel Bill and the consultation questions.
The closing date for the consultation is 14th August, 2012.