As all-star names like Froome and Wiggins power through the Yorkshire countryside, we want the next generation of Tour talent to saddle up.
One Tour de France-mad Leeds school is already well on the road to turning the iconic race’s once-in-a-lifetime visit to Yorkshire into an everyday cycling legacy for its pupils.
Children at Bruntcliffe School, in Bruntcliffe Lane, Morley, have been quick off the mark in getting behind our two-wheeled push to get the county cycling – and we want residents, schools and business across the region to do the same.
The school’s race towards a lasting cycling spirit comes as we call on the people of Leeds and West Yorkshire to get behind our unprecedented Let’s Get Cycling campaign as the YEP aims to do its bit to boost regional health and fitness by urging everyone to cycle.
Le Tour has already taken over the Bruntcliffe reception room through a special cycling mobile, while a Yellow Jersey bake sale and Grand Depart study projects have rolled into action as traffic-conscious pupils are getting behind the handlebars of their own bikes and riding to school.
Headteacher Heather Scott said: “There’s quite a lot of yellow fever here already.
“This campaign really wets the appetite and makes the most of the fact that this fantastic event is happening not just in our county but in our town.”
With the school bike shed filled to the brim on a daily basis already, Ms Scott has assigned youngsters at the 1,200-pupil high school a Tour-themed literacy project, while stage route mapping geography and yellow-themed music classes are on the agenda.
The school is also doing all it can to get students out on their bicycles in a bid to make the most of the positivity surrounding the upcoming Yorkshire Grand Depart stages, which run from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5 and then York to Sheffield on July 6.
“It’s important because with cycling there is a health aspect. If our pupils are cycling to school or through activities with their friends, it’s a really good way to keep fit,” she said.
“The only condition we put on that is that they have to be trained in road safety.”
Despite the fact that more people own a bike than own a car in the UK, at present only 13 per cent of people in Yorkshire cycle at least monthly.
In some areas such as Craven, the East Riding and York this rate is 20 per cent or more, but several districts have less than 10 per cent of residents cycling regularly – something we’re determined to see change.
And through a series of how-to guides, special reports, giveaways and competitions published both online and in print, we’re determined to help the cycling legacy of Le Tour flourish in our region but we need your help.
Nicola Furbisher, managing editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, said: “It’s fantastic to have a school such as Bruntcliffe on board with our landmark campaign, and we want to see many more make the most of Le Tour in 2014 and beyond.
“We want YEP readers, whether they are hardened race riders, cycling business commuters, students or young families, to send us their cycling stories and pictures as we try to encourage the people of Leeds and wider Yorkshire to get on their bikes.
“Cycling isn’t just for super-fit stars like Chris Froome and Sir Bradley Wiggins, so come on – let’s get the county cycling.”
For more information on how to sign up visit www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/tdf or see tomorrow’s YEP for a special report on the ambitious cycle route improvements planned across Yorkshire.
TELL US YOUR STORY – HERE’S HOW
As the excitement builds ahead of the Tour de France’s Yorkshire debut, we want you to tell us your cycling stories.
We would love to hear from you, whether it be you sending in pictures of how you’re embracing Let’s Get Cycling by setting out on your first ride in years, tweeting us your childhood cycling stories or emailing us about how important cycling is to you.
You can tweet your pictures and comments to our @LeedsNews Twitter handle using the hashtag #tdfyorks or post them on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/yep.newspaper as the countdown continues.
The Yorkshire Evening Post now features a dedicated Tour de France tab, which will keep readers up to date with all the latest news and sports coverage.
Readers can comment on our stories online before stage one or two of the Grand Depart get underway on July 5 and 6.
Visit: www2.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/Cyclingessays.pdf for details.
- For all your Tour de France stories and events, why not get in touch with our Tour de France news reporter Jonathan Brown. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @jonnybrownyep or call 0113 2388134.