Cycling benefits from post-Olympics participation bounce

Research from the London School of Economics finds that Team GB's cycling successes at the Olympics inspired Brits to bike more
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British Cycling and Sky commissioned the London School of Economics to carry out a survey to discover if Team GB's cycling success at the 2012 Olympics led to a spike in bike use. 1000 people were surveyed before and after the Olympics.

The LSE research found that 52 percent of those surveyed had been encouraged to cycle more as a result of the achievements of Team GB cyclists. 28 percent said they had been inspired to buy bikes even before the Games had started. The proportion describing themselves as frequent cyclists (those who cycle once or more a week) increased from 28 percent before the Games to 66 percent afterwards, found the research.

The proportion describing themselves as occasional cyclists rose from 19 percent before the Games to 33 percent after the Games.

87 percent of those inspired by the Olympics to cycle more are also encouraging their children to do the same. The research said that the proportion who use cycling as a form of exercise rose from 50 percent of those surveyed before the Games to nearly 80 percent afterwards.

The bike bounce has benefitted many bicycle retailers. Cycle Surgery, which has 28 shops across the south east of England, reported record turnover for the second week of the Olympics and Wiggle said UK traffic to its website jumped 71 percent during the Games.

Tricia Thompson, director of cycling at Sky, said: "Right from the beginning of our partnership with British Cycling in 2008 we have been working hard to bring the grassroots and elite sides of cycling closer together. This research shows the first tangible evidence of the connection between the two."

Ian Drake, chief executive of British Cycling, said: "Our success in driving participation is no fluke but the product of years of detailed planning and preparation."

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