Children in the Dales can now borrow and ride bikes for free following the opening of the first Yorkshire Bank Bike Library inside the boundary of the national park.
Wensleydale Bike Club, based at Stage 1 Cycles in Hawes, will offer free bike loans for children and families, as well as bike safety advice, affordable bike repairs, servicing, and guided rides.
Stage 1 Cycles director, Helen Pollard, said: “We are very excited that Wensleydale Bike Club is now part of the Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries programme.
“This will ensure the sustainability of our free-to-loan bike fleet, ensuring there are no barriers to children learning to ride their bikes and taking part in fantastic cycling adventures in the Yorkshire Dales.”
The award-winning bike libraries initiative was launched by Welcome to Yorkshire and Yorkshire Bank as a legacy of the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and has gone from strength to strength since then, with 68 libraries now open across all the county.
Welcome to Yorkshire commercial director Peter Dodd said: “Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries is a truly unique initiative, designed to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike, regardless of their circumstances.
“I am delighted to see the first Bike Library in the Yorkshire Dales open – hopefully the first of many!
“The Dales has been a stunning backdrop for the Tour de Yorkshire in recent years and thousands of people young and old have enjoyed cheering on the professionals, either on the roadside or by watching on TV.
“This new opening offers a great chance to further inspire the next generation of cyclists, giving them an opportunity to discover the joy of riding a bike for themselves.”
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority member champion for recreation management, Nick Cotton said: “We are delighted that Wensleydale Bike Club has opened in Hawes.
“The Yorkshire Dales are hugely popular with cyclists of all ages and it’s great that the Bike Library is now up and running here, allowing children who live or visit the Dales access to bikes they can use anytime.”
Unwanted bikes can be handed in at donation stations across the whole of Yorkshire, where they are restored and repaired before being distributed across the network of bike libraries.
To date, over 6,000 bikes have been donated by people across Yorkshire, resulting in over 75,000 opportunities for children to ride a bike.
For more information and locations, visit www.bikelibraries.co.uk.