Children in the Yorkshire Dales can now borrow and ride a bike for free, following the opening of the first Yorkshire Bank Bike Library inside the boundary of the National Park.
The brand-new Bike Library is Wensleydale Bike Club, based at Stage 1 Cycles in Hawes, which will now offer free bike loans for children and families, as well as bike safety advice, affordable bike repairs, servicing, and led rides.
Helen Pollard, Director of Stage 1 Cycles, 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 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, with 68 Bike Libraries now open across all four corners of the county.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s 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, projected to the world on TV as well as thousands of spectators at the roadside where people young and old have enjoyed cheering on the professionals. 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.”
Nick Cotton, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Member Champion for Recreation Management 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.
Bike Libraries on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park include Catterick Garrison, Addingham, Keighley and Ripon, with two Donation Stations in Harrogate.
For more information and locations, visit www.bikelibraries.co.uk.