Grand Depart fever leaving lasting legacy

Bob and Steve Peacock at Cycle Gear, Halifax.
Bob and Steve Peacock at Cycle Gear, Halifax.

The owner of Cycle Gear says the Tour de France has encouraged more people in Calderdale to take to two wheels.

Hundreds of thousands of people lined the route of the Grand Depart when it passed through our region in July.

Steve Peacock, who runs the business with his brother Bob, says the world famous race has inspired people to take up the sport.

He said: “It’s definitely had a positive impact and reignited a lot of people’s interest in cycling.

“It’s hard to say to what extent but we’ve had quite a number of sales where people have mentioned they were encouraged by the Tour de France, so it has had a knock-on effect.

“You’ve also got the customers who have got their bikes out from the shed and need repairs and new accessories.

“It’s more road bikes and hybrid bikes rather than mountain bikes.

“It’s more the type of bike you can ride down the canal tow-path rather than going off-road.

“It’s certainly stimulated the 40+ cyclists to go out and do something rather than just talk about it.

“It’d be nice to see a legacy with the younger element who are always playing on the computer but it is difficult to get that lost market back into cycling.”

Mr Peacock said there was a stronger interest in cycling since the Grand Depart and is confident there will be a positive legacy from the event.

He said: “I’ve been in the business a long time and seen things come and go so it’s hard to determine how long it will last.

“Hopefully there will be a legacy and I think there will be.

“There’s certainly a lot of positive press about cycling at the moment with the Commonwealth Games on the back of the Tour de France so there is definitely a bit of a buzz about it.”