Published: 12:00, 05 August 2021
| Updated: 16:02, 05 August 2021
Team GB's phenomenal success in the BMX competitions at the Tokyo Olympics has sent people raring to get on bikes.
Cyclopark in Gravesend has reported a surge of interest in young and old alike, keen to take to the saddle to emulate the hero athletes who have scooped a clutch of gold and silver medals.
Among those to get a gold was Beth Shriever who gave spectators a sneak preview of her skills at a weekend event in June boasting some of the UK's top names at the multi-sport cycle centre.
Also Tom Pidcock, who got gold in the mountain biking event in Japan, won the national cyclocross championship at the Wrotham Road complex in 2019.
Chief executive Simon Jones said there had already been an increase in the uptake of both cycling and skateboarding before the Olympics, which had now accelerated a level with the wealth of GB medals attained.
He said: "We have had lots of interest from all ages, especially women, which is fantastic to see.
"We currently run a BMX session for women and we have a waiting list for BMX beginners' sessions just now."
One of his coaches, Oliver Jones, has taught more than 100 people since fully reopening in March.
He said: "The oldest he taught was 65 and the youngest was a four-year-old.
"We have 30 on the waiting list and a new coach starting in September to help with the demand."
Mr Jones said there were up-and-coming rising stars to watch out for who could be heading for the next Games in four years time.
He said: "Cycling is great for fitness and an activity the whole family can take part in together.
"Cyclopark is perfect as we have our own 8km of traffic-free road and and trails to practise. There is also the environmental implications of having more people cycling.
"All the indications are that cycling - in all its forms - will continue to grow, especially for off-road cyclocross and gravel riding. There is also a huge demand for cycle confidence sessions."
He added that the centre is running a pilot project over the summer with local primary schools to teach free one-to-one classes for children who cannot currently ride a bike.
In the autumn, it launches a cycling initiative to encourage all ages and abilities to take up the sport and in December it will host a national cycling event.
To find out more visit the Cyclopark.com website.