FROM the mountainous climbs of Buttertubs Pass and Grinton Moor to the picture-perfect villages of Bainbridge and Gunnerside – the Yorkshire Dales were a sight to behold as they beamed across the world to millions of viewers during last year’s Grande Depart.

New statistics from British Cycling reveal that almost 5,000 more people across the whole of Yorkshire are getting on their bikes at least once a week, compared to before the Tour de France came to Yorkshire.

Although data suggests that as a sport 50,000 fewer people are getting in the saddle, the cycling industry in North Yorkshire has been riding high on the popularity of both mountain and road cycling.

Brenda Price, owner of the Dales Bike Centre in Fremington, at the foot of the gruelling Grinton Moor ascent, said she had seen a marked increase in cycling interest.

She said: “It really is noticeable that there are lots more people riding bikes in the Dales.

“I’m not surprised by the figure of 5,000 more people getting on their bikes at all, and people aren’t just riding the Tour de France route although we are seeing a lot more road cyclists that we used to.

“People come to the Dales from all over the place so the Grand Depart being televised was a fantastic advert for us and the area as a whole.”

Arthur Caygill, of Caygill Cycles in Richmond, said he had seen an explosion of interest in cycling, both for leisure and fitness.

He said: “There are more people taking up cycling because people seem to be realising that fitness is just a by-product of doing something they enjoy while out in some great locations like the Yorkshire Dales.

“We have been getting a lot of new customers wanting to take up cycling – and it is great and exciting to see the Dales roads filled with riders when you are out.”

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “To think it’s exactly a year since the world’s greatest bike race came to this county is scarcely believable but I’m extremely proud of the impact the Grand Départ has had on Yorkshire.

“You only have to look at Yorkshire’s roads to see more people have taken to cycling in the county and these new figures are confirmation of just how much Yorkshire wants to be the cycling of capital of Europe.

“The Grand Départ last year, and the Tour de Yorkshire this year, have proven to be just as inspirational as we hoped they would be.”

For more information on last year’s Grand Départ and on the Tour de Yorkshire 2016, visit