Set within the sizeable grounds of Keighley's University Academy is a bike library with so much going on, it's hard to keep track! Founders John Dennis and Jack Bell had initially planned to try and stimulate interest in cycling amongst the school's pupils, but their enthusiasm for the project has led to adults and families from the surrounding area also getting involved; a great result for the initiative.
Flexibility is key to its success, offering casual drop in sessions for adults and children alike, they can also accommodate long-term loans. The latter has proved very successful for young children, allowing them the chance to learn to ride in the first instance, before having the confidence to move on to getting a bike of their very own.
Within the school, students have been taught how to ride and develop their skills before going away on residential trips involving mountain biking activities.
Local Primary schools also recently met at UAK for cycling time trial finals. The bike library was on hand to ensure all riders had free access to a bike. They are also lending bikes to external primaries for various Sustrans initiatives, proving its worth as a valuable cycling resource in an area that surprisingly, didn't have a high interest in the activity to begin with.
Staff have been provided with cycles so they can commute to work, and new members of the local junior cycling club, Bronte Tykes, have also reaped the benefits of the project. John and Jack have even managed to acquire disability bikes, meaning no one need miss out on the sport. The location is also without doubt ideal, as having access to such a large area away from busy roads is something that unquestionably puts parents' minds at ease.
Welcoming the Tour De Yorkshire to Keighley is definitely a positive move for the town. John says: "Cycling is becoming more and more popular in the area. Events like TDY really help boost the sport and help promote what we are trying to achieve. There is a lot going on in Silsden, Keighley, the Worth Valley and Haworth to encourage people to watch and enjoy the race."
Going forward, CyKle are exploring an after school cycling club, looking at loaning bikes to local Primary Schools (an active promotion via Bradford Active Schools), as well as engaging in Bike Ability and Balanceability initiatives in conjunction with Chris Armstrong, who runs another Yorkshire Bank Bike Library (BeCycling) in Bingley.