Wiggins the inspiration for a new generation
THE 'Wiggo' factor is inspiring a future generation of cyclists in the county.
Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and a gold medal in the individual time trial at the Olympic Games.
And the legacy of London 2012 is now being felt in the Forest of Dean.
The youth coordinator at the Royal Dean Forest Cycling Club, Alan Crowley, now hopes the club's new youth section will prosper.
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The youth section aims to encourage kids of varying levels to get involved in cycling.
Crowley is adamant that the section will continue to grow following the exploits of Wiggins and the wealth of British cycling stars who struck gold in London.
He said: "The club has certainly seen its numbers increase these past two or three months. Going for a bike ride certainly has more appeal now and really could challenge sports like football and rugby.
"Last year we put on two junior events, but this year we have had seven.
"We even have kids coming from Malvern and word seems to be spreading fast about what we are doing."
"We are really fortunate to have such a great location in the Forest of Dean, and so many great routes to cycle.
"Now we want to build connections with local schools in order to give every youngster the opportunity to take part."
The RDFCC is now an officially registered Go Ride club after the appointment of a five-strong committee to oversee the youth section.
The title, which is awarded by the British Cycling body, is given to clubs who offer opportunities to ride to all young people, regardless of age and ability.
"The Go Ride accreditation is fantastic because we have the opportunity to both receive grants and stage events," Crowley said. "Our last junior event was part of the Go Ride Games and we were given prizes to hand out.
"While these events are hugely popular, we now need to build a core of committed cyclists who ride each week."