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Your Olympic experience with Haven: Cycling


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We’re cycling enthusiasts at Haven. There is no better way of seeing as much of the coast as possible than on two wheels. After all, cycling isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life.

An activity for all the family, cycling doesn’t just get you from A to B, it helps you physically and mentally tackle anything that life throws at you. Our parks are perfect for pedalling from. We welcome anyone bringing their own bikes, and we’ve partnered with Halfords to bring a bike hiring service to 11 of our parks dotted up and down the country. So, whether you’ve planned your route in advance or fancy a ride when you get here, all angles are covered.

Cycling continues to grow in popularity in the UK, and as a proud partner of Team GB, we’ve seen how Olympic success has sparked a huge rise in bike ownership. As an environmentally friendly way to get about, the potential for cycling is enormous - as a sport and in day-to-day life (and that includes on holiday!). We've looked into the history of cycling and its role at the Olympics, and how you can get cycling on a staycation with us.

The origins of Cycling

The origins of Cycling

Once described as a ‘penny farthing’, human transport on two wheels dates back to the 19th-century. It wasn’t until the 1900s that bikes took off as transport, with racing, touring and commuting all popular in Europe. Interestingly, in the USA, bikes were associated mostly as a kid’s toy, with most models made for little ones. When the motorcar became more affordable, this association increased.

As years went on, bikes became increasingly bought for a specific purpose. Models for commuting, mountain biking and BMX all attracted their own customers. It wasn’t really until the 21st-century that the UK embraced the health benefits of cycling, and bike riders are seen much more often these days than 20 years ago. Cycling has taken off all over the place, from the busiest of cities to quietest of countryside, the hilliest areas inland to the flat-lying coastline, which is where we come in!

Cycling tips

Cycling tips

Cycling unlocks the area around you like no other form of transport. Less intense but more powerful than running, you can travel a much further distance without becoming too tired. It’s all about the pace, simply pedal slower to take yourself further. Since the coronavirus pandemic emerged, you’re likely to see many more riders of mixed ability, so it won’t just be the wannabe Bradley Wiggins zooming past you on the cycle path.

If you’re bringing your own bike, give your tyre pressure the once over, the ideal amount should be on the side of the tyre. Set your seat at the right height and make sure you dress for the conditions. I particularly like gloves to help grip the handlebars, as my hands can get extremely cold even in good weather! Plan your route and bring some supplies. Then, get riding.

Cycling at the Olympics

Cycling at the Olympics

Cycling is one of the biggest sports in the Olympic itinerary, with it being broken down into four disciplines to help recognise the different skill sets needed in different settings on different types of bikes. There are specific event groups for the road, track, mountain biking and BMX. The Olympic ‘velodromes’ have hosted some of the most intense sporting drama of any games, with Keirin, Madison and Omnium events each testing athletes in different ways.

Traditionally, all events were tests of speed over different lengths, but BMX freestyle is a recent addition to the calendar. With Tour de France perhaps being the most decorated and recognised cycling event worldwide, it's not a surprise that France holds the record for most golds and most medals overall. Since the turn of the 21st-century, that lead in the medal table has started to close.

Cycling and Team GB

Cycling and Team GB

It’s Team GB that has led the charge towards the French, with our track cycling athletes standout performers. Not only are they at the pinnacle of their sport, they're also some of the first names you associate with Team GB’s increasing success at the Olympics. There were an unprecedented seven gold medals won at the Beijing and London games, with a further six won at Rio 2016.

With six golds and one silver to his name, Sir Chris Hoy is the joint-most successful Team GB Olympic medallist of all time. Britain’s most inspirational sporting couple, Jason and Laura Kenny have a whole host of medals between them. Jason’s haul matches that of Sir Chris, and Emma is the most successful female Team GB Olympic medallist, with four golds to her name. Another infamous name, Sir Bradley Wiggins has five golds and eight medals in his collection, including time trial gold at London 2012.

We’re proud to support our athlete ambassador and track cyclist Owain Doull. Find out more about Owain and the rest of our ambassadors on our Team GB page.

Try cycling with us

Try cycling with us with Haven

Ask any pro cyclist and they’ll tell you they ride in a variety of places. Bring your bikes with you on holiday and swap the congested city roads for the open and spacious seaside. We put on a range of activities for little ones to take to two wheels. Our Balance Bike Coaching costs just £4, setting the scene for some childhood memories as those all-important stabilisers finally come off. We also offer bike coaching for youngsters to build their confidence on their junior bike. This also costs just £4. Before you know it, you’ll be able to ride together as a family, either on your own sets of wheels or through our handy hire scheme.