British Cycling bids for funds to massively boost cycling numbers by 2012

Triple Olympic gold medallist, Chris Hoy today called for more government cash to be spent on increasing the numbers of people cycling.

Speaking to Richard Moore in the Guardian, Hoy, who was on Sunday voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year by over 280,000 people said"I'd like to see an increase in participation," he said. "If kids at school say they're a track cyclist, it would be nice if others knew what they were talking about and felt they could try it, too. But I'd like all areas of the sport - mountain biking, road, BMX - to benefit at the grass roots.

"I'd like to see the government making cycling more accessible and for cyclists to be more appreciated by other road users. In Holland they have good cycle paths and cyclists have right of way. That kind of change isn't going to happen overnight but I'd love to see it happen in the long term."

Hoy's comments echo those made by Dave Brailsford after he was named Coach of the Year at the BBC awards and they come hot on the heels of British Cycling's bid for a massive increase in funding from Sport England to boost participation in cycling amongst all members of society.

On Monday, speaking in the wake of Hoy's Sports Personality Award, Ian Drake, British Cycling's Chief Executive Designate, said: "Sport England want to get half-a-million more people into sport by 2012. We think we can deliver 20% of that - we are talking about 100,000 more people cycling by 2012.

"We think that we could make the single biggest contribution to the legacy of London 2012 in terms of mobilising the nation.

"The sport has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last eight years. We have grown by 10,000 members in three years."

Both Brailsford, Hoy, seem to go beyond that calling for further efforts to boost cycling, not just as a sport, amongst school children and as a form of transport.

The difference is more one of nuance than actual direction and all are agreed that the opportunity for cycling and the public goodwill towards it as an activity and a sport has probably not been better since the 1950s. There is a long way to go, but there is plenty to aim at, last week British Cycling announced its membership had reached 25,000 for the first time, but as Richard Moore points out that's less than a tenth of the number that voted for Chris Hoy on Sunday.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.