Greater Manchester - the home of the National Cycling Centre - is aiming to follow in the illustrious footsteps of Olympic great Bradley Wiggins and his fellow gold medal winners Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny, Philip Hindes, Laura Trott and Victoria Pendleton by setting a gold standard for cycling in the area.
Transport for Greater Manchester, the 10 district councils, Sustrans, British Cycling, CTC and Manchester Friends of the Earth all have the shared goal of pushing the cycling agenda now and long into the future to make Greater Manchester the cycling capital of the north.
As part of its £50 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme, TfGM and its partners are investing in new cycling initiatives, cycle routes and cycling facilities to make the bike a realistic and attractive way of getting to work for thousands more people.
Greater Manchester's ambitious plans include targeting investment in new cycle lanes into and around district centres, and delivering more than 10 new cycle hubs across Greater Manchester in key locations, offering, as a minimum, secure cycle parking and changing facilities at commuter destinations. Free adult cycle training - one-to-one sessions with qualified instructors at a time and location to suit - is also available to help people regain confidence in their cycling abilities so they can saddle up for the trip to work.
To find out more about TfGM's cycling initiatives, log on to http://cycling.tfgm.com
Working in partnership with Rochdale Council, Link4Life and Sustrans, CTC have also provided a range of training and cycling activities to the wider community whilst supporting and encouraging the development of improved cycling infrastructure, especially the Connect2 network providing 36km of traffic free and quiet road routes. Initiatives have included National Standards Training, cycling for health, group rides as well as cycling for people with disabilities.
Working with the Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre they have also established a mountain bike facility, providing bikes and equipment with qualified instructors, enabling groups to experience the thrills of off-road cycling in the Pennines.
To find out more about CTC, log on to www.ctc.org.uk.
British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI - the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team.
British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists' interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 50,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling.
To find out more about British Cycling, log on to www.britishcycling.org.uk.
Dave Newton, TfGM's Strategy Director, said: "We know that thousands of people will have been inspired by Bradley Wiggins - Britain's most decorated Olympian and the first Briton ever to win the Tour de France.
"Thanks to his unprecedented successes, cycling is now firmly in people's hearts and minds, which makes our ambitions to get thousands more people on their bikes all the more timely.
"We want to follow in Bradley Wiggins' footsteps by setting a new, gold standard for cycling in Greater Manchester. It's a long and challenging road, but one that we are already on and, with the support of our partners, we're very confident of achieving our goals."
Seamus Kelly, Cycling Development Officer at CTC, said: "The superb achievements of Bradley Wiggins and his team at the Tour de France and Olympics are inspiring more people to get on their bikes.
"Whether they are aiming to emulate their hero, enjoy some gentle exercise in the fresh air, cycle to school or work, or to make some of their regular journeys by bike they will all share in the benefits that cycling brings.
"At CTC we fully support the work of TfGM in enabling more people to cycle more often and more safely through training and improvements to the infrastructure."
Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said: "The people of Manchester have made a great home for British Cycling. Much of the great success we have seen at the Olympics, the Tour de France and in simply getting more people on bikes comes from here.
"British Cycling is proud to be based in Manchester and it is here we have developed our athletes and our programmes.
"It is a fantastic time for cycling and Mancunians can be very proud of their contribution to cycling in this country."
Dr Graeme Sherriff from Manchester Friends of the Earth's Love Your Bike campaign, said: "The Local Sustainable Transport Fund programme provides a welcome starting point.
"To encourage high levels of everyday cycling and make Greater Manchester a great place for cycling requires long term commitment, planning and funding from local councils, businesses and national government."