Two wheels join four on centre stage

Torbay Weekly

The choice of the West Country to start the Tour of Britain cycle race has thrilled locals and visitors alike.

Starting in Penzance last Sunday and continuing through Devon on Monday, crowds were out in force to cheer them on.

Following the UK’s success in both the Olympics and Paralympics, added to the increase in cycling during the pandemic, more and more people are thinking of bikes as a hobby and to keep fit.

This has also coincided with the news that Cornwall is to develop a new £7million, 54-acre cycle hub to build on this legacy and will have the advantage of bringing more visitors to the area as well as encouraging cyclists in Devon and Cornwall to enjoy the sport.

Andy Farr, British Cycling's head of business planning and transformation, said: “The scope of the project will include many cycling disciplines including mountain biking, road cycling, BMX, cyclocross and others, meaning there should be an opportunity for everyone.

"The South West has traditionally been under provided for in relation to high-quality cycling facilities and this hub will be a huge step forward.”

This week also saw the return of the German International Motor Show which was traditionally held in Frankfurt but will this year will be held in Munich and promises to be very different.

This will be the first motor show since the pandemic caused the cancellation of many international trade events and will be challenging for the organisers as increased costs and cut-backs have resulted in many of the largest car makers being absent.

There will be no General Motors, no Ford, no Toyota and no Stellantis, which make Peugeot, Citroen, Vauxhall, Fiat, Jeep and Alfa Romeo, among others.

Instead, the line-up will be dominated by the three big German brands Volkswagen, Daimler-Benz and BMW.

The emphasis will be very different.

This show will concentrate on the path to ‘climate neutral mobility’ and the city of Munich will allow visitors to try out new concepts in sustainable transport.

Cycling brands such as Specialised, Scott and Canyon will take space in the exhibition halls alongside Porsche and Mercedes.

There will also be businesses representing all forms of mobility including start-ups, and tech companies providing alternative solutions on the path to climate neutrality.

Of course, the manufacturers who are at the show will be unveiling many new cars, mostly electric, and there will be many futuristic cars for this new future.

One concept that seems to have fallen in interest is the ‘sharing economy’.

There were fears that fewer and fewer people would be buying private motor cars.

The pandemic has made many of us aware that private transport does have some distinct advantages as well as the lack of alternative transport making it even more difficult in our region to do without a car.

Individual mobility has suddenly become more valuable.

September and the new 71 plate is now with us and with the likelihood of further delays due to component shortages, if you want a new car you should be placing your order now.

There is some stock around but much of that will be delivered this month. Added to this, used car stocks continue to fall and prices continue at high levels.

Get on your bike and visit your dealer!

Stay safe and stay smiling. I look forward to next week.