So, it’s all finally over, and we go back to normal. Or perhaps not. The slogan of London 2012 was “Inspire a Generation”, and I think that has happened.
But the question is, what generation?
The tacit assumption was always that the slogan applied to the next generation: to teenagers and younger kids. Get them up off their arses, it implied, and away from their consoles, and down to their local sports hall, playing field, or pool.
Whether and to what extent that has worked will take a long time to see. But there’s another generation that is already visibly inspired, to my admittedly limited view.
Where by “mine” I sort of mean “everyone who’s not still a child.” Because what I’m seeing as I cycle to and from work these days is that the streets are packed with cyclists. And people out running, too; there are definitely more than usual. But it’s us London cyclists who are really showing up.
I personally have taken public transport to work only once since before the Olympics started,1 and I’ve been pushing myself to get that bit faster on my bike rides.
I’ve been thinking of it as something like, “Hoy! It’s the Pendleton-Trott-Kenny-Wiggins effect.” But that’s a bit unwieldy, and misses some names out.
It is clear to me, though, that the “generation” that is in their twenties, thirties and yes, forties — and probably older — are out there in bigger numbers than ever before.
We’ll see how it holds up as autumn and winter come in, of course. But vastly increased cycling in London? That would really be a worthwhile legacy.
Anyway, here’s my Flickr set from our second event at the Olympics, namely hockey. Click through to see the pictures bigger and with captions.
- Admittedly I was on holiday for around three weeks of that time. [↩]