Cycling enthusiast Rob Brown (pictured left) has been shortlisted for a top tourism award for his passion and dedication to making cycling more accessible for all.
Rob, who is co-director of the not-for-profit Community Interest Company Dalby Forest Cycle Hub in the North York Moors, has been nominated as one of 10 finalists across the country in the Tourism Superstar 2024 awards run by VisitEngland.
He has played a pivotal role in helping transform many people’s lives, particularly enabling those living with greater challenges to have more independence.
This has included his involvement in the award-winning North York Moors Accessibility Project led by VisitEngland to improve information, customer service and facilities for people with accessibility requirements, such as those with mobility or sensory impairments, so they too can enjoy the National Park’s landscapes.
Through his ‘Learn to Ride in 90 minutes’ programme aimed at children, together with other courses for all ages, Rob has taught cycling skills and instilled confidence for those who may never have experienced being on a bike before, as well as opened people’s eyes to the therapeutic benefits of being outdoors.
He has also helped people with additional needs to experience the joy that comes from cycling in the forest, engaging with numerous specialist schools and disability groups, and working hard to understand the challenges that individuals face before finding the best adaptive bike for them to hire from the Cycle Hub.
“Rob is definitely a superstar as his story is about far more than just being a passionate cycling advocate,” said Catriona McLees, Head of Marketing and Communications at the North York Moors National Park.
“He shows how listening to others, coming up with solutions and providing a good community spirit can totally transform how much people think they can achieve and what might be possible.
“For example, he’s helped people who have had a life changing accident or illness realise it is still possible to cycle with their family using an adaptive bike; opened children’s eyes to the joy of riding unaided for the first time; and enabled strong, lasting bonds of friendship to be formed when youngsters help each other while out cycling.
The public will be able to vote for their favourite superstar on VisitEngland’s website from mid-February when the competition officially opens. https://www.visitbritain.org/working-us/visitenglands-tourism-superstar-award