Steven Norris, chairman of the National Cycling Strategy Board for England and would-be Tory candidate for mayor of London, will be officially opening Cycle 2002 at the Business Design Centre, Islington, at 11 am on Thursday 26 September. BDC leaflets had been plugging Mario Cipolini as the ribbon-cutter but the stubbled sprinter has been a hard man to pin down...

Norris beats Cipolini in sprint finish

Steven Norris launched the National Cycling Strategy when he was transport minister in 1996 with the aim of quadrupling the number of cycle trips on 1996 figures by the year 2012.

We’re nowhere near this figure, of course, but the organisers of Cycle 2002 are hoping a London cycle expo will generate lots of positive PR for cycling and attract up to 30 000 visitors over the four days of the show.

Michael Heal, PRO for the show, said that there has been over 1300 trade pre-registrations to date.

Michael Bennett, exhibition director of Cycle 2002, welcomed the confirmation that

Norris would open the show because he said the exhibition’s objectives "are very much in line with those of the National Cycling Strategy. Cycle 2002 is designed to create a much greater awareness of cycling in all its varied forms to a much wider audience than has ever been targeted before. The show has been planned so that it will be enjoyed by both the committed enthusiast as well as those who have yet to convert interest into regular participation, no matter what kind of bike they have in mind."

Bennett claims the Cycle 2002 marketing campaign has been the "most comprehensive ever" for a cycle show.

30 second advertisements have been appearing on Eurosport, there’s to be a 16-page

supplement in the Evening Standard (with ad prices to make you wince!) and mentions in large circulation lifestyle titles as Time Out, Health & Fitness, and Men’s Health.

"The visitor promotion campaign has also involved an innovative bike-tagging programme, 48 sheet posters, 300 bus back advertisements on London Transport buses and an extensive direct mail campaign," said Bennett.

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