David Brailsford: Let's encourage cyclists while sport's on a high

The bicycle represents the answer for so many emerging issues, from the environment and obesity to traffic congestion and an overstretched public-transport system. Much has been achieved in recent years, as evidenced by the 1.3 million new cyclists added in 2010 alone – but there is much left to do.

Female participation in cycling continues to lag behind and, in too many of our cities, riding a bike still feels more dangerous than it should. Government investment is helping to redress this situation but it's essential that we maintain momentum. London 2012 promises to give British cycling a once-in-a-generation boost next summer. We have the chance to capture this momentum and create a genuine new golden age for cycling. Let's not miss this opportunity.

David Brailsford is the performance director of British Cycling