When the Tour de France departed from a rural town in Yorkshire it prompted an influx of cyclists coming to enjoy the country roads, but councillors are now warning that bike lovers visiting the dales might not be as fit as they think they are.The caution comes as new figures reveal that the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured went up nearly 90 per cent in the North Yorkshire region of Richmondshire in 2016 compared to the average for the previous four years. Local councillors have raised fears that the new popularity of Richmondshire after hosting the Grand Depart in 2014 has resulted in cyclists who are unfamiliar with country roads overstretching themselves. We do try to explain and advise cyclists that cycling in the dales isn’t the norm and it is challengingRichmond council leader Yvonne Peacock East Richmond councillor Louise Dickens said: “Rural life is very different to living in the city and with the influx of cyclists it’s clear that the challenges out here are different and people aren’t as fit as they think they might be.“People who come out to the countryside think it’ll be a nice country ride, but it’s hard work. These are steep, winding roads. I do think that those coming to enjoy our roads do need to be aware of how difficult they can be, you’re not in the Tour de France.” … but many aren’t equipped to take on the tricky routeCredit:Nigel Roddis/Getty Richmond and Darlington Cycling Club chairman Mike Drake said: “There has absolutely been an increase in the number of people coming to the region and they are just not used to the routes and the problems that come with that. “If there were a lot of accidents on a bend, we might look at whether a surface is too slippery.” Currently there are road warning signs which are aimed at motorists, but there are no specific alerts for cyclists. It was said at the meeting that a study was in the initial stages, but that the authority may consider installing signs for cyclists at known danger points, such as where roads cross with cycle tracks. A council spokesperson added: “We urge all cyclists to wear appropriate safety clothing and helmets and we ask all road users, motorists and cyclists to drive to the condition of the road and to respect all other road users. The Council’s Annual Road Casualty Report revealed that while the number of people killed or seriously injured on the district’s roads fell by 17 per cent in 2016 compared to the average for the previous four years, there had been an increase of nearly 90 per cent for cyclists over the same period.Richmond council leader Yvonne Peacock added: “Our roads can be dangerous, the roads are getting more congested and people aren’t familiar with the lay of the land here if they’re visiting which can be a hazard.“We do try to explain and advise cyclists that cycling in the dales isn’t the norm and it is challenging. It can be very steep and very narrow and not everyone is prepared for that, they just love the scenery and forget about the risks.”Since Yorkshire hosted the Grand Depart cycling groups have reported memberships growing year on year and in 2016 the number had swollen to 11,914.Department for Transport records for North Yorkshire show in 2005 there were 34 cyclists killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads.In the three years before the Grand Depart, the number had risen to 186 and in the three years after to 246. A North Yorkshire County Council meeting heard that there had been a fall in incidents for every category of road user in the district, apart from cyclists. “We have beautiful countryside, but narrow winding roads and so I’d recommend cycling with a club as here is much different to cycling in a city and the ‘rules of the road’ are different.”Following on from the county council meeting work is now expected to commence to try and identify accident hotspots in the area.The area’s highways manager Richard Marr said: “There is work going on to see if there is anything different we can do from a highways authority perspective to deal with that. “There is some evidence to show that the bottom of steep hills are hazardous to cyclists and we therefore put up warning signs in necessary locations.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.