Getting on our bikes is a ‘silver bullet’ to solve several twenty-first century problems, such as air pollution, congestion, obesity and heart disease. Cycling is also a crucial part of the recovery plans from the coronavirus crisis both in Suffolk and nationally.
Love to Ride’s Cycle September supports the Government’s effort to double cycling trips by 2025 and to make the bicycle the default mode of transport for short journeys.
The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said “What makes people cycle: it’s easy to grab the bike, and there’s space to cycle. The trick is to keep this going. That requires more than just the money that we’re putting into cycling. It also requires a change in culture”.
Cycle September is an easy, fun way for everyone to contribute to the change in culture that is needed for Suffolk to benefit from increased levels of cycling.
Regular exercise is vital for good respiratory health and travelling actively is a good way for people to keep fit and healthy and protect our NHS.
A British Cycling report shows that increased urban cycling could save the NHS £17 billion over 20 years. The report also found that moderate levels of cycling were associated with a 28% lower mortality risk in older adults and 20% lower stress levels amongst cycle commuters. As well as boosting public health, cycling frees up space on public transport and the roads for people who can’t ride a bike and for key workers who need to get to essential jobs.
Cllr Andrew Reid, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:
“There is a massive buzz about cycling at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many people have recognised that it’s a great option for shorter journeys and coupled with public transport for longer journeys. We know there are huge health and environmental benefits to riding a bike, whether it’s for fun or for commuting to work or school.
“In Suffolk, we have more people than ever thinking about getting on a bike and more people actually having a go! It’s great to see so many families, individuals and couples out cycling together. I hope this to be the new normal, so I am delighted that the Love to Ride programme is coming to Suffolk to support people living or working in the county starting with Cycle September.”
Love to Ride, have been running Urban Cycling Skills webinars to boost new riders’ confidence and help them to ride on the road. Qualified instructors talk attendees through the basics of preparing to ride on the road and teach them two ‘Cycling Superpowers’ to help them communicate clearly with other road users and control the traffic around them. There will be regular webinars to support new riders up to, and through, Cycle September.
The Cycle September website also has lots of useful information and advice to help people get started riding and to ride more often for fun, fitness and transport. There are also fantastic prizes up for grabs for riding and encouraging in September, plus anyone who signs up before 1 September will put them in the draw for a Cannondale bike. It only takes a minute to register at www.lovetoride.net/Suffolk
Cycle September – The Facts!
Cycle September is based on a tried and tested format that has engaged more than 517,000 people worldwide and helped 121,000 people take up riding or get back in the saddle.
People can take part as an individual, with their workplace and with their cycling club or social cycling group.
Individuals and their workplaces will compete on local, national and global leaderboards to see who can earn the most points.
Points are earned for every mile and day ridden.
There is also an opportunity to win bikes, gear, restaurant vouchers and lots of other great prizes – plus if companies sign up and their team tops the national leaderboard at the end of September, they could win Cyclehoop equipment for their workplace!
Why take part?
There are a bunch of benefits for taking part in Cycle September. Individually, for organisations, and for the planet, riding helps to…
· make us happier and healthier
· make us more energetic and productive
· save us money, and our organisation’s money too – through fewer sick days, lower car parking costs and increased productivity.
Organisations that take part in Cycle September will also gain access to:
· a fun team-building and staff engagement programme that’s easy to run
· support to achieve their organisation’s sustainability goals
· a way to monitor cycling to their sites and help their staff to be more active and environmentally friendly
· track and measure stats across the organisation and see how much CO2 they save to measure the impact of their staff cycling
To take part in Cycle September follow 3 easy steps:
1. Register at www.lovetoride.net/suffolk
2. Join your company or invite your workplace to register (you can join or register a group or ride solo too!)
3. Log rides manually in September or connect your favourite cycling app (Strava, MapMyRide or Endomondo). Your rides will be recorded automatically and will sync your last 30 days of riding!
Love to Ride enables members to set goals, track distance, earn badges, share photos and stories and encourage others to ride, as well as allowing workplaces to incentivise their staff to ride and monitor cycling participation at their sites.
The aim of Cycle September is to help more people to enjoy the fun and freedom of cycling and to access the support they need to ride for transport.
Bonus earlybird promotion!
Sign up for Cycle September by 23:59 on 31 August to go into the draw for a 2021 Cannondale Lefty worth £3,400!
To find out more and register in one minute at www.lovetoride.net/suffolk