#YouMadeItHappen for cycling

Some of the fantastic ride leaders at the Wirral Celebration Bike Ride in August. Photo by Rashid Yaman
Volunteers at the Wirral Women's Festival of Cycling ride in August 2019  Photo by Rashid Yaman
Volunteers at the Wirral Women's Festival of Cycling ride in August 2019  Photo by Rashid Yaman
Paul Tuohy's picture

#YouMadeItHappen for cycling

As charities and community groups around the UK join in with the national #YouMadeItHappen initiative today, Cycling UK Chief Executive Paul Tuohy explains how our members and supporters make so many things happen.

I'd like to highlight just a few of the things Cycling UK, with your support, has achieved over the past year, to encourage thousands more people to cycle. From our volunteers putting on awesome local rides and events for Bike Week and the Women's Festival of Cycling, to those of you who have written letters supporting our campaigns, we couldn't make it happen without your help. 

Our groups and clubs

We now have almost 9,000 registered Cycling UK volunteers, an increase of over 800 since last year. As we leave another summer behind and move into the autumn, I’d like to thank all our wonderful volunteers for their hard work over the main cycling season.

Simply for the love of cycling, they have:


Tri-Vets riders photo by Peter Cornish

    Our development work

    You also support our vision of 'cycling being accessible for all' through our project work. These are just a few of the highlights:

    • We now have 58 active Community Cycle Clubs in 10 English regions, with nearly 200 volunteers delivering activities to nearly 600 individuals who might not have the chance to enjoy cycling otherwise.
    • In West Yorkshire, our partnership project Cycle for Health has delivered 16 courses to around 150 participants since April 2019, aiding their recovery from long or short-term physical or mental health conditions.
    • In Scotland, a second Bothy opened at Ardrishaig, encouraging many more people to cycle in mid-Argyll.
    • We’ve also launched the Edinburgh Handcycling Experience, supporting those with lower limb and other impairments to enjoy the thrill of cycling.
    • Over 100 women took part in our three Belles Big Rides in Scotland.

    Festivals and celebrations of cycling

    Our fabulous supporters also helped make such a success of all the other activities and events that make up our cycling calendar:

    • We named our third 100 Women in Cycling list, celebrating inspiring women who are encouraging others to experience the joy of cycling - you sent in over 500 nominations!
    • More than 150 women, led by TV presenter Angelica Bell, then rode to the Houses of Parliament to launch the Women’s Festival of Cycling in July.
    • Our voluntary groups put on hundreds of events throughout Bike Week in June, which encouraged around a quarter of a million more people to cycle.
    • 150 groups, largely supported by volunteers, also took part in the Big Bike Revival in England this year, with over 1,000 events registered.
    • In Scotland, so far this year, 85 community groups have taken part in the Big Bike Revival, running 280 events across 28 local authorities and attended by an estimated 20,000 people.

    Training

    • Our Training Department has delivered training courses in road and off-road ride leading and first aid to around 1200 individuals, enabling them to take thousands more people out cycling, mountain biking and cycle touring.
    • The Cycle Friendly Employer accreditation scheme continues to grow and has been delivered to seven businesses nationally, with more being accredited each month, enabling more people to feel the benefits of a healthy start to the day.

    Campaigning

    With your help, our national campaigning goes from strength to strength:

    • We launched a new 800-mile off-road route, the Great North Trail, to great interest from the cycling world and the mainstream media.
    • Our Dutch Reach VR film has been viewed 14,000 times so far and 11,500 of you responded to our campaign to demand more Government funding for cycling. The Dutch Reach and #toocloseforcomfort campaigns were winners of the BikeBiz Cycle Advocacy Award 2019.
    • We launched the Be Nice, Say Hi campaign with the British Horse Society to encourage cyclists to slow down for horses.
    • Nearly 9,000 potholes have been reported by you through FillThatHole, making the roads safer for cycling.
    • In April, as a result of our Trails for Wales campaign, proposals were announced which will open up many more opportunities for exploring the outdoors – collectively, you sent in around 12,000 emails in support of the move.
    • Cycling UK partnered with Uber Eats to produce a series of guides on road positioning and cycle maintenance in both written and video form; these have been viewed thousands of times so far.
    • In Scotland, with your support, we have campaigned on many issues from 20mph speed limits to getting more funding for cycling.

    But not only that, our website views have gone up nearly 13% to over 4.5 million and membership of Cycling UK has gone up by an incredible 2,000 new members over the summer to reach 68,000 in just the first year of our new strategy.


    Chester & N. Wales Caer a Goggledd Cymru's 80th anniversary lunch. Photo by Paul Mills

    A personal highlights for me were taking part in SW London CTC’s Tri-Vets event in June and the Chester and N. Wales Caer a Gogledd Cymru’s 80th anniversary President’s ride and lunch in early September. It was an emotional occasion as I recalled the impact joining a cycling club had on me as a young man and paid tribute to all the volunteers who have enabled so many people to experience the joys of cycling for themselves.

    Thank you once again to all of you who made it happen for cycling this year. 

     


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