Ambitious plans to increase the number of cyclists
Launching its fourth annual Big Bike Revival, the charity set the ambitious target with a challenge to everyone with an unloved bike in a shed or garage, to take it out, dust it down and start riding.
Research has shown that around 42 per cent of the population own a bike but never use it, often citing a lack of mechanical skills to get their bike back up and running.
The Big Bike Revival, with hundreds of free events taking place around England and Scotland over the next 12 weeks (May 5 to July 28), will provide bike check-ups, maintenance workshops, learn to ride sessions and led rides.
People give many reasons for not riding their bikes, but it usually boils down to lacking confidence and skills, or having a bike that needs a little bit of maintenance.
James Scott, Cycling UK’s Director of Development
“Last year, our events helped around 18,500 people take up cycling as a regular activity, which we know has profound health, social and environmental benefits.
“This year, we want to help even more people get on their bikes and remind them of the thrill that cycling gives us all.”
Kishori Agrawal, 76, joined a Cycling UK community cycle club formed in Walsall last year after the Big Bike Revival. She hadn’t ridden a bike for many years and was looking to regain some skills and develop her confidence on a bike.
She said: “I remember cycling in the 90's, it was just riding through the park with my children, but I joined the group because I wanted to learn how to keep my balance on the bike.
I wanted to learn to be safe enough to be able to go out with my children and my grandchildren, but I found cycling is really good as physical exercise and it’s good for my mind and my mental health, so I come and really enjoy it.
Joan Reynolds, 85, hadn’t ridden a bike since she was 16, but has taken up riding later in life after discovering the Walsall Arboretum Community Cycle Club after the Big Bike Revival last year.
She said: “Cycling has given me a real boost. I thoroughly enjoy it and get to meet lots of people. I recommend giving it a try.”
Last year, more than 64,000 people attended in excess of 1,900 free events. The project fixed more than 1,600 bikes and generated more than 37,000 new cycle trips.
Cycling is proven to improve mental and physical health and fits into our daily routines much more easily than other forms of exercise as it can be built into how we travel to work, school and even the shops.
But only 17 per cent of people in Britain cycle at least once a week, although around 25 million people own a bike.
For details about events taking place across the country, see www.cyclingukorg/bigbikerevival/events
Notes to editors
- Cycling UK, the national cycling charity, inspires and helps people to cycle and keep cycling, whatever kind of cycling they do or would like to do. Over a century’s experience tells us that cycling is more than useful transport; it makes you feel good, gives you a sense of freedom and creates a better environment for everyone. www.cyclinguk.org
- For more information about the Big Bike Revival – see www.cyclingukorg/bigbikeweek
- Research by Cycling UK has shown it costs as little as £23 per person to get people riding their bikes regular- see https://www.cyclinguk.org/press-release/only-ps23-person-tackle-obesity-crisis-says-cycling-uk
Press contact information
For more information contact the national Cycling UK Press Office on 01483 238 315, 07786 320 713 or email email@example.com