What is Sustrans Big Pedal Movement?
Cycling is a great pastime for all the family and one that is also great exercise. Not only that, but a bike can be the quickest and most ecologically-friendly way of getting around, especially on that morning commute to work. Most of us own a bike, but how often do you get out on one and enjoy the fresh air?
- Related – Why Cycle?
Think about it: every time you jump in your car and drive a couple of miles to the shop to pick up essentials, you are missing a chance to get some exercise, and saving money! The cycling movement is powerful, and at the centre of it is Sustrans, the UK’s sustainable transport charity.
The centrepiece of the work done by Sustrans is the National Cycle Network, which offers some 14,000 miles of cycling routes across the country taking in existing roads and newly created routes. The latter are often old railways that are no longer in use and other such spaces.
Why do you need to know about Sustrans? Here’s a little more about what they do, and why this is one of the most important charitable organisations of all.
Sustrans has its roots in a movement to promote cycling that was created by a group of enthusiasts in the late 1970’s. This was inspired by the increasing reliance on the private car as a form of transport, and the fears that came about from the early 70’s oil crisis.
The organisation became Sustrans in the early 1980’s, and rapidly gained support. The charity has benefited from Lottery funding and has grown to be the powerful and inventive organisation it is today.
In addition to the National Cycle Route, Sustrans works with schools and councils to improve cycling routes and enhance safety on the road for cyclists, and one of the products of this is the Big Pedal initiative.
More About Sustrans Big Pedal 2018
Sustrans Big Pedal is an annual challenge that aims to get schools actively encouraging pupils – and staff – to either cycle to school or take their scooter. It is intended to highlight the benefits of cycling to younger people and has been a very successful way of getting the point across.
The 2018 Big Pedal takes place between 23rd of April and 4th of May, during which time participating schools will encourage pupils to use this green form of transport. Staff and parents are also invited to join in.
The Big Pedal takes the form of a league-type competition for a bit of added fun! Each school, and indeed individual classes if they wish, log the number of journeys made to and from school on each of the ten days the scheme is active.
The results go up against other participating schools with the best day from each one being that which is entered. There are also one-day challenges, special prizes and fun activities that can be indulged in, all as part of the Sustrans Big Pedal 2018.
Local authorities are also encouraged to get involved and take part in promoting what is one of the largest cycling events in the UK.
Sustrans has a team of volunteers who operate across the country, and whose job it is to keep the National Cycle Network and other routes for cyclists clean, safe, tidy and accessible. It actively seeks new cycling routes and has gained the support of the likes of British Waterways, who worked with Sustrans to improve the condition of canal towpaths for cycle use.
The Big Pedal 2018 is a fun event that also offers prizes to schools to help encourage pupils to cycle to school. If 15% or more of the pupils in a school cycle of scoot to work on any of the ten days, the school will be entered in a prize draw that could see them get help with storage and other useful prizes for cyclists. So if you are not already registered, get in touch with Sustrans Big Pedal now and get your school on the list.
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