Tens of thousands of people are expected to commute by bike tomorrow (4 September) in this year’s national Cycle to Work Day.
The event supported this year and last by multi-gold-medal-winning Paralympic cyclist, Dame Sarah Storey, is to encourage “anyone and everyone” to get on their bikes for the day in the hope they will continue commuting by bike.
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Last year 20,000 people cycled more than a quarter of a million miles and this year is set to hit that figure again, its 224,937 pledges burning almost seven million calories and saving 47,226kg of CO2 at the time of writing.
Dame Sarah Storey commented: “It’s fantastic to be involved with Cycle to Work Day for a second year. The campaign is a great way to raise the profile of everyday cycling in the UK, and will hopefully help show people that you don’t need to be a professional athlete to cycle to work!”
Daniel Gillborn, Director at Cyclescheme commented: “Cycle to Work Day is our way of getting everyone together to celebrate cycle commuting. From our clients and their employees through to the independent retailers we partner with, the day is a fantastic opportunity for people to give cycling a go.”
As part of the event employers are holding bike breakfasts, using free croissants, coffee and Dr Bike checkups as incentives to get people on their bikes, while participating bike shops will offer free bike checks as well.
According to census data in the UK 760,000 people commute by bike regularly, or around 2%, lagging far behind countries like the Netherlands and Denmark. Reasons cited for not cycling are anything from fear of the roads to lack of changing and showering facilities at work.
Some large employers, including Amey and Chelmsford City Council, have pledged their support to the campaign, the former encouraging staff to take “selfies” with a message about why they are taking part.
Gary Carvell group HSEQ director at Amey explains the reasons for getting behind the campaign: “The health and wellbeing of our employees is extremely important to us. We have a strong cycling community at Amey and supporting Cycle to Work Day is a great way to further raise awareness of cycling, the associated benefits and encourage more people to take part.
“Cycling to work is not only a healthier option and helps maintain fitness, but helps to contribute to the reduction of our carbon footprint.”
Meanwhile the University of Cambridge, with 9,000 staff, 40% of whom cycle to work, says it can still do more to encourage active travel, and has pledged support for the event.
To pledge your miles visit www.cycletoworkday.org. Participants will be entered into a draw to win one of three Foffa bikes. Cycle to Work day is run by Cyclescheme, which helps businesses provide tax free bikes to employees.