The UKs largest inter-school cycling – and scooting – competition, The Big Pedal, is set to return in 2015. The challenge is organised by Sustrans and funded by the Bicycle Association on behalf of the cycle industry through the Bike Hub levy scheme.
The Big Pedal, registration for which is now open, runs March 2nd – 20th and is open to nurseries, primary and secondary schools and challenges them to compete against one another to make the most journeys to school by bike and scooter over 15 days. Last year over 1,500 schools signed up to take part and pupils, teachers, parents, and siblings made over a million journeys to school on their bikes and scooters in just 10 days.
Ben Merry, Programme Development Officer at Sustrans said:
“The Big Pedal is fun, inclusive and it helps schools to encourage whole families to lead more active lives, as well as reducing car traffic and pollution around the school gates.
“Although the competition runs for three weeks, it has a lasting effect on the way that the school community travel to school; last year 76% of schools who took part in the Big Pedal said that pupils continued to cycle and scoot to school following the event.”
By signing up to The Big Pedal schools receive a wall-chart to record their progress, and there are a range of other support resources available in the teachers section of the Sustrans website. Winning schools will receive prizes including bike and scooter stunt shows and equipment.
Phillip Darnton, Executive Director of the Bicycle Association, said:
“Many youngsters love to ride bikes and scooters, and they do it because it’s fun. The Big Pedal shows children that cycling to school is not only fun, but that it can also help you to stay healthy, and helps reduce traffic around the school gates too.
“The Big Pedal, now in its 5th year, is three weeks of fun – and a lot more besides. I hope that schools will sign up right now and be ready for The Big pedal when it starts on March 2nd.”