1000+ schools, representing about 150,000 pupils, have expressed an interest in taking part in The Big Pedal, a Sustrans-organised event to get more children cycling.
The Big Pedal is funded by Bike Hub, the industry levy. It's a virtual 'race' lasting three weeks.
The event follows a stage-race format; with time trials, sprint stages and hill climb stages. The more children, parents and teachers that cycle in to school on each day, the quicker time the school is awarded for each stage. The school with the lowest time overall will be declared winner.
First prize for the national winners is a display from the M.A.D cycle stunt team. National runners up win a Minipod bike and scooter storage system worth over £1,000 for their school.
In last year’s race, 408 schools from across the UK competed to be the first to complete a gruelling, 5,224 mile bike challenge. A total of 288,201 journeys were made by bike, and approximately 461,121 miles were pedalled.
This year's event is already bigger, with 500 confirmed schools and many more signing up all the time.
Bicycle Association deputy president Philip Darnton said: “Bike Hub is very committed to the future of cycling. Children are that future. Unless they learn to ride safely and without fear on their bikes at home and at school, we will create a new generation lost to cycling. Cycling is a life skill – and what better way to get going than to join The Big Pedal?”
Bike shops are being encouraged to join in the race, by supporting local participating schools.
To promote awareness of the event, bike shops (and bicycle user groups and cycle campaign organisations) can download an A4 poster in PDF format to print out and display. This is free to download.