This week saw the start of national cycle race The Big Pedal, featuring over 260,000 children and over 800 schools.
The race, led by charity Sustrans and funded by the bicycle industry through Bike Hub, will last for three weeks, encouraging pupils, parents and teachers to cycle on a regular basis. Schools up and down the land will compete to be the fastest to reach the end of the virtual race.
Bike retailers have been getting behind the race by featuring advertising for The Big Pedal in shops and by donating hundreds of pounds worthof prizes. First prize for the national winners of the race is a day with the spectacular MAD cycle stunt team, while national runners up win a Minipod bike and scooter storage system for their school.
The fastest school in each region will win a bike workshop kit consisting of 78 workshop tools, a shadow board to hold them all in and a bicycle work stand, supplied by Fisher Outdoor Leisure and Weldtite. Fisher has also provided five cycle repair tool kits and floor pumps that can be won in daily challenges in the final week of The Big Pedal (which coincides with Bike to School Week March 21st to 25th).
"We're really pleased to be involved in The Big Pedal," enthused Barry Stanworth, Pricing and Brand Analyst at Fisher Outdoor Leisure. "This is a great initiative and one that we at Fisher all support very strongly. We look forward to working with the organisers in encouraging more people, young and old, out on their bikes."
Cycle shops can support local participating schools in a number of ways, including holding Dr Bike days - offering a mechanic to the school for a day; or simply by placing posters in the shop. Local participating schools can be found here.
Sustrans School Travel Director, Paul Osborne, added: “We’re delighted with how many schools have signed up to take part in the race. The Big Pedal is a great way for whole school communities to join together as they take on schools from across the country.
“The race will act as a great way for schools and cycle shops to join together, to encourage children to cycle to school. It is vital that we give young people across the country the opportunity to travel in ways which are healthy, sustainable and fun.”