West Yorkshire pedals to top spot in national cycling competition
Cyclists in West Yorkshire have topped the national leader board in an initiative to encourage people to stay active and keep cycling during the winter months.
During the December “Winter Wheelers” event – organised by national cycling initiative, Love to Ride, which encourages people to log the number of miles they cycle to win prizes – people across West Yorkshire logged more than 20% of all the miles recorded nationally, ahead of Devon and South Yorkshire who took second and third place respectively.
The initiative was supported by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme which provides a range of support to make it easier for people to save money, keep fit and support the environment by incorporating more cycling and walking into their daily lives.
The support available through the CityConnect programme includes helping businesses encourage more employees to cycle through the Bike Friendly Business grant scheme, free adult cycle training through the CityConnect Cycle scheme and a community grant scheme, allowing not-for-profit groups to encouraging cycling at a grassroots level within their local community.
Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee said:
‘Sometimes a little bit more encouragement is needed to keep cycling when the nights are dark and cold so the Winter Wheelers event was a fun way to help people stay motivated and realise that the benefits don’t stop when the temperature drops. Well done to all of the 739 people across West Yorkshire who took part in the Love to Ride CityConnect Winter Wheelers event – an amazing 115% increase on last year’s event.
“I’m delighted with the role that West Yorkshire Combined Authority has played in supporting the increase in cycling in our region. As well as building more than 34 km of new high quality cycling routes in the region and providing support to help people walk and cycling more often, we are continuing to build strong relationships with local businesses, to promote cycling as a cheap, healthy and convenient way for their employees to commute.’
I encourage people to take advantage of the support available through our CityConnect programme to keep cycling through to spring. What better way to kickstart your New Year’s resolutions?”
Dom Jacques, Project Manager for the Love to Ride CityConnect project in West Yorkshire said:
‘It is fantastic to see how many people took part in Winter Wheelers 2017 and with the winning miles, three local and two national winners, West Yorkshire is really championing the promotion of year-round cycling
In 2018 we will continue working with businesses across the region to support them in encouraging cycling for everyday commuting, I’m looking forward to getting more people motivated and involved and would encourage everyone to sign up and see how they can get involved and get cycling all year round’
The success of Love to Ride CityConnect across all of the events in 2017 is really encouraging. The commitment to supporting cycling in West Yorkshire is growing, from large events such as the Tour De Yorkshire, to a growing number of dedicated cycling routes, bike libraries, cycling clubs and training opportunities, there are so many ways for people to get involved.
To join Love to Ride CityConnect, visit: www.lovetoride.net/cityconnect
For more information on the cycling and walking support available through the CityConnect programme visit: www.cyclecityconnect.co.uk/
The image below shows Cllr Keith Wakefield, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority's Transport Committee, presenting West Yorkshire Police with an award for their performance in Cycle September, also delivered by Love to Ride. They also delivered a great performance in the Winter Wheelers event.