Counting down to Bike Week

People across West Yorkshire invited to switch to two wheels and take part in fun, friendly cycling challenge

The countdown is on for Bike Week (8-16 June), an annual UK-wide celebration of everyday cycling for everyone.

As part of the celebrations people across the region are being invited to join in the fun by riding anywhere, anytime and logging their miles on Love to Ride – an online cycle challenge run through West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme aimed at encouraging more people to cycle and walk.

Registering on the Love to Ride website allows participants to log miles, set goals and earn badges, with friendly competitions taking place between individuals and organisations.

Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “Encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only boosts people’s health and saves individuals money, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.

“With the warmer weather and the longest day of the year fast approaching, June is a great time of year to be out and about cycling – make sure you don’t miss out on all of the fun this Bike Week.”

Love to Ride can be easily connected to many popular cycling apps such as Strava and Ride Report, which will then automatically record the miles cycled on Love to Ride and enter riders into prize draws.

Register for Love to Ride.

Every week’s a bike week: Six reasons to switch to two wheels this Bike Week and beyond

As part of the Bike Week (8-16 June) celebrations, the team behind West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s £60m CityConnect programme aimed at making it easier for people to travel by bike or on foot share their top reasons to switch to switch to two wheels during Bike Week and beyond.

  1. It saves you money
From the cost of running a car and paying for parking to buying a bus or train ticket – however you currently travel one thing is certain: going by bike is cheaper even when you take into account the initial outlay in sourcing a roadworthy bike. What’s more you won’t need to fork out for expensive gym classes. Research by Sustrans Scotland found that if people made journeys of under five miles by bike instead of car, the average person could save nearly £2,000 a year – that’s the equivalent of a 9% pay rise.
  1. Cycling can be quicker than travelling by car
Drivers in UK cities spend on average more than a day (31 hours) each year stuck in rush hour traffic, according to data published by Inrix earlier this year. The Department for Transport’s latest Journey Time Statistics show people travelling by car are only 1.7mph quicker than those travelling by bike on urban streets. Cycling can often be the quickest option, especially for shorter journeys, and it means you can avoid all the frustration of being stuck in traffic.
  1. Switching to cycling for short, local journeys is an easy way to make sure you get enough exercise
According to government guidelines, we need at least 150 minutes exercise a week but many of us struggle to build this level of physical activity into our busy lives – 39% of us don’t, according to the British Heart Foundation. Cycling short, local journeys is often an easy solution. What’s more an average commute to work can burn about 400 calories (that’s enough to justify a slice of cake). Research has also shown people who travel by bike regularly can have fitness levels of someone up to 10 years younger.
  1. It could help you live longer
You’ll have heard health pundits talk about cycling as a “miracle pill” - and for good reason. There is a well-established body of research highlighting the physical benefits of cycling. Last year, a major study by the University of Glasgow published in the British Medical Journal found people who commuted by bike nearly halved their risk of developing cancer and heart disease.
  1. Cycling’s good for your mental health too
Ask anyone who rides a bike and they’ll tell you it makes them feel good, not just in body but in mind too. Physical activity has been shown to increase positive mood and self-esteem, as well as reducing anxiety and stress, according to the Mental Health Foundation. Whether it’s clearing your mind after a busy day at work or heading out just for the sake of it; making time for yourself or catching up with loved ones; the chances are if you head out on your bike you’ll return home feeling better.
  1. Still not convinced? Cycling is the perfect opportunity to inject more play time into your life.
Think back to how much fun you used to have on your bike as a child - the wind in your hair, all the freedom and the adventure, those long summer days out exploring. From exploring new places to noticing the change in the seasons and wildlife spotting, two wheels are better than four when it comes to connecting with the world around you. Who knows, you might like it so much you’ll get your family and friends involved too.

From route information to free adult cycle training, cycle challenges and support for businesses, find out how CityConnect can help you.

Breaking boundaries on an electric bike: Meet Maria Battul who cycled 400 miles from Bradford to Roubaix

[caption id="attachment_3709" align="alignnone" width="225"] Maria Battul after her 400 mile Bradford to Roubaix charity cycle.[/caption]