With spring in the air, Edinburgh residents and organisations are being invited to get on their bikes this March for the Edinburgh Cycle Challenge. This three week cycling event from 1 – 21 March is funded by City of Edinburgh Council and encourages new and occasional cyclists to get on their bikes, as well as rewarding regular riders. It is free to all organisations and individuals living or working in Edinburgh.
The Edinburgh Cycle Challenge is a friendly competition between organisations to see which can get the most staff to try riding a bike. The aim is to get as many people as possible to cycle for 10 minutes or more and log their trip. Over 80 Edinburgh-based organisations and close to 600 people have already registered online, including charities, higher and further education providers, local businesses and large private sector employers.
Workplaces and employees will achieve a range of great benefits by encouraging staff to cycle, including positive health and wellbeing, reduced environmental impact and less pressure on facilities such as car parking. Edinburgh already sees around 12% of employees get to work by bike, and although this is not a ‘commuter challenge’, the three week event in March aims to help grow these numbers as well as cycling generally in and around the city.
A ten minute cycle ride is accessible for most people, and enough time to experience the physical and psychological benefits of riding a bike. With Edinburgh’s extensive network of off-road paths, everyone from novice to experienced cyclists can benefit from a short bike ride. The behaviour change model that the Edinburgh Cycle Challenge is built upon sees approximately 40% of non and occasional riders start to cycle more regularly.
Prizes for participating include a great-looking Gazelle Esprit bike from Hart’s Cyclery, Revolution Courier bike from the Edinburgh Bike Cooperative, B&B stay at the very cozy Cramond Mill, 120 cinema tickets, selection of bike gear and vouchers, quality Route clothing bundle, tickets to the excellent Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, handy SPOKES maps and more. Individuals have the same chance of winning if they log a 1 or 100 mile ride – the Challenge is all about participation and growing cycling locally.
Transport Convener, Councillor Lesley Hinds, said:
This is a fantastic opportunity and I would encourage everyone, from keen cyclists to those looking to take up cycling for the first time, to take part. We have an extensive network of cycle paths spanning the city, both on road and off, so there are plenty of routes for all abilities.
I am delighted that the popularity of cycling continues to grow here in Edinburgh, but we want to see even more people taking to their bikes. As well as a range of exciting prizes, this is a great chance for people to get involved and really feel the benefits cycling can deliver.
Claire Connachan, Love to Ride Challenge Manager for the Edinburgh initiative, said:
We are delighted to be working in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council to encourage more people to rediscover the joys of cycling. Riding a bike is brilliant for the environment, your health and the community and the Edinburgh Cycle Challenge gives people and organisations the opportunity to experience these benefits with some amazing prizes as incentives.
Ten minutes is all it takes to remember how much fun riding a bike is, and the challenge is a great way to inspire occasional and non-cyclists to get back into cycling, whilst also rewarding regular riders. I’d encourage everyone to get involved, get riding and winning some fantastic prizes!
To find out more about the Edinburgh Cycle Challenge and to register, visit www.lovetoride.net/edinburgh