Friday 13th February 2015 is International Winter Bike To Work Day, with participants from many countries around the world registering their commute online.
The volunteer web designers, who have run this day in the previous 2 years, have been overtaken by the volume of people signing up, causing all sorts of system issues. So – you may not be able to register this year. But why not just go ahead and ride your bike to work anyway. It’s cold and fresh, but there’s unlikely to be any snow, which participants in countries like Canada and Finland will cope with.
This correlates with the January 2015 results from Sport England’s Active People Survey, which illustrated that there were over 100,000 more cyclists riding bikes at least once a week than in October 2012.
This brings the total numbers of cyclists who get on their bikes at least once a week in the UK to over two million, and keeps cycling firmly in 3rd place as the most popular sport in the country. If you extend the scope to those who ride at least once a month, the number climbs to 3.6 million.
This growth has been helped by the Sky Ride events: traffic free family cycling events that are great for getting all the family out on bikes. Sky have also trained 1600 Ride Leaders, who have between them led 2200 Sky Ride Local rides. There have also been nearly 5000 Breeze bike rides, which are guided rides for women and children, provided free of charge. These were attended by more than 17500 women and children in 2014.
You can also search the web for “Ride Social” which now has more than 50,000 cycling “buddies”, as well as the Cyclists Touring Club or CTC who have an active Suffolk branch.
Apart from the health and environmental benefits of more people cycling, there is a huge gain in that the more cyclists there are, the more motorists have to become aware of them, making cycling safer again. The old “strength in numbers” really does apply.
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