Devon Cycle Challenge gets more people cycling
Posted on: 6 August 2015
Over 1,500 people from across Devon took part in the recent Love to Ride Cycle Challenge – collectively cycling 123,811 miles, the equivalent of cycling around the world almost five times.
More than 90 Devon businesses and organisations took part in the three week competition in June which aimed to introduce as many new people to cycling as possible.
The challenge inspired 290 people in the county to cycle for the first time in over a year, with the aim of helping their workplaces clock up the greatest percentage of staff taking part. By the end of the competition, over 10,000 cycle journeys were recorded by participants who cycled to work, or for leisure and fitness.
The organisation with the most staff taking part was Exeter College, with 102 staff cycling as part of the challenge to win the category for organisations with 500+ staff, and finishing 12th overall nationwide. Other winners, based on the size of their organisation, include Environment Agency South West, who also finished 2nd in their category nationwide, Devon Wildlife Trust, Regen SW and Trewin Design Architects.
Participants were rewarded for their efforts with a range of prizes from local retailers in Devon, and they were presented with certificates from Devon County in recognition of their achievements. The overall workplace winners received trays of cakes from the Exeter bakery ‘Emma’s Bread’, which were delivered using an electric bike and delivery trailer.
RegenSW employee Chloe Uden, from Exeter, cycled for the first time in five years as a result of the Challenge. She said: “After my twins were born I found I had a lot less time, was often tired and lost confidence in my body. As a result, I stopped cycling. It wasn’t until the Cycle Challenge arrived and, following encouragement from my colleagues, that I even remembered I had a bike and once enjoyed cycling. The Challenge gave me the push I needed to get back on my bike and I have really enjoyed it. I want to be a healthy role model for my kids, so I am keen to keep going and start cycling more as a family. Needless to say my boys are really enthusiastic!”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said: “The Devon Cycle Challenge has proven to be an incredible success and I’m delighted that it has helped people to get back on their bikes and rediscover the benefits that cycling has to offer, from improving health, to tackling congestion and saving money. Following the success of this challenge, Devon County Council will be running another challenge in September as part of ‘Ride to Work Week’.”
The Devon Cycle Challenge is part of a package of measures being delivered by Devon County Council using Local Sustainable Transport Funding from the Department of Transport, to encourage more people to walk, cycle, travel by public transport or car share.
A full list of team and individual winners is available here.
Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment