This week is Bike Week 2022. Find out what’s involved and how you can jump onboard with Bike Week.
Bike Week is created by Cycling UK, the charity that helps to get more people cycling around the country. It became a charity as recently as 2012, after being known as the Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) for 125 years.
Cycling UK exists to help get millions more people cycling and to provide a platform and a voice for the UK’s cycling community.
The best person to answer this question is Chris Boardman MBE. Chris effectively began the renaissance of UK cycling with Britain’s first Olympic cycling Gold in 72 years at Barcelona in 1992. He went on to be a three stage winner on the Tour de France and now leads the Government executive agency, Active Travel England. This promotes walking and cycling as a sustainable, healthier mode of transport than the car, especially for short journeys.
At the launch of Active Travel England, Chris said: “Pick a crisis. We can help you with all of them. Health, climate crisis, pollution, segregation, levelling up. Pick one, and here’s the evidence that says this is the right way to go.”
Better for you, better for the environment
Regular, moderate cycling has massive benefits for your physical health. As an example, according to a report published in the BMJ, cycling to work reduces your risk of developing heart disease by 46%, with a 52% lower risk of dying from the condition.
The same report which published those findings suggested that as well as improving heart health, cycling to work may reduce the risk of developing cancer.
Cycling can also help you to get fitter and lose weight, by building muscle and burning calories. Depending on factors like how hard you cycle and your weight, most cyclists burn between 400-1000 calories per hour on the bike.
Like all moderate exercise, riding a bike releases endorphins. These hormones help to make you feel better and more relaxed, reducing anxiety and stress levels. And as cycling is a low impact, aerobic exercise, it can be easier on your body than a higher impact exercise such as running for example.
Let’s leave the car behind
Changing the way we travel can make a big difference to our environment. Cycling reduces pollution caused by motorised transport related emissions. There are other benefits: congestion and parking in cities is eased and noise pollution is reduced too.
Cycling to work can also save you serious money. A study by Sustrans found that if car journeys of less than 5 miles were taken by bike, the average person would save up to £2,000 per year.
We have to reduce our car dependency if we are going to tackle climate change and reach the UK Government’s Net Zero emissions target by 2050. If we replace short car journeys by active travel, that is by walking or cycling, it will lead to a huge reduction in emissions and greenhouse gasses. Read more here.
No bike? Then bikeshare!
If you don’t own a bike you can still get involved in Bike Week by finding your local bikeshare.
Bike sharing allows you to explore your local community, go shopping or into town, visit friends and family, travel to school, college or work or just go for a bike ride!
Just find your local bike share, download the app, pick up a bike and go. It’s convenient, affordable and fun. Many bikeshares have e-bikes as well as pedal bikes, so don’t be put off by going uphill. Hills are easy on an e-bike!
In fact, Hourbike is the exclusive UK partner of Fifteen, who have pioneered and developed the world’s leading shared e-bike, Fusion. Find out more and discover Fusion here.
So jump on board with Bike Week
There are lots of ways to get involved with Bike Week in your community, and let’s use this week as a way to celebrate cycling and get more people out on a bike.
It really is our future: for better physical health and mental wellbeing for us, with reduced pollution and congestion for our environment.
Find out more about National Bike Week and how to get involved with Cycling UK here.