Thousands of Londoners are expected to take to two wheels this summer as part of Transport for London's (TfL's) London Cycle Challenge. The Challenge, which takes place in June, will see organisations and individuals compete against each other for titles and prizes. Registration has now opened and there will be more than 100 prizes available for participants.
The London Cycle Challenge will run between 8 and 28 June, and will give Londoners and commuters the added incentive to get to work on two wheels, or just enjoy a weekend ride. Any ride of ten minutes or more counts in the Challenge. A mobile app, Love to Ride, is available on Apple iOS and Android to make it easier to record rides. It can also record rides automatically using GPS. Those without bikes can still join in by using Santander Cycles, London's cycle hire scheme which covers 100km2 of the Capital, for as little as £2 a day.
In addition to Evans Cycles vouchers and Time Out London experiences, other prizes include dinner on the Thames, a corporate Lee Valley BMX track experience and Team GB cycling gear. These can be won by organisations with the highest percentage of staff participating as well as opportunities for individuals to gain personal rewards. The person who registers the highest number of fellow cyclists will be rewarded with the title of Time Out Top Encourager and will win VIP tickets to Lovebox festival and the Friends Life Tour of Britain.
Ben Plowden, Director of Strategy and Planning at TfL Surface Transport, said: `Getting more people cycling safer and more often is our aim. As cycling has now become an integral part of the Capital's transport network, the London Cycle Challenge will give everyone working in London that extra boost to make their trips in the saddle.'
Mark Brown, Director of Business Services at Evans Cycles, said: `We're excited to be a part of TfL's London Cycle Challenge this summer, encouraging businesses to get their staff on two-wheels. Cycling is a great way to keep fit and get across the city, and the Challenge adds a fun competitive edge to help motivate more people to ride.'
Richard Wilson, Head of Marketing, Jupiter Asset Management, said `At Jupiter, we are cycling enthusiasts and many of our employees cycle to work, often using Santander Cycles. It's one of the reasons why we sponsor the Jupiter London Nocturne - the Capital's premier urban cycling event. The London Cycle Challenge is a fantastic initiative to encourage more people to take to two wheels and we'll be looking forward to taking part.'
The London Cycle Challenge will encourage even more people to join the Capital's cycling trend and take to two wheels - last year the Office of National Statistics showed that between 2001 and 2011, the number of people living in London that cycled to work more than doubled from 77,000 to 155,000 in 2011.
As cycling in London continues to increase, TfL is urging cyclists of all levels to undertake a cycle training session to ensure they are equipped with the important skills needed to ride safely. Every borough in London offers free or heavily subsidised one-to-one cycle training, tailored to individual needs. Bookings can be made at tfl.gov.uk/cycletraining. In addition, TfL supports British Cycling in delivering led rides consisting of short family-friendly routes through parks, waterways and forests to more challenging rides for more experienced cyclists. Visit goskyride.com/London.
Record investment is helping to make cycling an integral part of London's transport network. Work has begun on the centre-piece of this investment - the East-West and North-South Cycle Superhighways - which will become Europe's longest substantially-segregated cycle routes.
The London Cycle Challenge is part of the National Cycle Challenge, allowing organisations and departments to compete against peers across the country. Registration for the London Cycle Challenge is now open at tfl.gov.uk/cyclechallenge.
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