Exercise younger – on your bike!


Bike Week (13-21 June), the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event, is this year challenging families to get more out of life by swapping their four wheels for two and exploring new places in their local community. Towns, villages and cities across the UK will host free cycling events with the theme of ‘Get more out of life: live local, get cycling’.

Thousands of events will inspire people to hop on their bikes and discover the benefits and pleasures of cycling locally. Over half of all car journeys are less than five miles long, so by switching them to an easy thirty minute bike ride, you’ll save money, find new places you didn’t know existed, shrink your carbon footprint and get fit too!

There’s something for everyone during Bike Week, with events ranging from cycle training and Dr Bike sessions for novices, to commuter challenges and group rides around local cycling routes – all for free! Many are open to the entire family meaning it’s a great way to spend time together and meet other locals whilst rediscovering the fun of riding a bike in a safe and friendly environment.

Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England, said: “Many families are looking for easy ways to get more out of life, particularly during these difficult financial times. Cycling brings families together and is a fantastic, free way to explore new places and rides and have a lot of fun. We hope that people will use Bike Week as the perfect opportunity to get back on their bikes and re-connect with their communities.”

Bike Week has teamed up with Change4Life, the movement that provides families with helpful hints and tips about how to be more active and less sedentary and promotes cycling as a great way for children to achieve 60 minutes of their recommended daily activity.

To find out what is taking place in your local area, visit and enter your postcode. If you’d like to take part but don’t have a bike, this shouldn’t stop you – you can find your nearest bike rental outlet on the website. All participants get the chance to win a Center Parcs family holiday or one of twenty-four bike carriers in the lead up to Bike Week – another reason to get on your bike!

For further information, or if you’d like to organise your own event, log on to www.bikeweek.org.uk or phone 0845 612 0661(UK number).

Five reasons to get on your bike:

1. Over half of our car journeys are less than 5 miles – swapping them for an easy 30 minute bike ride can save you a small fortune in fuel costs

2. Cyclists live on average at least two years longer than non-cyclists and their fitness levels are equivalent to being ten years younger – so forget nip and tuck, think pedal and push!

3. Cycling is the ultimate family activity; it’s free, healthy, fun and encourages children to be independent

4. Cycling gets you out and about and you’re more likely to find that cute little delicatessen or beautiful park you never knew existed than when you’re cooped up in a car

5. In a hurry? During rush-hour, a bicycle is twice as fast as a car – good if you hate traffic jams! Even better, you won’t spend a penny on parking

More information
1. This year’s Bike Week will run from 13-21 June 2009.

2. Bike Week is one of the UK’s biggest annual promotions of cycling and provides a national umbrella for locally organised events and activities up and down the UK

3. Bike Week began as a grass-roots organisation in 1923 and receives funding from the Department for Transport via Cycling England, Transport for London, Northern Ireland Executive, The Welsh Assembly Government and Cycling Scotland with support from the Scottish Government. Bike Week also receives funding from the cycle industry via Bike Hub.

4. The partners that run Bike Week are drawn from the whole cycling community including the cycle industry, Cycling England and Cycling Scotland, Sustrans, CTC and Cyclenation. More information can be found at www.bikeweek.org.uk

5. BikeWeek supports the Change4Life movement. In order to maintain a healthy weight we need to eat well and move more. Many families are making changes that will help them live healthier and longer. Visit www.nhs.uk/change4life or call 0300 1234567 for more information

6. To find out more about Change4Life, visit www.change4life.co.uk