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Thousands of cyclists pedal to work to prove success of national campaign for two-wheeled commuting

Cycle to Work Day has seen its most successful campaign day to date, with numbers of participants almost doubling since last year.

Thursday 3rd September’s event across the UK saw 32,763 riders cycle 489,674 miles. This represented nearly 900 employers, over 2014’s 400, BikeBiz reported.

The cycling event, designed to promote commuter cycling and its health benefits, was championed by the likes of Tesco, Halls of Scotland, Aberystwyth University, The Landmark Practice, Good Energy, Danco plc, Retail Assist, Bike & Go, Cambourne Business Park, Cornish Mutual, and Councils including as Hartlepool Borough and Bath and North-East Somerset.

They were joined by independent cycle retailers and big names including Chain Reaction Cycles and Cycle Surgery - and TfL gave free access to Santander Cycles in London, while Dr. Bike sessions offered ‘health checks’ on bikes.

Venues for activities included a free bike breakfast and servicing at one of London’s famous markets, Spitalfields in East London, to a bike-in cinema at Northern Monk Brew Co. in Leeds and a free bike breakfast at The Tiny Tea Room in Rodley, along the picturesque Leeds to Liverpool canal.

Laura Weatherill and Vincent Campbell were the lucky winners of a Claud Butler bike for the best photos taken on Cycle to Work Day, as judged by Elaine Curtain of road.cc.

Just this summer we reported how the national cyclists’ charity CTC says that nearly half of Great Britain’s commuters live within a five-mile bike ride of their place of work, and is encouraging more of them to switch to two wheels for their journeys.

Research commissioned from YouGov found that common complaints among those not commuting by bicycle include congestion, inconsiderate motorists, buses not arriving at the time shown on the timetable, and overcrowding and high fares on trains.

As well as finding that 47 per cent of people live five miles or less from their place of work, the research also found that while sharing some frustrations, such as roads with potholes, with other commuters, 27 per cent of cyclists said nothing frustrates them about their commutes.

CTC’s Bike Week Co-ordinator, Jonathan Sharpe, said “Our latest research makes a really a compelling case for cycling.

“It is easy to start your day on time, less burdened by traffic jams, and with money still in your pocket ready for a hearty lunch break – the answer is cycling to work.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.