Team Green Britain Bike Week, which takes place this year from 18 to 26 June got its official launch this morning at the London Eye, accompanied by the unveiling of a new ‘Britain’s Biggest Bike Fix’ initiative seeking to get bikes that have been forgotten about back on the road.
Bike Fix will be rolled out to hundreds of locations throughout Britain during Bike Week, and was unveiled this morning by former Team GB chief mechanic Spike Taylor, who was joined by Olympic champions Ed Clancy and Chris Boardman.
Also at the launch was TV presenter and keen cyclist Dawn Porter, who said: “Cycling is my favourite way to get around town but I never leave home without my trusty puncture repair kit and Allen key! I encourage everyone to get to a Team Green Britain Bike Week event to pick up a few useful cycle maintenance tips and take advantage of the bike fixes to help you make the most of cycling in the summer months”.
The launch coincided with the start of the annual All-Parliamentary Cycling Group ride, which began at the London Eye and ended outside the House of Lords following an itinerary that symbolically included Blackfriars Bridge, currently the focus of a campaign to have a temporary 20mph speed limit made permanent after Mayor of London Boris Johnson revealed plans to scrap it.
Another Olympic gold medallist, Victoria Pendleton, who acts as spokesperson for Team Green Britain Bike Week, said: "There are many people with a forlorn bike in a shed, and during Bike Week we want to fix them and get them on the road."
The scheme is aimed at getting up to 10,000 neglected bikes back onto the road, with organisers saying that most problems preventing them from being used are in fact easy to overcome.
"We know that 77 per cent of people in the UK own a bike, but only 14 per cent use them regularly, and a major barrier to people getting back on two wheels is often something as simple to fix as a dodgy brake or puncture," explained Phillip Darnton, chairman of the Bicycle Association.
"We want anyone with a bike who wants to get it roadworthy to help make Team Green Britain Bike Week become 'Britain's Biggest Bike Fix'. We are urging new and lapsed cyclists to check out bikeweek.org.uk to find out details of their nearest event."
Gareth Wynn, group director of the 2012 programme at EDF, added: "As the first sustainability partner of London 2012, EDF Energy founded Team Green Britain to help Britons reduce their carbon footprints ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Travelling contributes significantly to most people's carbon footprint, but cycling is a low-carbon way to get around, plus it can be enjoyable and help you get fit at the same time.
"We're hoping that Team Green Britain Bike Week will help people get back on their bikes, helping them reduce the carbon footprint of their travel in the long term."
Team Green Britain Bike Week is supported by EDF Energy as well as the bicycle industry through the Bike Hub Levy.
Over the coming days we’ll be bringing you news of events throughout the country but in the meantime you can search for initiatives in your area on the Bike Week website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.