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Virtual bike race inspires children across the country

Children from Farnham Common Junior school have beaten 122 other schools in a virtual race around the world and a £1,000 prize.

The race took place in March and the schools were racing to be first to reach a 46,000 mile total inspired by the actual 46,000 mile around the world journey of cycling adventurer Alastair Humphreys. It took Alastair four years to notch that total, but the pupils, parents and staff at Farnham Common knocked that off in two weeks on their way to a staggering monthly total of 94,000 miles.

Okay that total was a virtual one, but it took real bike journeys to reach it. Every cycle trip to school was logged by Bike It and an complex equation turned that real mileage into a round the world distance depending on the size of the school.

The race was organised by Bike It officers from the sustainable transport charity, Sustrans. Bike It is one of the UK's leading projects that encourages children and young people to choose two wheels instead of four for the journey to school.

Bike It Officer at Farnham Common Junior, Clare Robinson said: "The virtual race around the world has been a massive success this year. It is great that so many schools have taken part. The children have loved every minute of it and they have seen how easy it is to cycle to school. I would like to congratulate all the schools that took part, it has been a truly magnificent effort and hope future virtual races will be even bigger.
 
"It is vital that we give young people in communities across the country the opportunity to travel in ways, which are healthy, sustainable and fun. Cycling to school has so many benefits for pupils such as improved health, confidence and concentration as well as the obvious benefits for the environment in which they will grow up in."
 
Bike It works with over 400 schools and 89,000 children and young people across England and Wales. It works directly with pupils, parents and staff to help them overcome whatever it is that is preventing them from cycling to school - by organising cycle training, helping to install new bike sheds, contributing to classroom work and providing information about safe routes to schools. Participating schools across England have seen levels of cycling treble within a year- bucking the trend in declining numbers of children cycling to school.

If you are a parent or teach who is interested in promoting cycling and walking in your school why not call the Sustrans School Travel Team on 0117 915 0100 for free information and advice.
 
You can also find out more about Bike It on the Sustrans website www.sustrans.org.uk

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.