Sustrans is to hold a UK-wide cycle tour this August, Pedal on UK, that aims to “keep the Olympic and Paralympic cycling spirit thriving in communities across the UK.” The event, which will follow a number of new walking and cycling routes on the National Cycling Network, is funded by a grant of £360,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.
It is one of four initiatives across the UK that together are being backed to the tune of £5.3 million by the Big Lottery Fund ahead of its £40 million endowment of the ‘Spirit of 2012’ trust established last year.
Pedal on UK , which will begin in London and finish in Glasgow – host cities, respectively, of last summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games and next year’s Commonwealth Games – will comprise a team of volunteers – collectively known as ‘The Ride’ who will be joined on their travels by celebrities, London 2012 Games Makers, community groups and others.
The event, which appears to take some inspiration from the success of last year’s Olympic Torch Relay, is aimed primarily at raising the profile of new National Cycle Network routes, and the public is encouraged to get involved – you can register your interest at www.pedalonuk.org. Celebratory events and festivals will also be staged at various points on the route.
Malcolm Shepherd, Chief Executive of Sustrans, commented: “We are delighted to be beneficiaries of this important funding which will support our drive to get everyone out and about on their bikes following the success of 2012.
“Over the last five years Sustrans has helped millions of people travel by foot and bike by extending good walking and cycling routes on the National Cycle Network into the heart of towns and cities.
“Across the UK, people of all ages and abilities can now use cycling and walking routes to easily reach schools, shops, work and friends by bike, foot or wheelchair.
“We are proud to be organising Pedal On UK which will help people across the UK enjoy these routes and have some fun.”
Many of the routes used will be those developed by Sustrans as part of its Connect2 project, which in 2007 secured £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund after a public vote following its plan, and those of competing bids for the cash, being featured on TV.
Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, added: “Over £5 million pounds of activities will kick off in the months ahead, starting with Sustrans’ Pedal On UK, a mass participation cycling event, and continuing with a myriad of activities right through to summer next year.
“The aim is to accelerate and continue the changes in people’s attitudes and behaviours inspired in 2012 – ensuring they continue to impact on communities and individuals across the UK.”
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.