Those who attempt to take a bike on a train tend to find it a stressful experience, but the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is keen to celebrate it, with a competiton to find the best photo of a bike on or around a train.
The National Cycle-Rail Awards Photography Competition, sponsored by Madison, gives two snappers the chance to win a Go-Pro camera simply by sending in their pics of cycling by train.
According to the rules:
This category is open to individuals and organisations. We are looking for the best photographic imagery that captures the essence of the Cycle-Rail journey and promotes it as a form of transport. Images can be factual, documentary, humorous or rely on the aesthetic beauty of the imagery or the narrative they portray. There will be two prizes of a GoPro Helmet Cam for the two best photographs as chosen by the judging panel.
The Cycle Rail awards recognise progress made by the rail industry and associated organisations towards encouraging the integrated use of bikes and train travel.
Categories include Best Customer Service, Station of the Year, London Cycle Parking Award and Cycle Security Award - meaning that the train companies and facilities that are making real progress can be understood and perhaps adopted more widely.
Conrad Haigh, ATOC’s Head of Integrated Transport, said: “ATOC, its members and their industry partners are committed to increasing and improving cycle access to the railways. Thanks to efforts and money invested over last few years, many passengers are now benefitting from some first class cycling facilities at stations.
“With more than £25m of schemes underway at over 315 major stations, I expect there to be some very interesting entries and stiff competition this year. Stations such as St Albans City – which recently boosted its number of cycle spaces to over 1,150, more than any other station in the country – are sure to be in the running.
“We want to hear from individual passengers as well as organisations, to nominate any stand-out examples and help us improve the cycle-rail experience for everyone.”
Brompton Dock, who won the Innovation of the Year category, started out with just a couple of places where commuters could hire a folding bike that they could take with them on their onward journey and carry easily on the train. They now have 15 locations with another 6 coming soon. And it's good for crowded cities - with a Brompton dock you can fit 40 bikes into one car park space.
A spokeswoman said: “We were delighted to win the National Cycle-Rail Award for Innovation last year. As a relatively new company it is great to get some recognition for the design of your product and winning the award for innovation meant a lot to us.
"We know that our product is truly unique; we are the only provider of a fully automated cycle hire scheme for folding bicycles. Winning the award has added credibility to our product; this has been useful when approaching potential partners as it shows ATOC’s confidence in, and support for our service.”
The 2013 awards will be supporting the charity Railway Children by asking for voluntary donations when entering awards and through a charity raffle at the awards ceremony itself.
So grab your bike and head to the railway station - you just might see a wonderful new part of the country on two wheels.
To enter the competiton click here.
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.