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TV’s Barney Harwood supports the Big Pedal, challenging kids to make the school run on two wheels

Blue Peter presenter says he's caught cycling bug...

Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood is challenging kids, parents and teachers across the UK to leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for the school run.

The Big Pedal (March 3 – 14) is an inter-school cycling and scooting competition that aims to get children active, and this year Barney wants hundreds of thousands of pupils to take part.

Barney said: “I’m supporting The Big Pedal because I want to show parents that cycling and scooting to school is fun, cheap, and it keeps kids healthy too. Taking part is easy, and it’s a great way for parents to incorporate a little exercise into their children’s daily routine.

“Over 1,000 schools have already signed up to take part and there is still time to get your school involved.

”I’ve caught the cycling bug – and I bet you will too!”

For parents who are thinking about cycling or scooting with their children during The Big Pedal, active travel charity Sustrans gives the following advice:

  • Make sure your bikes and scooters are in working order before setting off
  • Plan your route carefully and cycle it before you ride it with your child
  • Travel with a group of friends – it’s more fun that way!
  • Stay visible and if it’s dark make sure you have lights

Run by charity Sustrans and funded by Bike Hub, The Big Pedal is UK’s largest cycling and scooting competition for primary and secondary schools. Participating schools compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike or scooter over 10 days.

By signing up to The Big Pedal schools receive tailored lesson plans, posters, maps, and ideas on how to encourage everyone in the school to get involved. They’ll also be in with a chance to win some amazing prizes for the school.

To get your school involved in the Big Pedal go to:

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

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