Schools across Crawley are encouraging children, teachers and parents to jump on their bikes and scooters for Sustrans Big Pedal 2018 - a UK wide event to get more young people cycling and scooting to school, supported locally by Crawley Borough Council.
The Big Pedal 2018, which runs from Monday 23 April to Friday 4 May, will see pupils, parents and teachers across the UK leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school.
Organised by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, and sponsored by Micro Scooters and Tonik, the Big Pedal is the largest competition of its kind in the UK.
During the 12 days, participating primary and secondary schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike or scooter.
To encourage local teachers and children to take up the challenge, the council’s Sustrans Bike It Officer has teamed up with Decathlon in Crawley to organise three prizes in the form of spending vouchers for local participating local schools.
Prizes are awarded to those schools that cycle the most; show the most improvement and are most consistent in their efforts.
Schools that have their bikes wheels pumped up and ready to go include: Forge Wood Primary, Langley Green Primary, Milton Mount Primary, Northgate Primary, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary, Waterfield Primary and Gossops Green Community Primary.
Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont, who holds the Guinness World Record for cycling around the world in 78 days, is backing the Big Pedal 2018
After 18,000 miles on the road last summer, covering 240 miles a day and taking in 16 countries, Mark smashed the previous record by 44 days.
The theme of this year’s Big Pedal is ‘Around the world in 10 days’, with pupils tracking their progress on a map of the world, learning about some of the countries Mark passed through on his trip.
According to government guidelines, children and young people aged 5 to 18 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and walking, scooting or cycling to school is great way of doing this.
Furthermore, teachers find that pupils who walk and cycle arrive at school more relaxed, alert and ready to start the day than those who travel by car.
Last year nearly 1,700 schools registered to take part, with teachers, parents, siblings and pupils making more than a million journeys to school by bike or scooter.
The Big Pedal 2018 is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils expected to take part.
There’s still time for schools to sign up at www.bigpedal.org.uk
For more information about cycling in Crawley, visit www.crawley.gov.uk/cycling