Recently we announced a new partnership with the UK’s oldest cycling charity Cycling UK. Every year they run Bike Week, which this year runs from 30 May – 5 June. The theme of this year’s Bike Week is health and wellbeing, and through events and challenges, Cycling UK aims to showcase how biking and regular exercise can help you achieve wellbeing in your own life.
We are supporting Cycling UK in their mission, especially after the past year. So, let’s take a look at what Bike Week is all about and how you can get involved.
What is Bike Week?
Delivered by Cycling UK, Bike Week is an annual celebration of all things cycling. Through social media and Cycling UK’s event and ride logger, they hope to inspire a quarter of a million people to rethink their everyday journeys and ditch their cars for pedal-powered machines. Bike Week is over 96 years old now and, in that time, has promoted beginner events, cycle training sessions, sportives and maintenance workshops. The overall goal of the campaign is to get more people on two wheels and appreciating the sport’s physical and mental health benefits.
Why Bike Week is important
After everything we have all been through, this year’s Bike Week is arguably more important than ever as Cycling UK aims to spread the word on mental wellbeing and cycling as well as using this moment to champion a future where more of us use cycling for transport. As partners we believe that cycling can be the solution to many of the issues the UK has faced in the past year or so. Getting more people on bikes will help to directly combat pollution in our cities, obesity, declining mental health and traffic congestion. Now more so than ever, we have seen how our population can be blindsided by freak events and how pollution and obesity leaves people particularly at risk to these challenges. This is why campaigns like Bike Week and the work of charities like Cycling UK are so important when it comes to redressing the balance.
How to take part in Bike Week
There are various ways you can join in with this brilliant initiative, some of which we will detail below. The simplest way to show Cycling UK how you’re joining in with the fun is through social media, and they really encourage this sort of participation. Whatever type of biking you’re doing, from solo commutes to all day group rides, you can share a photo with Cycling UK on their Twitter, Instagram or Facebook by using the #7daysofcycling hashtag.
You can also log your ride on the Bike Week site. This is very important for the campaign as it provides valuable data for the charity when it comes to assessing the difference cycling makes to our wellbeing and health. Plus, by logging your rides, you will be in with the chance of winning some great prizes from Cycling UK’s partners.
Bike Week events
Throughout the week there are a series of events that you can take part in. There are events happening up and down the country throughout the week including organised rides for amateurs and experienced cyclists alike, cycle training sessions for all ages and bike maintenance workshops. If you’re organising your own ride, make sure to register it on the Bike Week website to be part of the nationwide event. By cycling together in groups, we can share a love for the sport and the benefits it brings. Spending time with friends and family doing a healthy activity together in the sun (don’t hold us to account on this one) gives our mental wellbeing a huge boost. Fresh air, sport, fun and socialising equals a healthier, happier mind.
To join the fun, head to the organised ride finder on the Bike Week site.
Virtual Bike Week
As with most things nowadays, if you are unable to make it to an event or there are no rides in your area, there is also an online Bike Week, with various webinars and workshops throughout the week. So far there have been virtual sessions on road positioning, bike maintenance, route planning and commute equipment. The fun doesn’t stop there though with upcoming virtual events on cycling yoga, basic bike maintenance and route planning as well as a webinar on tackling health inequalities through cycling.
To check out the upcoming events and register your interest, click here.
Goals for Bike Week
It’s important to set your own wellbeing goals for this year’s Bike Week. We suggest focussing on the enjoyment and mental health benefits you can get from regularly cycling. Furthermore, make sure to set yourself a realistic challenge. This could be cycling to and from work every day, getting your children out on their bikes, riding a new route or simply helping a friend start their journey on two wheels. The possibilities are endless.
Through #7daysofcycling, Cycling UK are focussing on a different benefit of regular cycling each day. For example, Thursday focusses on being ‘well grounded’ and riding outdoors to clear some head space. Friday is all about having fun on the bike and Saturday will focus on why cycling is great for every age group. The Bike Week website has some fantastic inspiration for commuters and how to set yourself your own challenge. Click here for more.
Get the family involved
With most kids on half term this week, there is no better time to show the whole family the benefits of regular cycling. To help get your family excited about Bike Week, Cycling UK have created an awesome resource pack for primary-aged children that includes indoor and outdoor activities you can do together. The pack includes on-bike challenges, healthy energy snack recipes, a jersey design competition and much more. There is also a printable streamer, bib and end of week certificate. Head to the Fun for Families section of the Bike Week site to download the resources. Inspiring the next generation of cyclists and showing them the physical and mental benefits of the sport is one of Cycling UK’s most important visions. We hope that the future will be safe in the hands of better, healthier communities because of their valuable work.
However far you are cycling this week, we hope you have a great Bike Week. Don’t forget to share your rides on social media with Cycling UK by using the hashtag #7daysofcycling.