Research often uncovers curious things – apparently 42% of adults in Britain own a bike, but only 37% of them have been cycling in the last year – that’s just 15.5% of the adult population. The main factor cited as a reason for this low use of bicycles is the perception that it is “too dangerous to cycle on the roads.”
To help address this parlous state of affairs, Cycling UK (“formerly the CTC” – I wonder how long they’re going to have to say that last bit…) have got some coin off the Department for Transport, who have generously provided £500,000 to help run the Big Bike Revival 2016. This represents a whopping 0.002% of the £26,000,000,000 that the UK government provided as taxpayer-funded subsidies to the fossil-fuel industry last year, so I think we can all agree that we’re about to see a quantum leap in the uptake of sustainable transport options in this country…
Alright, scepticism aside – it’s undoubtedly a great thing that these funds are available to support getting people onto bikes. The nationwide Big Bike Revival aims to get people cycling by (a) providing cycle confidence training, and (b) getting people to revive (geddit?) their poor old bicycles, e.g. by coming to the Broken Spoke (or similar project) and fixing them up.
So we are delighted to report that we have got some of that £500,000! We will be using it to further the laudable aims of the Big Bike Revival, by purchasing some fresh tools for the workshop so we can support more people to revive their bikes, and by running subsidised cycle training over the summer.
We’re offering, on a first-come first-served basis, six cycle training sessions for people who’ve never ridden a bike before. The funds from the Big Bike Revival have enabled us to offer these two-hour sessions (normally £70) for just £5! If you’d like to learn how to ride a bike, you can book one of these sessions online here.
We’ll also be running three group cycle training sessions for those who want to improve their riding. These sessions, for a maximum of 10 participants, are two hours long, and are being offered completely free of charge! We’re looking for organisations to partner with for two of these – if you’re interested in setting up a group cycle training session for your workplace, school, etc., please do just get in touch! The other session will run on the evening of August 17th, and is open for members of the public to book onto – you can book a place here. Did I mention it’s free?
The Big Bike Revival runs from July 2nd to August 23rd, with some additional events being planned for September. Check out our Big Bike Revival 2016 webpage and the official Cycling UK pages for more information.
Peace ‘n’ bike revivalist grease y’all,