People across West Yorkshire are invited to switch to two wheels and take part in a fun, friendly cycling challenge.
The Combined Authority has joined forces with Cycle September organisers Love to Ride for the UK-wide event aimed at getting more people to discover the benefits of cycling.
It's run through West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme and hopes to get more people to cycle and walk.
Registering on the Love to Ride website allows participants to log miles, set goals and earn badges for cycling to work for a week, riding 100 miles or encouraging a friend or colleague to take part, with friendly competitions taking place between individuals and workplaces.
Councillor Kim Groves, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee, said: “We know encouraging more of us to travel by bike or on foot not only boosts people’s health and saves individual’s money, it also brings wider environmental and economic benefits for us all, which is why we want to make cycling and walking a natural choice for short, everyday journeys.
“We want as many people as possible to get involved in Cycle September - whether you cycle every day or whether you haven't been on a bike in years, if you’re cycling for transport or for fun, whatever time and wherever you’re going.
“Last year, more than 1,800 people across West Yorkshire cycled nearly 270,000 miles during Cycle September, and we’re hoping to make this year even bigger and better.”
CityConnect has top tips for your first cycle to work
Remember you don’t have to cycle the whole way. If you live too far away to cycle all the way to work you could always look into options for riding part of the way and then catching a train or bus.
Plan your route. Cycling to work need not involve tackling busy roads. From the Bradford Leeds Cycle Superhighway and Leeds’s new city centre cycle superhighway to the Leeds Liverpool Canal, there are some great route options..
Recruit a bike buddy. If someone you know already cycles ask them which routes they use or even better ask them to ride with you as a bike buddy.
Pack a waterproof. It may be summer but as the last couple of weeks have shown the weather can be unpredictable so it’s always worth having a wet weather plan just in case. Don’t worry about being drenched in sweat – the great thing about being on a bike is you don’t always have to keep pedalling, just take it at your own pace.
Make sure your bike’s in good health. Check your brakes are ok, make sure there’s air in your tyres, that none of the fixtures and fittings are loose, and the chain is clean and oiled. Sustrans 11-step M-Check is a good place to start or if in doubt take your bike for a once over at your local cycle shop.
Last but not least, enjoy it. Cycling to work can save you time and money, and it has been proven to boost health and happiness. What’s not to love?