100,000 UK schoolchildren racing to boost cycling levels

By BikeRadar.com | Saturday, March 6, 2010 1.12pm

100,000 UK schoolchildren from 550 primary schools are racing each other to see who can cycle the most miles to school on the National Cycle Network.

The challenge, promoted by sustainable transport charity Sustrans, has been running since the start of March. It aims to raise cycling levels among children and marks the 15th anniversary of the National Cycle Network.

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During the challenge, pupils, parents and teachers clock up points each time they ride to school. Each of these trips is awarded a set amount of miles, contributing to the school's virtual journey around the UK. The results are recorded on the Schools National League Table where the school's total mileage and national ranking is calculated.  The first school to reach 5224 miles (8408km) wins.

After just a week, Wellington Primary in Tower Hamlets looks to have an unassailable lead with 5172 miles/8328km ridden. That's just shy of the final target of 5224 miles and well clear of second placed Brookside Primary School, Stockport with 4341 miles (6989km) and third placed Isambard Community School, Swindon with 4283 miles (6896km). 

First prize will see the M.A.D. Mountain Bike Display Team spend a day at the school performing their amazing stunts and tricks. The seven regional runners-up will each get a workstand and toolbox, provided by Madison, and bike helmets from Nutcase.

Sustrans say that their work with over 440 schools has seen cycling levels treble in those schools, which is opposite to the UK's national trend of declining numbers of children riding to school.

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