Leisure cycling on the rise in England

113,000 more people on bikes

New figures suggest there has been a significant rise in the number of adults in England who regularly cycle.

The latest Active People Survey by Sport England, published today, claims that the number of over-16s who cycle at least once a week for 30 minutes has grown from 1.77 million (4.3 percent) to 1.88 million (4.5 percent) in the past year.

That's an increase of 113,000 people, and the figures only cover leisure cycling, not commuting or cycling for travel purposes.

British Cycling’s chief executive, Ian Drake, said he was delighted with the figures, which are based on telephone interviews with 193,947 people carried out by Ipsos MORI.

"At the beginning of this year we set ourselves the target of getting 125,000 more people cycling at least once a week by 2013," he said. "Today we have almost reached this target three years ahead of schedule. Our vision to inspire participation in cycling through achieving worldwide success is clearly working."

Sport England want to get one million people taking part in more sport by 2012-13. In 2008/09, 6.93 million over-16s participated in sport three times a week – 16.6 percent of the adult population, and 115,000 more than in 2007/08. As well as cycling, there was a significant rise in the number of people taking part in athletics, canoeing and tennis.

However, while male participation is on the increase, the number of women regularly doing sport dropped from 2.788 million (13.1 percent) in 2007/08 to 2.727 million (12.7 percent) in 2008/09, a decrease of 61,000.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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