Cycle campaigners are riding the wave of interest sparked by the Tour de France to launch a new pro-bike week in the UK. CycleHero Week, which starts on July 14, will see thousands of Brits taking to two wheels for special rides.
The events are aimed at promoting awareness of climate change, following the Live Earth concerts in the UK, the United States, South Africa, Australia and other countries.
CycleHero Week rides will range from short distance ambles for beginners to off-road outings for skilled mountain bikers.
The rides are being organised by the CTC, the UK's national cyclists' organisation.
They have been pre-empted by a commercial showing in cinemas across the country. The film tells the story of a 'cycling pied piper' who gathers cyclists as she makes her way from a polluted and gridlocked city into the open spaces of the countryside.
The advertisement, which was dreamt up by the CTC, was funded as part of a Government initiative called "Tomorrow's Climate, Today's Challenge", which aims to raise awareness of climate change. CycleHero Week organiser, Adrian Dent, said: "It's easy for anybody to become a cycle hero - if more people left their car in the garage and grabbed a bike from the shed, we'd be well on our way to tackling climate change."
Rides and events during the week include:
- A 50 mile ride by Birmingham South Wheelers from Brueton Park Solihill to Ryton Organic Gardens, followed by a tour of the gardens
- A picnic in Harrogate on The Stray
- Three separate organised rides in and around Nottingham
- A ride from Lincoln Odeon to Whisby Nature Park
The CTC believes that cycling is a realistic way of helping to tackle climate change by reducing people's reliance on cars.
More than four million people currently use their cars to drive less than three miles to work. The CTC says the same commute by bicycle would take an average person 20 minutes and sticking to this for a year would save a couple the equivalent weight of a small car in CO2 emissions.
Climate change has a number of causes by the increase in CO2 emissions due to industrialisation has been singled out as a significant factor.
The CycleHero film and details of all the CycleHero rides can be viewed at www.cyclehero.comVisitors to the website can enter a competition to win a specialised mountain bike worth £1,500.
To find out more about CTC visit www.ctc.org.uk
If you are organising a local CTC event which is not yet listed on the CycleHero website call Adrian Dent on 01483 238317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.