Claire Connachan is the Challenge Manager for Love to Ride’s Edinburgh Cycle Challenge, coming to the city from 1 – 21 March. She’s been kind enough to spare some time for Edinburgh Reviews while we ask about the challenge.
You only asking people to ride for 10 minutes or more? Is that really enough to persuade people to cycle more often generally?
One ten minute ride over the three week period is all you need to do to win a prize. It’s an accessible distance for most people, and even if you don’t have a bike you can borrow a friend or colleague’s and enjoy a short trip. You do not need to cycle to work – this is not a commuter challenge. Cycle with friends, family, a cycling group or solo and it is a bike ride that can win you a prize!
Love To Ride has been encouraging people back onto their bikes for over 12 years now, and we know that once people get back on a bike they remember how enjoyable cycling is. On average, around 40% of non and occasional riders start to cycle more regularly after the challenge, so it’s a really successful model to encourage people to get more physically active and provide benefits for Edinburgh and the environment. Watch this video to learn more about how the challenge works:
What’s cycling like in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is a great place to cycle. With an extensive network of off-road paths and low traffic routes, you can easily navigate the city by bike. Coupled with a vibrant cycling community, lots of friendly bike shops and a council keen to develop cycling provision, Edinburgh has a lot to offer when you take to two wheels.
Whether you’re a new or experienced rider, there are plenty opportunities to explore Edinburgh and further afield. The city offer hills, rivers, the sea, rural landscapes and spectacular views on a myriad of different route options – we’re spoiled for choice, really.
Do you have any tips for people looking to get started (or re-start) cycling into work?
If you don’t have a bike and are thinking about cycling, our partners at The Bike Station offer some lovely refurbished and second-hand bikes for sale. You can buy a nice bike for considerably less than a brand new one, so it’s a great way to get back into riding again.
If you’d like to start cycling to work, it’s a good idea to plot a route first using something like the SPOKES Edinburgh map or the Cyclestreets website. Often, people don’t want to cycle to work because they think they have to follow the same busy roads that cars and buses use. However, Edinburgh has many quietways and vehicle-free routes and shortcuts that will get you to your destination without tangling in traffic.
With a route sorted, check it out of a weekend to make sure you know where you’re going. And once you’ve ironed out any kinks, build up your cycling bit by bit. A cycle commute is a great way to get to work – it’s cheap, fast and makes you feel energised and full of beans.
Tempted? Join here, Register and you might win goodies while saving money and getting fit.
Image credit: Alan Weir.