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Thursday 15 September 2016

Cheshire East riders get on their bikes for the 2016 Cycle Challenge


More than 300 cyclists from 18 local employers have signed up to the Cheshire East Cycle Challenge – a fun competition aimed at getting more people on their bikes during September. 

And, following Stage Three of the Tour of Britain, which came through the Borough this week, it is also hoped local riders will sign up for national Cycle to Work Day on September 14.

Riders from across the Borough are hoping to win prizes including holidays, bikes and shopping vouchers, as part of the nationwide Cycle Challenge, which is coordinated by Love to Ride.

Competitors log each of their cycle journeys throughout September, while employers compete with each other to see who can get the most colleagues using pedal power.

A local leaderboard on the Love to Ride website allows competitors to see how they are performing.

Local employers who have signed up include Bentley, Leighton Hospital, Sainsbury’s in Nantwich and Cheshire East Council.

Cheshire East Council staff Mark Bayley, from Holmes Chapel, Mike Harris, from Pickmere and Andrew Arditti from Guilden Sutton expect to be clocking up more miles than most during the month of the challenge. 

The trio has completed a long-distance ride together every year since 2012 and will be cycling nearly 200 miles from Cork to Dublin in the Republic of Ireland over three days later this month. Every mile will be logged for the Cycle Challenge, including training runs in Cheshire. The team are raising funds for the Christie cancer charity in the process.

Previous years’ rides have included the English coast-to-coast challenge from St Bees Head to Robin Hood’s Bay (which raised more than £3,000 for the charity Alzheimer’s UK), London to Paris, Newcastle to Edinburgh and the gruelling hills of Majorca.

This year, riders can record their progress using a free app called Moves. Cheshire East hopes to use information provided by the App to better plan local cycling infrastructure and make riding a bike safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

Councillor David Brown, Cheshire East Council Cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “The response to this year’s Cheshire East Cycle Challenge has been incredible and we are thrilled with the number of cyclists and employers who have signed up.

“The challenge is a fun and friendly way for people to get out and enjoy the benefits of cycling.  With the Tour of Britain coming through the Borough this week, it’s fair to say Cheshire East is cycling mad at the moment!

“What’s great about the Cycle Challenge is that it’s about much more than who can ride the furthest. It’s also about which organisations can get the most people cycling. People who are already into cycling are taking up the challenge but people who are new to cycling are also signing up.”

“As well as fostering friendly competition the challenge is also providing us with important information so we can better plan cycling routes and facilities in the Borough.”

Cheshire East cyclists are also being urged to get on their bikes on Wednesday (September 14) for national Cycle to Work Day.

Riders are encouraged to take to two wheels for at least one day – and join the estimated 741,000 people who cycle to work daily.

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