With figures released from The Active Lives Children and Young People survey showing that over 1.4 million more children took up the opportunity to cycle in 2020, British Cycling, the UCI-recognized national governing body for cycling, has described this as a “milestone” in its campaign to help young people lead healthy lives. The results show that between May and July, the number of children ages 5 to 11 who cycle for fun or fitness increased by 18.4 percent compared to 2019 while cycling to get to places like schools increased by 5.6 percent. Over the course of the full academic year, almost a quarter of all children surveyed (24 percent) had cycled in the past week.
With road traffic significantly reduced during the initial lockdown and families taking advantage of increased leisure time, bicycling experienced an unprecedented boom in 2020 – leading to a surge in bicycle sales and families across the country rediscovering the joy of riding a bike. The Outdoor Industry Compass had previously reported that this was not only the case in the U.K. during the Corona pandemic.
At the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, British Cycling offered families a daily activity with its HSBC UK Ready Set Ride interactive games and resources to help them stay active and improve their children’s cycling skills. These activities reached over 1.6 million families during the month-long campaign, which also gave parents the opportunity to ask questions and receive top tips from Sir Chris Hoy, a former professional track cyclist from Scotland.
In April, the organization provided additional support for families through the launch of HSBC UK Let’s Ride Local, a micro-site designed to promote family cycling through routes, tips and advice, and games to keep children engaged. The site has now been updated with new winter riding content to help families keep riding in the coming months.
Photo: © Serena Repice Lentini on Unsplash