Three hundred and fifty six thousand, six hundred and twenty nine journeys, and counting. Rapidly.
That’s the number of journeys to school using pedal or scoot power that children participating in The Big Pedal have completed since the third of March.
The Big Pedal is an annual national cycle or scoot to work competition. For two weeks, from the third to the fourteenth of March, primary and secondary schools up and down the country attempt to get the most school journeys completed using these forms of transport, winning prizes along the way.
The competition is organised and run by transport charity Sustrans, who aim to increase the number of journeys made via sustainable options, and decrease our reliance on cars. When it comes to school journeys in particular, fewer cars mean less pollution and congestion around the school gates, and more cycling means fitter, healthier and more alert children.
Hundreds of schools, and thousands of children, have signed up for the challenge. Schools can participate for the entire two weeks of the competition, or just on one or both of the ‘challenge’ days.
Each day, schools enter the number of journeys they’ve completed, and the results can be checked on tables in the afternoon – it’s compulsive viewing!
Friday 14th, the last day of the competition, will be marked specially as Superhero Day. To celebrate their achievements, children (and grownups!) will dress up as superheros, and collect money for Sustrans along the way. These donations go to helping Sustrans maintain the National Cycle Network, and provide cycle training for schools.