To celebrate Bike Week we wanted to dedicate our usual ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ round up to cycling campaigns. But as a team of bike enthusiasts what could possibly be bad or ugly about cycling? So instead we give you ‘The Good, The Great and The Excellent’
According to Sport England, the number of people cycling since the beginning of lockdown has doubled and levels of motorised traffic has significantly decreased. As a result, Cheshire West and Chester Council have launched the ‘Walk. Ride. Thrive’ campaign to help people continue to travel in a safe and healthy manner as lockdown restrictions begin to ease. This is part of their “Stronger Futures” initiative designed to help the community emerge from the crisis in an even stronger position than before by ensuring their residents continue getting more exercise and fresh air, and ensuring traffic congestion and air pollution remain lower. West Cheshire are encouraging their residents to submit their views and suggestions on what would make them feel safer when walking or cycling in the area, the ‘Walk. Ride. Thrive’ campaign is one that has been put into action. If more communities strive to seize this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the UK will become a more sustainable place to live and work. People simply need to learn to embrace the unpredictable British weather!
One of the great things to come out of the COVID-19 crisis is a more profound appreciation for all keyworkers across the UK. In line with this, Cyclox, Oxford City Council, Broken Spoke Bike Co-op and other partners have joined together to launch the bikes for keyworkers project across Oxford City. After going through safety checks by volunteer mechanics and subsequently qualified mechanics and bike shops, free bikes are being donated to NHS and social care staff who are unable to use public transport during lockdown. This idea was inspired by the Windrush Bike Project who began donating bikes to keyworkers in April and are having to meet an ever-growing demand. The aim is to raise enough funds to provide 100 bikes for NHS heroes across Oxford City.
Onyx Connect’s pay-as-you-go bike scheme for female farmers in Zambia is definitely something of true excellence. Not only are the bikes taking hours off long journeys to get fresh produce to market but they are also boosting women’s incomes, enabling girls to get to school and benefiting the community as a whole by supporting gender equality. The bike is part of a scheme that includes a smartphone which helps communities stay connected, a torch to ride safely at night and a solar lamp that makes it easier for children to complete their schoolwork in the evenings. These women take a great sense of pride in their bikes as they increase their efficiency and productivity throughout the day, therefore, helping them to provide for their families. So far, the bike scheme has reached 140 dairy farmers, but the goal for Onyx Connect is to deliver one million bikes across the country by 2030.
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