Summer of Cycling on the Finish Line

PRESS RELEASE 21.10.2012

The idea was to encourage everyone with an interest in cycling to share the fun and introduce just one friend, neighbour, colleague or family member to cycling.

In 2012 a national campaign was run between March and October which aimed to encourage more people to cycle. The ‘All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’ and ‘The Bicycle Association’ alongside the force of 23 cycling organisations aimed to double cycling this summer. The Newcastle Cycling Campaign was an early adopter of the Summer of Cycling and in April asked locals to “nominate their bike buddy”.

Katja, Newcastle organiser for the Summer of Cycling says “Thanks to the Summer of Cycling team, its organisations and groups. It’s been a rollercoaster journey this summer. The stories speak for themselves [see report, link below]. And of course the journey to a cycle-friendly Newcastle, Tyne and Wear and Britain does not stop here. We are a nation that finds it hard to fully embrace cycling.

“To me it’s clear. We must provide for cycling, give it space to move safely to work, school, shops and visit friends. Provide an alternative to the car, which unfortunately reigns supreme on our streets and roads, dominates communities, and often suppresses community cohesion, splits neighbourhoods and blights our towns and cities.

“Society sees cycling as an activity that requires extra kit, specialised gear and expert training – only to then still not fully endorse the people on bikes in our streets. Or as research demonstrates, for society cycling is something that kids and the less well off do. We have to stop thinking about cycling as a sport activity reserved for the superfit risk-takers, children and disadvantaged. We have to challenge that view.

“Cycling is not an extra-curricular enrolment, no, it is a serious form of transport and ought to be treated as such with investment levels to match. Cycling also requires fairness in Britain’s law and courts. The recent call British Cycling for fairer justice for cyclists and CTC’s Stop Smidsy campaign both make that clear.

“Closing, I will use Cath’s words. As a fellow bike commuter, this is something that I feel too – on a daily basis – when you quite simply do not have the choice of route or purpose.

“I still get scared on a regular basis on my way to work, and based on the training that’s not because I’m doing anything wrong.”

Contact Katja Leyendecker 07828 60 4349