Getting Britain back on its bikes

EDF Energy is supporting Team Green Britain Bike Week, encouraging more people to enjoy cycling more often

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This week is Team Green Britain Bike Week - the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event. Last year almost half a million people are estimated to have taken part across the country, and the aim is to get even more people cycling, and more often, this year.

Team Green Britain, founded by EDF Energy, is supporting Bike Week to promote cycling as a low carbon form of transport. Nearly a quarter of all car journeys are less than two miles*, a distance that can be cycled in less than 15 minutes, so using a bike instead of the car for short journeys can help reduce the carbon footprint of your day-to-day travel.

Team Green Britain Bike Week is not just for seasoned cyclists. There’s something to inspire everyone from families and schools to businesses - even those who haven’t put their feet on a pedal or sat in a saddle for years. It’s about everyday cycling, for everyone. From Sunday’s London Bikeathon to evening rides, beginners’ events and free Dr Bike safety checks there are hundreds of fun, energetic and practical things going on across the country all week. Search online at bikeweek.org.uk for something suitable near you.

This year’s event is aiming for ‘Britain’s Biggest Bike Fix’ - an ambitious attempt to repair as many bikes as possible in just one week. If you’ve got a bike that needs an MOT you can take it along to one of the Bike Fix events and have it checked over so you too can rediscover the joy of travelling on two wheels.

Team Green Britain Bike Week, which promotes cycling as an everyday healthy and practical lifestyle choice that can help the planet, is just one of the many initiatives supported by Team Green Britain. There are now over a million people who are part of Team Green Britain, which was founded by EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, to encourage people to start making everyday lifestyle changes to contribute to a lower carbon future.

“Travelling contributes significantly to most people’s carbon footprint, but cycling is a low carbon way to get around that can help you get fit at the same time” says Gareth Wynn, Director of the London 2012 Programme at EDF Energy, which is the first Sustainability Partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, “We’re hoping that Team Green Britain Bike Week will help people get back on their bikes, helping them reduce the carbon footprint of their travel in the long term”.

Olympic cyclist Ed Clancy is just one of the famous faces supporting Team Green Britain’s Bike Week. He says: “I was really keen to get involved. Let’s hope we can get plenty of bikes out of sheds and back on the roads. Bikes aren’t just for racing – for short journeys they are a really practical way to get around.”

How to get your bike ready

Team Green Britain Bike Week Ambassador Victoria Pendleton – a world, commonwealth and Olympic champion – and former Team Great Britain chief mechanic Peter “Spike” Taylor, share their tips.

“Keeping your bike in good nick will help it last longer and just a few cycle maintenance tips from a pro can give you the confidence to do this yourself” says Spike.

  1. Check the tyres: it’s very difficult to cycle with a flat tyre, so check for holes or damage and pump them up
  2. Check the chain: it should run smoothly – a little oil can help
  3. Safety is paramount, so check the brakes: pull them to make sure the bike will stop and check that the brakes don’t rub on the wheels
  4. Adjust your saddle: if it’s at the right height it makes it a lot easier to cycle
  5. Check the handlebars: they should be done up tightly and be in a straight line, and you’re now ready to hit the road.

For a full Dr Bike Checklist of 20 things to check on your bike, download the checklist at bikeweek.org.uk

If you find your bike is beyond repair, you could enter our competition to win a classic Pashley bike and be a part of Team Green Britain Bike Week, visit independent.co.uk/teamgreenbritain

*Source: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Greenertravel/Greenercarsanddriving/DG_191253

**ICM survey of 2000 respondents commissioned by EDF Energy, June 2011

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