Big Bike Revival hailed as success, more work to do says Cycling UK

Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival, a national campaign in Scotland designed to encourage thousands of people to cycle for everyday journeys, is offering support to local community groups and volunteers to get more people riding bikes.

Established September 2016, the award-winning programme developed by Cycling UK and funded by Transport Scotland has been bringing bikes back into use and encouraging everyday cycle journeys in Scotland by offering free mechanics sessions, bike safety checks, confidence building classes, led rides, route planning and more.

Over six weeks in May and June, the Big Bike Revival partnered with 103 community groups and organisations to run around 500 cycling-themed events in every local authority area in Scotland which aimed to reignite people’s love of cycling. The initiative has reached thousands of people across the nation, and now Cycling UK is looking to support local community groups, organisations and volunteers to start their own cycling activities with community cycle clubs.

Community cycle clubs include family cycling clubs, groups that help build confidence and fitness for new riders, leisure riding, women’s groups or all-ability cycling clubs. Every group is different and the Big Bike Revival team aims to support all kinds of community cycle clubs with whatever style of cycling they’d like to get involved with. In 2016, Cycling UK worked with more than 50 groups to start their own cycling activities and this year is keen to work with another 50 organisations. 

Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf said: “The Big Bike Revival, funded by Transport Scotland, has engaged thousands of people in cycling activities across the country in the past two years. Whether it’s led rides, or bike repair courses, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Cycling improves mental and physical health, offering a low cost and low carbon alternative to other modes of transport. More people on bikes means better air quality in our towns and cities by reducing the need to use motorised transport.”

Community cycle clubs will be supported by their own Cycling UK development officer, and will be given free training and opportunities that include cycle ride leader, first aid and trailside repair courses. Cycling groups will also benefit from affiliate membership to Cycling UK, free networking events to meet other likeminded people in their area, peer support and guidance, and of course the opportunity to enjoy cycling in a friendly, social group and help get more people riding from A to B.

Big Bike Revival project manager Shona Morris added: “Since the Big Bike Revival was launched in September 2016, we’ve seen thousands of people attend our events across the length and breadth of Scotland and have been delighted at the positive feedback and comments from those who have dusted their bikes down and decided to get back in the saddle.

"We want to support grassroots cycling opportunities and if any community groups or volunteer-led organisations are interested in starting cycling activities then we are on hand. These are free opportunities and we are here to make everyday cycling easy and accessible to people, so get in touch if you want to learn more.”

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