Commuters will be urged to abandon their cars as Birmingham City Council encourages local businesses to get on their bikes and take part in the Birmingham Cycle Revolution's September Cycle Challenge.
Business can now register for the challenge which will run throughout September and will see cyclists taking over Birmingham's roads in a bid to clock up the most BikeMiles.
Birmingham organisations including Brindleyplace, Birmingham's Children Hospital, Millennium Point and Aston University, are already signed up and encouraging their employees to go head to head in the challenge to win rewards, vouchers and discounts.
The challenge coincides with the launch of Birmingham Cycle Revolution's Birmingham Cycle Rewards website, birminghamcyclerewards.com, and PleaseCycle app, which is now available to download from the App store and Play store. People taking part in the challenge will be able to use the free platforms to log their BikeMiles and earn rewards as they cycle.
Speaking about the September Cycle Challenge, Sara Wilkes, Energy, Environment & Sustainability Assistant at Aston University said, “Birmingham Cycle Revolution is a great initiative for the city and we're excited to be taking part in the September Cycle Challenge.
“The Birmingham Cycle Rewards website and PleaseCycle app are brilliant ways to incentivise would be cyclists to get into the cycling habit. I know the Aston University team can be quite competitive so hopefully we'll do really well in the challenge and also convert some more of our employees to full-time cyclists.”
Throughout the challenge, users will log their journeys through the PleaseCycle app which uses a GPS tracking system to accurately record the route the cyclist has taken. The data is then automatically uploaded to the Birmingham Cycle Rewards website where BikeMiles are saved and can be converted into rewards.
The PleaseCycle app provides users with practical fitness tips and allows them to see how many calories they have burnt and how much money they have saved by cycling. Users can also run challenges between colleagues and friends and use the website's leader boards to track who is cycling the most.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City at Birmingham City Council said, “We're thrilled to be launching the Birmingham Cycle Rewards website, PleaseCycle App and running the September Cycle Challenge. Through the app and website the Birmingham Cycle Revolution project can reach a variety of people across the city and incentivise them to get on their bikes, save money and be healthy. For businesses, this can act as a huge boost to workforce morale and productivity.”
To kick off the September Cycle Challenge, there will be a bike ride through the city on Friday 29th August from 12:30pm to 2:00pm.
The event is part of a new #BikeDayFriday initiative to encourage more commuters to take up cycling. The ride will start at Moor Street Dock and will mark the arrival of the first new Brompton Dock bikes in the city. Participants are encouraged to dress in purple and can hire a bike from the dock if they are without a bike.
The Birmingham Cycle Revolution project aims to encourage cycling through a raft of improvements and initiatives. A target has been set to increase cycling to account for 5 per cent of all journeys in the city within the next 10 years and for cycling to represent 10 per cent of all travel by 2033.
To register your interest in the September Cycle Challenge, email Jenny Coombs at Jennifer.Coombs@birmingham.gov.uk or call 0121 3037674.
For more information about Birmingham Cycle Revolution, visit http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/BirminghamCycleRevolution
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Notes to editors
Birmingham Cycle Revolution is a major initiative led by Birmingham City Council to increase cycling in the city.
The aim of the project is to make cycling an everyday form of transport over the next 20 years. For example, we want 5 per cent of all trips in the city to be made by bicycle by 2023 and to double this again to 10 per cent by 2033.
This revolution will help make Birmingham a greener, safer, less congested and healthier place to live.
To achieve this, Birmingham City Council has secured more than £ 24 million of funding, of which £17 million is a grant from the Government, to support an intensive programme of cycling improvements. The remainder is coming from other council sources.