A national campaign designed to encourage thousands of people to cycle for everyday journeys is coming to Stornoway.
The Big Bike Revival, an award winning programme developed by Cycling UK, formerly CTC the national cycling charity, helps people in Scotland to bring their bikes back into use by providing bike health checks, sharing maintenance knowhow and giving people more confidence in the saddle.
Partnered by fifty community groups and bicycle recycling centres across the country, the project aims to reach 20,000 people to encourage them to get cycling again and to replace short car journeys with the bike.
In Stornoway, Lewis and Harris Youth Clubs Association (LHYCA) and the Bridge Youth and Community Group have been awarded Big Bike Revival funding to deliver events and activities in the local community.
Events include The Western Isles Big Bike Revival which is free to access.
On the Saturday 29th October at the Bridge Centre, Stornoway from 10am till 4pm this event will be using local business to provide the following services free of charge for those attending:
Bike Mechanics - free drop in basic bike services. There will be two fully qualified bike mechanics throughout the day
Basic MTB skill sessions – Fully qualified MTB leaders giving basic skills training for those looking to just get a bit of confidence to use the local bike paths and trails.
Road bike skill sessions – Bikeability Volunteers and Police Scotland will be providing cycle training for novices upwards to get families confident about being out on the roads safely.
Up to 7 years old basic bike agility skills outside in the tennis courts - basic short sessions on bike control and things like signalling etc.
8-15 years old road awareness skills – using the castle ground shared paths and quiet roads to give them confidence and instruct them on how to cycle safely on a public road.
16 years old and up, road awareness skills - using the public main roads and to get people confident out on the road
Police Scotland and their Youth Volunteering scheme will provide bike security stamping.
Local bike club Hebrides Cycle Club providing advice, local club opportunities, facilities.
Equipment swap/donation station. –If you have a bike that is in safe and you feel you could donate it to someone why not use the swap station.
Free Information leaflets showing the local cycling infrastructure and facilities.
Make your own healthy, pedal powered smoothies with a bike blender.
Highland Cycle Ability Centre – bike sessions for all physical abilities
Bouncy castle and face painting
As well as this, local community clubs will be set up and supported to provide ongoing encouragement and opportunities for those new or returning to cycling.
The Scottish Government has a vision to see 10% of every day journeys by cycle by 2020 and The Big Bike Revival will provide support and activities to encourage more people to get cycling to help achieve this vision.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands said: “The Scottish Government is investing over £450,000 in Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival to promote cycling within communities and helping people to breathe new life into their old bikes.
“Cycling is healthy, cheap, fun and good for the environment. This exciting new project will provide a significant boost to community-led cycling and bicycle recycling projects right across the country.
“I look forward to seeing the Big Bike Revival and its partners continue to grow, getting even more people to get back in the saddle in the future.”
After two successful years in England, the Big Bike Revival is now extending into Scotland with funding from Transport Scotland.
Cycling UK’s Head of Development Scotland, Suzanne Forup said: “Cycling is a transformational activity for many reasons and through the Big Bike Revival we’re looking to inspire 20,000 people to experience the joy and freedom a bike ride can bring.
“We all remember how fun and enjoyable a cycle ride was when we were kids, and that same feeling can be captured as an adult, too. By building on the previous successes of the Big Bike Revival, we’re working with local community groups across Scotland to encourage participants to get back on their bikes.”
With hundreds of events planned across the next six weeks and centres spread across every local authority area in the country, the Big Bike Revival aims to bring thousands more bikes back into use.
Neal Ingram, Chairperson of LHYCA taking part in the Big Bike Revival said: “Cycling is amazing and a great way to get out and have fun either as a family, group of friends or by yourself.
“Being able to run this event with the Bridge Youth and Community Group is an excellent opportunity to try and help people young and old to find their confidence, get out there and have fun. ”
Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus, who has just finished a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, is supporting the Big Bike Revival and encouraging people to get back on their bikes.
She said: “I’m very honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador for this wonderful campaign.
“I want to get fit and healthy and the Big Bike Revival is a fun and environmentally friendly way to do just that. If I can give it a go, you can, too.
“Even if it’s to cycle to your local shop or park with friends and family, or if you’re adventurous you can ditch the car and cycle to work. No matter how short a journey, get on your bikes and ride.”
Details about the Western Isles event can be found on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/WIBBR