You are hereMain content
Students show pedal power as Summer of Cycling declared in North Tyneside
Young cyclists are hoping to inspire others to explore North Tyneside on two wheels this summer after coming out on top in a national challenge.
John Spence Community High School has been crowned the top secondary school in the Sustrans Big Pedal 2019 5-day challenge.
It is aimed at encouraging young people from all over the country to cycle, walk or ride a scooter to and from school.
More than 86 per cent of all pupils from John Spence took part in the challenge, which was held over five days – the highest of all the schools which took part.
A total of 586 children cycled and 112 rode in by scooter throughout the week.
There was further good news in North Tyneside as Monkseaton Middle School finished fifth overall with a score of over 72 per cent – the school was also the only one in the North East to close its street to cars for a day during the challenge.
It is now hoped that their achievements will inspire others to take to two wheels as North Tyneside Council declares its first-ever Summer of Cycling.
The campaign is aimed at encouraging everyone, no matter their age or ability, to explore the borough by bike.
Cllr Sarah Day, North Tyneside Council’s Cycling Champion, said: “This is the place to be if you’re looking to get out and about in the borough on two wheels this summer.
“It doesn’t matter how young or old you are or how experienced you are at riding a bike – there’s something for everyone.
“We know that the number of people cycling in the borough is rising all the time and that’s why we are investing heavily in making sure the right facilities, such as cycle routes and crossing points, are in place.
“We also have a wonderful network of waggonways so there really is no reason not to take to two wheels and enjoy all the benefits that cycling brings.
“Our Summer of Cycling is a great way to shine a light on all of this and we look forward to seeing many of you get involved.
“It’s also fantastic to see how well the students at John Spence have done in the Sustrans Big Pedal challenge – they’ve all fully committed themselves to the challenge and are a great example to others.
“We’re really proud of all our schools who have taken part and look forward to maybe doing even better next year!”
Adam Pilkington, Director of Sport at John Spence Community High School, said: “We are fortunate many pupils from John Spence come to school by bike. It’s the easiest and quickest way for them to travel the one to three miles from their homes, no matter what the weather.
“We regularly have over 100 bikes and scooters in our bike sheds which are well maintained and secure. Large groups of friends travel together and the local roads and cycle tracks help their journeys.
“We are proud of our cycling numbers and are always keen to support and promote events like the council’s Summer of Cycling, which I’m sure will be a brilliant initiative.”
Jonah Morris, Partnerships Manager for Sustrans in the North East said: “It’s an exciting time for cycling in North Tyneside. We’re delighted to have a national Big Pedal winner in the borough and to host our first school street closure in the North East.
“Cycling and walking are great ways for children to get active on the school run and to tackle traffic congestion and air pollution. The Summer of Cycling festival is an ideal opportunity to discover some fantastic local green spaces and routes and get inspired to make the switch to two wheels.”
The Summer of Cycling festival will be launched with a free family fun day at Richardson Dees Park in Wallsend between 11am and 2pm on Tuesday 28 May.
Visitors to the ‘Big Bike Day’ launch event will be able to get a health check for their bike and make a tasty smoothie using pedal power.
There will also be Bikeability and Learn to Ride sessions, police security marking for bikes and the day will be rounded off with an off-road family bike ride.
Throughout the rest of the summer there will be various activities and events including family fun days, BMX days, learn to ride sessions for pre-school children, Bikeability safety training, guided rides, adapted bike sessions for people with a disability and police bike marking and bike MOTs.