Mark Beaumont lays down cycling challenge

Cycling star Mark Beaumont
Cycling star Mark Beaumont

World record breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont is calling on families to take up the challenge of ‘Around the world in 10 days’.

The Big Pedal 2018, which runs from Monday, April 23, to Friday, May 4, will see pupils, parents and teachers across the UK leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school.

Organised by walking and cycling charity Sustrans, and sponsored by Micro Scooters and Tonik, the Big Pedal is the largest competition of its kind in the UK.

During the 10 days participating primary and secondary schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike or scooter.

Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont, who holds the Guinness World Record for cycling around the world in 78 days, is backing the Big Pedal 2018.

This year’s theme is ‘Around the world in 10 days’, with pupils tracking their progress on a map of the world, learning about the countries Mark passed through on his trip.

Mark said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the Big Pedal 2018. It’s a great initiative for getting more young people on their bikes and scooters, building their confidence and independence in a fun and engaging way.

“Encouraging young people to cycle and scoot from an early age not only boosts physical and mental health, it also helps build good habits for independent and active travel into teenage and adult life.

“I hope as many schools as possible will take part in this year’s ‘Around the World in 10 days’ Sustrans’ Big Pedal challenge.”

John Lauder, Sustrans Scotland national director said: “At 1.6 miles, the average primary school journey is a distance that can be walked, scooted or cycled as an easy way of building more physical activity into children’s busy lives. 2018 is the Year of Young People in Scotland, and as well as being fun, Big Pedal can help kick-start children and their families into leading more active lives, while reducing congestion around the school gates.

“Although the competition runs for just two weeks, it can be a catalyst for long-term changes in the way pupils, parents and teachers travel to and from school.”

Last year a total of 262 Scottish schools registered to take part, with teachers, parents, siblings and pupils making more than a million journeys to school by bike or scooter.

Participants travelled more than 306,000 miles by bike or scooter.

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