Wheelrights are a cycle campaign group covering the Swansea Bay Area, and aim to:
1.To encourage and assist potential cyclists to take up cycling and thereby prepare them for using a bike as a means of transportation.
2.To campaign for better provision for cyclists in the Swansea Bay area.
3.To provide information about cycling related activities.
They recently worked in partnership with CTC, Environment Wales and Challenge for Change to develop the Swansea Cycle Challenge.
Everyone can be very proud of the stats that were produced during the Challenge. These include:
• 46% of participants being non-cyclists before the Challenge. National average in other challenges is 31%
• 90 organisations took part in the challenge.
• Participants covered 49,379 miles
• Participants burnt off 437 pounds of fat
• Participants saved over 6 tonnes of CO2
• Saving enough CO2 to cover 33 return flights from Swansea to Paris
A number of organisations took part in the challenge, ranging from Admiral and Swansea University to the Environment Agency and Countryside Council for Wales to HSBC and Fujitsu. In the end, Admiral won the 500+ category with other winning organisations including the Environment Agency, Countryside Council for Wales, Singleton Estates and various other departments.
A number of events took place to support organisations such as try-a-bike, led bike rides and bike mechanic visits. These were incredibly successful in securing further promotion of the Challenge, Wheelrights and the Gower Cycling Festival.
As mentioned above, 46% of participants in the Challenge were non-cyclists prior to the Challenge. This is such a massive result for Swansea as the national Challenge average is 31%. This has enabled cycling to reach a new audience within workplaces and create a cycling environment within a number of businesses. Various partners will continue working with these businesses to ensure this big momentum can be continued.
We received a number of positive responses to the Challenge results from participants, some happy for completing a trip every day, to some relieved that they managed to cycle home up a big hill by the end of the Challenge.
Selections of stories are below:
“After 2 weeks of what felt like endless rain, my ride in to work this morning was positively idyllic. Sweeping onto the seafront trail my ‘moment of zen’ lasted almost to the pier before I reluctantly turned around and made my way towards town”
“I am a regular cyclist but I have noticed that this challenge has had a hugely positive impact in encouraging a number of colleagues to cycle to work and in their leisure”
“Thank you Swansea Cycle Challenge, this scheme really improved my wellbeing – I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and I’m really enjoying it”
“With the Cycle Challenge being on, it allowed me to push the boundaries of what I can do and be proud of my achievements, and continue to push even after the event”
There have been countless e-mails from particpants…thanking us for putting the Challenge on as it has re-energised them to get back on their bikes, realise how much fun cycling can be and how much money they save by cycling to work more often.