Residents encouraged to be part of a cycling revolution
Residents all over the borough are being urged to get on their bikes and explore the great outdoors as part of an exciting new cycling initiative set to sweep across Wandsworth.
Ahead of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Wandsworth Council has joined forces with British Cycling and Team Sky to provide residents with new opportunities to get into cycling over the next 12 months.
A spokeperson for Wandsworth Cycling Campaign (WCC) told PutneySW15.com: "WCC is to work in partnership with Wandsworth Council and NHS Wandsworth, both of which have signed up to the British Cycling 2012 London Recreation Programme. Our participation in this initiative is part of a longstanding commitment WCC has had to promoting cycling as a great way to be more active and stay healthy. The programme's aim is to increase recreational cycling participation locally, mainly through attracting new cyclists. It will run for a year from April 2012 and be linked to the Olympics. Activities will include training cycle leaders and route planners, as well as organising rides under the 'Sky Local' banner. As at mid-January, 14 London boroughs had signed up, including adjacent boroughs Richmond and Kensington and Chelsea. One priority will be how to tackle the main barriers to cycling, both for adults and children. WCC will join other stakeholders on the steering group to help deliver the programme and will be represented by Vanessa Celosse."
WCC continued:" WCC is always keen to see the Council promote cycling however there still remain barriers to cycling and we hope this initiative will see an improvement in conditions for greater cycling in the borough."
To begin with, the newly-formed partnership is looking to recruit Ride Leaders and Route Planners to help deliver a programme of led bike rides in the borough.
The rides will give members of the public the chance to discover the best routes around Wandsworth for travelling to town centres and other places of interest.
Those who successfully apply to help out will be given a unique benefits package – and an initial small financial incentive. However, going forwards, it is expected that Ride Leaders will offer their time for free to help residents become confident recreational cyclists.
Eager volunteers have already started signing up ahead of a special Ride Leader training course on Saturday, April 28, from 8.45am to 5pm at Elm Green School, in Elmcourt Road, SE27 9BZ.
The council’s head of parks and leisure services, Simon Ingyon, said:
“With the Olympic Road Race set to pass through Putney in just a few months, there is no better time to get on your bike in the borough. A programme of organised bicycle rides is being devised to inspire residents – whether they currently own a bike or not – to get out there and give it a go.
“We are looking for people with the drive and enthusiasm to deliver memorable, fun bike rides for any community and at any ride level. Our hope is that these Ride Leaders instil participants with the desire to carry on riding with friends and family in this special sporting year and beyond.”
Anyone interested in becoming a Ride Leader or Route Planner should contact the council’s leisure and sports services team by calling Nick Atkins on 020 8871 8154 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before the training course takes place next Saturday.
Alternatively, an application form can be obtained by emailing email@example.com or visiting www.goskyride.com/News/ShowArticle/Train-to-be-a-Sky-Ride-Leader?retURL=/News.
Please note that sending in an application does not guarantee a place on a course. Due to the high demand for Ride Leader and Route Planner training across London this year, the council will be prioritising the most enthusiastic applicants.
The more information members of the public can tell assessors about themselves on the application form, the better their chance of selection.
April 19, 2012