As part of my job, working for Sustrans as a Bike It Officer, promoting cycling in schools across Brighton and Hove, I am planning a big challenge to inspire the children I work with in 22 schools, to cycle in to school as often as possible...
Here's the plan. On the 25th June, I will set off from Brighton and aim straight for the South Downs Way. I will then attempt to ride the South Downs Way in both directions as quickly as possible...202 miles on a single speed mountainbike, climbing 25,400ft in the process (That's Himalayan!!) I will ride from Brighton to Winchester, where I will turn round and ride all the way back to Eastbourne then back to Brighton for the home stretch... That's the plan!
I am aiming to do it in about 24 hours, weather and fitness permitting. (The current record for a single speed bike is 23:12!!)
The beauty of this adventure is that it starts in my back yard, The South Downs National Park, right next to the city. An added bonus is that it is a genuine Sustrans off road cycle route, one of the longest in the country!
The pupils will hopefully be able to follow me online and track my epic ride as it happens and here comes the best bit...The schools will have been aiming to match my target each day, by earning miles for each pupil who rides to school in the week leading up to the ride... National Bike Week. The winning school will recieve a big boost to their cycling, great prizes and events as well as the kudos of being the best Bike It school in Brighton and Hove... Last time we managed to ride 4800 miles in a week across Brighton, lightening the load on the school run and inspiring many pupils to change their travel habits long term.
By challenging schools in an exciting way like this, I have found that the children really get to see the power of the bike as a tool in cracking the school run connundrum, making the journey to school fun, green, heathy and invigorating.
I am raising money for the Trevor Mann special baby unit through Sussex University Hospital as my daughter is a very special Trevor Mann baby, who is healthy and strong thanks to the hard work of the wonderful staff at the unit. They are amazing!
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