Yesterday marked the official launch of the Summer of Cycling campaign in the House of Commons' Strangers' Dining Room. The initiative is a unified approach by over twenty cycling organisations to promoting cycling in 2012, and aims to use a campaign website and social media channels to encourage new cyclists and allow people to share their experiences of cycling.
The campaign has had a significant boost in the last few days, as Julian Huppert, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, tweeted on Tuesday to say that Transport Minister Norman Baker had pledged to support both the new Summer of Cycling and the well-established Bike Week, which runs this year from 16-24 June.
"Excellent cycling news: I've been pressing Norman Baker to fund National Bike Week & @summerofcycling. He just told me he's giving £90k", wrote Huppert. "National Bike Week will get £70k, & @summerofcycling will get £20k. This will be very helpful to make sure both projects really deliver"
What the Summer of Cycling will be is yet to be fully resolved, although it will be at its most basic a central repository for cycling resources and events mated with tools for people who want to introduce others to cycling. There will be a Bike Buddy app to match potential cyclists with experienced riders, working in a similar way to car sharing schemes. The website will be live soon at www.summerofcycling.net
Bike Week is the UK's biggest mass participation event, with over half a million people taking part in one of the events which are spread all over the country. It includes initiatives such as Britain's Biggest Bike Fix, which in 2011 fixed an estimated 26,000 bikes over the course of the week. You can look for events near you at www.bikeweek.org.uk
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.