COVID-19 has changed the way we live here in Wales. And, it has made us think about how view travel and take our exercise. More and more people have turned to cycling – and local authorities are also embracing this opportunity, for instance in Swansea, people cycling on key routes has tripled and the local council has approved £2.7m of Welsh Government Active Travel funding to create new cycling routes in the city.
We recognise last Friday Welsh Government’s announcement has not allowed freedom of travel and commuting to work, but we do recognise that the announcement today showed some signals that Government is preparing the country for further easing by looking at increasing capacity to support a wider return to work and re-opening facilities for non-professional elite athletes to train safely.
Our message is that, although we are not commuting to work yet, we are starting to ask people to: Prepare, Choose and then Cycle.
So we are excited to launch a campaign in Wales that our colleagues at British Cycling launched two weeks ago – called Choose Cycling. This social media campaign will focus on why we believe it is so important for people to choose cycling. The physical and mental benefits of riding a bike are amazing and throughout the campaign we have lots planned to help you Choose Cycling.
We want to hear stories of why people are choosing to cycle, so you can share your stories by downloading the toolkit and sharing your photos and videos by tagging ‘Welsh Cycling’ on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and using the #ChooseCycling.
Download the toolkit here
Recent statistics show us:
- 67% of people in Wales who have cycled for leisure during lockdown have done more than usual a survey by Savanta ComRes on behalf of Sport Wales has revealed.
- Nearly two-thirds of adults in Wales believe it is more important than ever to be active during lockdown – and when it comes to riding a bike, 10% of people said they have gone for a ride.
- With restrictions on exercising having been in place during lockdown, 64% of cyclists have been riding solo and adhering to government guidance on exercise.
Welsh Cycling Chief Executive, Anne Adams-King said: “Despite the times we are currently living in, we are seeing a resurgence in cycling across Wales. All of this is creating the once in a lifetime opportunity to “Inspire Wales to Cycle”.
“We want to help people understand how beneficial Choosing Cycling can be and provide advice and support to keep people riding their bikes. By working with other like-minded organisations we want to contribute in helping people in Wales to think about the enormous benefits of active travel and staying active.”
Acting Chief Executive of Sport Wales, Brian Davies said: “Lockdown has presented new challenges when it comes to being active and taking daily exercise, but a huge positive has been so many people and families reigniting a love for cycling.”
“It’s really important that we don’t lose that momentum, both from a leisure and fitness perspective but also the potential to make such a difference in the future through active travel.”
At Welsh Cycling we work hard to provide people with access to cycling through multiple ways – despite COVID-19 we can still help you on your cycling journey, with practical tips and advice and once lockdown is over, we’d love to welcome you to the programmes we run across Wales or introduce you to our Welsh cycling clubs. If you would like to know more, you can sign-up to our newsletter
We may not get a better opportunity to help shape active travel and cycling across Wales – here at Welsh Cycling we want to help push this message. Will you join us and choose cycling?
You can read the Welsh version of the press release here.