In short, we believe cycling to school will encourage an active and healthy lifestyle, creating a brighter future for children and help turn the UK into a cycling nation. These are the 5 reasons why we’re backing a cycling revolution as the UK returns to school:
If there’s any number 1 reason to hop on the bike in the mornings then it’s the health benefits. Especially at a time when looking after your health is so important. Besides the common health benefits of cycling such as promoting weight loss and helping to build muscle, cycling also seriously helps bolster your immune system. Cycling Weekly suggests that cycling helps increase the production of essential proteins and wakes up lazy white blood cells - meaning your body will have more strength to fight off virus’ & infections.
Cycling is also super important for boosting our mental health, especially for children. When cycling our body produces adrenalin and endorphins. Feeling the wind in our face and a slight increase in blood pressure in the mornings helps set us up for a productive day at school or work.
A big reason why parents are discouraged from cycling to school is safety. And concerns are justified as traffic can be very loud and intimidating, especially for children. However recent studies have proven that cycling is safer than you think.
The National Travel Survey uncovered that the risk of any injury while cycling was only 5 per cent for 1,000 hours of cycling, taking into account grazed knees and other bike mishaps. So the benefits of cycling are outweighed by the risks. In fact, Cycling UK suggests that the benefits outweigh the risks by as much as 415:1 or 13:1, from various studies.
And various organisations including the UK government are continuing to make cycling in the UK even safer. TFL have funded 430 new school streets to help promote safe cycling in schools. Creating a school street involves closing the area around a school at peak pick-up and drop-off times to allow safe travel and curb emissions. Find your nearest School Street here.
Cycling to school is great for the environment. And the pandemic has provided an opportunity for us to change the way we move for the better. A rise in pollution over the past couple of years is a worrying sign for the future of our towns and cities, not to mention the impact of greenhouse gases on our weather and environment. Cycling helps reduce congestion, save fuel, reduces noise pollution & saves space. So there are tons of reasons to switch to pedal power.
If parents and pupils can cycle instead of driving or taking public transport, this would help us alleviate some of the pressure on our environment. Whether that’s just for a few days or even taking public transport part of the way - it all helps.
Fed up of being stuck in traffic or waiting for a delayed bus or train? Then cycling to school could fix this. When you ride, you can choose when you leave in the mornings without being restricted by a timetable or traffic jam. The majority of us live within a cycling distance from school so why not give it a go.
You’ll likely find that hopping down bike lanes and up no motor-traffic roads will dramatically shorten your school run time. Work it out for yourself on Google Maps.
Just hop on a bicycle and go. It’s as simple as that. Riding to school really doesn’t have to be complicated. For tips, tricks and other cycle to school tidbits follow our social channels over the next few weeks as we share everything about making your ride to school safer. Make sure you check out the Laka blog for other cycling guides and advice.