Schoolchildren across the Midlands are being inspired to get on their bikes and lead healthier lifestyles as part of this year’s Vélo Birmingham & Midlands 100-mile cycle sportive.
The organisers of the sold-out, closed-road cycle have launched the first ever Vélo Schools 100 Challenge to inspire schools to get active, in turn helping to build a greener and less congested Midlands.
One of Europe’s biggest cycling events, Vélo Birmingham & Midlands is returning on Sunday May 12, with a brand new and improved closed road route.
The course will take 17,000 riders of all abilities on an unforgettable journey through the West Midlands, taking in Birmingham and Coventry city centres and stunning Warwickshire countryside.
Vélo Birmingham & Midlands also features a closed-road 42-mile cycle route taking place on the same day as the 100-mile event to make Sunday, May 12, the region’s biggest ever day of cycling activity for all abilities.
As part of the build-up to Vélo Birmingham & Midlands, schools have been challenged to collectively complete 100 miles of cycling.
The challenge provides children across the Midlands who are local to the Vélo route the opportunity to get cycling and have fun with classmates.
Schools can take on the Vélo Schools 100 challenge during any week in April, depending on which suits timetables best.
A Vélo Schools 100 spokesperson said: “Through choosing to cycle to school instead of getting in a car you will be reducing the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the environment.
“The average car journey to school releases 84 balloons-worth of carbon dioxide into the environment and we all have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint where possible.
“Whether it’s 100 pupils participating and completing one mile each, or a smaller number of pupils completing more miles across the week, the 100-mile challenge can be adapted to work for you and your school.
“As long as it’s a distance completed on a bicycle by a pupil in your chosen week, it counts towards the challenge.
“Options include counting miles cycled to school, going on a group bike ride during PE lessons or lunchtime.
“How you approach racking up those miles is up to you. If you don’t have a bike, you could even use a push scooter!”
Schools signing up for the challenge will receive a resource pack with safe cycling hints and tips, a downloadable mileage tracker and a route map for pupils to fill in.
The pupil completing the most number of miles towards the challenge will be awarded a Vélo Birmingham & Midlands medal.
Among the schools already signed up are Caludon Castle and Foxford, both in Coventry, Nonsuch Primary and The Westminster School in Birmingham, Langley Primary in Olton, Yew Tree Primary and Alderbrook in Solihull and Austrey Primary in Warwickshire.
Teacher Dave Leache of Foxford School explained how pupils are tackling the Schools 100 challenge in preparation for a school cycling adventure:
“Our cycling day was a safety and navigation day in preparation for a cycling expedition we are going on in May,” he said.
“We cycled from our school, Foxford, in the north of Coventry to Kenilworth, on to Leek Wootton and back to school.
“The first part of the day focused on cycle safety on the roads, whilst the afternoon was a navigation exercise to help develop the participants’ map reading skills.
“By the time we returned to the school we’d each cycled about 28 miles, so for the five participants it was a total of 140 miles in the day.
“On the expedition they will be cycling about 20 miles per day, so over the two days they will total 200 miles.”
*Sign up for the Vélo Schools 100 Challenge at velobirmingham.com/event-info/schools-challenge/
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