Ride into Bike Week 2022
This year, Bike Week runs from 6-12 June and brings a welcome reminder to don our helmets and enjoy the many benefits of travelling on two wheels.
Organised by Cycling UK, Bike Week provides inspiration to get you on your bike, whether to commute, to improve your physical or mental health and wellbeing, or just to enjoy some fun with the whole family. From treasure hunts to bike packing, popping wheelies to joining a cycling group, there is something for everyone, no matter what level their cycling ability.
Those with their own bikes have enormous number of routes to choose from in Warwickshire. The many stunning greenways, often on former railway lines, provide an opportunity to take in some of the county’s breath-taking vistas and unique wildlife without having to worry about traffic.
Cycling has proven benefits to both cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength and can improve your immunity from certain diseases. Cycling to work can lead to a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The benefits of physical exercise on mental health and wellbeing are also well-established, with research showing it can relieve stress as well as anxiety, with even greater positive impacts when exercising outdoors.
By ditching the car and getting in the saddle for commutes or short journeys, you can also do your bit in our collective fight against climate change. By moving just one journey per day onto two wheels, it’s estimated that you can reduce your carbon footprint by around half a tonne per year and keep money in your pocket along the way.
Those without bicycles needn’t miss out. Bikes are available for hire at Warwickshire County Council’s Ryton Pools Country Park and Kingsbury Water Park, where you can enjoy the many miles of surfaced cycle paths and witness some of the best wildlife the county has to offer.
A variety of bicycles and e-bikes are also available for hire at the Stratford Greenway, where visitors can enjoy a 5-mile traffic-free cycle path, minutes away from the historic town centre.
Novice cyclists might benefit from investigating Warwickshire Cycle Buddies, a joint initiative between Clean Air Warwickshire, Cycleways Kenilworth, Leamington & Warwick, and Action 21. Warwickshire Cycle Buddies is a free service which connects novice adult cyclists, who may need helping building confidence, with experienced riders across Warwickshire. The organisation is funded by Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Fund, which will be opening to applications for its next round of funding on 17 June.
Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture at Warwickshire County Council, said: “Cycling is a fantastic form of exercise and great travel option for those conscious about their health and our environment.
“Our Country Parks and greenways provide an ideal setting for riding a bike, away from road traffic and surrounded by some of Warwickshire’s richest biodiversity.
“At Warwickshire County Council, we have plans to extend our cycling network to make cycling a more appealing travel option, particularly for shorter journeys. We recently secured £1.4 million funding from the Government’s Active Travel Fund, which will contribute towards improved cycleways in our county.”
For more information about Warwickshire’s Country Parks, visit: www.countryparks.warwickshire.gov.uk
For more information on Cycling UK’s Bike Week, visit: https://www.cyclinguk.org/bikeweek
To find out more about Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Fund, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greenshootsfund
To find out more about Warwickshire Cycle Buddies, either to volunteer as a buddy or request one, visit: https://warwickshirecyclebuddies.co.uk/