Kerry County Council and the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership have put out a call to all workplaces in Kerry to participate in the 2016 ‘Cycle to Work Challenge’ which aims to get people onto their bikes and cycling to work more often.
Employees of Kerry County Council and a number of well known companies and public bodies around the county will be pedalling their way to work during National Week which runs from 11 to 19 June. The initiative by Kerry County Council will see several businesses encouraging their employees to take part in the challenge.
So far this year, a number of businesses and organisations have signed up including Killorglin-based Astellas, the Health Service Executive, the Institute of Technology Tralee and Kerry County Council. It is hoped to expand the number of participating workplaces this year and in the years ahead.
Córa Carrigg of the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership explained: ‘Taking part in the challenge couldn’t be simpler and is a great opportunity to commence or continue a personal health behavioural change. We are asking companies to encourage their employees to cycle to work, even just for one or two days during National Bike Week from 11 to 19 June. Even if it’s only parking up somewhere en route and cycling the rest of the way, that’s a start.
‘We are asking participants to use the Strava App for the challenge so as to record their involvement and kilometres cycled. At the end of National Bike Week the distance and number of days travelled will be recorded. We are offering almost €2,000 in prize money to be divided across a number of categories. All details are available on www.kerryrecreationandsports.ie,’ said Córa.
‘Statistics show that cycling speed is approximately three times that of walking speed. If a car trip is replaced by a bike trip, then you save around 200 grams of CO2 per kilometre travelled. If a person living 4km from work cycles to and from work throughout the year, rather than driving, over the course of the year, around 300kg of CO2 emissions are avoided,’ said Córa.
Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Pat McCarthy said the challenge was one of a number of events aimed at getting more people cycling: ‘Recent years have seen a huge increase in the number of people cycling on Kerry’s roads which is wonderful from a health and exercise point of view. We have some beautiful routes to cycle on in Kerry and we have seen many new cycle lanes provided in recent years which give people even more opportunity to get on their bikes.’
For more information, call 066 7184776 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and www.kerryrecreationandsports.ie
Cycling facts and figures:
Three hours of biking per week can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50%
By 2006 only 4,100 primary school kids were travelling to school by bike (that’s a decrease of 83% in 20 years)
Cycling is the quickest mode of transport in an urban environment for trips of up to 6kms
Cycling speed is approximately three times that of walking speed.
If a car trip is replaced by a bike trip, then you save around 200 grams of CO2 per kilometre travelled.
If a person living 4km from work cycles to and from work throughout the year, rather than driving, over the course of the year, around 300kg of CO2 emissions are avoided.
To make a bicycle requires only a fraction of the materials and energy needed to make a car.
Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space taken up by one car.
A cyclist can travel 10,000kms on the energy equivalent of a litre of petrol.
In Holland 30% of all trips made are by bike. It’s less than 3% in Ireland but is increasing.
Financial Benefit of Cycling:
Financial Benefits: The National Cycling Policy Framework (2009) estimated that for every €100million invested in cycling in Ireland, a return of €400million could be obtained. Cycling is exactly the kind of investment needed during a recession. Key financial gains include reduced expenditure on health, on cars, on traffic congestion (estimated by the EU to cost 1.5% of GDP, a figure exceeding €2billion/yr in Ireland), and increased tourism revenue. In Scotland, a country of comparable size to Ireland, it was estimated that if 40% of car trips were shifted to bicycles, they would benefit by £4billion/year.