Bike Week 2014 (14-22 June) is setting out to overcome ‘Bike Blight’ and in doing so “help revive the multitude of unused bikes which have been left in sheds or chained outside”, rendering them unusable.
Bike Week is an annual event designed to “show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life”. The organisers say it is the UK’s biggest nationwide mass participation cycling event, and hope that more than 500,000 people will join in hundreds of events across the UK.
Robert Goodwill, transport minister, and the Dutch ambassador will attend the Bike Week 2014 launch at the Dutch Embassy on Wednesday 11 June. The launch will also feature a three-mile cycle ride to the Houses of Parliament where the three main political parties will “outline their visions for cycling”.
The Bike Blight theme is underpinned by research in which 71% of the 2,100 respondents said they want to ride their bike this summer, but a major barrier is broken bikes and not knowing how to fix them. 41% of those polled said their bike required attention before it could be ridden, and almost a quarter (23%) said they don’t know how to carry out the repairs.
During Bike Week, local bike shops will attend events to help fix punctures and carry out minor repairs. Experts will also lead rides in order to help build confidence for those who may be “scared or nervous”.
Phillip Darnton, executive director of the Bicycle Association, said: “We know that 77% of people in the UK own a bike, but only 14% use them regularly, and a major barrier to people getting back on two wheels is often something as simple to fix as a dodgy brake or puncture.
“Bike Week provides a catalyst for getting people back on their bikes. It’s the perfect opportunity to talk to local bike shop experts and get free advice.
“We want anyone who wants to get their bike roadworthy, to check out details of their nearest event. It’s the perfect opportunity to re-discover how cycling helps you get fit, have fun and feel free.”
Bike Week 2014 is funded by Cycling Scotland, Travelwise Northern Ireland, the Welsh Assembly government and Bike Hub.