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'Get on your bike for health, wealth and wellbeing' says Highland Council as awareness week wins strong endorsement


By Hector MacKenzie

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Highland Council is pushing the benefits of cycling to tie in with the awareness week.
Highland Council is pushing the benefits of cycling to tie in with the awareness week.

AN awareness week encouraging more people to cycle more often is being backed by Highland Council.

Bike Week, which runs until June 12, is an annual celebration of cycling.

Run in partnership with Cycling Scotland, it has the aim of encouraging more people to cycle more often.

Cycling is "a brilliant way to help our bodies and minds stay healthy, helping us to get outside and active", says the council.

It said: "If you already cycle, why not support others to cycle during Bike Week – offer to cycle a route with a friend or do a short easy spin to give them some confidence."

Highlighting the benefits of cycling, it says cycling daily can mean you have a 45 per cent lower risk of developing cancer, and a 46 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

If all cycle journeys increased from the current level of two per cent to 25 per cent by 2050, it says, the collective benefit would total billions of pounds.

A switch of one journey per day reduces a person’s carbon footprint by approximately 0.5 tonnes over a year, it claims.

It says the number of people cycling is increasing and a new appreciation for the benefits of getting outdoors realised as a positive post-pandemic.

It said: "For those that cycled as a kid, you may remember how wonderful a bike ride was. Bike Week allows us the opportunity to capture that feeling and for people who stopped cycling to consider reigniting their love of cycling, grow their cycling confidence and learn about accessible local routes so they can get from A to B by bike in a healthy and happy way whilst saving on fuel costs and play a part in reducing their carbon footprint.

"Your health, your pocket, your climate and your community can all benefit by getting on your bike!"

Bikeability training is taking place at primary schools around the Highland Council area during Bike Week. More info at cycling.scot/bikeability-scotland

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