To celebrate MK as a cycling city, children from nine MK primary schools showed off their cycling skills in MK’s first ever Bikeability Olympics competition. Events included an Obstacle Course, Relay Race, Slow Race and Road Ride testing Bikeability skills. See:
This was the culmination of a year in which 3,000 pupils have been trained to achieve Bikeability levels 1 and 2 in 40 primary schools. The event was the first of its kind – with branding permission from The Bikeability Trust – and a celebration of MK’s promotion of cycling as clean, low-cost and healthy way to get to travel around the city.
The winning school was Giles Brook Primary School, whose team of five contestants achieved two Golds and one Bronze medal. Bradwell Village took second place, with pupil Luca Galeanu achieving the highest individual medal tally of all contestants, and Oxley Park came third (individual medalists listed below).
Jo Lewington, Chief Environment and Sustainability Officer of Network Rail, who presented the medals, said: “We are always looking for new ways to promote sustainability. We’re delighted to have Network Rail staff playing their part as volunteer marshals at this Bikeability Olympics event.”
Councillor Lauren Townsend, Cabinet Member for Public Realm who attended Bikeability Olympics, said: “This is a great way to encourage children to cycle more. We know it’s good for health and can save money as well as saving the environment. It’s impressive that we have so many young people cycling safely to school. MK Council is proud to have the ambitious goal of becoming the UK’s leading city for cycling infrastructure”.
Teacher Luke Bartishel from Orchard Academy primary school said: “Our school has purchased enough bicycles for all our pupils to do Bikeability training. The Bikeability Olympics was an amazing event, a great idea, and the kids loved it.”
Bikeability Instructor Nicky Newlands, who has trained many children this year, said: “It’s wonderful to see how much the cyclists have improved and now competing together. I hope to see many more next year, please talk to your school.”
Dave Lewis, the Bikeability Instructor who led the ‘Quadrathon’ Road Ride through Loughton, said: “What an amazing afternoon. The students on the road ride were all fantastic, and as an instructor it’s such a proud moment to reconnect with former students.”
Daniel Mullins, Operations Director of Ringway Infrastructure Services, said: “This is a fantastic event and we’re delighted to be supporting the event by lending some traffic management equipment to help mark out the various contest areas and help the children to cycle safely while competing.”
Martin Swift of Cycle Saviours, who created the unique Bikeability Olympics trophies, said: “Cycle Saviours is proud to have supported this event, helping younger children enjoy the fresh air and exercise.”
Jonathan Stone, Manager of Trek Bikes’ new store at Campbell Wharf, which lent bicycles for the Bike Detectives contest, said: “We want more people in MK to cycle. It is great to be involved in the local community and we are always on the lookout for opportunities to help with local cycling events and initiatives to get more bums on bikes!”
MK Deputy-Mayor Mick Legg presented certificates to the school winners of Bikeability Olympics at the Mayor’s Cycling Awards and City Status Cycle Ride the following week.
In post-event feedback, parents and teachers scored 4.8/5.0 ‘the likelihood I would recommend the event to someone else’ and 4.7/5.0 ‘my feeling that the event would encourage the young people involved to cycle more often’.
Photo galleries. All photos by Jane Russell Photography