Category Archives: Cycling Citizens MK

Cycling Santas bring cheer to CMK

Following big increases in cycling through campaigns earlier this year (Bike Month June and Cycling September), Cycling CitizensMK has been running two Winter Wheelers competitions in December, one for businesses and one for schools.

To celebrate MK’s winter cycling, there was a rally of 34 Cycling Santas in Station Square, the biggest number ever seen in MK and a step towards the world record – maybe an official attempt next year!

Following free Dr Bike services from Cycle Saviours 4-5pm, the Mayor gave un update on the Winter Wheelers competition results so far (businesses and schools) and prizes were drawn from a ‘Santas Giveaway’ (prizes donated by Trek Bikes, Rutland Cycling, John Lewis, and MK Council).

Then the cycling santas rode up Midsummer Boulevard to Campbell Park, around the Light Pyramid and back, with a stopover to entertain the crowd outside MK Theatre.

“Everybody knows Santa has a sledge and reindeer, but not everyone knows Santa has a bicycle,” said Ian Revell of MK Community Foundation. “Cheerfully stopping people in their tracks, it was a great way to promote cycling!”

“It was great fun,” said cyclist Naveed Ahmed (left of Mayor in picture below). “I wish I had encouraged more people to come.”

Business leaders meet to promote employee cycling

On 25th November, 18 people attended MK’s first Business Cycling Breakfast to promote employee cycling and a cycling competition for businesses during Winter Wheelers 1st-25th December. The event was hosted by Willen Hospice in CMK.

After an introduction by chair Deborah Cooper of MK Cycle Forum, Tony Nelson, Principal of The Hazeley Academy, talked about his school’s ambition to see 90% of students walking or cycling to school.

Jonathan Stone of Trek Bikes talked about using a heated clothes rack as a practical alternative to the more expensive installation of showers.

Richard Scott, chair of the Employee Forum at Volkswagen Financial Services explained how his team had undertaken an exercise of postcode mapping to discover that 230 of its 1200 staff lived less than 8 minutes away from work by bicycle. He talked about VWFS had registered with Cycle to Work schemes, relaxed staff dress codes, helped inexperienced cyclists practice riding in the company car park and lent e-bikes for journeys to business meetings.

Leigh Richards of Nextbike said “mobility as a human right” and explained how Nextbike offers cycle use across MK at £5 per day and supports Cycle Day At Work initiatives.

Martin Swift of Cycle Saviours talked about how to reduce bicycle waste, saying “there’s no such thing as a write-off bike” and old bikes are welcome at Cycle Saviours’ education-funded refurbishment operation in Stacey Bushes.

Ellie Williamson of MK Council talked about various support services offered by the Council, including Bikeability Training, Sustainable Travel grants, quarterly cycling competitions and the Gear Change unit on Witan Gate. Colleague Raeesa Chowdury outlined details of the Winter Wheelers competition 1st-25th December.

MK Mayor Mohammed Khan talked about the Council’s vision of a healthy and low-carbon community and Ian Revell, CEO of MK Community Foundation, encouraged attendees to join and bring other cyclists to the Cycling Santas MK world record attempt on 16th December.

Finally Phil Murphy and Clive Faine of MK Cycle Forum expressed their positive outlook on the future of cycling in MK.

Following a post-event evaluation, organisers agreed to run a similar event, inviting other business leaders, in three months.

Deborah Cooper said: “This meeting highlighted what a lot of valuable work is going on to encourage people to use the great infrastructure we already have in the borough. There is a lot more to do to improve infrastructure we have, to ensure new developments make cycling easy, and to ensure even more people are encouraged to travel sustainably.”

CYCLING SANTAS ARE COMING

Following big increases in cycling during Bike Month June and Cycling September, Cycling CitizensMK is running two more competitions in December, one for businesses and one for schools, and an attempt to assemble the biggest number of Cycling Santas ever seen in MK (an unofficial attempt at the world record!) on Station Square at 5pm on Thursday 16th December. All are welcome to join.

Free Santa costumes for 40 people who are registered with Winter Wheelers and first in line from 4.30pm.

Following free Dr Bike services from Cycle Saviours 4-5pm, the Mayor will give un update on the Winter Wheelers competition results so far (businesses and schools) and prizes will be drawn from a ‘Santas Giveaway’ (prizes donated by Trek Bikes, Rutland Cycling, John Lewis, MK Council and others).

Cyclists are advised to check weather forecast before setting off and dress suitably warm and bright (with waterproofs in case of rain). Front and rear cycle lights must be used.

Agenda

  • 5pm – Welcome from Ian Revell, MK Community Foundation CEO, & Father Christmas
  • 5.05 – MK Mayor Mohammed Khan speaks about why cycling is important to Milton Keynes, then presents update on results of business and schools competitions so far
  • 5.10 – Santas Giveaway prize draw – Father Christmas
  • 5.30 – Briefing on cycle route and Risk Assessment – Tom Bulman
  • 5.35 – Group photo and formation of cycle groups for the ride
  • 5.40 – Short guided ride through CMK to Campbell Park Light Pyramid, including filming in Grafton Street underpass and at illuminated frame opposite MK Gallery, and back
  • 6.15 – Return to Station Square & video interviews

Cycle safety & risk assessment

For the CMK Cycleround ride, guide riders (wearing pink hi-viz vests) will lead cycle groups of approximately 25 riders, maintaining a suitable speed to keep the group together, and will take front position at red traffic light stops. Riders must follow the Highway Code at all times. All riders above the age of 12 are individually responsible for their safety and any injuries through unsafe cycling. Teachers will attend in a personal capacity and hold no responsibility for the safety of students cycling. See risk assessment.

(Instructions to Guide Riders.)

Covid restrictions: Current government advice will be followed.

Competition registration: To take part in the competitions, register with Love To Ride.

For more information, contact Tom Bulman, cyclingmk@citizensuk.org, tel 07962 838685.

MK cyclists pedal 38,000 miles for Mayor’s Cycle September awards

During ‘Cycle September’, MK businesses and schools rode 38,046 miles with 317 riders going out for 3,123 rides (a 170% increase since June). 25 cyclists rallied in Station Square for an awards presentation with MK Mayor Mohammed Khan for the MK Businesses and MK Schools competitions organised by Cycling CitizensMK (see winners and photos below).

Following free Dr Bike services from Cycle Saviours 4-5pm, and tasty hot snacks from Namji, certificates were awarded to institutions and prizes to individuals (sponsored by Trek Bikes, John Lewis and Cycle Saviours) cycling most during September.

Then cyclists participated in a short CMK Cycleround ride through CMK to Campbell Park Light Pyramid and back.

“One of my aims as Mayor is to help MK in its bid for city status,” said Mayor Khan.  “We all know we must develop greener daily habits, and cycling to work and school is something more of us can do.”

Elaine Wales, Community Liaison Coordinator for prize sponsor John Lewis, said: “Congratulations to the winners and well done to everyone who took part in the competition. John Lewis and Partners are once again proud to support Cycling CitizensMK”

Business Cycling Competition Awards

Top Company – most trips, 1st placeThe Open University711
Top Company – most trips, 2nd placeVolkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) – Milton Keynes410
Top Company – most trips, 3rd placeNetwork Rail – Milton Keynes201
Top Company – increase in riders since Sept 2020ICAEW – Milton Keynes10
Top Rider – most trips, 1st place (prize: Trek cycle helmet)Phill Elvidge, Red Bull Technology54
Top Rider – most trips, 2nd placeMarina Cantarutti, The Open University50
Top Rider – most trips, 3rd placeOliwia Maszczynska, Network Rail41
Top Rider – most miles (prize Basic Bike Repair service)Chris Binch, Cranfield University764
Top Encourager (prize: John Lewis voucher)John Wilkinson, VWFS8

Schools Cycling Competition Awards

Top Cycling School (students and staff) – most trips, 1st placeThe Radcliffe School227
Top Cycling School (students and staff) – most trips, 2nd placeOusedale School212
Top Cycling School (students and staff) – most trips, 3rd placeWatling Academy203
Top Student Rider – most trips, 1st place (prize: Trek cycle helmet)Thomas Young, Watling Academy87
Top Student Rider – most trips, 2nd placeKeerthikan Jasydaran, Ousedale School38
Top Student Rider – most trips, 3rd placeAlex Mccarthy, St. Paul’s Catholic School30
Top Student Rider – most miles (prize: Trek cycle helmet)Elliott Pemberton, Ousedale School413
Top Staff Rider – most trips, 1st place (prize: Trek cycle helmet)Steve Truan, The Radcliffe School63
Top Staff Rider – most trips, 2nd placeTim Layden, Lord Grey Academy34
Top Staff Rider – most trips, 3rd placeDominic Keogh, Ousedale School26
Top Staff Rider – most miles (prize: Basic Bike Repair service)Steve Truan, The Radcliffe School539
Top Cycling School (staff) – average trips per staff memberOrchard Academy1.30
Top EncouragerJason Falkner, The Radcliffe School14

This event followed a similar awards rally for Bike Month in June.

Cyclists rally to Mayor and Council Leader

More than 30 cyclists rallied in Station Square and rode through Central Milton Keynes with Milton Keynes Mayor Mohammed Khan and Council Leader Peter Marland. This was to celebrate the success of June Bike Month, in which CitizensMK members cycled 10,808 miles and MK school students and staff cycled 4,365 miles

Following free Dr Bike services from Cycle Saviours, and tasty hot snacks from Namji, certificates were awarded to institutions and prizes to individuals (sponsored by Trek Bikes and John Lewis) cycling most during June (see gallery below).

Ian Revell, CEO of MK Community Foundation, called on cyclists to meet again every Thursday 5pm at Station Square to celebrate cycling in MK and help MK become a cycle city. All welcome to join.

(Special thanks to MK Council officer Ellie Williamson and Hazeley School student Sasha Snell for helping to organise this event.)

Join CMK Cycle Round, Thursdays 5pm

Meet others for a friendly and fun cycle ride from Station Square to Campbell Park Viewpoint and back. The on-road ride leaves Station Square at 5pm every Thursday (see photo gallery below). This is part of the Cycling CitizensMK project in partnership with MK Council and Love To Ride. Santander Cycles can be hired from Station Square.

Sometimes there are special guests – see MK Mayor Khan and Council Leader Marland in action with CitizensMK Members and schools at June Bike Month competition and Cycle September awards.

Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of MK Conservative Group, joined CMK Cycle Round on 17.6.21 and said: “We all need to start taking this more seriously and I congratulate Citizens MK for this campaign to kickstart a renewed effort to boost cycling in the city.”

Bike month – Members and Schools cycle-off!

As part of a project with MK Council, Citizens:mk members and schools are competing to cycle most times and most miles in June Bike Month. See the leader boards:

Prizes will be awarded by MK Mayor Khan in Station Square at 5pm on Thursday 1st July.

Can you contribute a ride or two of your own to help your organisation’s cycle group? It’s easy. Just register here and then join your group.

If you have any questions, contact info@citizensmk.org.uk, tel 07962 838685.

(Pictured above: Ms Jo-Anne Hoarty, Headteacher of St. Paul’s Catholic School.)

Orchard Top of Cycling CitizensMK league table

Orchard Academy primary school has taken top spot in a new league table of CitizensMK members and partner organisations. At 21st March, three weeks into MK Council’s Ride It Out promotion month, Orchard has four of its staff in the top 7 riders who have cycled most miles.

One is Michelle Carter (pictured above), who for several years has been involved in promoting cycling among young children. As well as teaching full time, and having four children of her own at home, Michelle set up her own company, Biker Tots, to teach children from as young as two to cycle.

Jonathan Wilson, Deputy Headteacher at Orchard Academy (pictured below), is also in the top 7 riders of Cycling CitizensMK.

“I just love getting outdoors,” he said. “One good thing about lockdown has been seeing more families out on their bikes.

“At Orchard we want to get back to training our pupils to cycle as soon as possible. There’s so much to enjoy about being indoors rather than just computer gaming at home.”

Vicar Gill busy on a bike

Rev Gill Barrow-Jones, of St. George’s and Holy Trinity Churches in Wolverton, has been getting around on her bicycle. 22 trips in the last 18 days, as part of MK Council’s Ride It Out promotion in March (see her stats)!

“I cycle for lots of reasons,” she says. “Sometimes cycle It’s because I am late on the school run and it gets me there quickly! Other times because it’s a great way to get around in my parish. Whilst cycling I can see loads of people and stop to chat quite easily and hear what is going on in Wolverton.

“I did 8 miles last weekend delivering Mothering Sunday posies. Loved it!

“I like to cycle because it keeps me fit (especially with the gym and swimming pool closed). It’s good to get out and get active.

“I also cycle because it is good for the environment. God asks us to care for the world and turning on the car engine creates a lot of CO2. Getting on a bike is good for everyone.

“I especially like to cycle with my kids. It is such good fun and gets them off electronic devices for a while too!

“I’d love more people to cycle. The Redways in Milton Keynes make it super easy. Go get your bike out!”

Click here to see MK Mayor Cllr Geary on why he cycles.

Click here to find out about Ride It Out in March.

Click here join our Cycling CitizensMK club.

MK leaders get on their bikes to ‘Ride It Out’

It is not often that a Bishop, Headteacher, Lawyer, Mayor and Police Chief, all decide to cycle on the same day.  But the days are getting longer, an end to Covid restrictions is in sight, and MK leaders are choosing to Ride It Out.

On Monday 1st March, 20 leaders of faith, education and business organisations, rode their bikes to promote a month of Ride It Out cycling in a partnership between MK Council and Citizens:mk.

See gallery of riders.

“I may be more of a walker than a cyclist,” said Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of MK Council, “but it is vital we move to more sustainable modes of transport and I look forward to getting out more on my bike in March.”

“It’s a no brainer,” said Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson, Bishop of Buckingham.  “I listen to children a lot during my visits to schools, and I know how important it is to them to see us doing what we can to reduce climate change.”

“This past year has been difficult for our pupils,” said Jo-Anne Hoarty, Headteacher of St. Paul’s Catholic School.  “Encouraging them to enjoy doing things outdoors is important for their wellbeing.”

“We know how important it is to be physically and mentally fit,” said Rukhsana Malik of MK Muslim Association (pictured).  “Cycling is a relatively cheap, exhilarating and easy way to get healthy while going places.”

“For years my political opponents have been telling me to ‘get on yer bike!’,” said MK Mayor Andrew Geary.  “Well now I’m pleased to be doing it to support this great initiative by Citizens:MK. Cycling is great fun and it’s good for us too!  Why not give it a try even if you haven’t done it for a while?” 

In Ride It Out there will be four themed weeks, each with a different reason to ride and enjoy all the benefits that biking can bring. From the physical and mental benefits through to the fun and adventurous, Ride it Out will help people to get healthier and happier whilst helping the planet too.

You can join Ride It Out by registering at www.lovetoride.net/uk and share your cycling photos and experiences on Twitter: @citizensMK @mkcouncil @lovetoride_ @GetSmarterMK #RideItOutTogether.

Get ready for a long summer of cycling!