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Pelotons of parents and children getting Leeds into cycling spirit

Children from Yeadon Westfield Junior School who are taking part in the Big Pedal.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Children from Yeadon Westfield Junior School who are taking part in the Big Pedal. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Cycle-crazy kids across West Yorkshire are saddling up and riding to school as we bid to get the region cycling.

With the Tour de France just months away from its Yorkshire debut, hundreds of students are being urged to embrace the growing cycling spirit in the region as our Let’s Get Cycling campaign gains momentum.

We are calling on residents, schools and businesses to make the most of Le Tour’s once-in-a-lifetime visit by taking to two wheels and sharing their cycling pictures and stories with us.

Youngsters at 20 schools in Leeds and Wakefield have been getting involved with the Big Pedal, organised by sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which urges communities across the UK to cycle or scoot the school run from March 3 to 14.

A peloton of parents and children going to and from Yeadon Westfield Junior School, in New Road, Yeadon, has been steadily growing as the region gets in gear for the Grand Depart stages on July 5 and 6.

Healthy schools coordinator and teacher at the school, Becky Murray, said: “We just thought it would be a nice way to promote the Tour.

“It’s good for the children to have a healthier alternative when it comes to getting to school and we just thought it would be a good opportunity to promote that.

“Everyone should give it a go. It can be fun and it can be something you can do together while getting the health benefits.”

Of Yeadon Westfield’s 200 pupils, nearly a quarter have been cycling or scooting there way to class every morning thanks to the Sustrans scheme.

The Big Pedal, which is partnered with Climate Week, is an inter-school competition encouraging families to cycle or scoot the school run in a bid to boost health and the environment.

They have joined over 1,500 other schools, including Leeds’ Rawdon Littlemoor Primary, Ashfield Primary, Garforth Academy and Wakefield’s St John the Baptist Catholic Primary, in taking part in this year’s event.

Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive at Sustrans, said: “Parents who make this simple change to their daily routine will help everyone breathe a little easier and will find their journeys help make them happier and healthier too.”

The Sustrans initiative coincides with the YEP’s Let’s Get Cycling push to ensure Leeds and wider Yorkshire benefits from a last cycling legacy following this summer’s Tour de France.

We hope to help change the fact that only 13 per cent of people in Yorkshire and The Humber cycle at least monthly.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH LET’S GET CYCLING

We want you to send us your cycling stories and pictures ahead of the Tour de France.

Whether you’re telling us about teaching your children to cycle or sending us pictures of your first bike ride in years, we would love to hear from you.

You can tweet pictures and comments to our @leedsnews Twitter handle using the hashtag #tdfyorks or post them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yep.newspaper. You can also contact our Le Tour reporter Jonathan Brown. Email jonathan.brown@ypn.co.uk, tweet @jonnybrownyep or call 0113 2388134.

 

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