Get on your bike for the Euro challenge

Get on your bike!
Get on your bike!

East Dunbartonshire cyclists of all ages and abilities have been invited to help pedal for glory in a Europe-wide competition.

The European Cycling Challenge (ECC) is a fun initiative held between May 1 and 31 which encourages people to get on their bikes - whether it’s for pleasure, leisure, commute or utility.

Glasgow City took part last year and - when the combined miles cycled were added up - finished a respectable 18th in Europe (out of 52).

This year the aim is to get even more people involved, with the Glasgow team widened to include East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire.

Participants track their bike trips with a free app - contributing to the overall mileage - and can check their team position in real-time via online leaderboards.

The ECC also provides valuable data - creating ‘heat maps’ which show popular routes, cyclist activities, areas of potential congestion and more.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has joined forces with East Dunbartonshire Council and other local authorities in the west of Scotland to promote the initiative.

Thomas Glen, East Dunbartonshire’s Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said: “Whether you are cycling all the way to work, to the station, going to the shops or just enjoying being out and about on your bike, we want you to take part and record your routes.

“The combined miles cycled by people in and around East Dunbartonshire will be calculated and will go towards Glasgow City Region’s final standing.

“Please get involved. It all adds up - not just for the challenge, but also in terms of fitness and wellbeing.

“It will also help to provide detailed feedback about cyclists’ needs.

“In addition, there are more than 120 prizes just for taking part and getting out on your bike.

“Promotion of cycling and walking is a priority for this Council, which is forging ahead with its Active Travel Strategy.”

All cycling is permitted as part of the ECC with the exception of sporting and training events.

To get involved, sign up at www.cyclingchallenge.eu and choose Glasgow City Region.

During May there will be regular cycling events in the area including led rides and cycling gala days.

For more information on the challenge visit www.nhsggc.org.uk/ecc.