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Sustrans Big Pedal gets school kids emulating record breaker Mark Beaumont

Families across the country will swap cars for bikes and scooters as part of the 'Around the world in 10 days' challenge

Joe Robinson
17 Jan 2018

From Monday 23rd April till Friday 4th May, walking and cycling charity Sustrans has called upon families across the country to give up their cars and cycle or scooter to school as part of the 'Around the world in 10 days' challenge.

The UK-wide event will take place across 10 days and takes inspiration from the record breaking exploits of Mark Beaumont, who broke the Guinness World Record for cycling solo around the world.

Beaumont managed to circumnavigate the world in 78 days, 44 days quicker than the previous record, last year and is now backing the Sustrans 2018 Big Pedal.

During the 10 day period, pupils will be asked to cycle or scooter from home to school and back, with the class then mapping their progress on a map of the world, learning about the culture, history and geography of the countries Beaumont passed through on his record.

This initiative is part of Sustrans' drive to increase the amount of exercise kids do each day, with current government guidelines suggesting those between the ages of 5 and 18 should have 60 minutes of physical activity a day.

Sustrans also says that pupils who cycle rather than walk to school start the day more relaxed and alert and are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

Last year, 1,700 schools registered with those taking part traveling three million miles saving, 728 tonnes of CO2 by not using their cars. Parents also saved £400,000 on fuel by not using 75,000 gallons on the school run.

Sustrans CEO Xavier Bruce spoke of how he hopes the challenge will act as an incentive for change.

'As well as being fun, Big Pedal can help kick-start entire families into leading more active lives, while reducing congestion and air pollution around the school gates,' said Bruce.

'Although the competition runs for just two weeks, it can be a catalyst for long-term changes in the way pupils, parents and teachers travel to and from school.'

Entries and information for the event can be found at The Big Pedal is open to individual classes as well as entries schools with participant numbers expected to reach the hundreds of thousands.

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