Pedal for the medal - It's the Central Bedfordshire schools challenge

We all know that being active is good for us and, for those of us with children, we also know the frustration of trying to get a parking space near the busy school gates.

That’s why Central Bedfordshire Council is working with sustainable transport charity Sustrans to encourage residents to get involved in the Big Pedal 2019. The Big Pedal competition runs from Monday 25 March to Friday 5 April, and is free for all schools to enter.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, the Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “With spring just around the corner, it’s a great time of year to get out of the car and to walk, cycle or even scoot to school instead. Not only does this reduce congestion near schools, but exercise also makes you feel good. This is reflected in this year’s theme of travelling around the body.

“The Big Pedal competition may only run for two weeks, but it can have a lasting impact on the way children travel to school in the future. Last year schools that took part in the Big Pedal said that many pupils continued to cycle or scoot to school after the event, so we also hope to see an on-going reduction in congestion and pollution around the school gates. We are confident that 2019 will be even bigger and better than in 2018, with even more students and their families continuing to leave their car at home”.

Last year, 31 schools from Central Bedfordshire took part, with over 7,000 families amassing 18,490 bike journeys and 13,294 trips by scooter. This was a fantastic achievement and a high target to beat this year: so why not ask your child’s school to sign up to The Big Pedal 2019 at

The Big Pedal 2019 is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils expected to take part.

During the 10-day challenge, participating schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike, foot or scooter. If more than 15 per cent of their pupils cycle, walk or scoot on each day of the challenge, schools and classes will be entered into daily draws for rewards and prizes, including scooters.

There is also a one-day version of the challenge that includes cycling, walking and scooting activities during the school day, as well as on the journey to school.

Sustrans is a national walking and cycling charity.