Virtual Visit To Lapland

Trading sleigh bells for bike bells

Lower and primary school pupils across Central Bedfordshire are taking part in a Christmas challenge by counting up their walking, scooting and cycling journeys to school to see if they can travel virtually to visit Santa in Lapland.

The challenge organised by Central Bedfordshire Council in partnership with sustainable transport charity Sustrans will take place between Monday 2 December and Friday 13 December and aims to decrease the number of cars used on the school run.

Almost 40 schools have already signed up to take part in this year’s challenge which also gives pupils the opportunity to learn about the towns, cities, cultures and Christmas traditions of the countries they visit along the way.

Using a record card, pupils and their teachers will monitor active travel trips to school. All journeys will then be combined with the goal of achieving 2,000 miles, the equivalent distance from Central Bedfordshire to Lapland. One lucky child will be drawn at random to win a brand-new lightweight Frog bike*.

The challenge has been running for six years now and every year there has been an increase in the number of schools taking part. During the challenge last year, 1,789 pupils in Central Bedfordshire completed all 10-days of the challenge, with schools collectively travelling 99,370 active travel miles, which is the equivalent of over four times around the world.

Alister Barclay, Sustrans Schools and Communities Officer, said: “The journey to school, even in winter, is a great opportunity to get moving, stay healthy and arrive at school energised and ready to learn.

“The majority of pupils live less than a mile from their school; a twenty-minute walk or 7-minute cycle. For some village schools, journeys can be longer, but we’re also counting those who park and stride or park and scoot. This limits congestion at the school gate, making roads around the school safer and less polluted, whilst also providing a fun way to encourage everyone to travel to school in an active way.”

*Frog Bikes offer an excellent range of lightweight children's bikes designed and manufactured by a British company run by husband and wife team, Jerry and Shelley Lawson. Each of the nine Frog Bikes has been designed with meticulous attention to the requirements of the age/size of the rider. Frog Bikes are all made of lightweight aluminium tubing throughout and feature quality components from the likes of Shimano, Tektro and Kenda. More ...

* Sustrans Big Pedal - Save the date for 2020
The Big Pedal will take place Wednesday 22 April - Tuesday 5 May 2020.

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