The Big Pedal to encourage outdoor travel

Date Posted: 21/03/2018

More than 1,000 schools and 400,000 pupils are taking on the challenge of ‘Around the world in 10 days’, as part of the charity Sustrans’ Big Pedal 2018.

The UK-wide event, which runs from 23rd April to 4th May, will see pupils, parents and teachers leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school, not only to encourage the outdoor journey but to inspire outdoor learning and engagement with the environment.

During the ten days, participating Primary and Secondary schools will compete with one another to make the most journeys by bike or scooter. 

How can the Big Pedal inspire schools further?

The theme of this year’s Big Pedal, ‘Around the world in 10 days’, links to key parts of the Geography curriculum, such as being able to name the world’s continents and oceans.

Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont, who holds the Guinness World Record for cycling around the world in 78 days, is backing the Big Pedal 2018. After 18,000 miles on the road last summer, covering 240 miles a day and taking in 16 countries, Mark beat the previous record by 44 days. 

Participating Primary and Secondary schools will receive a pack of teaching resources, including a map of the world for pupils to ‘track their progress’. Pupils will follow Mark’s route, learning about the countries he passed through on his trip via a series of fact cards provided as part of the resources pack.

Setting off from the UK, virtual stops along the way include France, Germany, Latvia, China, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Spain. Each country’s card will include details such as the capital city and population size, as well as a piece of cycling or scooting related trivia. 

Children, parents and teachers will also be able to log, track and compare their journeys online using the Big Pedal website.  

Commenting on the event, Mark said: “Encouraging young people to cycle and scoot from an early age not only boosts physical and mental health, it also helps build good habits for independent and active travel into teenage and adult life.”

The Big Pedal 2018 is open to individual classes as well as whole schools, with hundreds of thousands of pupils expected to take part. 

For more information, visit www.bigpedal.org.uk. 

School Travel Organiser's Guide