MOTORISTS are being encouraged to get out of their cars and onto their bikes through a new initiative which rewards people for taking to the saddle.
BikeSmart Reading offers incentives such as reward points, prizes, free bike maintenance and cycle training and advice in a bid to encourage people to consider the bike for all or part of their day-to-day journeys.
The programme is being delivered by Avanti Cycling, Betterpoints, ReadyBike and Love to Ride in partnership with Reading Borough Council.
Anyone living or working in Reading is able to take part and, with the milder weather upon us, now is the perfect time to register.
Participants earn points using the Betterpoints mobility tracking app and they get free entry to a monthly prize draw for every cycle journey they make of one mile or more.
It is easy to complete the simple registration process by downloading the app at: https://bikesmartreading.betterpoints.uk
The app automatically tracks cycling and awards points for every journey of one mile or more. Each journey also gives the rider an additional entry to the monthly prize draw, so the more participants cycle, the greater the chance of winning. Points can be spent on vouchers for a large variety of high street stores or donated to charity.
The scheme also offers a programme of free training sessions to support people getting onto their bikes. The first month of events has proven popular with more than 50 people taking part.
A recent participant of one of the courses said to organisers: “I just wanted to give you feedback on my ‘Back on your Bike’ training session this afternoon. It was brilliant!
“It had been around eight years since I’d ridden a bike. I now feel very confident after this afternoon’s session to cycle by myself. I’ve already planned to swap four of my weekly car journeys for bike journeys this week and then to build up to swapping more car journeys where possible in the coming weeks as I become more confident on my bike.”
For information on the programme and to make a booking, follow the link to BikeSmart Skills sessions on the website.
People who do not own a bicycle can still take part by using the ReadyBike cycle-hire scheme which has docking stations situated around the town. It is a great option for people getting started and is a convenient way of completing the last part of a journey, avoiding driving and parking in town.
There is also a promotional offer with a prize draw entry to win £100 Oracle vouchers for every ReadyBike journey.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
“BikeSmart Reading is an excellent initiative for encouraging people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes.
“The scheme offers some great incentives for cycling plus there is the added bonus of avoiding driving on busy town centre roads and finding parking.”
BikeSmart Reading is funded by Empower EU to incentivise cycling to help reduce traffic and air pollution in European cities.