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Bike It

by msecadm4921

After a new link-up with Bike It, the national cycle-to-school initiative, children from primary schools in the Doncaster area have had their bikes security-marked and placed on the Bikeregister database to protect them from loss and theft.

Pupils attending Owston Park, Bawtry Mayflower and Dunsville primary schools are among several hundred in the area to have been regularly cycling to school as part of the Bike It initiative, run by the UK sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Now in its fifth year, the scheme has been encouraging children throughout the UK to leave the (parental) car at home and travel to school.

Sustrans Bike It officer, Jim Cole, said: "It’s been a fantastic few months for Bike It in Doncaster, with loads of children cycling to school and full bike sheds everywhere."

The Bike It team have been running Dr Bike sessions at the schools, where pupils have had their bikes checked for safety and road-worthiness. Pupils were then given the chance to have their bikes visibly marked with a unique ID code before being placed on Selectamark’s police-approved Bikeregister database (http://www.bikeregister.com/). A deterrent sticker was then placed on the frame of the bike to deter would-be thieves.

Jim Cole said: "The introduction of Bikeregister at some of the schools in Doncaster has been an added bonus as it brings to the forefront the idea that the children should be concentrating on security. They need to remember to lock their bikes up when they get off them and leave them somewhere!.

He added: "Once a child has had their bike marked, if it is ever lost or stolen and then recovered by police, there is a high possibility that they will get it back."

Jim hopes to extend the bike marking scheme to other schools in the area in the near future.

Meanwhile, he has been concentrating on other activities to encourage children to ride to school such as the recent Bike It Virtual Tour de France, which was won this year by Bawtry Mayflower school. Their prize was a playground display from world champion trials riders Ben Slinger and Danny Butler.

Over a period of 21 days (representing the 21 stages of the Tour de France) children taking part in the competition earned points for their school by cycling in as often as possible. The Virtual Tour de France generated a total of 6,150 cycle journeys to school and collectively the children burnt off the same number of calories as you’d find in almost 1,800 chocolate bars.

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