University of Cambridge’s Metabolic Research Laboratories (MRL) took the first place in Cambridgeshire Cycle Challenge, racing past 145 workplaces as it totted up the highest number of commuter trips.
The Cambridgeshire Cycle Challenge, currently in its fourth year, is a free web based competition for Cambridgeshire businesses with the aim of encouraging more people to cycle either to work or for leisure or training.
From 15 September to 12 October every cycle journey undertaken by participants was logged and each journey contributed to their team’s performance. This year over 1300 people participated.
Many MRL employees commute to Cambridge Biomedical Campus site by bicycle every day as cycling is one of the most efficient and convenient ways of travelling around Cambridge and getting to work. The Challenge helped to encourage individuals to take up the habit and to create a sense of community between cyclists in the MRL by giving them opportunities to share their thoughts and concerns regarding cycling infrastructure and safety around Cambridge.
Jonathan Fort, the Institute’s Environment and Energy Coordinator notified all staff in the MRL about the Challenge inviting the cyclists to take part. Jacek Mokrosinski (Post-doctoral research associate) volunteered to set up and manage the team.
Jacek said “When I heard of the Cycle Challenge, I instantly knew that could be great fun. I decided to call all my colleagues and encourage them to join the team – not because of the competition but rather to meet them and feel that we share the same cycling experience every day. Thanks to that I met a few new cycling buddies and I feel encouraged even more to cycle every day, mostly because I am part of a big community. I believe that together we can also be heard better when it comes to appeals for better cycling infrastructure and safety improvement for cyclists in Cambridge and around Cambridge campus.”
“I started cycling to work many years ago and the main reason to go on a bike was that everyone – from students to professors – did cycle at my former work place. I felt odd not being one of them. So when arriving to Cambridge I didn’t need to be convinced that cycling is convenient and enjoyable way of commuting. Finding out that so many of my new colleagues cycle was a great news and I wanted to encourage and strengthen the community among cyclists.”
The winners team of 14 cyclists from the MRL won first prize for the Cambridge City category having made more journeys and covering twice the number of miles than their nearest competitors. The Institute of Metabolic Science was ranked first among employers from Cambridge city with 29 journeys per participant on average, 360 commuter journeys and 940.6 miles cycled in total.
To find out more about Cycling in Cambridge, including financial support and safety and security, visit: http://www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk/what-are-we-doing/travel/cycling-cambridge.
Original source: Greenlines sustainability newsletter, read the full issue here. Greenlines is the University of Cambridge’s sustainability newsletter and is edited by the Environment and Energy Section of The Cambridge Green Challenge.