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Students urged to get on their bikes

PUBLISHED: 11:02 06 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:53 25 August 2010

TWO schools will lead a project to set up bike clubs in a bid to get more pupils cycling to school and college.

TWO schools will lead a project to set up bike clubs in a bid to get more pupils cycling to school and college.

The Business Academy Bexley (BAB) and Trinity Secondary School, Erith, are the first to benefit from cash given by Transport for London.

The aims of the new bike clubs are to improve access to cycling facilities, encourage students to ride to school to ease overcrowding on buses, boost fitness and encourage safe riding.

Once clubs are up and running, road safety officers from Bexley council will liaise with both schools to compile an information pack for all schools across the capital on how to start a successful bike club.

The Business Academy Bexley launched its bike club with a visit from the Rolla Paluza company.

Using roller racing machines, students competed against one another on their bikes, sprinting 500m or 1km as fast as they could. A dial behind the riders showed onlookers who was leading.

Head teacher at BAB, Guy Nichols, showed that although he considers himself a "veteran cyclist" he could still show the young guns a thing or two about fitness.

Mr Nichols said: "I am really delighted as a veteran cyclist that we have introduced such exciting cycling opportunities for our students."

Northumberland Heath bike shop, Wheelies, will be doing a 'Dr Bike' session on how to look after a bike, and Trust Thamesmead is providing bicycle locks for all club members.

The Kit Room shop, Crayford, is providing high-visibility jackets for club members emblazoned with logos.

Thamesmead East Safer Neighbourhoods Policing Team were at the launch on April 21, holding a security marking session and offering security advice.

Trinity School in Erith will be setting up their club in the coming weeks with new bikes and equipment provided.

Once launched, clubs will be managed by the schools with training and support provided.

The long-term ambition is to extend the scheme to include parents and the wider community. For more information on cycling, visit: www.bexley.gov.uk/cycling.

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