Cycle Champions

Bradford is one of the thirteen areas in England funded by CTC to promote cycling as a sustainable travel alternative.

Aim: To encourage thousands of Bradfordians to jump on their bike when undertaking local (2 miles or under) journeys, rather than slumping in their cars. 50% of car journeys in Bradford are of 2 miles or less. The programme will promote the personal (and planet) health benefits of cycling, as well as promoting it as a low stress, safe, sociable and fun activity.

Viv Carnea started as Cycling Champions Development Officer in February 08 and will work with communities typically under-represented amongst cyclists, including women, disability organisations, black and minority ethnic groups, and people recovering from mental health problems.

Each group will receive support, advice and equipment to encourage beneficiaries to take up cycling. The model will identify lead “champions” in each group who will receive training to become cycle instructors and mechanics and will continue the programmes following a period of support.

Groups will be supported by:

  • training volunteers to become cycle instructors/mechanics
  • providing access to bikes
  • training individuals to under the National Standards for Cycle Training
  • working with other community groups and organisations
  • providing access to a central hub of resources
  • providing supportive networks
  • providing an opportunity for social activities such as group cycle rides

What's Happended So Far?

Five Miles to Fabulous, Sunday 8 June, Women's Cycling Event
For women new to cycling so it was “0 – 5” Miles to Fabulous. Roberts Park, Saltaire was chosen: it is flat and adjacent to canal for those who opted for longer route (2.6 miles to 5 Rise Locks & cafe). And there were 'wacky' and conventional bikes (from CrankitUp) available for those w/o bike of own or who wanted to try something different. 28 women took part in total.

Launch of Project, Sunday 15 June
Deputy Lord Mayors Ride from Shipley Market Square – Centenary Square
There was a carnival atmosphere and Centenary Square came alive even at that time on a Sunday morning…and the event moved on to the next phase: cycling activities in Centenary Square provided by CrankitUp and their assortment of conventional & unusual bikes, and bactive and their static cycles. All of the other 20 other people around in the centre of Bradford took part!

Community Groups

Manningham Women On Wheels (WOW)
Two groups of women from the S. Asian community in Manningham have learnt to ride bikes using the bikes and site at Baildon Recreation Centre, which will be a great location once they can cycle further – Roberts Park and the Leeds/Liverpool Canal are close by. Originally, 12 women signed up for a 4 week bike skills course starting in April 08, they were determined and highly motivated and opted for another programme of 3 sessions. Since then, a second group has done 4 sessions; at first, only two could ride, by the end, there were 9 who could, and most had progressed to tight manoeuvring, signalling & using gears; 2 have passed ‘Bikeability’ Level 1. They were ecstatic! The two groups come together soon for a meeting about to how to sustain the group & their cycling.

Thornbury Rangers
Waheeda found out about CTC Cycle Champions project at an International women's Day event, formed a group of children 7 young people aged 6 – 17, and headed it up as Cycling Champion. Bikes were purchased at the end of May, and a 4 week programme started in June at Laisterdyke Business & Enterprise College, where the three professionals involved were highly supportive & interested in the project. The last session was a ride along the Spen Valley Greenway, making use of the BCEP van to get the bikes there.The group signed an agreement in return outlining a number of conditions, including:

  • ensure secure storage/insurance for bikes
  • develop & run a booking out system for other members of their community
  • sign a pledge to continue cycling in future
  • identify 2 members for cycle maintenance course who will then have responsibility for routine maintenance

Worth Valley Primary School (WVPS)
WVPS has a cycling culture, a cycling track, a headteacher who is a keen cyclists and delivers cycling sessions to his pupils, and the school hosts a Saturday cycling club run by a local athletics coach, Richard Taylor. However, few families from the local estate use the club or cycling facilities at the school.A training programme for 3 mothers of children at the school ran in June & July, and there will be an off-road ride at Gisburn in the autumn.

Ingrow Primary School
This is a real success story! Grandparents, parents and Year 4/5 pupils came together for a bike skills and maintenance programme lasting 6 weeks, delivered by CrankitUp who provide their range of usual and unusual bikes. Two of the adults have limited mobility and poor balance & one of the children is autistic. CrankitUp can provide disability bikes and tricycles which has ensured these three can take part and members of the group are now starting to bring in their own bikes. A steering group has now been formed of 4 adults and 3 children to keep the group – and others – cycling.

Funding bodies:

  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Bradford Community Environment Project
  • Bradford & Airedale tPCT
  • Be Active (Bradford Metropolitan District Council)


United Kingdom
53° 48' 22.8276" N, 1° 46' 17.1768" W


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