Hope you all managed to stay on your bikes during the ‘big freeze’. It’s a wonder how we all coped – still, you can at least bet that you coped better than Railtrack…
‘wave this… under their nose’
Anyway, I said I would talk in this issue about some of the projects run by Cycle Friendly Employers. Having just produced the Health Monitoring Project Report 2000, I can give you its results as well as make a plug for any would-be Participants or Employers to take part in the Health Monitoring Project 2001 starting in April.
The Project closed in November after a four-month experiment on the effects of regular cycle commuting upon a group of non-exercisers (people who did not previously take regular exercise). The overall aim was to test whether the HMP was a useful tool for recruiting and retaining non-exercisers to commuter cycling and was designed to be a demonstration of the health benefits of cycling as a form of commuting.
It was very much a pilot project but the results were most encouraging – seven out of ten people questioned said they would carry on cycling. The project has proved to be a useful first experiment and can be used as a building block for future projects over the course of 2001.
This year CFE wants to run a similar project, but over a longer period and with maximum publicity. The HMP 2000 received a mention in Local Transport Today (23 November 2000) in the article ‘Transport and Health: are enough local authorities making the full range of links.’ Just the sort of publicity we need to build on. We also hope to be able to offer greater incentives, such as a free set of bike lights to each participant but, as yet, nothing has been confirmed. If you know of anyone who would benefit from taking up cycling or walking to work then please contact me. We are looking for people who do not currently exercise, which I presume excludes most of you who read this magazine… but if you know of anyone, then please wave this article under their nose. The more the merrier. We will be advertising in bike shops, libraries, Cambridge Evening News , Local Authorities, work places – anywhere we can think of to get as many people involved as possible. It is free, you just need a bike and the will to take part. We would also like to know of any employers with on-site gyms.
If you would like to be involved, or have any information, please contact Dave Meiklejohn at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01223 712429 as I am now on maternity leave. And if anyone would like a full report of the HMP 2000, Dave will be happy to send you one. Watch this space for important project updates.