Open Trail have had a second great year in the Big Bike Revival! It is a large project run by Cycling UK and funded by the Department for Transport to encourage more people to dust off their bikes and get pedalling! The Big Bike Revival proved to be a very busy time for us, utilising their £2000 grant in the best ways for our community.
So what did the revival mean for us?
Hannah was shipped out to more schools, and pupils, than ever before. She delivered her “Dare to Dream” presentations to over 1,500 pupils across 4 different schools: St Anne’s Primary School, Bewdley, Franche Community Primary School, Kidderminster, Ellowes Hall, Dudley and Sandwell Academy, Tipton.
The pupils jaws were dropping at the exciting life of the local World 4X Series Champion, all the wonderful places where they can ride their bikes locally, and how hard work and determination can help them live their dreams too. The presentations fuelled lots of questions from the young audiences, not to mention a few selfies, with many pupils trying on the GB Cycling Team kit for themselves.
Hannah regularly visits Franche Community Primary School and has often been pulled over by pupils to hear: “Hannah you’ve really inspired me to ride my bike more”, and “I just want to go and jump my bike all the time now”, “we’re so lucky to have Hannah in our school”, “Hi Hannah, I can pedal now all by myself, thank you!!”
Since then Open Trail are working with Franche and Spokes (recycled bike centre) to provide the school with their own bike fleet, run coaching sessions over the school holidays and enrichment activities during the school week with a Champion as their coach.
We had a BIIIIGGGGG Big Bike Revival day at Sandwell Academy in Tipton. Our GB Athlete presentation was delivered to a girl’s only audience to prove that even pint sized girls, who struggle with PE can go on to represent their country in sport. Our talented Dr Bike mechanic Ben Jones managed to spin the spanners over 26 bikes, getting them fit and ready for GCSE PE Mountain Bike sessions next year! There was a coaching session from Hannah, to 12 year 7 pupils; despite initial self-doubts, a few balance issues and “I can’t do it” moments all 12 girls were flying around the playground with great skill, control and agility. The session finished with some super competitive slalom racing; these racers were unrecognisable from the nervous mob at the start of the session.
Thanks to Big Bike Revival 6 sessions followed, at Sandwell Academy, with pupils that struggle with self-confidence and sport in general. Fantastic results followed as all 12 pupils learnt to leave their self-doubt at home, they developed great bike handling skills and control with Halesowen Cycling Club’s coach Craig Brookes.
Open Trail also play a large role in organising and delivering a week of local cycling events “Bewdley Bike Week” (www.bewdleybikeweek.info) with Overspoke Bikes and the Bewdley Bike Week team. We combined forces to hold a whole host of activities over the May half term school holidays. At the Bewdley Bike Week Jam we saw over 250 people through the doors of the Frank Chapman Centre where Overspoke Bikes provided demo bikes, bike games and challenges, smoothie bike maker, police security marking and a whole load of other family activities. Open Trail were kept very busy at their Dr Bike stand, where Ben and his tool box worked through the whole day fixing a whole variety of local bikes.
Open Trail also provided learn to ride and bikeability training on the Tuesday of Bewdley Bike Week. Here we coached 6 young people to pedal for the very first time, including 2 boys with autism, whose mother thought she would never see her boys ride bikes. We had 25 complete either their level 1 or level 2 bikeability training, including 2 adults. Since then we have coached 10 more people to learn to ride a bike for the first time.
With the help of Big Bike Revival we physically engaged with 1,922 people from our initial target of 1000. Of these 1,275 completed surveys. Without the £2000 grant, and all the support of Big Bike Revival none of this would have been possible. What’s more BBR have left a legacy with Open Trail to continue work with the establishments we have engaged with such as bike provision, cycle coaching and maintenance training at Ellowes Hall Secondary (Dudley) and Franche Primary School (Kidderminster), we are also working with Sandwell Academy to source funding to provide cycle coaching every week at their school.