Thursday, 1 November 2012

Championing Active Travel

Active travels my name and Champions my game, oh yeaaah I am an Active Travel Champion! That's right, I will now be championing the wonders of cycling and walking to all those nearest and dearest and the wider community around the radius of where I live. It's a voluntary position I have taken with the charity Sustrans. To quote from their website, 'Active Travel Champions are volunteers who help people be more active through walking or cycling for more of their everyday journeys.'

That's me!

And check out my super cool T-shirt and badge #sheriffstyle

It's all well being given a T-shirt but I need to make sure I have champion related occasions to wear it! I have a few projects I am planning to do and the first is speaking to my work colleagues in my next team meeting about cycling and walking and my new volunteering position. I also would like to plan a haunted themed bicycle ride and invite colleagues/ friends/ community people who wouldn't normally take to two wheels.

Bicycle art at the Sustrans London Office
It's not in my nature to be aggressive in my approach to promoting cycling and walking, I prefer to just offer a little encouragement to those who would like to try it but don't know where to start. I am super excited to have another bicycle related thing in my life in addition to this blog because you can never have enough bicycle related things hey!

Oh and by the way, do you fancy going on a pretty Autumn bicycle ride or walk in London? Sustrans have arranged an 'Autumn Wheels and Wandering day' on 10th November from Buckingham Palace to Richmond Park. You are invited! It will be a jolly ride/ walk led by Sustrans volunteers, which means I will be there, oh yeah! Donning my Sheriffs badge and red T-shirt.

If you would like to come along, make sure to register by e-mailing kate.meakin@sustrans.org.uk. Friends, family, everyone is welcome.

Over and out.

10 comments:

anniebikes said...

Congratulations, Jemma! There can never be enough bicycle ambassadors in this world. Thank you.

emilyobyrne said...

Well done for volunteering.

I do think Sustrans need to update their website. Underneath 'Why be a champion' there is absolutely NO mention of 'you get to wear an awesome Sheriff's badge'. If they added that point I am sure they would get a lot more volunteers ;-)

Anonymous said...

Inspiring, let's hope more folks ditch their cars and start making cycling more friendly

Anonymous said...

Great stuff! Good luck with all the championing! Hopefully bump into you at one of the champion events/socials.

Leigh (A fellow Champion)

bikemapper said...

I think you will make a very good Active Travel Champion, but how revealing it is that in this country we need volunteers and charities to "help people be more active through walking or cycling".

If there was an environment which was amenable to active travel, then people like yourself should be able to make your way down to Buckingham Palace without having to put yourself in any danger (or add another half-mile to your journey just to avoid a difficult junction), and without having to spend too much time poring over maps in order to try to work out how the hell you are going to make this journey.

I have plotted a couple of routes which I hope you will find useful (see here), but even if you know which way to go in theory, there are still practical problems that you would need to overcome.

For example, using an online journey planner, the journey from Richmond Park to Elthorne Park requires over 100 separate instructions to describe it: turn left here, turn right there, and so on. However, if there was such a thing as a revitalised London Cycling Network - thanks for signing the petition, by the way - just three separate instructions would be needed: N7a - G5 - N2a.

With a revitalised London Cycle Network, you shouldn't need to look at a map even once during the journey: every single route should be properly waymarked.

But I would be very interested to learn more about your experiences on the day. Please tell us about your journey to and from the event, and not just the "jolly" bit in the middle. It's important that we learn from people like you.

Jemma said...

@emilyobyrne, indeed if they advertised the Sheriff's badge i think there will be people all over the country flocking to be a volunteer!

@Bikemapper Thanks so much for plotting those routes! Saves me doing homework :-) I know exactly what you mean about multiple directions. I just can't stand to have to stop at every junction and get a printed scrappy piece of paper out of my pocket to find out where to go next! I haven't cycled from Richmond park before so I'll let you know how it goes, and how long it takes!

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