South Essex cycling campaign rolls into action

Published Friday, 6th September 2019

Forward Motion logo

ForwardMotion launches ‘This Is What A Cyclist Looks Like’ campaign, aiming to challenge people’s perceptions of what a ‘real’ cyclist looks like and encourage more people to start travelling by bike.

The campaign will be officially launched at the Cycle County Active County event, which is taking place at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford today. ForwardMotion, an initiative to get more people travelling actively and sustainably in south Essex, is launching the campaign in an effort to steer people away from the idea that cyclists look a certain way and inspire more people to travel by bike.

Some people can be put off cycling because they associate it with extreme fitness and body-hugging Lycra. In response, the ‘This Is What A Cyclist Looks Like’ campaign will display photos and videos of local cyclists that show a range of outfits that real people wear to cycle to work, places of education or training opportunities. The images and video footage will be shown first at the Cycle County Active County event, and then at various locations across south Essex.

ForwardMotion are sponsoring the Cycle County Active County conference, the seventh annual instalment in the Cycle City Active City event series, which will bring together public and private sector professionals working to increase active travel across the UK. 

Iain Banks, travel engagement manager at ForwardMotion, said: “In my experience, too many people think cycling is for Tour de France athletes. This campaign is a positive effort to challenge that unhelpful stereotype. By showing the public that there is no ‘ideal’ cyclist, ForwardMotion is helping more people embrace the bike as a great way to travel.

“Cycling is a fantastic way for people to get around; it benefits individuals by improving their physical and mental wellbeing, while likely saving them money, and it also improves the local environment. But people have to be comfortable getting on a bike. That is why ForwardMotion is helping change the image of cyclists into one that everyone can identify with.

“ForwardMotion recognises that travelling by car is the default option for many people in south Essex. The aim of this campaign is to get more people comfortable with the idea of using a bike as their primary mode of transport. However, we know that cycling is just one way people can travel more healthily, which is why ForwardMotion also helps get more people walking and using public transport.”