CHILDREN throughout Wokingham Borough are bracing themselves for an epic cycling challenge which gets underway next week.

Beechwood Primary School in Woodley is one of many schools taking part in The Big Pedal 2017, backed by Olympic gold medallist, Joanna Rowsell Shand.

The competition, which runs from March 20 to March 31, will see children, teachers and parents from across the country leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters for their journeys to and from school.

Schools will battle it out to accumulate the most miles over the 10-day challenge, with more than 500,000 children in 1,600 schools across the UK registered so far.

Gordon Davies, head teacher at Beechwood Primary School, said: “We’re really excited to be taking part in The Big Pedal.

“We hope that by encouraging our children to walk, cycle and scoot to school over the next two weeks we will see a reduction in congestion and pollution around the school gates, as well as helping the children feel healthier and happier.”

Last year more than 1,500 schools signed up travelling more than one million journeys to school on their bikes and scooters.

Olympic cyclist and ambassador to The Big Pedal, Joanna Rowsell Shand, added: “Cycling is great for young people’s health, confidence and independence. The safer and more comfortable they feel on their bikes, the more they will enjoy cycling.

“The Big Pedal campaign is a fantastic way for kids to cycle together whilst learning about the rules of the road in a fun, engaging way. I hope this year as many schools as possible will take part in the UK’s largest school cycling and scooting event.”

The Big Pedal 2017 is open to individual classes, as well as whole schools, with hundreds of pupils from Woodley and Earley expected to take part.

Visit: to register your school for The Big Pedal 2017.