Midlothian cycling initiative has lunar ambitions

Members of the RUTS UPower team will use bike power not rocket power to travel to the moon.
Members of the RUTS UPower team will use bike power not rocket power to travel to the moon.

A new Midlothian campaign has sky high aspirations by asking local residents to get on their bikes and pedal to the...MOON!

Newtongrange-based charity RUTS UPower is hoping to encourage county residents to travel the 380,000km by leaving their cars at home.

Instead, they will be asked to travel small, local journeys on a bike.

Peter Jackson, UPower project co-ordinator, said: “We want to show people that not all journeys have to be made by car. Travelling actively, by bicycle for example, has lots of advantages such as the obvious health benefits and reduction in carbon emissions.

“Midlothian to the Moon is a way of engaging the community in our project and although it’s an ambitious target we hope it will excite the community and present them with a real challenge. We hope to get 300 people involved in the challenge and then we can reach our target.”

Anybody wishing to participate is encouraged to record their miles on the charity’s Strava community – UPower Active Travel. This is an app available on smart phones and accessible online. Alternatively, participants can email the team with their distances.

To support the community in the challenge, the team are providing a variety of free services including free loans of bicycles and power-assisted electric bikes. RUTS UPower is organising a series of led-rides for families and individuals so they can explore their local community and offering free maintenance classes that provide the basic knowledge to repair faults.

The project is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund and supported by Keep Scotland Beautiful. You can find more information at www.ruts.org.uk/upower or email upower@ruts.org.uk