After officially launching its ‘This Is What A Cyclist Looks Like’ campaign at Landor LINKS’ Cycle County Active County conference in September 2019, ForwardMotion has continued to promote its new campaign at various outreach events across south Essex. The campaign aims to challenge people’s perceptions of what a ‘real’ cyclist looks like and encourage more people to start travelling by bike.
ForwardMotion, an initiative to get more people travelling actively and sustainably in south Essex, created the campaign in an effort to steer people away from the idea that cyclists look a certain way and to inspire more people to travel by bike. ForwardMotion is a collaboration between Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Councils, and funded by the Department for Transport.
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 features photos and videos of local cyclists, showing a range of outfits that real people wear to cycle to work, places of education or training opportunities. The images and video footage have been shown at ForwardMotion’s travel roadshows in Southend-on-Sea, Grays and Basildon in October and November. The campaign video has been viewed by over 2,000 people on ForwardMotion’s social media channels.
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 to get more people walking and using public transport.”
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