After a year and a half of encouraging other people onto bikes with Challenge for Change, James Butcher, one of our project managers, has decided it’s time for him to follow his own advice and hit the road on an epic cycling adventure.
Armed with a one way ticket, their bikes and a tent, James and his girlfriend Sarah have headed to Alaska. Their plan is to pedal down the west coast of the Americas over the next two years on a journey of up to 15,000 miles!
James explained: “The plan is deliberately vague, but as long as we keep the sea on our right hand side then surely we can’t go wrong!”
“We reckon that bike speed is the perfect travelling pace to really immerse yourself in another country. On a bike you experience a whole world of fantastic and random meetings, sights, tastes and sounds that you would just never get to experience through the window of a car or bus.”
“It’s been great working as part of the Challenge for Change team. I’ll certainly be looking out for how other countries are getting more people to take to their bikes and reporting back!”
Happy Travels/Feliz Viaje James and Sarah!
Sam and Sophie wielded the Challenge for Change flag and presented at the annual TPM conference in Liverpool, which saw over 250 attendees across the two days.
The plenary session opened with Norman Baker MP announcing recently confirmed outcomes of the Local Sustainable and Transport Fund, alongside speakers on themes from Personal Rapid Transport to the logistical transport nightmare that is the 2012 Olympics.
This year the conference launched a new “Dragons’ Den” style session allowing young professionals a chance to showcase their ideas or projects on the broad topic of “originality and innovation in the sustainable transport arena”. With cycling tying in nicely with this brief, Sophie presented on “How can we convert intentions into actions: are the answers on the back of a postcard?”. A five minute speech was followed by intensive questions from both the panel and the floor. The Dragon’s went with the facts, recognising the value in investing in a project already supported with evidence and so Challenge for Change took home the £250 research prize money and more importantly the winning accolade.
- Sophie scoops the Dragons’ Den main prize
Next up, Sam took the plunge by putting across his presentation on the new Prezi software – taking his audience on a roller coaster ride through his presentation entitled: “Who are the next 4% of cyclists?”. Sam whipped up interest in our innovative behaviour change programmes, using data from thousands of Challenge for Change cyclists.
Transport planners are a niche bunch, with the tools and knowledge to implement what we already know works. We’ll keep you posted with any developments from the event.