Employees are being urged to get on their bikes to boost health and fitness

Companies in Hartlepool are being urged to encourage more employees to get on their bikes by signing up for a new cycling challenge.

Love to Ride Tees Valley is a free-to-enter workplace competition that will run from June 8 to 28.

It is being organised by Love to Ride Tees Valley in partnership with four of the area’s local authorities, including Hartlepool Borough Council.

Sue Gilbert, Love to Ride Tees Valley’s Challenge Manager, said: “Companies that encourage more of their employees to discover the joys and benefits of cycling will themselves begin to benefit in terms of a fitter and healthier workforce that takes fewer sick days. They will also experience increased productivity and there will be less demand on their car parking and less pollution.

“The challenge is open to all employees and it doesn’t matter if they haven’t been on a bike for years. They only have to ride for ten minutes or more for their participation to count. They can ride wherever they feel comfortable and whenever they like over the three-week challenge period. We hope that when people discover just how beneficial and fun cycling is, they will continue to get on their bikes long after the challenge has ended.”

To register a ride on-line go to www.lovetoride.net/teesvalley

There will be a variety of individual and team prizes available to companies and employees taking part in the challenge, including archery lessons, afternoon tea and restaurant meals.

The Hartlepool company, which saves the most CO2 by getting employees onto their bikes during the challenge period, will also win a cycle shelter.