A new survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) has found that the average resident in Yorkshire and the Humber hasn’t ridden a bike in nine years, with almost one in four (23%) avoiding the saddle for more than 10 years. The BHF is urging people in Yorkshire and the Humber to get back in the saddle this year by signing up to the iconic London to Brighton Bike Ride, taking place on Sunday18 June 2017, to raise money for life saving heart research.

Despite being one of the nation’s favourite sports, the survey of 2,000 UK residents (1) has revealed that an astonishing 6.3 million people (2) – one in eight of us – don’t know how to ride a bike. The survey revealed that the average household in the UK owns just one bike between them, but more worryingly, 41% of households don’t own bike at all.

People in Yorkshire and the Humber fare much worse than the UK average, with a shocking one in six (15%) admitting they can’t ride a bike and over two fifths (42%) of the local community saying they don’t even own one. Most surprisingly, however, almost one in ten (8%) of people in Yorkshire and the Humber admit it’s been so long since they’ve ridden a bike they’ve forgotten what to do!

Despite this, many of us do have ambitions to get back into cycling this year. One in eight of those surveyed – the equivalent of 6.3 million people – said they received a bike at Christmas. More than half (57%) also said they would consider a cycling challenge as a way of getting back into cycling in 2017.

The BHF wants to help get people in Yorkshire and the Humber back on their bikes, by encouraging everyone to take on its flagship event, the London to Brighton Bike Ride, and join the fight against heart disease. With a range of free training guides and nutritional advice on hand, the nation’s heart charity has everything you need to help get you back in the saddle and over the finish line.

Elizabeth Tack, Event Lead for London to Brighton Bike Ride at the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s surprising to learn that whilst there is a clear appetite for cycling in the UK, there is still a vast amount of us who are not getting on our bikes often enough, or even at all. Cycling is a fantastic way of keeping your heart healthy, which is why we’re encouraging everyone to dust off their bikes this year and challenge themselves to take on our London to Brighton Bike Ride to help support our vital research into heart disease.

“We can provide all the support you need to get you back in the saddle this year, with free training guides and advice available for all registered cyclists in the run up to the big day. It’s a fantastic day out for all the family and every pound you raise will help make a difference to millions.”

The BHF’s London to Brighton Bike Ride has run for over 40 years and is Europe’s oldest charity cycling event. It’s a fantastic chance for families, friends and colleagues to enjoy a day out together, cycling through some of the South East’s most picturesque counties. It’s a ride for the fast and the fall behinds, the solo riders and the team players. It’s for the experienced and the newbies, the confident and the cautious. This year’s event is sponsored by Tesco and Jaffa and will take place on Sunday 18 June.

By taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride you will help power ground-breaking research, to bring new hope to the 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK.

To sign up for this year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride, visit bhf.org.uk/L2B