Love Your Heart – cycle to work!
On Friday 26th February, Manchester Friends of the Earth are inviting people to wear something red and join us on their morning bicycle commute into the centre of Manchester (or to their own work place) to highlight the health benefits of regular cycling.
February is the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Month when each of us is encouraged to think about the health of our heart and take positive steps to reduce our chances of cardiovascular disease. 
With 33% of men and nearly half of women not reaching the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week cycling to work or the shops can help people reach this goal.
Catherine Thomson, from Manchester Friends of the Earth’s Love Your Bike campaign said: “People have busy lives and finding time to exercise can be difficult. Cycling to work is a great way for people to build exercise into their daily lives, improve their fitness and strengthen their hearts”.
Love Your Bike believes that walking and cycling, the ‘active travel’ modes, should be placed at the centre of both health promotion and local transport policy. A 2008 report from the Greater Manchester Health Commission concluded that ‘if one third of car journeys under five miles were transferred to foot or cycle it would save as many lives as all other heart disease prevention measures put together.’ 
Bike Friday provides a range of cycle rides into the City Centre from various locations into Manchester from various starting places around Greater Manchester and also works with companies and local authorities in Greater Manchester to promote cycling, improve cycle facilities and to encourage more people to continue cycling to school, work and for leisure all year round. 
CONTACTS FOR COMMENTS
Pete Abel, Love Your Bike campaign. Mobile: 07951 642858
Graeme Sherriff, Manchester Friends of the Earth, sustainable transport campaign co-ordinator. Mobile: 07948 405071
Notes to Editors:
 The British Heart Foundation offer plenty of advice on exercise as well as other ways to maintain a healthy heart.
 2nd Annual Report of the Greater Manchester Directors of Public
Health (September 2008) Improving Life Expectancy and reducing Health Inequalities in Greater Manchester ‘Everyones Business’.
 The Bike Friday cycle rides start at 8am from Chorlton Library, Levenshulme Station, Prestwich Pizza Express, Stretford Mall and Withington Library and finish at approx 8.30am at Stevenson Square, M1 in the Northern Quarter. The Worsley, Middleton – Victoria Avenue East, Stockport Plaza, Mersey Square routes start earlier. See the website for details. The Bike Friday cycle rides take place on the morning of the last Friday of every month (except December). The rides go a moderate pace, have experienced ride leaders, are entirely law-abiding and can help people develop more confidence in their cycling abilities.
 Bike Friday is coordinated by Love Your Bike (Manchester Friends of the Earth) and Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign (GMCC)
Love Your Bike is an award winning Manchester based campaign aiming to promote cycling and help make it an even more attractive, accessible and fun way to get around. Co-ordinated by Manchester Friends of the Earth, the campaign works in partnership with other like-minded organisations. See www.loveyourbike.org
 Manchester Friends of the Earth has endorsed Manchester: A Certain Future, an action plan for the city of Manchester to cut its carbon emissions by at least 41% by 2020. For more information, visit www.manchesterclimate.com