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Here you will find answers to common questions about the challenge. Still having trouble? You can get in touch with us here: challenge@sustrans.org.uk

What is the Challenge?

The Active Travel Challenge is a competition encouraging individuals and workplaces; community groups; or organisations [we will refer to all of these as 'organisations'] to walk, cycle and use public transport more in Northern Ireland.

When is the challenge?

The Active Travel Challenge will take place from 1 June - 30 June 2022.

How should I travel during Coronavirus?

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Information for the public can be found on the PHA (Public Health Agency) website.

Safer travel guidance for public transport users is available from NI Direct, and please also view the latest travel guidelines from Translink.

What counts as a "journey"?

Any journey that is to work, for work, to your local shops or leisure activity as well as the school run or your daily exercise if working from home all count. You can find a full list of travel modes that included on the Homepage of the Challenge website.

If your travel mode is not listed on the home page, get in touch and we may be able to add it for you challenge@sustrans.org.uk.

I'm working from home, can I still take part?

If you are working from home, we still want you to take part, and with our new feature you can log all the exercise you are doing to get outdoors and get active this June.

When logging your journey, under the third drop down, 'What is the purpose of your journey?' select Daily Exercise, and your extra lunchtime walks, runs or cycles will be added to your totals.

This same box gives you the option to log your active trips to the shops, school run or leisure activities too, so you can challenge yourself to get more active with some of the other journeys you are making.

If the Challenge has already started. Can I still join?

Absolutely! You can sign up at any point during the challenge.

It's too far for me to walk or cycle to where I want to go!

You may be surprised how far you can comfortably cycle. Commutes of five miles or more are perfectly manageable, even for relatively inexperienced cyclists.

If the trip still seems daunting, why not compromise by walking or cycling to a bus stop or train station? This is a great way of incorporating some active travel into your daily commute.

What does the challenge hope to achieve?

The challenge aims to encourage people to walk and cycle more and to use public transport for the benefit of their health and the environment.

Does a short walk or cycle ride really make any difference?

Making just one short journey on foot or by bike can save around 2kg of carbon compared to driving. There are also significant health benefits if journeys are made regularly.

Why are electric vehicles not included as a category?

In this particular challenge we are focusing on reducing the level of single occupancy car trips. Whilst it's great that electric vehicles reduce emissions, they don't have the benefits to health and congestion that other forms of sustainable travel do.

Car-sharing or taking the bus, for example, would benefit both emission levels and congestion.

If you are using your electric car as a car-share please log these journeys.

How do I edit my profile?

Just go to your profile page and then scroll down to the bottom. You'll see your contact details and an 'edit details' button (no-one else will be able to see this and you'll need to be logged in for it to work). Click on this and you'll be able to edit your contact details.

If you need to edit any of your journeys just click on the 'view journeys' button which you'll find under the journey totals of your profile.

Do I have to be part of an organisation to take part?

No. You can take part as an individual.

How do I set up my organisation?

After registering, you will be taken to a page where you can join or create your organisation. If you create an organisation you automatically become the captain (although this can be changed very simply to another person at a later date) and the organisation will be recorded on the platform for colleagues to also sign up to.

- Go to the Homepage and select Me at the top of the page. Then,

- Select Personal Profile

- Select Edit Details (this is at the very bottom of the page)

- Select Register with an organisation

You can then join one of the registered organisations on the drop down, or click on ‘Create a new organisation’ to register your organisation.

Once registered everyone can follow the same path to add teams under this one organisation; change their team; or register for a different organisation.

Please contact challenge@sustrans.org.uk if you need any help with this.

I selected the wrong organisation when I registered. How do I change it?

Go to your profile page and then scroll down to the bottom. You'll see your contact details and an 'edit details' button (no-one else will be able to see this and you'll need to be logged in for it to work). Click on this and you'll be able to select a different organisation to join.

I don't seem to be part of an organisation with my colleagues. How do I join my organisation?

If you registered but didn't click the 'join organisation /team' button then you'll need to edit your profile and try to join the organisation again.

To do this, go to your profile page and then scroll down to the bottom. You'll see your contact details and an 'edit details' button. Click on this and you'll be able to select your organisation and /or team within your organisation to join.

If your organisation isn't registered you'll also be able to register it here.

How do I amend my organisation profile?

If you set up the organisation originally you will have admin rights for the organisation profile page.

If you are the organisation administrator:

Log in and then go to your organisation profile page. If you scroll down to the bottom of the profile page you'll see the 'edit details' button. Click on this and you'll get the option to edit organisation details (including adding or amending teams).

You can find more organisation details by clicking the 'more details' button. This will enable you to see who has registered for the organisation and to get their contact details if you need to contact them.

If you are not the organisation administrator:

Scroll down to the bottom of the organisation profile page and you'll see the name of the person who has this role.

How do I find out who is my organisation administrator?

Scroll to the bottom of your organisation profile page and you'll see the name of your organisation administrator.

How do I email everyone in my organisation or edit my organisation profile to add new departments?

This is something that you'll need your organisation administrator to do for you. They'll be able to access all of the organisation members' email addresses and add departments by editing the organisation details.

Can we keep an eye on our competitors? We'd like to do better than them.

Yes you can. We call this Nemesis Challenge.

You'll need your organisation administrator to set this up for you but it is very straightforward.

1. Ask your organisation administrator to log-in.
2. Go the profile page of the organisation you want to 'watch' (find all competing organisations on the leader boards on the results pages).
3. Just underneath the organisation name click the 'Watch this organisation' button.

Now go back to your own organisation profile and you'll see a section showing the organisations you are watching. You'll see how they are doing and how far ahead or behind them you are.

What type of bike should I buy?

Road bikes are fast and light, but new riders can sometimes find the seating position restrictive. A mountain bike may be sturdier and has a more sit-up-and-beg riding position, but be sure to put on slick tyres if you're riding on the road! A hybrid is a compromise between the two - a lightweight frame but an upright riding position.

Folding bikes are increasingly popular, and modern versions are comfortable and efficient. Electrically assisted bikes take a good chunk of the effort out of even the longest commuting trips.

What would I wear for cycling?

Wear whatever you want, as long as you're comfortable. Contrary to popular belief, head to toe lycra is not a requirement for travelling by bike.

I need to take the kids to school!

Nearly 50% of children would like to cycle to school, but only 4% do. If your kids are old enough, why not try out walking or cycling together?

You could even contact other parents and organise a walking or cycling train. If they're too little, there's a great range of child seats and trailers available for most requirements.

Can I count the miles I pedal on an exercise bike?

No, we're afraid not. Besides the fact that that isn't actually a journey we want you to get out and about as well to see just how easy it is to get to actual places by bike! Bikes bolted to the floor don't count.

Can I count jogging or running journeys?

Yes. There is a separate category for running /jogging.

How do I win?

There are prizes for the winning organisation in each size category, and prizes for individuals.

The winning organisation in each size category is judged by the overall rate of participation, so you must encourage your colleagues and friends to get involved if you want to win the competition!

In the event of a draw the winning organisation will be the one logging the greatest number of journeys proportional to the number of people in the organisation.

We rank the individual leader board by the number of journeys you complete rather than by the distance you've travelled or the type of travel mode you used. This means that those completing multi-modal journeys will climb the leader board more quickly.

We'll be giving out spot-prizes along the way for taking part, so if you log just one journey you're in with a chance of winning some great prizes even if you're not at the top of the leader board!

How are the carbon, calorie and cost savings calculated?

Carbon calculations are based on data from the UK Government GHG Conversion Factors report 2019 [Greenhouse gas reporting: conversion factors 2019.]

Calories burnt and cost savings are all based on industry practice and data, while car cost calculations are based on RAC Motoring Services data. These figures are based on running an average sized car, with 10,000 average annual mileage with an average fuel price.

What will you do with the results?

Overall results will be used to demonstrate the impacts of the challenge with our partners, to inform future initiatives and to promote the benefits of more active travel . We won't share any of your personal data with anyone outside of Sustrans.

Why are you talking about doughnuts?

We use doughnuts to talk about calories. This is not because we want you to eat more of them, but because doughnuts are easy to visualise, and help to demonstrate how many calories you've burnt with all your hard efforts. Well done you!

Where can I get a good flapjack recipe?

250g Porridge Oats
125g Butter (melted)
125g Brown Sugar
2-3 tbsps Golden Syrup (depends how gooey you want it)

Mix all the ingredients together and press into a lightly greased baking tin.
Place in the oven and bake on 180 until golden brown (about 20 minutes).

How do I contact the challenge organisers?

If you have any questions about the Active Travel Challenge, please contact:

challenge@sustrans.org.uk

I want a bespoke challenge for my organisation. Is this an option?

Yes we can offer a more bespoke challenge - please contact The challenge organisers to discuss your needs:

challenge@sustrans.org.uk