A 'Yellow Guernsey Award' has been created to honour people who make cycling a priority in their lives, and are an active travel role model in their communities.
The first recipients have been named this week as Allister Carey and his grandson Max (pictured above).
The Health Improvement Commission came up with the idea after 'Wear a Guernsey Day', while choosing the colour yellow to reflect the significance of the 'yellow jersey' in cycling events such as the Tour de France.
The local award is based on a UK version where yellow jumpers are given to people making cycling a priority in their lives and being an active travel role model in their communities. Guernsey's Active Travel Officer, Alex Costen (pictured above) said the Guernsey version had to include a Guernsey.
Mr Carey has used cycling to improve the lives of others, after losing his younger daughter in a road accident more than a decade ago.
Following the death of Eleanor, her father launched The Eleanor Foundation which has since sent thousands of bikes to different countries in Africa. The charity unwanted bikes and repairs and prepares them before donating them to individuals and communities.
Pictured: Since losing his younger daughter Eleanor in a road accident, Allister Carey has worked tirelessly to repurpose push bikes so they can be used for transport in African communities. The Eleanor Foundation has also supported communities in other ways.
While Mr Carey uses a van to collect bikes as they are donated to the charity, he says that he, his wife, children and grandchildren are all committed to active transport options.
"Having a more active lifestyle definitely helps with our health," he said. "It’s also very liberating not being confined in a box and the fresh air is good for the mind. We move a lot through cycling and hardly ever get ill.
"There aren’t many things you can’t do on your bike. It rains sometimes, but if you have the right gear, it really doesn’t matter."
Having lost his Auntie Ellie to a road accident when he was a young child, Max had not wanted to cycle for a long time. He learnt to ride this summer and now frequently rides to and from school and to meet his friends.
"Having the ability to cycle is a big boost," he said.
"I have three or four friends at school and we meet together and cycle to school. It means we can chat on the way there and I enjoy it. I also meet up with friends in our spare time and it gives us the chance to socialise anywhere we can cycle to on the island."
Max's grandad has been involved with the Guernsey Bicycle Group for about 16 years and he says the island is now seeing a tipping point in terms of the number of people cycling. He also advocates finding alternative routes for cycling, which often run parallel to the main roads.
"You see a lot more bikes now. When our children were young we used to ferry them around in a trailer, or on a child seat on a bike, which wasn’t as common. Now, and with the growth of e bikes, there are so many families out on the roads cycling.
"I think one positive affect of the lockdown was in terms of quieter roads and allowing children to gain confidence. And if they learn young and enjoy cycling, they are more likely to carry on."
Alex Costen would like to hear of other people who deserve a yellow Guernsey. She can be contacted via the Health Improvement Commission.
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