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Help grow cycling – and win prizes – with Love to Ride

By Andrew Brown, posted 11 January 2018

Contact on twitter @justridethebike

Andrew's got a new cycling challenge for 2018. in memory of his mum, and in aid of Alzheimer's Society. 

Just Ride the Bike is all about celebrating cycling in all its forms, so we were delighted recently to come across Love to Ride, Bristol-based behaviour change experts who share our passion. Their aim is to get more people on bikes, more often and for transport and they run a year-round calendar of events to do just that.


In 2015 Love to Ride ran the first National Cycle Challenge, a fun, free competition between workplaces – hosted on their specially designed website – to see which could get the most staff to try riding a bike. It was hugely successful and has become a fixture of the cycling sector calendar as Cycle September, its name for the 2016 and ’17 editions.


Based on behaviour change principles, the rules are designed to make it fun and accessible for all, so participants only need to ride for ten minutes to contribute to their team’s score and they can ride anywhere, anytime during September. Workplaces compete in seven size categories, with the winners receiving Cyclehoop installations.


As well as organisation prizes, individuals are incentivised to take part with a whole range of prizes and rewards. In 2017 new riders and their encouragers were sent fairtrade, screen-printed t-shirts and people who logged a ride in December went into daily draws for winter cycling gear from leading brands Proviz, Blaze and Torch.


It's an approach that has achieved some remarkable results: 325,000 people and over 18,000 workplaces have taken part in Love to Ride programmes in twelve countries. Typically, 40% of new riders who engage in their programmes go on to ride at least once a week and 43% of occasional riders start riding regularly.


The success of national Love to Ride events in New Zealand and the USA suggest that workplaces worldwide are waking up to the significant benefits they can reap by encouraging their staff to cycle. People who commute by bike take half the sick leave of colleagues who use other modes of transport, plus organisations stand to gain from reduced need for parking and, through the Cycle to Work Scheme, lower National Insurance Contributions (individuals save between 25 and 39% on the cost of a bike and equipment for commuting).


Jack Windle, Senior Projects Manager at Love to Ride, explained why their approach has been so successful, “We have something for everyone. Sporty cyclists can link Strava and automatically upload their rides, occasional riders are incentivised and empowered to try riding for transport and new riders are given the information and advice they need to access confidence-boosting services and try riding socially with friends and colleagues. Employers love what we do because it’s a free team-building exercise that’s a bit of fun in the workplace, but it also fosters a cycling community and helps unlock the benefits of a healthier, more active workforce’.


The first event of 2018 is Ride to Work Week, which runs from 12-18 March. Every ride to work logged that week will earn an entry into draws for European city breaks, £100 local bike shop vouchers and other cycling goodies. Plus all rides logged before the end of March go into the draw for Love to Ride’s annual global prize – this year it’s a trip of a lifetime to Italy or San Francisco! Find out more and register at and look out for more from Love to Ride later in the year.

All credits: Love to Ride, 2018

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