Winter Cycling Checklist

Winter is upon us and cold weather and shorter daylight hours can make getting on your bike seem a bit trickier. But with the right approach and some basic equipment, riding in winter can be fun – and incredibly rewarding. Here are some top tips to keep you pedalling through deepest, darkest December.

ltr-advent-2016-16-1Wrap up warm (and dry!)

A windproof and waterproof jacket, overtrousers and gloves will keep your body and hands toasty. Multitubes help keep the cold air off your neck and ears and if you’re riding a long distance and get cold feet, overshoes will keep the draught out.


Be safe, be seenideas

A good set of lights will help you to see and be seen and are essential for commuting through the shortest days of winter – check out Exposure’s brilliant, British-made lights here. It’s also a good idea to be as highly visible as possible to other road users. Proviz make amazing hi-viz gear and happen to have a healthy discount just now…

supportGive your bike some TLC

Book a service to make sure everything’s working as it should (find your local bike shop here if you’re logged into the site) and consider fitting some mudguards to prevent getting surface water and mud all over yourself and your fellow commuters.
The salt and water you kick up when cycling in winter are bad for your bike, so it’s a good idea to give it a clean as often as possible, with a degreaser to dislodge moisture and gunk from moving parts where necessary. Wet weather chain oil is also a good call to keep you running smoothly through nasty weather.

Enjoy it!xmas pudding

If you’re well prepared, riding into work on a crisp winter morning or battling through rain and cold on the way home can be invigorating, exciting and rewarding. Plus you’ll reap all the brilliant benefits of biking right through the winter and arrive in spring feeling fitter and healthier than ever!

Finally, bag yourself some amazing winter riding gear – or even a brand new Raleigh bike – by logging your trips with Love to Ride! We’re running a Winter Wheelers Advent Calendar, with great prizes being given away every day from December 1 up to and including Christmas Day.

Massive thanks to our fantastic winter sponsors, Raleigh, Proviz and Exposure Lights.


Always nice to hear stories

We love hearing stories from all over the world of people and places that have benefited from our work.

We got this email the other day after running a month long encouragement programme in a city:


Hi Jenny,


Thought you might like some anecdotal feedback from Rose Street. As I locked up my bike this morning, another Rose St cyclist said ‘I can’t believe how many people are riding bikes at the moment, even now the weather is getting colder. Has a new organisation of cyclists started here or something?’ Knowing about Love to Ride I was impressed that there has been a noticeable difference.
All the best


Meeting Access Fund Criteria + Winning Your Bid


The core revenue funding in England for cycling & walking is delivered through the DfT’s Access Fund. Successful bids will have 3 years of funding to help in the delivery of their local initiatives and programmes.


Meeting the Criteria

Bids will need to show how they will meet two of the key criteria:

  • Improve access to employment, education, and trainingRide Report Dashboard
  • Be effective at encouraging more people to walk and cycle

Love to Ride Access Fund Elements:

Comprehensive year round cycling encouragement programme – including 3 focussed and intensive periods of engagement, links to and promotion of your other local initiatives, and engagement of workplaces, schools and higher education institutions.

GPS data gathering and analysis tool – cutting edge technology improving cycling, walking and sustainable transport in your area with real data and best in class data analysis tools (which are thankfully very easy to use!). Learn more here.

Walking InitiativesWe’ve been asked by some local authorities what we’d recommend to encourage walking and to complement their Love to Ride programme. Find out more about those here.

Access Fund Two Pager



Read our 2 pager on how we will support your Access Fund


Interested in how we can support your Access Fund bid?  Get in touch with Sam Robinson –



The Access Fund


We’re excited about the upcoming release of more information on the Access Fund.


What is the Access Fund?

The Access Fund will run for 3 years from 2017 to 2020. It is a pot of £580m of central Government sustainable transport funding, of which £60m is revenue funding.


The focus of the Fund is likely to prioritise

  1. Sustainable and accessible transport projects that will help people access work, training, education and services.
  2. Projects which help improve walking and cycling
  3. Approaches that have already proven to be successful


Strength to Strength

At Love to Ride, we’ve had much success with DfT funding – going back to the Cycling England days, then LSTF, the Transition Fund and now the Access Fund.  

Love to Ride has evolved from being a ‘Challenge’ programme to being a year-round behaviour change and encouragement platform. We now collect GPS data throughout the year, automatically, providing planners with very useful data.

We know we can continue to support Councils across England to achieve their cycling goals and help them to win funding through the Access Fund.


Adding weight to your local programme

We can add weight to your Access Fund application by including a Love to Ride programme that’s tailored to your area.  Benefits include:

  • A proven programme – that’s already been successful
  • A strong workplace and travel to work focus (likely to be a key element of the criteria)
  • Promoting and boosting your other cycling projects through the Love to Ride platform and community
  • Providing you with GPS data on where people are riding locally


Supporting your application

Writing an Access Fund application is a big job!  But we can help you with the cycling section.

We are very used to supporting local authorities in writing their bids, particularly the cycling encouragement sections.  If you’re interested in finding out how we can help, please get in touch. We’re happy to help!


Worth a read

Beth Hiblin is a well known Behaviour Change Consultant and she has written this nice blog post about getting prepared for the release of the Access Fund:


Want to know as soon as the Fund is announced?
As soon as more information about Access Fund criteria is released by the DfT, we’ll be straight on it. If you’d like to get an email from us as soon as we know, then…

Get alerted as soon as the Access Fund is announced!

GPS Data and Bicycle Infrastructure Planning

Gif showing GPS data

Are you interested in how you can use GPS phone app data to make better planning decisions?

At Love to Ride we collect data via a smartphone app that automatically records people’s rides, walks and other transportation trips. People don’t need to press start or stop on the app at the beginning or end of their trip, it’s all done automatically.

This means that we get a lot of data on where people are riding their bikes, walking, etc. This data is then completely anonymized and can be used to make better planning decisions based on real data.


Things to be aware of…

Data collected with GPS phone apps provides a valuable opportunity to really understand how people are travelling around your area by bike. However, there are some key things to keep in mind as you look to analyse and utilize this data.

Check out this short video by Love to Ride CEO Thomas Stokell:

At work and can’t see the video? Email it to your phone here!

Interested in learning more? Get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.