Happy Birthday Biking!



It’s 200 years since the very first bike ride. Karl Drais invented the ‘Draisine’ – the earliest form of the modern bicycle. He covered 13 km (eight miles) on his first adventure on his invention. Constructed almost entirely of wood, the Draisine weighed 22kg (48lbs), had brass bushings within the wheel bearings, iron shod wheels & a rear-wheel brake.

This first ancestor of the modern bicycle was the humble origin of a solution to many of the problems we face in the 21st century. Public health, congestion and pollution can all be made better by the adoption of two wheels for fun and transportation.

We invite everyone to celebrate the birthday of this incredible invention by giving the gift of cycling: invite someone you know who would benefit from a bike ride to go out for a spin. If you record it on the Love to Ride site, you could both win a prize!

All of us who ride a bike owe Karl Drais a thank you – let’s celebrate the bicycle’s birthday by spreading the love and helping more people to enjoy the freedom of two wheels.


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Guest Post: MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Tell Cyclehoop How Much They Love to Ride!

 Cyclehoop-Logo-Font-Orange-e1456332114570Thanks to our friends from Cyclehoop for this great post from one of the 2016 National Cycle Challenge winners

September 2016 was a huge month for our trusty steeds to keep on rolling. The National Cycle Challenge ran throughout the entire month clocking up an unbelievable 2,282,774 miles, which is the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back 6 times.

Cyclehoop were delighted to partner with Love to Ride for the 2016 National Cycle Challenge for the 2nd year in a row by offering 5 prizes across the winning categories.

We caught up with the winners of the 200 – 499 employees category – the MRC (Medical Research Council) Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, who are now proud owners of a Deluxe Repair Station. These guys have been taking part in national and regional cycling challenges for the past six years, however, their staff have been cycling to work ever since the opening of the LMB building in Cambridge over 50 years ago!


This super fit team managed to cycle a whopping 9,969 miles, 6,970 of which were commuting miles. That’s the equivalent of about 11,644 hours in the gym. It also means they saved 355,247kg of carbon!

Alison Turnock of the MRC LMB says;

“Winning a Deluxe Repair Station was great because it acknowledged the remarkable additional commitment made by those who registered and took part in the Challenge for the benefit of all staff. We now have all the necessary resources to enable staff to make minor repairs to their bikes on site. The Deluxe Repair Station is a really useful addition to the existing tools and pump we have available for staff.”

Hugh Pelham, the MRC LMB’s Director said:

“There is a great cycling culture in Cambridge and we are pleased that so many of LMB’s staff choose to cycle to work. We encourage cycling as the preferred mode of transport by providing our staff with secure bike parking, showers and lockers. We are proud of their efforts during the recent National Cycle Challenge and as recipients of the Deluxe Repair Station prize, we are now able to extend the basic bike repair facilities we have available.”

Well done guys and best of luck with all of your cycling adventures!



“Your employees are the people who make you win” Dave Ulrich

Daniel O’Connell from the Brighton Housing Trust recently published this great post about their fantastic effort in the Brighton & Hove Cycle Challenge on LinkedIn. He’s kindly agreed for us to share it: 


Here at Brighton Housing Trust we have just won the Brighton & Hove Cycle Challenge 2017. Results:


1st Place (200-499): Brighton Housing Trust

1st Place (20-49): Archway Project (a BHT mental health service)

With a recognised culture of wellbeing for our clients and residents it is also established and enabled in our culture with staff. Cycling in Brighton is a well known tradition and cycling to work has doubled across the city between 2001 and 2011. Our participation levels in this great initiative with Brighton and Hove Council and Love to Ride were 3 times the local average.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but in a competitive and challenging environment our investment in the wellbeing of our staff has many business benefits, improved health and wellbeing, reduced absence, increased productivity and morale, an authentic brand and commitment as an employer to our staff wellbeing, enabling us to attract and retain the best employees. Our staff cycled 1293 miles during the month of March and saved 635lbs of CO2 to win.

Ride for LeisureBy 2020 it is estimated 1 in 3 UK workers will be over the age of 50, half the workforce will want or need to work beyond 65 (recent reports state that at least six million people may have to work longer before they qualify for the state pension), studies show 1 in 3 people report having a long-term physical health condition, 1 in 4 employee’s have a physical health condition, 1 in 8 have a mental health condition, 1 in 10 a musculoskeletal condition. Healthy life expectancy has fallen in recent years from 63.9 years to 62.4 years and 131 million working days are lost to sickness absence every year.

Other studies show as we live longer 39% of us will be diagnosed with cancer in our lifetime, Alzheimer’s has overtaken heart disease, diabetes has doubled since 1996, results for 2015 showed 62.9% of adults were obese and the always on culture has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Who does not know someone affected? It would stand that investing and looking after an organisation’s greatest asset, its staff, remains a no-brainer, financially, ethically and morally.

The good news is prevention is better than cure and even with the great advances in medical treatments and early diagnosis there is a growing recognition of the positive link between employee well-being and long term sustainable organisational health.

Spread the LoveThis scheme is just one of the actions Brighton Housing Trust is taking towards engagement with our staff on wellbeing and I have just heard funding will be there for another three years, which is great news for organisations across Brighton and Hove.

We also have another great challenge open to everyone, our Round the World Cycle Challenge at Preston Park Velodrome on 25th June 2017, it’s accessible and available to all levels, ages and abilities for a very worthy cause First Base Day Centre. Why not consider joining us in this culture of fun, fitness and fundraising, we would love to see you. Volunteer opportunities also available.  Hopefully another no-brainer?

Thanks for reading and as I heard Geoff McDonald state recently at a talk on practical ways to tackle employee stress at work…….

“If a flower does not bloom, its not the flower, it’s the environment.”

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#WinterWheelers – a Wheely Big Success!

Riding in Winter can be one of the most rewarding and beautiful times to get on your bike. Whether it’s enjoying the crisp, winter sun on a weekend ride or attacking puddles on a wet commute to work, at Love to Ride we wanted to show people how truly great – and diverse – winter riding can be.

That’s why we launched #WinterWheelers.

5,690 Love to Riders (including 366 new members!) braved dark December to clock up over 55,000 trips for our #WinterWheelers promo. Throughout December, in the run up to Christmas Day, 25 amazing daily prizes were gifted from the #WinterWheelers sponsors: RaleighProviz; and USE Exposure lights. We also popped a Raleigh Strada Speed 2 bike under the campaign Christmas tree. See if you were one of our lucky winners here.


A huge thank you to our awesome national sponsors – and to everyone who took part!

Last but not least, there’s the important matter of the winning photo. Honourable mention goes to this corker from Den:

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But the winner by unanimous decision is this Christmassiest of snaps from Rob – congratulations!

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Thanks again to everyone who made #WinterWheelers such a great success – look out for our next initiative to get more people cycling in your area for the #YearoftheBike!

Find out more about what we have in store for 2017 here.

2017 is Year of the Bike

200 Years ago…

In 1817, the first verifiable bicycle was born. In 2017, we’re celebrating the 200th birthday of the bicycle with the ‘Year of the Bike’. In participating regions, a calendar of events aimed at both celebrating and encouraging cycling will be run throughout the year.

We are looking for local partners who want to utilise the opportunity that the Year of the Bike brings to help achieve their local cycling goals.

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The key aims of the Year of the Bike are:

  • Encourage more people to rediscover the benefits of riding
  • Encourage people to ride more often and for transportation
  • Provide regions with quality behaviour change programmes at the local level
  • Be effective at achieving behaviour change through cost-efficient programmes
  • Collate and share rich data to help inform local developments


screenshot-2016-12-05-16-37-03GPS data

As well as encouraging more people to ride, more often and for transportation, we’ll also be collecting useful GPS data on where people are riding in your city to help inform your future infrastructure plans.

Learn more here


Rolling throughout the year

The Year of the Bike includes a year-round rolling programme of activity and engagement. We have four major campaigns spaced equally at one every quarter.

Ride to Work Week: The main aim is to encourage more people to realise the benefits of riding to work. This is a fun competition between organisations and people to see who can ride to work the most during the week. There are also incentives for encouraging new people to try riding to work as well.

Bike Week: To kickstart the summer of cycling, we focus on encouraging people to ride and attend local Bike Week events. Another key aim is to encourage existing riders to invite new riders out for a ride and/or to a Bike Week event.

Cycle September: This UK-wide event is for everyone, everywhere in funded and non-funded areas. Ride and encourage others to do the same. Compete for fun against other organisations locally and nationally. Great team and individual prizes up for grabs. Which of local employers will take the top spots?

Winter Wheelers – Advent Calendar: As the nights draw in and the cold starts to bite, Winter Wheelers supports people to ride in winter with top tips and an advent calendar’s worth of daily prizes, including bikes and seasonal cycling gear!

Funding and Budgets

We recognise that some areas have more funding available than others for getting more people riding bikes. We have, therefore, created a menu of options which give you the ability to choose the Year of the Bike campaign elements that fit within you budget and best compliment your existing planned cycling activities. Please contact us to look at your options.

Want to find out more?

To understand how to bring the Year of the Bike into your area to give cycling a local boost – whatever your budget – get in touch with Sam by phone on 07734833451 or email sam@lovetoride.org.

Ever wondered how we change behaviour? This fun 2 minute animation explains all…