Love to Ride UniCycle – The Genius of Two Wheels

We’re really excited to be launching a new Department for Transport-funded pilot project with NUS and the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC). We’re working with eight universities and leading behaviour change specialists to get more students and staff riding bikes and help achieve the government’s goal of doubling cycling by 2025.

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Earlier this year NUS surveyed 2,000 members about cycling, and the results were fascinating:

  • 56% of respondents hadn’t been on a bike for over a year, with women overrepresented in this group
  • 45% were unaware of cycle training that was on offer at their institution
  • Those who do cycle overwhelmingly do so for transport and cite environmental reasons for riding (this is rarely the case with respondents to our surveys in other contexts)
  • 30% of students who do have access to a bike don’t use it at all, despite the most important factors when travelling to University being time, cost and convenience.
  • Not feeling safe is the most commonly cited barrier to cycling whilst at university

With these and many other insights into students’ travel habits and attitudes towards cycling, we’ll be working with our partners to devise interventions that help overcome barriers and get more students on bikes.

Project teams at each of the universities are soon to receive a batch of UniCycle t-shirts and a GoPro camera. We’re working with them to devise ways to get students on bikes at the beginning of the academic year and we’ll be convening in late October to share ideas and hold an ISM workshop with Andrew Darnton.


We’ll be sharing insights from the project throughout the year. In the meantime, 80 universities are already taking part in Cycle September (and one of our cohort, the University of Sheffield, is currently out in front!) and every university and college in the UK is invited to join in to get more students and staff cycling.

Find out more and register here (it only takes a minute):

If you’d like to find out more about UniCycle, including how to register your interest in good time for the 2018/9 programme, please email for more info.

Cycle September is here!

Cycle September – the main event of our Year of the Bike – kicked off last Friday. As of Monday 4 September, we’ve already had 7,000 people log a ride – a phenomenal start that puts us well on track to meet (or beat!) our previous results (we’ve averaged 18,500 participants in the National Cycle Challenge over the last two years).

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This year, as well as the name change, we’re inviting everyone to log their rides with Ride Report, a new app that automagically records your rides by running in the background on your phone – you don’t even have to press start or stop! This gives us great data to help local authorities plan better infrastructure, plus we get a much more realistic picture of real transport cycling behaviour because it picks up every short journey, unlike other apps. To encourage people to use Ride Report, we’re giving away £500 to spend on a new bike to one lucky winner who downloads the app and uses it for Cycle September.

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Also new this year is an Organisation Page feature that, for a small cost, allows organisations with multiple sites in the UK to join them up so they can work together to climb the leaderboard. If you’d like to find out more about this exciting opportunity to get your colleagues cycling nationwide, please write to

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Once again we’ve got a mouth-watering prizes pot, and everyone who takes part will go into the draw for Raleigh bikes, a trip to Brighton or Berlin, top-notch cycling luggage from Carradice of Nelson, amazing T2 helmets from Torch and incredible, innovative locks from Litelok (not to mention our global prize of a trip to Italy or San Francisco). There are lots of other prizes locally and nationally and we hope to break our record for prizewinners too – last year we gave away 877 prizes for riding and encouraging!


We’ll be unveiling local and national leaderboards later this week, so please register yourself and your workplace to start earning points now! It only takes a minute to register at


Happy cycling!

Bike Week Kicks Off A Bumper Summer Of Cycling!

Bike Week was very well timed this year; the 200th anniversary of the first ever bike ride fell on Monday 12 June. To celebrate this momentous occasion we invited everyone in the UK to Give the Gift of Cycling by riding, encouraging friends & colleagues and sharing inspirational cycling stories. 9,352 people logged a ride and over 400 people encouraged someone else to take part. Together we clocked up 607,558 miles and 44,095 trips – that’s the quivalent of 24 circuits of the equator!


We had LOADS of amazing cycling stories that we’ll be blogging and sharing in the coming days – here’s a taste to show the incredible power of everyday cycling:

  • Emma in Kent told us how her simple mountain bike, through ‘a combination of trailers, tagalongs, front mounted saddles and baby back seat‘ allowed her and her husband to do 60 miles of pedal-powered school run every week with four young children.
  • Deb took up cycling to work in Cardiff on a rainy Monday when her mother-in-law passed on an unwanted bike to help her achieve her goal of losing weight: ‘I have now cycled in all weathers, from hail to sunshine almost every day for two years and I really enjoy riding the 4.3 miles each day next to the river and through the park. I would recommend cycling to anyone.
  • Mark from Brighton took up cycling to recover from a 7-hour operation to remove a cyst from his lung: ‘It felt amazing! … As with so many, it took a health concern to get me cycling. But it needn’t have done and it needn’t do for you!

As well as sharing inspirational stories and inviting people to encourage their friends and colleagues, we gave away 100 brilliant prizes from Raleigh, Rutland Cycling, UPSO, Cyclehoop (hi-five to Barry who was our Top Male Rider, clocking up an astonishing 803 miles!), Penguin Books and loads of local bike shops – a HUGE thank you to all our amazing sponsors for helping to get more people cycling!

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Bike Week kicks off an exciting Summer of Cycling, building up to the the main event in our Year of the Bike calendar: Cycle September. We’ll be having a weekly prize draw to reward regular riding over the summer and there are lots of hints and tips to help you build your team and plan to win in September.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter feed (share pictures & join the conversation with #CycleSeptember) for info, prize announcements, weekly draws and curated content to get more people cycling.

Thanks to everyone who took part in Bike Week – keep cycling through the summer and make sure you and your colleagues are ready for Cycle September!

Register online now:


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!