For 2016 the popular Bike More Challenge based in Portland, Oregon will be using the Love to Ride behavior change platform.
The 2016 Bike More Challenge, historically the Bike Commute Challenge, is an annual month long event run by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance with the goal of increasing bike riding in the Portland area and beyond. Since 1998, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (BTA) has built the Bike More Challenge to be one of the largest and most effective month long bike challenges in the United States. In 2015 they had 1,152 businesses and 10,772 individuals take part in the program.
This Challenge is a perfect match for the Love to Ride platform, which uses behavior change, competition, and gamification to effectively encourage non-bike riders to try riding during a month long challenge (then continue riding) and to encourage existing riders to ride to work.
“The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is very excited to partner with Love to Ride on our 2016 Bike More Challenge. The Love to Ride Platform is packed full of great features that focus on community building, encouragement, goal-setting, and celebrating individual accomplishments with badges and prizes and is truly built for an awesome user experience. We are thrilled to refresh our month long Challenge with this great website and to re-energize our participants and new riders to #bikemore!”- Nicole Davenport, Bike More Challenge Program Manager
CEO and Founder of Love to Ride, Thomas Stokell, is excited about the BTA and Love to Ride partnership. Stokell explains the partnership further, “The BTA and the City of Portland are leaders in the cycling world, and there is a lot of alignment in our goals and mission. Our aim at Love to Ride is to have the best online platform for encouraging more people to discover and starting riding. The BTA have taken the time to really understand what we do, what we offer, and the value we can provide them.”
Creating a great user experiences takes a lot of expertise, energy and money. The BTA had previously worked with a website development agency to manage their own challenge platform which they found to be time and resource intensive. “They have now realized that partnering with a world class cycling platform to handle the technology side of the work will allow them to deliver an even better user experience through their Bike More Challenge,” says Thomas Stokell
Many new Love to Ride features will be integrated within the 2016 Bike More Challenge including badges, stories, additional app connections (e.g. Strava, Moves, Map My Ride, Endomodo), and year-round behavior change messaging so that the encouragement doesn’t end after the Challenge.
With limited funding for cycling, how can you work together with local and national partners to continue encouraging cycling in 2016?
The Spending Review
When the Comprehensive Spending Review was announced in late November, the news for cycling in England wasn’t the greatest. Essentially a 58% cut in Department for Transport funding for cycling. Just £1.58 per person in England, well below the £10 per person as recommended in the ‘Get Britain Cycling’ report.
There will be more announcements in the New Year, especially with regard to the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS), however, in the meantime we need to keep moving.
So with limited funds… what can we all do?
Here Are Three Recommendations on How to Work Together
1) Bring everyone to the table
Bring together partners from public health, the private sector, transportation, air quality, environment, and cycling advocates.
This means that you can pool the financial and human resources that you do have available for cycling promotion locally and together do a cycling project that will have an impact.
2) Take advantage of National Programmes
For example, the UK National Cycle Challenge and Cycle to Work Day are ideal programmes that you can promote locally. They’re existing campaigns with marketing materials and promotional tools that you can easily send around to your local cycling and business communities and get a result.
They’re also already being promoted by Cyclescheme, CTC, Love to Ride and others, so piggy backing on this existing promotion makes a lot of sense.
3) Only consider projects that deliver excellent value for money
With the budget that you do have (or which can be pulled together from local partners), make sure that your cycling projects are getting outstanding value for money.
For example, the cost to develop your own local campaign from scratch will be considerably higher than rolling out an existing, proven project. Once again the UK National Cycle Challenge and Cycle to Work Day have so much built into them – in terms of resources, tools and functionality – that for a relatively small budget, you can get a significant return on your investment.
What we’re doing at Love to Ride
With the current funding situation, we’re doing a number of things at Love to Ride to continue working with our local partners across the UK to encourage cycling. Read more about it here.