Deeply rooted in behaviour change methodology, Love to Ride is the online platform and encouragement tool that gets more people riding. We have run our programs in hundreds of cities in over 12 countries and to date we’ve engaged more than 393,000 people, including a staggering 91,000 ‘new riders’. We work with cities, communities and businesses and target those people who are ‘interested but concerned’ about riding and provide them the information and encouragement they need to help them address those barriers and get on a bike!
The month of September 2018 was a career highlight for me as we brought the inaugural Love to Ride challenge to Brisbane, my birth town! I had no doubt that a city as progressive as Brisbane (no bias here!) would embrace the challenge and do me proud! Of course, I was right! (When am I not?)
A roaring success, this workplace based cycling challenge saw 2,327 participants take part from over 220 organisations. One of the key features of the Love to Ride platform is the ability for our partners to access crucial data which helps them understand the drivers and barriers of people living in their city, ultimately culminating in better planning and communications.
Let’s jump in and take a look at some of the key results for Brisbane:
|Headline Results||Brisbane 2018|
|% trips for transport purposes||49%|
|CO2 saved (kg)||34,459|
Great to see over 49% of people logging using their bikes for commuting!
A MAFIL* if you will?
We often hear about the MAMIL* but the data consistently shows us that increasingly women love to be on their bikes too. Over 40% of registrants in Brisbane were female.
A closer look as to how that breaks down into rider level…
Public transport was the most frequent method of travel amongst new riders (43%) followed closely by driving alone (36%). The opposite was true for occasional riders, with driving alone at 38% and public transport close behind at 34%.
3 WEEK SURVEY FINDINGS
After we run a challenge, we look at how people’s attitudes and behaviours have shifted when compared to the baseline survey they completed at sign up.
72% of new riders and 46% of occasional riders reported an intention to increase how often they ride compared to 12 months before the challenge. These ‘interested by concerned’ people had experienced a definite shift in behaviour.
85% of new riders and 66% of occasional riders noted that the Love to Ride Brisbane challenge encouraged them to ride more often.
WHAT MOTIVATES BRISBANE FOLKS TO RIDE? Is it the Jacarandas?
Not just the Jacarandas! Those Brisbanites sure are a healthy bunch!
WHAT ABOUT THE BARRIERS PEOPLE FACE? Does it differ by city?
Giving new riders the confidence and knowledge they need to get out on a bike is crucial and universal to Aussie cities.
Certainly the type of rider influences the perceived barriers, however, weather is consistently the biggest factor for regular riders.
DO BARRIERS DIFFER GLOBALLY?
In fact, regardless of rider type, weather is a huge factor right across the globe too. Just check it out!
Our partners can access all this information and communicate with both existing and new riders in their area. Targeting in this way ensures the message is specific and relevant. So, all the good stuff our partners are doing to get more people riding… bike courses, infrastructure building, route planning services… is being received by the right audience segment making it more useful and effective to recipients.
Want to take the temperature of your city and get more people on bikes? Send me a message and let’s chat.
– Christina Sorbello
Love to Ride, Australia Country Manager
Love to Ride works in 13 countries around the world to get more people cycling, more often. If you’re interested in finding out how you can encourage cycling and collect useful data on cycling in your area, then please get in touch. We’re always happy to hear from people like yourself. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Moss recently spent 16 months cycling 13,000 miles around the world with his wife, Laura.
Despite riding across deserts, over mountains and through jungles they experienced far more kindness and hospitality on their journey than they did hardships.
In this extract from Tim’s new book – With the Sun on Our Right – he discusses how little planning they did for the trip, how cheaply they travelled and how little experience is required for undertaking a long bicycle journey. Which leads him to the inevitable conclusion that perhaps anyone can cycle the world…
Anyone Can Cycle the World
When we left home, we had not even worked out how to get to the south coast of England, let alone mapped out what roads we would take across Italy, Albania or Vietnam. Once we got going, we just looked at what country we were aiming for next and planned a few days ahead. Similarly, we did not arrange a single visa before leaving home. In fact, of the 26 countries we visited, only two required visas to be arranged in advance.
Part of this could be attributed to our laissez-faire approach to life, preferring to take things as they come rather than map them out in detail. But mostly it is a testament to the ease and simplicity of cycle touring. You carry everything you need to be self-sufficient so it does not really matter where you end up at the end of a day.
You could plot an entire route around the world on a GPS device if you really wanted, but we just set off with enough maps to get us across Europe and then picked up free ones from tourist information offices as we went. Everywhere has road signs and people can usually point you in the right direction if the worst comes to it. Besides, navigating is rarely as hard as it is in the UK, with its dense network of intertwining roads. In lots of countries, we would follow one road for several days without making a single turn. Whenever we struggled in big cities, we used Google Maps on our phones. Cycling around the world is not complicated.
As with the practical preparations for the trip, very little physical preparation was required. We didn’t do any training. We cycled around London a lot, but never went out of our way to get in shape for the trip; we just got fit as we went. There are those who set off around the world at record speeds, pushing their bodies as hard as they can, but it was not like that for us. Sometimes it was hard work, but we would often cruise all day and simply enjoy the scenery. Cycling around the world need not be a gruelling experience.
The trip did not cost a lot of money either. We were away for almost a year and a half, and during that time our total expenditure was £6,500 each. That is still a reasonable sum of money, but I know people who have spent more on a two week holiday. Averaged out, we each spent £406 a month, which is far less than the monthly rent we had been paying on our London flat. That amount includes all of the food we bought from supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. It includes every visa fee we paid, multiple repairs to our bikes, campsite fees, hotel bills, several international flights, a few bits of medical attention, travel insurance for America, replacement clothes, local SIM cards, cups of tea, cups of coffee, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and more. Every penny that left our bank accounts while we were away is included in that sum of £406 per month. It was the cheapest we have ever lived and probably ever will. Cycling is cheap.
We were very lucky to be given some top quality touring bicycles for our trip by Ridgeback. Having previously only ridden bikes that were either second-hand or very cheap (or both), it was a real luxury to have good quality bikes that ran smoothly and reliably. However, a fancy bike is not a prerequisite for doing a big trip. All of my previous touring was done on a £180 bike from Decathlon, and hundreds of people have ridden across the globe on old mountain bikes. Others have used Brompton folding bikes, penny farthings and even unicycles. Ann Wilson, a friend who cycled around the world aged 59, only got as far as Bulgaria before her custom-built touring bike was stolen. Undeterred, she bought a cheap replacement from the local bike shop and carried on regardless. Another friend, Tom Allen, cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats using a bicycle he found at the local tip. You can cycle around the world without a fancy bike.
Although Laura and I had expedition and travel experience before we rode around the world, we had never undertaken an adventure on this scale before. We were reassured however, by knowing that experience is not a prerequisite for such a trip. Loads of people set off into the unknown on two wheels, without any cycling pedigree. While riding through China, veteran adventurer Sarah Outen bumped into a guy who asked if he could come with her. He had never cycled beyond his hometown before and did not own a bike, but he joined her anyway and cycled across China. The only experience Ann Wilson had when she decided to take early retirement and head east was riding her bike from Carlisle to Ipswich. There are even round-the-world cycling veterans who still do not know how to change a tyre. You do not need a lot of experience to cycle the world.
In short, our trip did not take much planning, require any training or cost a lot of money. It could have been done without a flash bike and it did not require any experience. Cycling around the world is not as hard as you think.
In fact, although our adventure was remarkable to us in so many wonderful ways, going on a big bike trip is not remarkable in itself. Anyone can do it and thousands have. Students fresh out of college have done it, as have those in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Men go on their own, as do women. Dervla Murphy cycled solo to India in the 1960s. Families do it too. Nancy Sathre-Vogel, for example, completed a 27,000 mile trip with her eight-year-old twins in tow. Even serious disabilities need not necessarily rule it out: Karen Darke crossed the mountains of Central Asia on a bike, and she is paralysed from the waist down; and despite being legally blind, Christi Bruchok and Tauru Chaw pedalled from Alaska to Ushuaia.
Anyone can cycle around the world.
You can cycle around the world.
I did not know that when I set off, but I know it now.
Check out Tim’s site, where he helps people go on adventures: thenextchallenge.org.
It’s Road Safety Week and the theme for this year is ‘Bike Smart, so here’s a post about how National Standards or Bikeability training can help you to bike smarter.
Cycling is a safe form of transport that prolongs life through the health benefits it delivers. Although various studies suggest that ‘the health benefits of cycling outweigh the injury risks by between 13:1 and 415:1’, safety remains one of the most commonly cited barriers to riding for transport (see Cycling UK’s site for these and lots of other great stats about cycling).
For our members who are new and occasional riders, lacking confidence to ride on the road is one of the biggest barriers to riding. Amongst our regular riders, not knowing a safe route is one of the most commonly cited barriers to riding to work.
Given that cycling is a relatively safe form of transport and people who ride regularly are fitter, healthier and live longer, what can people do to ‘bike smart’ and boost their road riding confidence?
Luckily, the answer is out there and for many children and adults in the UK, it’s totally free. Bikeability (‘cycling proficiency for the 21st century’) provides children with the basic knowledge and skills they need to ride confidently on roads. It’s based on the same National Standards, written in 2003 and approved by the Department for Transport, that adults who want to ride on-road should also be familiar with. Over 2.5 million people have benefitted from cycle training based on these standards, becoming safer and more competent riders as a result.
We highly recommend cycle training for riders of all abilities. If you ride regularly and think you are a competent road user, you are likely to gain a great deal from a one- or two-hour session with an instructor; a refresher every few years is also a great way to identify and resolve any bad habits that have crept into your biking behaviour. If you’ve never felt confident riding on the road, then cycle training will change your life!
There’s no substitute for doing the training yourself but we’ve listed three of the key principles below to give you a flavour of what the National Standards are all about:
- The basics
Before riding on the road, you need to be able to make sure your bike is roadworthy (the ABC test is a quick and easy way to do this) and to have the bike handling skills to control it effectively with one hand so that you can signal effectively.
- Primary position
People on bikes aren’t in the way of traffic, we are traffic – and we should behave like it. This means we must obey the rules of the road and that we are entitled to use all of it. The primary position, also known as ‘taking the lane’, is the default position for riding. By taking the lane you can see and be seen better, you prevent vehicles from overtaking unsafely and you can clearly signal your intentions to other road users.
- Good looking
In order to be aware of what’s happening around you and to spot potential hazards early, it’s important you look over your shoulder regularly. Anyone with a driving license knows that looking often is key to executing manoeuvres safely – the same applies on a bike. Well-trained road riders will check over their shoulder multiple times – as well as being alert to what’s going on in front and to the side – even for basic manoeuvres. Good looking is also crucial to communicating effectively with other road users: eye contact with a driver is the only way you can be 100% that they have seen you.
Cycle training can help you to bike smart – contact your local authority to find out how you can access it in your area.
As the nights draw in it’s also a good idea to bike smart by using high quality lights and hi-viz gear – you can unlock discounts for these from Proviz, Beryl and Torch by taking part in our Winter Wheelers promo, find out more and register here.
2018 has been an action-packed year for Love to Ride: our members have clocked up millions of miles and encouraged thousands of new riders to experience the joys and benefits of cycling, and we have worked with workplaces, governments and advocacy groups to get more people on bikes worldwide.
We’ve run national events in New Zealand, the UK and – for the first time – the USA, where we teamed up with the League of American Bicyclists to run the National Bike Challenge. Over 76,000 people took part in these national programs, joining the growing international movement to get more people on bikes and helping to introduce new riders to a simple, cheap and accessible way to become happier, healthier and wealthier.
This year our flagship workplace event, Cycle September, went global for the first time, with early adopters of our new Love to Ride for Business product taking part. Love to Ride for Business gives companies their own platform to help their staff switch to cycling for fun, fitness and transport, with friendly competition within and between offices to get more people on bikes. Find out more here.
We also completed a successful pilot in partnership with the National Union of Students and the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges in the UK to get more staff and students cycling in further and higher education. The Department for Transport awarded us an Innovation Challenge Fund grant to work with six universities and we used cutting-edge behaviour change techniques to design impactful interventions on campuses. Find out more about it on the NUS’s website here.
Wherever we work we are keen to support local bike shops. During Cycle September we gave away well over £10,000 of local bike shop vouchers in the UK and we’re responding to feedback from members to develop a dedicated category for bike shops and other cycling organisations so they can compete with each other in 2019.
We have also launched a new clubs and groups feature, which allows cycling clubs, informal groups and larger organisations like football clubs to invite their members to register on Love to Ride. This is currently in Beta and we are inviting feedback to help us make it a great new feature of the site – look out for Cycling Club league tables and the opportunity to ride for your beloved football club!
But our whistle-stop tour of 2018 on two wheels isn’t over yet… In December we’ll be running our hugely popular Winter Wheelers promo for the third time. We are delighted to welcome back our brilliant sponsors from 2017, Proviz, Beryl (formerly Blaze) and Torch – and to announce that Muc-Off will be offering top-notch bike cleaning kit this year too!
As well as top-notch gear to help you keep riding through the winter, we’ll be giving away a £500 local bike shop voucher to one lucky winner who logs a ride on Sunday 16 December and a £750 voucher will be drawn on Christmas Day from everyone that logs a ride between 1 and 25 December!
Although prizes are restricted to members in funded areas or at workplaces or universities that have bought into our programs, everyone who registers and records a ride will be eligible for huge discounts from our sponsors – so make sure you join today to bag some bargainous winter cycling gear from the best brands in the business!
If you’d like to incentivise your colleagues to ride in during December, we have teamed up with VitaLife to offer a Boxed Bike Breakfast for twenty people for just £50 – it’s full of warming winter bike fuel like porridge pots and is a great way to celebrate and reward riding to work in winter.
We hope you’ve had a great year on two wheels so far and we look forward to riding through the winter with you! Keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter, or drop us a line if you have any questions: email@example.com