Below are some more examples of the kind of emails we've been getting from participants of UK's Love to Ride Challenge...
"I haven't cycled in a few years, as I do not own a bike, but last month when my colleague Debbie told me about this challenge, I spoke to a family member who kindly let me borrow theirs and I have been regularly cycling along the Thames towpath since.
During the last 4 weeks, taking part in the Cycle Challenge has not only encouraged me to get outdoors more, but it has also boosted our team spirit within the office.
Thanks to Debbie, our team has really pulled together in a bid to become healthier and more active. She has arranged fun activities for new riders (such as lunch time cycling trips to the park) and encouraged regular cyclists to leave their car at home and take the bike to work.
We have all taken part in one way or another - but it's thanks to Debbie that so many of us will continue to cycle after the challenge has finished."
Katy C. - London
"Thanks to the cycle challenge I got back on my bike to cycle to work and to meetings in other buildings. This gave me the confidence to enter my first open water triathlon on the evening of Wednesday 24th June knowing that I had cycled a number of miles during my working day to feel confident that I could complete the cycle part of triathlon comfortably. Thank you."
Claire W. - Darlington
"I took my first bike ride in over a year on Wednesday evening on my daughter’s borrowed bike, complete with basket. I get on a bike once a year on holiday with the family so the rides are usually short and flat. I live on a hill which is fabulous for freewheeling down but very intimidating for going up! The question was do I start by going up or going down? I decided to go up which considerably shortened the ride – I am not very proud to say I managed 2 minutes before coming to a stop. I persevered and eventually got to the top after much stop starting. My reward was shooting back home down the hill – total time 25 mins. I will be out this weekend trying again!"
Lorraine S. - Herefordshire
"With a bit of hesitation and much trepidation (over 60’s should get dispensation), I got onto a bike after a very long gap – crazy or what! The challenge was hotting up with superb company participation after much prodding from Stephanie and Carol, so I just had to do it! Despite initial butterflies, I actually managed to stay upright until the very end when I braked too hard, came to a dead halt and toppled over like a falling cedar felled in the forest….. No harm done though, and the thought that this incident will be forever recorded on our company CCTV, got me back up smartly.
Here is my “rider” report:-
A spectacular spectacle enough to move one to tears
Was me straddling Steph’s bike - first time in 18 years
Chris set me off on “Rocky” tune ‘Eye of the Tiger’
Steph’s riding hat perched on this fledgling rider
Safety man Chris pounding the pavement to my left
Mobile in hand and heart thumping in his chest
The wind in my hair and glasses steaming up fast
My Chemoxy jacket flapping and pedalling at last!
Despite a slight wobble, consider it a doddle
Not counting the braking fracas finale – it was a blast!
All those out there who have registered and not yet done a ride – If I can do it, anyone can!!"
Christa S. - Tees Valley
"My son-in-law took on the Challenge and decided to cycle the 6 miles to work all week... he is faster to work, finds the experience better than any bus/train, feels better all day and is less tired."
Gerard L. - Glasgow
"Up until yesterday, I hadn’t ridden a bike for ages and it is something I am not very confidant at.... I actually had lots of fun riding my new bike yesterday and this is something that I probably would have never done again. Not only has the Cycle2work scheme given me an incentive to purchase a bike, but this love to ride challenge has also given me the motivation needed to get out there and enjoy life! I hope to continue riding my bike and going on some great adventures."
Jenny J. - Devon