This post gives some advice about how to be an effective Cycling Champion at your workplace and shares some insights from one of our successful Champions in 2017, Ross from the Open University in Milton Keynes.
The Love to Ride programme of events is designed to help you help your colleagues ride more often and for transport. First up is Ride to Work Week (save the dates! 12-18 March), which is a great opportunity for regular bike commuters to help their colleagues try riding to work. It's a good idea to organise a low-key Bike Breakfast (tips here) in February; this will be a good rehearsal for a bigger event during Ride to Work Week and an opportunity to tell existing bike commuters about it and enlist their help. People already commuting to work might be able to buddy new or occasional riders to help them ride in, or help you to organise social rides or other events to help foster a cycling community and build colleagues' confidence.
Check out our post here to find out how riding to work can make you happier, healthier and wealthier - and how it can benefit your employer - so that you can articulate the benefits clearly to management and colleagues. If you can clearly communicate these benefits throughout the year via email, intranet and other channels, you will recruit more riders and spread the love more effectively! We also recommend finding out about adult cycle training in your area - this is often free or heavily subsidised and is a fantastic way to give new and returning riders the confidence they need to ride for transportation.
Ride to Work Week (March) and Bike Week in June are also great opportunities to build your team for our main event, Cycle September, when you can win organisation prizes.
Ross, a winning Love to Ride Champion in 2017, has some great insights to help you succeed as a Champ in 2018:
I targeted the cycling club as I thought that the sense of competition would appeal to them. The number of miles they were putting in pushed us up the leaderboard and when I could name specific organisations who we were jostling with, that made for some compelling posts on our intranet, Yammer and the noticeboard that attracted others. I think that competitive angle was what made the biggest difference.
We recently received our framed certificates, and they were very happily received, particularly for the department which came 3rd in MK for their size category. I feel sure they will be trying even harder next time around.
My advice to other champions would be to really focus on people who already cycle a bit, but perhaps not to work, or not very often. There's nothing wrong with getting regular cyclists either – I was one and it still encouraged me on wet windy mornings.
Why would Ross urge other organisations to sign up to Love to Ride?
Reduce your parking problems, ease congestion, boost your green credentials, improve staff health, fitness and alertness, have fun, win prizes. Why wouldn't you want to sign up?
We couldn't put the reasons to ride better ourselves! Please get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions about how to be an awesome Champion for Cycling.
Find out more and register at lovetoride.net