Spring Excitement at Love to Ride

 Here are just three of the things we’re excited about at the moment:

Love to Ride is expanding to more cities and countries

We’re just about to launch Love to Ride in our 10th country, the Netherlands!
Amsterdam Rush Hour
After working for the last 8 years on developing the best online platform and programs for encouraging riding, we’re excited that the best of the best in the cycling world are choosing to work with Love to Ride.
Bicycle Transportation Alliance in Portland, Oregon has helped make Portland one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the USA. They recently switched to using the Love to Ride platform to run their online Bike More Challenge, too.
We’re now kicking off projects year round, and around the world from Australia and New Zealand to the EU and USA. We also had some very good initial meetings with potential national partners in Germany and France last week.

Funding for cycling in the UK

Transition FundIt’s great that the UK government are putting £20m towards sustainable travel this financial year with the “Transition Fund”.  We’re excited to already be working with 26 UK local authorities on local Love to Ride projects to provide a proven approach to encourage more people to ride, build a database of existing and new riders to promote local initiatives to, and gather valuable cycling data.
We’re looking forward to working with many more UK cities, towns and regions over the next year, setting the wheels in motion with June Bike Week – and building up to the UK’s National Cycle Challenge, which this year rolls out in September.

GPS Data

Love to Ride now collects GPS data automatically from apps like the Moves App which uses people’s smartphone accelerometer and GPS to calculate when someone is riding their bike, then automatically send this ride data to us at Love to Ride.Heat Map
This way, we know how often people are actually riding, where they are riding to and from, and what routes they are taking.  We can then cross reference this data with their profile data so we can show where recreational riders are riding vs where commuter riders are riding, and where female new riders are riding vs male regular riders, etc.
This data can provide real insight into where people are actually riding in your area, and can help you and your transportation planners to make decisions on the best places/streets to invest in bicycle infrastructure.
Happy riding!
Thomas Stokell 
CEO – Love to Ride

Love to Ride and Bicycle Transportation Alliance Partner for the 2016 Bike More Challenge 

BTA Oregon LogoFor 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.

3 Recommendations – Given the Current UK Funding Environment

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

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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.