Year in, year out the Love to Ride team delivers Cycle September, our global workplace biking challenge. With a particular focus on recruiting businesses, this friendly competition gives them an opportunity to enlist their staff and compete on local and international leaderboards.
It’s not a competition that just favors those who are already riding a bike, in fact, riders can earn the most points by encouraging someone who is new to riding, to give it a go. The points are weighted to reward those who want to share the joy of biking and grow their community.
Global stats round up
2,352 new riders - 50% of whom were female
35% journeys for transportation purposes
239,656 kg of CO2 saved
Three weeks on from Cycle September we survey participants to start charting their behavior change journeys. This is the point where we can evaluate behavior during the challenge and intentions for the months beyond.
44% of participants who biked less than 2 days a week at registration noted that the challenge encouraged them to bike more often than they would normally. This included 56% new riders and 40% of occasional riders.
28% of regular riders also noted an increase in riding during the challenge.
38% of participants who did physical activity on fewer than 3 days a week at registration, noted the challenge increased their levels of physical activity.
73% of new riders intend to ride more often for leisure than they did before the challenge, 53% intend to ride more often to work!
More than a third of all riders intend to ride more often for general transportation purposes… which means more short trips to get from A to B!
Of those at registration who traveled to work by car alone, 41% noted they would bike more often to work than they did before the challenge.
When asked what is the main reason you will ride more often after the challenge, responses included:
“I hope to ride more often to build my confidence on my bike on the road.” - New Rider, Southampton
"The challenge proved that a lot of my journeys by car were doable by bike." - Regular Rider, Gateshead
“I really enjoyed tracking my rides! I think it motivated me to bike more often.” - Regular Rider, Central MD
“It felt good to get out more and have more freedom when it comes to arriving at my destination - I can "park" anywhere with a bike.” - New Rider, Philadelphia
But data is only part of the picture
Love to Ride is a tech platform, and hearing directly from our riders makes us pedal the extra mile. The feedback we collect as part of the survey process is hugely important for optimizing our work and providing qualitative data for our clients.
“It has helped with my personnel challenge to cycle 706 miles for Dementia UK. The week-by-week graph of miles is very good and the tracking up to 2 years month by month is great. Very well built and better than Strava that my cycle data comes from. Special as you can set personnel challenges and see the mile clock up. - Regular Rider, Lancashire,
“Thank you for all your encouraging messages along the way. I thought I was already well-motivated, but the challenge made me want to cycle even more! “ - Regular Rider, South Yorkshire
“This was fun and a great way to bring people together at our workplace - we organized a group Saturday ride, and we are continuing to do them through the fall!” - Regular Rider, Philadelphia
Hadn't owned a bike for several years before my coworker emailed regarding the challenge so thought yes why not join, brought myself a cheap run of the mill bike and really enjoyed not just the physical activity bit the mental wellbeing help of distressing after working as a nurse onwards during the covid pandemic. - New Rider, Lincolnshire
“Enjoyed the challenge seeing others progress as well as being able to track my own distances “ - New Rider, West Lothian
"I really enjoyed the interface with Strava and ability (and encouragement) to set goals." - Occasional Rider, Central MD
“Well done for encouraging people like me to get their bikes out of the shed and start to enjoy riding again.” New Rider, Bristol
"Just a big thank you to the team, you have really encouraged me this year as I have discovered a love of cycling again. Thank you!" - Regular Rider, South Yorkshire
"We have been using the competitions to encourage other colleagues to ride to work more often as part of a general strategy to make the workplace zero carbon by 2030. " - Regular Rider, Bristol
"I feel fitter/healthier for getting out there and pushing myself a bit more. Found new routes locally and met different people so THANKS very much. Will join again next year. (ps it also kept me sane in lockdown)" - Regular Rider, Manchester
“The tracking is addictive. The high fives and encouragement from the hive was motivating. Pics and stories sharing was motivating too.” - Regular Rider, Central MD
Intention is such an important prerequisite to behavior change. It’s fantastic to see that through the valuable experience of riding a bike for Cycle September so many new and occasional riders feel encouraged to ride more often in the coming months. The crucial part now for Love to Ride and our local partners is to nurture these newly formed habits by continuing to reward, support, and celebrate positive riding behavior.