Published Wednesday 29 April 2015 at 10:56
Workplaces in Lancashire will be inviting their staff to join in a fun, free team competition this June – the Love to Ride Lancashire Cycle Challenge – to see who can get the most staff to try riding a bike. Promotions are now kicking off with the aim of getting more than 150 workplaces and 2,500 people logging cycle trips over a 3 week period from Monday 8 to Sunday 28 June 2015 – see: www.lovetoride.net/lancashire.
People can cycle anywhere and anytime they like over the three weeks. The organisations that get the most staff riding for just 10 minutes or more will win prizes. People new to cycling and those that encourage new cyclists to ‘give it a go’ receive guaranteed incentives such as free cinema tickets, and everyone logging a ride goes into a weekly prize draw.
Unlike many cycling events, Love to Ride Lancashire is all about encouraging people to simply hop on a bike so that they can experience the benefits of riding first hand.
This is the third year for the Lancashire Cycle Challenge, which has seen some great results in previous years. In 2014, 79 businesses got involved and 1,217 people took to their bikes. This year Lancashire County Council, which funds the project, will be working in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council. They will build on the success of previous years to reach out into extra parts of East Lancashire. Promotions will be led by two challenge managers Isobel Stoddart and Karen Harvey – who will be running events and engaging businesses across East Lancashire and beyond. Lack of experience or confidence shouldn’t be a barrier to taking part in the challenge as training is available, and there are also bikes that can be hired at very discounted rates.
Challenge Manager, Karen Harvey said: “The Lancashire Cycle Challenge is really accessible for everyone – it’s about getting more people to try riding a bike for just 10 minutes, or get riding again, rather than cycling every single day or racking up impressive mileages – although you’re welcome to do those too if you like.”
James Syson, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Transport Strategy Team Leader, heads-up the Council’s Connect project, aimed at promoting sustainable transport in the borough. He said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Love to Ride Lancashire and Lancashire County Council to make this challenge accessible to people working across the county.This is an excellent initiative that we are hoping people will really embrace – the challenge is open to everyone and if people don’t have their own bikes there are local schemes available where people can hire them to give it a try.
Cycling has had a real boost in recent years and participant numbers in the borough have soared thanks to investment in the borough’s cycle network, the creation of a Cycle Centre at Witton Park and the emergence of new cycle groups and clubs thanks to our partnership with British Cycling. This is making a real difference by encouraging more people and their families to get out on their bikes.”
During the challenge there will be a live league table on the Love to Ride Lancashire website showing which organisations are currently in the lead. The workplaces with the highest percentage of their staff participating – across 6 size categories – will win team prizes at the end of the challenge.
There are a whole host of local prizes that people can win just by participating including cycling equipment, 250 cinema tickets, and local retail and dining vouchers.
This year, the Lancashire challenge is part of the UK-wide Love to Ride National Challenge, which will allow Lancashire companies and individuals the chance to compete nationally and win l prizes, such as holidays, bicycles and cycle facilities for their workplace, in addition to the local prizes on offer.
The Love to Ride National Cycle Challenge is being supported by national partners CTC and Cyclescheme, and is the headline event for the 2015 National Bike Week.
Registrations are open now and it’s free to participate. For more information, go to www.lovetoride.net/lancashire
Notes to editors:
- Love to Ride is a behaviour change programme that has been developed by Challenge for Change Ltd, a social enterprise specialising in getting more people cycling more often.
- Between 2008 and 2014, Love to Ride delivered 122 Workplace Cycle Challenges and encouraged over 113,000 people to cycle. Overall, they have inspired 34,322 ‘non-cyclists’ to ride again, many after years of not cycling. On average, 40% of ‘non-cyclists’ (those who had cycled none or a few times in the previous year) had started cycling weekly as measured three months after taking part in a Challenge. For more information see: lovetoride.org
- The average cyclist saves £285 a month on travel, while with Cyclescheme you save between 25%-42% on equipment [Discover Cycling to Work calculator, based on average commute by car]
- 69% of cyclists say they have become healthier, 51% lost weight and 54% said their mental wellbeing improved [CS survey 2013]
- 99% of cyclists would recommend it to others [CS survey 2013]
- Half of 45% of members went from ‘novice or occasional’ to ‘enthusiastic’ cyclists after joining [CS survey 2013]
- There’s nothing wrong with fair-weather – the majority of cyclists only commute three times a week [CS survey 2013]
- With 130 years’ experience and 67,000 members, CTC – the national cycling charity – helps people start and keep cycling. Membership, at less than 80p a week, offers discounts in cycle shops, £10m liability insurance, legal helpline, supports projects to get people cycling, campaigns for better and safer cycling and offers a warm welcome at 1000’s of rides and events. ctc.org.uk
- CTC is supporting the Love to Ride Challenge as part of its involvement in the EU Bike2Work project bike2work-project.eu/en/. The main objective of Bike2Work is to encourage a significant modal shift from motorized commuting to cycling. It targets employees’ behaviour through Bike2Work campaigns, and encourages employers to meet the needs of cyclists.
- The Lancashire Cycle Challenge 2015 has already received lots of great prizes sponsored by local businesses including: Jackjon Personal Training, Anderton Centre, Pendle Leisure Trust, Carradice, Individual Inns and Eat my Logo – for more details: http://www.lovetoride.net/lancashire/pages/prizes?locale=en-GB
- For further enquiries on Love to Ride Lancashire please contact Isobel Stoddart, Love to Ride Lancashire Challenge Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07952 786621.
- For further enquiries on the National Love to Ride programme, or the National Cycle Challenge please contact Sam Robinson, General Manager, Love to Ride, email@example.com or 07734833451.
- Cyclescheme offers 25-42% off through tax breaks on a range of bikes, gear, clothing and accessories from over 2,000 independent stores. With Cyclescheme you pay nothing upfront and the costs are deducted from your salary over a year so you won’t even notice the payments. www.cyclescheme.co.uk
- The benefits of cycling to work