Bike to work
Your workplace needs you! Rosie Downes
explains how to get your work colleagues
cycling with a CTC Workplace Cycle Challenge
42 cycle June/July 2010
Get your em
to sign up to ployer
workplace a cTc
in your area nge
ommuting to work is minutes during a two or three week Your cycle
fast, healthy, cheap, period. It’s a competition where
reliable, and fun. That’s more cyclists means prizes. The
why we do it. The winners are the organisations and
wonder is that other departments that motivate the A survey of 2000 CTC members
people don’t. But you know how it highest percentage of staff to cycle. conducted in April 2010 told us:
is: getting a coffee at the office, with At the end of 2009, almost 4,000
colleagues complaining about traffic people had taken part in a CTC
jams and problems on the train, Workplace Challenge. The results
any mention of cycling will be met speak for themselves: 84% of (ex!)
with affable bewilderment. Work non-cyclists said they intended to
colleague #1 will muse that you must cycle more after taking part. So far, of respondents commute by bike,
be very fit. Colleague #2 will declare more than 700 people who had never and 53% of those ride to work daily.
that the roads are so busy these days, ridden a bike or who had not cycled
aren’t they? And colleague #3 will in over a year have taken up the
mutter a non sequitur about cyclists challenge.
on pavements. It’s proof that the best way to
CTC’s recent membership survey convince people about the pleasures miles
via Newsnet (now CycleClips) and benefits of cycling is to get them The most common commute
showed that more than 93% of you on a bike. Here’s just a sample of the distance one way, but 3% commute
commute by bike, with 53% cycling participants’ feedback: more than 20 miles each way.
to work on a daily basis. Yet on a ❱ I had forgotten how much fun it
national level, only 3% of commuters can be cycling.
use a bicycle to get to work. We’ve got ❱ I really enjoyed it – and felt better
a vested interest in increasing that for it rather than coming in the
figure. Cycling to work is an easy way car.
for people to discover – or rediscover ❱ I didn’t realise how enjoyable it of those who commute by bike do
– cycling as a form of transport. And could be! so all year round.
the more people cycling, the safer ❱ Now I have a bike that I can get on
and more pleasant it is for everyone: and ride. I have friends and family
the Safety in Numbers effect. close by that I can cycle to rather
In addition to the campaigning than going in the car. I might even
CTC does to make cycling to work try popping to the shops.
a mainstream option (www.ctc. ❱ Quicker to get to work and more
have secure cycle parking available
org.uk/campaigns), we also run beneficial healthwise! at work.
the Workplace Cycle Challenge ❱ I realised I actually enjoyed it!
programme. ❱ Because I bought a bicycle and I
want to use it.
Laying down the challenge ❱ I enjoyed being on the bike more
A CTC Workplace Cycle Challenge than I thought I would. There are
pits organisations within a town or more cycle paths now and I don’t
city – and individual departments feel confident riding on the road. have showers and changing
facilities available at work.
within the organisations – against ❱ I had got out of the habit. Thanks
each other to see who can get the to some gentle encouragement I
most staff to cycle for at least 10 remembered cycling can be fun.
“It’s a chance to encourage your
employer to be more cycle friendly The most popular type of bike for
and to act as cycle commuting commuting amongst CTC
members is a touring bike, which
ambassador to your colleagues” 30.5% use, followed by a hybrid
(pictured, 26%). 10% commute on a
april/may 2010 cycle 43June/July 2010 cycle 43
knowledge and expertise with your
CTC will be working closely with
local Primary Care Trusts and
councils to get people cycling to
work. Six of the locations in the South
East have been selected as part of
the Finding New Solutions initiative
from Cycling England, which aims to
explore new ways to introduce cycling
to different audiences.
If you work in any of the 2010
Workplace Cycle Challenge locations
(see map, overleaf), then your
workplace is eligible to join in. Taking
part is easy. Just get your employer
to sign up before the end of the
Challenge period; register on the
appropriate Workplace Challenge
website; ride a bike at least once
during the Challenge period; and
log your cycling on the website. And
encourage your colleagues to have fun
riding a bike too. That’s it.
You’re also eligible if you live but
❱ I enjoyed cycling… something I As well as getting your that the Workplace Challenge is a don’t work in a Workplace Cycle
employer involved in a
hadn’t even thought about doing Workplace Challenge, winning formula to get people back Challenge location. Register on the
you could advise
for many years (even decades) colleagues on quieter
on bikes. It shows the Challenge Challenge website, record your cycle
before the Cycle Challenge routes to work is the first step for many people journeys and you’ll be eligible for
prompted me. towards changing the way they some of the challenge prizes. Instead
❱ I only did a short ride for the travel. It offers encouragement and of encouraging work colleagues to get
challenge but realised that I had support to make a short journey by on their bikes (assuming they don’t
missed riding a bike for a long bike to work and gives people the share your commute) you can get your
time and also that it was a fun way opportunity to get back on a bike friends and family to cycle instead.
of exercise. again for the first time in years.’
❱ Because I have had another go – The Swindon story
and discovered it’s still all right to Get colleagues cycling The more employers who take part in
cycle! And it’s cheaper than fuel. In summer 2010 CTC will be an area’s Workplace Cycle Challenge,
delivering another programme the bigger and more far reaching
Workplace Cycle Challenges have of Workplace Cycle Challenges the results. When 913 people from
taken place in towns and cities across the UK. (See www.ctc.org. 41 organisations took part in the
with wide variations in topography uk/workplace.) It’s an opportunity Swindon Workplace Challenge:
and traffic density. ‘The data is to encourage your employer to be ❱ 49,190 miles were cycled.
consistent across all the locations,’ more cycle-friendly – and also to act ❱ 306 of the participants never usually
says CTC Cycling Development as a cycle commuting ambassador cycled or cycled once or twice a year.
Officer Ian Richardson, ‘proving and to share your cycle commuting ❱ 4,285 litres of fuel and £5,100
What’s stopping you?
What about those of you who don’t cycle to work?
The two main reasons for either not which enables all road users to report
commuting or not commuting more regularly potholes and get them filled, and 20mph
by bike (after too greater distance) were ‘no speed limits in residential areas.
suitable safe route’ and ‘traffic danger’. Lack Other CTC initiatives – including cycle
Photograph courtesy of Specialized
of secure bike parking and changing training; more cycle parking at train stations
facilities, and bad weather were way down linked to easier access for bikes on trains,
the list. road infrastructure and best practice; and
CTC’s campaigning network addresses encouraging cycling friendly employers
safe routes and traffic danger head-on with through the ‘BUGS’ (Bicycle User Groups) and
initiatives like www.stop-smidsy.org.uk, which ‘Cycle Friendly Organisation’ programmes –
tackles bad driving, www.fillthathole.org.uk, add up to safer, pleasanter commuter cycling.
June/July 2010 cycle 45
3 Colchester 1
7 Chichester 10
9 Oxford 4
11 Ashford 2
12 Isle of Wight 5
13 Milton Keynes 13
Where & when
1 Edinburgh Completed
Web: www edinburghcyclechallenge.org.uk
Contact: Esther Halcrow esther@
thebikestation.org.uk, 0131 667 3558
2 Leicester May
Contact: Andy Cryer andy.cryer@
leicester.gov.uk, 0116 223 2108
3 Colchester May
Contact: Anna Stenning anna.stenning@ were saved by people cycling not The 2008 Swindon also in terms of staff productivity.
Cycle Challenge was a
colchester.gov.uk, 01206 506 412 driving. huge success, with big Commuters who cycle are the most
❱ 4.2 million kilojoules of energy companies such as punctual employees and the health
4 Manchester June Vodafone taking part
Web: www.gmcyclechallenge.org.uk were burnt: that’s roughly benefits of cycling mean that they
Contact: Stephen Ruffley stephen.ruffley@ equivalent to 1,194 pounds of fat. take fewer days off sick.
ctc.org.uk, 07855 749 180 ❱ 5,283 cycle trips were made; 3,540 CTC has set up a new BUG
5 Cambridge June were for transport purposes. affiliation package for workplace
Web: www.cambridgecyclechallenge.org.uk ❱ Approx 15,174 kg of CO2 was saved cycling groups. CTC-affiliated BUGs
Contact: Vanessa Kelly vanessa.kelly@ by people who cycled for transport. benefit from: organisers’ liability
ctc.org.uk, 07817 774 649
insurance, so any cycling activities
6 Swindon June ‘The 2008 Swindon Cycle Challenge your BUG organises (such as Bike
Web: www.swindoncyclechallenge.org.uk was a huge success with over 900 Week rides or training days) are fully
Contact: Anna Cipullo firstname.lastname@example.org,
01793 511 033 or 07717 696 672
employees swapping the car for a insured; and third party insurance
bike,’ says CTC Community Cycling for guests (that is, riders who are not
7 Chichester June
Development Officer in Swindon BUG members). As a CTC BUG, you
Contact: Simon Ballard sballard@chichester. Anna Cipullo. ‘The website is still can get your events listed for free on
gov.uk, 01243 534694 being used to this day to record CTC’s website, plus a copy of Cycle
their mileage and CO2 savings. With for your BUG six times a year.
8 Southampton June
Web: www.southamptoncyclechallenge.org.uk the help from Big Lottery funding BUG registration is available at
Contact: Thea Bjaaland email@example.com. we will be running the Challenge £75 per year for organisations with
uk, 07816 391 079 again in June 2010 and offering more than 250 employees, or £50 per
9 Oxford June Dr Bike days, road cycle training, year for organisations with fewer
Web: www.oxfordcyclechallenge.org.uk introductions to mountain biking, than 250 employees. There is also
Contact: Dan Harris firstname.lastname@example.org, prize draws and much more.’ a one-off set-up fee of £25 in your
07526 690 410 first year, which covers the costs of
10 Darlington July Bitten by the BUG setting up your BUG.
Web: www.darlingtoncyclechallenge.org.uk If there isn’t a Workplace Challenge Once your employer has set up a
Contact: Louise Pearson louise@
taking place in your area, there are CTC BUG, it’s free for CTC members
getmorepeoplecycling.com, 07939 431 509
better ways to get your colleagues to join. Employees who aren’t
11 Ashford September cycling than proselytising at the CTC members can also join their
coffee pot. How about setting up a organisation’s BUG online for an
Contact: Spencer Morgan,
email@example.com Bicycle User Group (BUG)? A BUG is annual fee of just £12. Joining the
a group of employees who cycle to BUG provides members with access
13 Isle of Wight July
work – or would like to – and want GeT TO to a wide range of discounts and
Contact: Louise Pearson louise@ to improve conditions and facilities wOrk! benefits, including third party
getmorepeoplecycling.com, 07939 431 509 and encourage others to try cycling. workplaceur local insurance for all their rides and
Your employer pays a modest website (schallenge
ee left ) a regular CTC e-newsletter.
12 Milton Keynes July to find out
affiliation fee and reaps the benefits, ho
get your em w to Download a CTC BUG
Web: TBC ploy
Contact: James Butcher james@
not just in PR terms from being a involved er application form from www.ctc.
getmorepeoplecycling.com, 07815 199839 green, cycle-friendly employer, but org.uk/bug or call: 0844 736 8451.
46 cycle June/July 2010