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Bike to work


									Workplace challenge

     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
                                                                         Workplace challenge

                                                                                                             GeT yOu
                                                                                                           wOrkmaTr  e
                                                                                                             cyclinG S
                                                                                                         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, 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
                                                                                        fixed wheel/singlespeed.

                                                                            april/may 2010 cycle   43June/July 2010 cycle      43
                                                                                                  Workplace challenge

                                                                                                             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        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, which       ‘Cycle Friendly Organisation’ programmes –
   tackles bad driving,,        add up to safer, pleasanter commuter cycling.

                                                                                                                           June/July 2010 cycle   45
Workplace challenge

1    Edinburgh
2    Leicester
3    Colchester             1
4    Manchester
5    Cambridge
6    Swindon
7    Chichester                          10

8    Southampton
9    Oxford                     4
10   Darlington
11   Ashford                             2
12   Isle of Wight                                 5
13   Milton Keynes                            13
                                         9             3

                                8                      11

Where & when
1 Edinburgh Completed
Web: www
Contact: Esther Halcrow esther@, 0131 667 3558

2 Leicester May
Contact: Andy Cryer andy.cryer@, 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, 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:                              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., 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:                     ❱ 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, 07817 774 649
                                                                                                                               insurance, so any cycling activities
6 Swindon June                                              ‘The 2008 Swindon Cycle Challenge                                  your BUG organises (such as Bike
Web:                       was a huge success with over 900                                   Week rides or training days) are fully
Contact: Anna Cipullo,
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, 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:                   the help from Big Lottery funding                                     BUG registration is available at
Contact: Thea Bjaaland               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:                        introductions to mountain biking,                                  than 250 employees. There is also
Contact: Dan Harris,                  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:                    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, 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,                                   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
Web: TBC
                                                            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
                                                                                                            Visit yo, 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., 07815 199839                      green, cycle-friendly employer, but                          or call: 0844 736 8451.

46     cycle June/July 2010

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