CityConnect teams up with Love to Ride to deliver a cycle challenge aimed at commuters

2017 marks 200 years of the bicycle and this March, 1680 people and 140 workplaces across West Yorkshire took to their bikes for the ‘Ride to Work Week’ challenge which ran from 13th-19th March.

With prizes on offer nationally for Ride to Work Week including a £6,000 holiday for two to Cuba, courtesy of Exodus travels, new bikes from Bristol Bicycles, bike accessories from UPSO, and in West Yorkshire £1,500 of vouchers from local bike shop Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative in Chapel Allerton, Leeds; it’s no wonder the challenge had a positive uptake.

Fleur Ammerlaan, Love to Ride Project Coordinator said:

“Through promotions, events and incentives we have been able to encourage 280 new riders to try cycling for the first and using GPS data from cycling apps such as Ride Report we have been able to map where the most frequently used routes are across the area. This has allowed us to see how popular the Cycle Superhighway has been since it opened as well as discover other main routes such Kirkstall road and along the Leeds to Liverpool canal towpath.”

“We look forward to continuing to engage with individuals and communities across West Yorkshire through the Year of the Bike and beyond."

In West Yorkshire, prizes were awarded for logging rides to work on the new on-line platform, encouraging others to give cycling a try and for sharing photographs of rides and workplace events to inspire others to join in. Amongst the winners were participants from University of Bradford, West Yorkshire Police, Schlumberger, Leeds Beckett University and Leeds City Council.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Chair said:

“Combining social technology with cycling is an innovative approach and one that appeals to a wide audience. The Love to Ride challenges are a fun and inclusive initiative that people of all levels of ability can take part in, whether that’s to commute to work or for leisure.”

“The legacy of the Tour de Yorkshire is still evident and with high quality infrastructure projects such as the Cycle Superhighway being built across the Leeds City Region, cycling is becoming an attractive mode of travel for many people.”

Rutger, who uses the recently opened CityConnect Cycle Superhighway every day for his 13 mile round trip from Pudsey to Bradford, recently sold his car and is now reaping the rewards.

Rutger Clarke, Love to Ride participant said:

“I used to spend a huge chunk of my income on travel. Now I’m fitter, healthier and wealthier - switching to a bike has quite literally enabled me and my partner to buy our first house!”

£50 vouchers were awarded to Rutger Clarke, who works at Bradford Institute of Health Research at Bradford Royal Infirmary, Nick Greed who works at Morrisons in Bradford and Nicola Craine who works at Yorkshire Cancer Centre at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds.

Helen Quarmby, who works as a Bus Station Manager at Pontefract bus station, won a £400 voucher for logging a ride to work. Having not ridden a bike for over 7 years, she has now achieved a number of badges on the site and is training for a 44 mile charity bike ride in aid of the RSPCA: Wakefield, Leeds and District Branch where she is a volunteer fundraiser in her spare time.

Jacobs and BJSS Ltd both won £200 vouchers for sharing photos of workplace events they held to get more colleagues involved in Ride to Work Week. Jacobs held a ‘Bike Breakfast’ at their Leeds site and supported new cyclists by providing help with route planning as well as a well-earned breakfast when they arrived at the office!

Bike Week (10-18th June 2017) is the next #YearoftheBike event and is set to offer more great incentives for people who log rides and encourage others in West Yorkshire. Access to free resources to promote the challenge to friends and colleagues is available on the website.

To join in and find out more about Love to Ride and #YearoftheBike, please visit: www.lovetoride.net/cityconnect