A new online community that allows people to share their love of cycling with friends and family will be launched later this month. Love to Ride launches in the UK on 21st May. The site caters for existing riders who would like to see more people cycling, as well as providing on-going encouragement and support for new riders.
Users can invite their friends to join them on ‘virtual bikes rides’ and either race them there, or join together as a team to cycle the distance by combining their real miles. Users can also record their rides on the site and track their cycling progress. They’ll also be able to set goals for how many miles they’d like to cycle, or how many pints of beer, glasses of wine or cakes they’d like to burn off by cycling. They can then challenge their friends to achieve the same goal.
Local authorities are being encouraged to create their own Love to Ride micro-sites.
Tina Kilner, from the Transport Strategy Team at Herefordshire County Council, said: “We will benefit by being able to communicate effectively with a ready, engaged audience, promoting our other cycling initiatives and in turn growing the community.”
Love to Ride has been developed by Challenge for Change – an organisation which specialises in designing behaviour change programmes. Challenge for Change MD Thomas Stokell explained the concept behind the new development:
“We wanted to develop a smart, scalable tool that utilised everything we know about changing people’s behaviour and encouraging more people to ride. Over the last four years we’ve already encouraged more than 22,000 non-cyclists to get back on two wheels. Love to Ride will have a global reach, but a local focus. We want to work with local partners all over the world and enable them to use this smart platform as a way of effectively growing cycling in their area.”
CTC will be the Love to Ride national partner for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Gordon Seabright, CEO of CTC, said: “We are delighted to strengthen and deepen our partnership with Challenge for Change and are very excited to be working on this fantastic new platform as a way of getting more and more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling.”