Promoting Cycling

Why Encourage your Staff to Cycle?

A bike decorated with flowers
Encouraging staff to cycle to work can provide the following benefits:

  • On time: in rush hour, a bicycle can be twice as fast as a car in busy traffic. That means people who cycle in to work are less likely to be late.
  • On the ball: cycling boosts the brain cells and makes employees happier, more alert and motivated at the start of each day. They’re likely to be more productive, and they’ll also work off any stress at the end of the day on their ride home.
  • Fewer sick days: regular cyclists can be as fit as someone ten years younger, and their immune systems will be stronger – which means a happier, healthier workforce and one less likely to be off sick with minor colds and flu.
  • Better for your company image: With more cycle commuters in your company, and by offering support for them, you can demonstrate your business’ commitment to sustainability and the health and well-being of your staff. This will strengthen your Corporate Social Responsibility status and can contribute to your ISO 14000 standards.
  • It saves money: employees who take their bikes rather than cars to meetings or to catch the train won’t have to claim back costs for parking or fuel, which means you’ll have fewer expenses to cover.

What this toolkit offers

This toolkit offers step-by-step information on promoting cycling within the workplace including:

Enable more staff to cycle by promoting Bikeability confidence sessions, available for anyone who lives, works or studies in Cheshire East. Bikeability training is provided for small groups, ranging from beginner training for off-road cycling to more individual training for advanced cyclists on how to confidently navigate busier roads and how to plan safe journeys to work and school. Promoting it to staff is really simple, you can:

  • Display leaflets in your reception area, on noticeboards or at your Cheshire East Information Point.
  • Everybody Sports and Recreation Trust and Cyclist Training Ltd. offer cyclist training ranging from learning to ride to commuter confidence to cycle maintenance. Send the web address in an email to staff for more information or booking.
  • Promote organised rides, such as http://www.upandundergroup.com/foundationrides/.
  • Alternatively, some local groups are happy to escort adults, for FREE, on their first road rides to help develop confidence. For details contact Active Crewe Travel or South East Cheshire Cycling Action Group.
  • Produce a promotional poster to display in communal staff areas and copy and paste the text overleaf and email to your staff to promote the ride event.
  • Send the email below to staff to promote cycle training.

 Dear Colleague,

 Would you like a bit more confidence when cycling – either starting from scratch, cycling on the road or advanced cycling? Cheshire East Council is currently running cycle confidence sessions for adults anywhere in Cheshire East, you can:

 Learn to ride a bike from scratch

  • Brush up on your skills, maybe to start cycling to work or a place of study
  • Get tips for riding as a family
  • Have an instructor ride a route with you e.g. your trip to work

So don’t be shy, find more information at http://www.travelcheshire.co.uk/cycle/how-to-start/training/ or email simon.green@everybody.org.uk  for more info.

Bike week is an annual opportunity to promote cycling, and show how cycling can easily be part of everyday life by encouraging ‘everyday cycling for everyone’. Taking place in June each year, Bike week is an opportunity to demonstrate the social, health and environmental benefits of cycling to get people to give cycling a go. It is a great way to promote cycling to your staff. Use the events below during bike week or at any time of the year. See the website for more details: www.bikeweek.org.uk

A cyclists’ breakfast is where an employer provides a free breakfast to staff members who cycle to work. This provides an opportunity for cyclists to network, but also for new cyclists to come along and ask for advice or support.  This is a low cost event and is a great way to promote cycling, boost awareness and reward existing cyclists for their commitment (particularly in the winter months). Display a poster in communal staff areas and copy and paste the text below into an email to promote the cyclists’ breakfast event.

 Dear Colleague,

 Have you considered cycling to work?

Do you enjoy cycling for leisure?

Do you cycle to work?

Do you want to know more about cycling and what we can offer?

 

Cycle to work on [DATE] and get a FREE breakfast including: tea, coffee, cereal, fruit, pastries…

 There will also be: [delete as appropriate]

  • FREE adult cycle training
  • FREE bike bells
  • FREE reflective straps
  • FREE bike maintenance from Dr Bike

 Come and join us at [PLACE] at [TIME]

A Dr Bike event is where a qualified bike mechanic attends your workplace for a day or lunchtime and staff are able to bring their bikes to work and have a maintenance check for free. It is recommended that you advertise this at least one week in advance so staff can make arrangements to cycle to work. It is recommended to allocate 15 minute sessions which employees can book in. A reminder the day before is always useful to ensure employees don’t forget about the event. Display a poster in communal staff areas and email the text the below to your staff to promote the Dr Bike event.

 Dear Colleague,

 Are you interested in cycling to work?

Does your bike need a tune up?

 Bring your bike to work on [DATE] for a free Bike Maintenance Check

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity for free bike maintenance, even if your bike has been sitting in the shed for 10 years!

 Take your bike to [PLACE] at [TIME]

Promote a day of cycling where you can run a range of activities to encourage staff to cycle to work. You could organise some or all of the activities suggested in this toolkit. It is recommended that you advertise this at least one week in advance so staff can make arrangements to cycle to work. A reminder the day before is always useful to ensure employees don’t forget about the event. Display a poster in communal staff areas and email the text below to your staff to promote the Bike Day event.

Dear Colleague,

 Come along to our fun packed bike day on [DATE], we will be holding various events throughout the day including:

 Cycle buddying to work

 So make sure you cycle to work and join in with some of our fun activities!

The National Cycle Challenge, hosted by Love to Ride and supported in partnership with Cyclescheme and CTC, offers a fun and free competition to encourage your colleagues to experience first-hand the joys and benefits of riding a bike. Everybody can participate by cycling a minimum of 10 minutes and logging their ride online https://www.lovetoride.net/uk or via the Love to Ride app. Organisations and departments will compete against those of a similar size for a fair chance of winning. There will be lots of fantastic prizes on offer to encourage you and your team.

The benefits to your organisation include:

  • Free health, wellbeing and sustainability initiative for all your employees
  • A fun activity for you and your workmates
  • A friendly competition between staff teams and other local organisations
  • Help reduce congestion, air pollution and car parking issues
  • Prize incentives for your staff
  • Prestige for the winners, both locally and nationally!

Just follow these four steps to join your organisation or create a team:

  • Register on this website, it’s free. Register here
  • Ride a bike anywhere, anytime for at least 10 minutes in March, June, September and December.
  • Record your ride and tell your workmates about the Challenge (use the ‘invite friends’ tab on your profile page!).
  • Reward yourself and your friends by winning prizes!

There are many smoothie bike companies available both countywide and nationwide. Bikes cost around £125 per day including delivery and collection and some offers also include smoothie packs with the fruit, cups and other accessories available. Extended hire periods are also available which can be more cost effective if you have a number of events.

The benefits of hiring a smoothie bike include:

  • Getting people involved and generating interest
  • Encourage people to get back on a bike
  • Draw crowds
  • Make cycling even more exciting!

The bikes are particularly good when used as part of an event especially in good weather; however, they can be used indoors as well.

Social rides are a great way to get people interested in cycling in a supportive and friendly environment, or as a way of enabling cyclists to meet other cyclists within their workplace. It is recommended that you advertise the ride at least one week in advance so staff can make arrangements to cycle to work or bring their bike in. In addition, it might be useful to provide bikes for colleagues who don’t have one but would like to participate, too. A reminder the day before is always useful to ensure employees don’t forget about the event. Create a poster or email the text below to your staff to promote social ride events.

Dear Colleague,

 Want to let your hair down?

Want to join your friends for a bike ride or meet new people?

Want to get fitter?

Did you know that regular cyclists can be as fit as someone ten years younger, and their immune systems will be stronger?

Come to our social bike ride to:

  • Meet friends and make new ones
  • Get some fresh air and see Cheshire East’s amazing scenery
  • Burn some calories and feel healthier too
  • Gain more confidence at cycling
  • Have fun!

So come and join us on [day/date/time] at [place]

  • Organise a CycleHack session – fun and accessible proactive and DIY workshops to raise awareness to make the world more sustainable through reducing the barriers to cycling.
  • Competitions – raise the profile of cycling by holding competitions within your workforce.
  • Hold a “Pimp my bike” – staff have to decorate their bikes, with a prize for the best dressed!
  • Bike challenge circuit during lunchtimes – set up a circuit for staff to negotiate their way around on a bike – prizes for the best times.
  • Great bike bake off – baking competition with a bike theme.
List of seasonal activities you can run throughout the year to encourage more staff to cycle to work
JanuaryNew Year’s Revolutions! Encourage people to cycle off the Christmas excess! Promotion of forthcoming cycle training courses / leisure rides. Dr Bike service plus police security marking for staff with new bikes for Christmas.
FebruaryValentine’s Day / singles bike rides?
March/AprilHold springtime cycling events as days get lighter. Springtime reminder about Cycle to Work Scheme. Hold inter-departmental cycling challenge. Staff from different sections compete to see who can get the greatest number cycling. Promote free adult cycle training.
MayHeavy promotion of leisure rides & cycle training for fair weather cyclists.
JuneNational Bike Week! (9th -17th June) Promote events throughout Cheshire East. Hold Dr Bike clinic, information stands, bike displays, or biker’s breakfasts.
July/AugustHeavy promotion of leisure rides & cycle training for fair weather cyclists.
SeptemberNational Cycle Challenge! Runs throughout September and is free to participate in. Promote free adult cycle training. Big push on cycling to staff after the summer holidays. Special cycling push as part of Car Free Day (22nd Sept).
October“Brighten up!” campaign, to promote being seen in the winter months. Have information stand and free reflective products. Invite bike shops to hold Dr Bike clinics to health-check bikes.
November/DecemberInvite bike shops in with display bikes for anyone looking to buy a bike for Christmas.

The suggestions listed in this toolkit have hopefully inspired you to promote cycling within your workplace. If you would like more information, please:

 Go to Cycling in Cheshire East webpage or follow us on Twitter @TravelCheshire to find out about more events throughout the year.

 See http://www.travelcheshire.co.uk/cycle/cycle-maps/ for Cheshire East cycle maps.

This toolkit has three template emails and posters that are quick and easy to send to staff. We suggest that you do these under the umbrella of Bike Week (typically between 9th-17th June each year) but you can also do these at any other time of the year as well. It also offers information on free cycle training, how to organise a Bike Day at any time of year and a list of useful websites and ideas. Remember, these ideas are just a start, feel free to get creative and make up your own events!