Thomas speaks at TEDx Atlanta

Watch Challenge for Change Founder – Thomas Stokell – speak at TEDx Atlanta.

Thomas shares his thoughts and experience on how it is entirely possible to get more people enjoying cycling.

If there is anyone who you work with who doesn’t think that…

investing in cycling infrastructure & behaviour change programmes
more people cycling

…then send them a link to this short 5 minute video.

1 Million More People Riding

1 Million More People Riding

We’ve recently set ourselves a target of getting 1 million new people to take up riding.

Doing the maths

We’ve estimated that if we spread Love to Ride to 26 Countries and get similar results to those which we’ve achieved in the England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Australia, then we can get 2 million new people riding over 10 years.  This analysis has given us the confidence that we can achieve our 1 million new riders target.

Getting to scale

We’ve spent the last 8 years and more than £3,000,000 developing, trialling and enhancing our (now rather sophisticated) approach to influencing people’s behaviour and encouraging more people to enjoy cycling.  We’ve nailed it – now it’s time to scale it!

To achieve this we will work in thousands of towns and cities around the world, partnering with with councils, local advocacy groups and millions of existing riders. We’ve got a plan and we’ll keep you posted with developments.

How many people can we get cycling in your city?

Typically a Workplace Cycle Challenge involves between 600 to 3,000 people (largely dependant on population size).  On average, 30% of participation is from non-cyclists and 82% of non-cyclists continue riding after the Challenge (54% take up riding weekly!).  So about 25% of participants in a Challenge will become new riders in your city each year!

You can read more about the typical behaviour change outcomes that we achieve here.

Love to Ride 2013 – results speak volumes

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.47.51With the latest round of 44 LSTF(2) awards now confirmed across England, we take a look at last year’s LSTF-funded programme outcomes to see how our mix of technology, creativity, and good old human interaction is working better than ever at getting more people enjoying cycling.

In 2013, Challenge for Change fully rolled out the new Love to Ride platform, delivering Cycle Challenge programmes in towns and cities across Britain. As far apart in the UK as Jersey, York, Swansea and Belfast, Love to Ride criss-crossed the country on a mission to get as many people as possible in the saddle and enjoying cycling.

Our 2013 LSTF programme results include:

  • 16,591 participants from 1,069 organisations
  • 113,591 trips were logged, altogether cycling a staggering 1,120,620 miles – that’s almost 5 times the distance from Earth to the moon!

These numbers show that Love to Ride’s Cycle Challenges in 2013 got a lot of pedals turning, but in order to measure their success in changing behaviour, it is necessary to look at the data in more detail.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.42.07

Data Collection Method

Participants complete a short but crucial baseline survey when they registered on Love to Ride. By measuring this data against the results of follow-up surveys conducted at key intervals after each Challenge, we can analyse how each Challenge led to positive changes in behaviour, encouraging people to take up cycling as both a leisure activity and for transport.

The analysis shows: more people cycling, more often

Here’s what the Challenge programmes achieved in 2013:

  • 54% of non-cyclists now cycle at least once a week (up from 40% in 2012)
  • 35% of non-cyclists now cycle to work at least once a week (up from 31% in 2012)
  • 42% occasional cyclists now cycle regularly (down from 43% in 2012)

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.43.27

Love to Ride’s Cycle Challenges also proved effective in encouraging participants to cycle to work.

  • 24% ‘occasional’ cycle commuters now commute by bike regularly (increased from 1-4 times a month to 2-5 days a week)
  • 28% of driving commuters now drive to work at least two days fewer per week

An average of 8% of those who tend to drive to work said that three months after their Challenge, they cycled to work more than they commuted by car: in some locations this figure was as high as 17%.

Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.46.10

Therefore, Love to Ride’s Challenges were not only successful in getting people on to bicycles, they were effective in getting people out of cars.

We work with local authorities across the UK and create programmes to match every budget. To discuss how Love to Ride can work in your area, please call Sam on +44 (0)7734 833451, or drop an email to


Introducing… Love to Ride 2.0

Earlier this year we publicly released our new Behaviour Change framework, the new Love to Ride brand and our new partner-facing site.

We are now proud to announce that our new Love to Ride 2.0 web platform and Smartphone app 2.0.1 are now available to over 250 towns and cities across the UK and overseas.

Love to Ride Lancashire

Drawing on 8+ years of Workplace Cycle Challenge data, behaviour change theory, and the latest thinking in using technology to influence behaviour, we’ve further enhanced our web platform and app.

The new site design and functionality are clean, crisp and easy to navigate.  Early feedback from our partners and participants has been very positive.  The site looks great!

Here are a few features that are part of Love to Ride 2.0.

Targeted announcements

Screenshot 2014-06-20 12.25.00    Screenshot 2014-06-20 12.22.07

A key element of our behaviour change framework is ensuring that relevant information is delivered to the right audience – this makes our approach much more effective than a one size fits all communication from another website.

Announcements are now set to target different types groups of people, e.g.

  • Non-cyclists who lack confidence see announcements about cycle training and tips and tricks, guided rides, etc.
  • Regular recreational riders see messages about cycling to work and encouraging more people to try riding.

Smartphone app

Having launched our first version last year with much success, we are now onto v2.0.1, which has our new design and a few new functions and improvements.  Download it here.

Smart Phone AppSmart Phone App








Going Social

We’ve added new social features to the site including commenting on photos, sharing content on other social media and giving ‘high fives’ (similar to the ‘Like’ button on Facebook) which will allow you to give other people a high five for various activity on the site (e.g. a friend of yours logs a 12 mile ride to work and you give them a high five for their efforts!)

High Fives

We’re always working to improve the Love to Ride web platform to make sure it’s the best online tool out there for encouraging more people to taking up riding. We’ve exciting new developments planned for the next phase and to take us through into 2015 and beyond.

If you’ve got any suggestions or ideas, we’d love to hear them, so do get in touch.

Checking out the Giro

Love to Ride recently ran our first ever cycle challenge in Belfast, tying in with the much-heralded visit of the Giro D’Italia. It’s not every day that one of the world’s major sporting events spreads its wings to somewhere so accessible (although in 2014 we’re being graced by two of them).

My partner has extended family within the shadow of Scrabo Tower, and having spent some time whipping up interest in the challenge, I was curious to see what cycling was like across the Irish Sea. So we hopped on a ferry with bikes and camping gear to check out what Ireland had to offer.

The Wicklow Mountains

The Wicklow Mountains – a road cycling Mecca

Starting in the South East corner of Ireland, where tractor rallies are more common than Critical Mass rides, we were a bit of a curiosity, albeit one that met with a friendly reception. The rolling hills of the coastline passed quickly under our wheels and we were soon in the Wicklow Mountains, which were riddled with road cyclists out on club runs, enjoying the scenery and the café stop at Glendalough Green.

Dublin. Now that's what I call a cycle path.

Dublin. Now that’s what I call a cycle path.

Pressing on through Dublin, we started seeing a much broader range of cycling. There were couriers on cargo bikes, women riding in floaty dresses, and dads on Dutch bikes with child seats. Dublin is pretty flat, geographically speaking, but it’s also clearly made some serious investments in cycle infrastructure, with more planned. The shared use paths we rode on were a lot wider and more accommodating than most, and were appreciated by not just the cyclists but walkers, runners and people using mobility buggies.

Giro pinkAs we approached Belfast we began to see more and more symptoms of Giro fever. Towns and villages along the route have been encouraged to go pink, the colour of the race leader’s jersey. Whether it was the chance to show a unified face, or just a fun splash of colour, they had gone at it with a vengeance. We saw pink pubs, pink trees, and the now-famous pink tractors and pink sheep. The race itself was well-run and amazingly well supported, with thousands of spectators lining the road side. The stages we watched in NI were a convincing demonstration of how a country can get behind cycling, even if just for a long weekend.

Belfast is a relatively small city with a compact centre, across which many journeys could be made by bike. Dublin is forging ahead of many places in the UK, with its pleasant cycle routes, proliferation of bike shops and long-running hire bike scheme. All across Ireland we encountered optimism about cycling and what it could do for the country, whether through health, tourism or just plain fun. I’d hope that a big part of the legacy of the Giro is more cycling for everyone, whatever they ride.