Love to Ride - promoting cycling in West Lothian
Love to Ride - working in partnership with West Lothian Council to build a friendly and supportive online cycling community for the area and help more people to discover the joys and benefits of cycling
West Lothian Bike Challenge
Love to Ride are hosting a celebration event for all things cycling as part of the Love to Ride Bike Month Challenge.
- 10-2pm, Sunday 15 May 2022
- Almondell & Calderwood Country Park
- The event is open to families, friends and colleagues alike! There will be bikes to try, information from local partners, coffee and pastries, and prizes to be won!
So bring your friends and family down and experience the benefits of bike riding first hand!
The Bike Month Challenge 01 - 31 May 2022
Throughout May, riders around the world are creating teams to get outside and enjoy riding their bikes, earn points and win amazing prizes. You can ride anywhere, anytime.
You are invited to create your own team - it is easy to do, just register at Love to Ride and give your team a name. Then invite your friends, family, co-workers, riding club, dance class, book group - you name it!
How does it work?
- Teams are limited to a max of 10 riders
- They will compete in pools of 10 teams
- Earn points for riding your bike and encouraging other people
- Rack up points to climb your pool's leaderboard
- The more points you have, the more prize entries you gain
- New rider on your team? Great! They earn double riding points
You can win some great prizes just for riding your bike! From t-shirts and beanies all the way through to a £1,500 bike!
If you register before the Bike Month Challenge begins on 1 May, you will be entered in the special prize draw for £250!
West Lothian Cycling Coalition Calls for region to Ride It Out together
Everyone in West Lothian is invited to join Love to Ride West Lothian, a fun, free, community platform - which supports riders new and regular to cycle.
Since the first lockdown last year, thousands of people have rediscovered the joys and benefits of cycling. Before coronavirus, cycling was already increasing across Scotland. 145 million trips were undertaken on the Walking and Cycling Network in 2019, with users spending almost £2 billion in the local economy and supporting 27,500 jobs. Reduced car travel is estimated to have contributed a further £108 million through improvements in public health. A Glasgow University study shows that 'cycling to work is associated with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of heart disease'.
It is anticipated that around £1.3m will be spent in 2020/21 within West Lothian constructing and developing projects that will improve the cycle path network and provide key links connecting communities and encourage active travel. The projects are being supported through grants from Sustrans (Scotland) Places for Everyone funding and the Scottish Governments' Cycling Walking and Safer Streets funding.
The main project is the construction of the Armadale to Whitburn Cycleway and although its start was delayed from March 2020 to July 2020, it is progressing well and is programmed to be completed this spring. Designs are being developed on nine other projects in Bathgate, Blackburn, Linlithgow, Stoneyburn and Whitburn.
Love to Ride Community
In West Lothian, several organisations offer fantastic services to help you start cycling. The Bike Library has had a busy year. David, the Centre Manager, said, 'It's been an incredibly busy year for us'. The Bike Library has provided 82 key workers with free bike loans; delivered 42 Bikeability sessions to the three Summer School Hubs; provided bikes and adapted bikes to the Child Disability Service at Inveralmond; and had a hugely successful Children's Bike Sale last November.
First Step Development have repaired or donated over 100 bikes to key workers and people struggling with physical and or mental health during lockdowns. Maria, Development Manager, said, 'We really hope this small gesture will help key workers support others and enable people that are struggling to stay safe and well'. Rachel Wackett, who benefitted from the scheme, said, 'I'm thrilled with my new bike. I am using it for travelling to and from work and for health benefits. I work in a local pharmacy and I'm so delighted by the patience and understanding from the local community. It's been a struggle but we are all in this together'.
Local schools have been promoting cycling too. In December 2020, Sustrans ran a 'Leg it to Lapland Challenge'. Nine schools joined the challenge to travel the (virtual) 2,400 miles from Central Scotland to Santa in Lapland. 45,593 miles were clocked up - a fantastic achievement attributed to the huge amount of dedication and effort pupils and staff put into the challenge.
So many people took to pedal power last year that many bike shops, including Andy's Bike Clinic in Linlithgow, struggled to keep up with demand. Andy says, 'During 2020 I completed work for over three hundred happy customers, many of whom were key workers. Despite a very difficult year for all concerned, and challenges securing stock, I'm looking forward to providing more excellent service in 2021'.
With so much happening to help people take up cycling in West Lothian, it's no surprise that since launching, the local Love to Ride community has clocked up over a million miles. 905 people have signed up, including 232 new riders. Angus Rodney, the local Project Manager for Love to Ride, says, 'It's been great to see so many people getting out on their bikes. Cycling is great for maintaining social distancing, it frees up space on the roads and public transport for key workers and people who can't cycle. And it protects our NHS by keeping us physically and mentally fit and healthy'.
Love to Ride West Lothian run a year-round calendar of events with four main seasonal interventions to support people to cycle. Angus says, 'We're inviting everyone to join us so we can ride this out together. We'll be sharing the many benefits of cycling - for physical and mental health, for the environment - and the fun and freedom that is so easily accessible when we ride a bike. It doesn't matter if it's for fun, fitness or transport - all rides count, and you don't have to go far or fast. We want everyone to experience the joy of cycling. There are loads of cycling and non-cycling related prizes to tempt people too'.
It's free and easy to sign up on the Love to Ride website at Love to Ride and all registrants will receive relevant information about local cycling services. There will be events in June, September and December to encourage people to keep up the habit and help their friends, family and colleagues to try cycling.
Bike Month is a celebration of biking that aims to encourage and support you, your friends, family and community to get out and ride. Summer is the best time to promote all the benefits of riding a bike - the weather is at its best and the days are getting longer. It provides the ideal conditions to encourage everyone to enjoy activities that are good for our physical and mental health and keep us connected with the world around us.
Bike Month is a great way to engage your community and local businesses in a fun and engaging campaign that will help them achieve their health, wellness and sustainability goals. It's all about encouraging as many people as possible to choose to ride a bike for health, happiness and transport. Together we can pedal our way into a summer of cycling.
- Everyone can join in - it's a fun-filled month for everyone from regular riders to people who haven't been on a bike in years (or ever!)
- Individuals only have to ride for ten minutes (anywhere, anytime) to take part and go into the draw for some awesome prizes - including brand new bikes
- Spread the Love - encouragement is at the core of Bike Month and we want people to invite their co-workers, friends and family to take part, even if they can't ride together
- Our tried and tested platform has engaged over 507,000 people worldwide, including 118,000 'new riders' (people who have ridden a bike zero or a few times in the 12 months prior to registration)