Cyclists from across Cyclescheme and the Blackhawk Network group undertook a momentous commute to celebrate Cycle to Work Day and raise money for a great cause.
As experts in all things cycle to work, we know that the average UK cycle commute is approx. 5 miles (we know from our survey to over 50,000 riders to date). Impressively, this means Cyclescheme and Blackhawk Network colleagues cycled over 22 times this distance.
The ride was undertaken for three fantastic reasons:
- To celebrate Cycle to Work Day
- To raise money for the Alzheimer's Society
- Because we love cycle commuting
Let's break those reasons down quickly...
Cycle to Work Day
is the UK’s annual day to celebrate everyday cycling. It’s a change to get on your bike and ride to work (or to get on your bike and ride anywhere really). Now in its 7th
year, the day continues to go from strength to strength.
Proudly founded, funded and organised by Cyclescheme – Cycle to Work Day is for everyone. New riders, returning cyclists and regular cycle commuters can all join in the fun for free. The day is also an opportunity for employers to put cycle commuting on the map /in their employee engagement calendar at least once a year.
For 2019, we have 7-weeks of cycling challenges and over £10,000 worth of prizes
to be won. All centred around a simple, genuine effort to get people in the saddle and give cycling a go.
Every year, we are blown away by the number of riders who get involved and share their cycling stories
with us. From new riders completing their first miles to super cyclists undertaking huge, personal challenges. This year, we wanted to see how far we could push ourselves (and gain some great PR for Cycle to Work Day too) and that’s how the One Hundred Mile Commute came about.
Raising money for the Alzheimer's Society
was an important and meaningful part of the activity. The Alzheimer's Society is Cyclescheme and Blackhawk Network's chosen charity partner for 2019; and what's a momentous undertaking if not a chance to raise some money of a great cause.
The ride was promoted within our workforce and thanks to the kindness of colleagues, friends and families over £1,000 was raised for the charity.
And finally, we did it because we love cycle commuting! The freedom, the cost-saving, the benefits of an active commute (which are often understated) – what’s not to love!
How did the team get on?
The ride kicked off at 6.19am on the 25th of July... the UK's hottest day on record - ouch! The BBC stated "temperatures reached 38.1C (100.6F)" and news presenters stated that "tarmac was melting in certain parts of the UK!".
As team safety had to come first, fall back plans had been put in place by Iconic Cycling Events
(the professional organisation that supported us in the organisation and delivery of a safe and well-planned ride). We made sure there were enough vehicles to transport riders to the endpoint should the heat become unacceptable and the safety team took temperature readings every 10 mins to make sure the riders were staying within acceptable levels. It has to be said though - the feedback from the riders was that it was an absolute scorcher!
The route was from Cyclescheme's office in Bath to Blackhawk Network's office in Apsley - approximately 112 miles:
The Hundred Mile Commute was optional for all Cyclescheme and Blackhawk colleagues - this was made possible by organising riders into two groups.
Inclusivity was key and making sure the ride was open to all is what will give this event such a fantastic legacy.
RED GROUP: This group set out to ride the entire distance
BLUE GROUP: This group was organised into a relay team
The two groups set off together and headed out of Bath as a coherent team - they also reunited close to Apsley in order to arrive at the end location together (as a team).
Pics and vids
The riders on the day did a great job keeping the wider business up to date and entertained with progress reports. Here's a selection of our favorite pictures and a video from our Snr. Product Direct, Adrian Warren...
What the riders said...
Thanks to the inclusive approach, we had a great cross-section of our organisation take part. Here are a few of the comments that were made at the end of the ride:
"I think my most abiding memory was the camaraderie and the support we all got from each other, I got to spend a lot of time with people I've not spent that much time with, we looked after each other and motivated each other to keep going, absolutely loved it, thank you to you and all the other organisers for enabling me to take part in such a fantastic day"
"I wanted to thank everyone involved in yesterday's sponsored cycle from Bath to Apsley. That Shendish Hill nearly finished us off. What a great effort from all cyclists. What really makes it worth while is the £1000+ raised already, and the rapturous welcome from 250 people at the finish line - THANK YOU ALL."
"I had such a great day working as a team to relay ride from Bath to Apsley. Fitness levels were irrelevant, we all came together to support and encourage each other to do what we could and have fun! The weather couldn't stop us and definitely didn't dampen our spirits. The Iconic Cycling team made our day and we couldn't have done it without them."
Now it's your turn!
If you've been at all inspired by our amazing colleagues' mission to cycle the ultimate commute, then please consider getting in the saddle and taking part in Cycle to Work Day on the 8th of August.
Cycle to Work Day 2019