Over the past year along with B’Twin and Decathlon UK, we’ve been encouraging people to get themselves and others riding with our #getbritainriding campaign. It’s been a huge success too: over 10,000 cyclists have pledged to get friends or family on bikes saying that they’d help a whopping 42,000 people take up riding this year. In total, you lot have pledged to ride a hard-to-comprehend 23 million miles over the course of the year. Sit yourselves down, you must be worn out!
British Cycling, coincidentally, have been doing something similar this year and they’ve just published the first results from their ‘Bike Shed’ studies, a collaboration with behavioural scientists at Colombia University and their partners HSBC looking at “how best to encourage, motivate and dispel the fears associated with getting on a bike.”
Given, they say, that 50% of UK adults are ‘lapsed’ cyclists, they developed a series of studies to identify new and tangible ways to inspire people to get out pedalling. Results showed that small behavioural ‘nudges’ can motivate people.
Like our own campaign has shown, friends and family can have a big impact on sticking to goals, according to British Cycling’s study. People who were prompted to make a plan and set cycling goals with the support from friends or family went on to do 20 per cent more cycling during the following four weeks, compared to people who were not prompted to make a plan with social support.
Virtual reality was also found to have a positive impact. Two groups, while on a stationary bike, watched people enjoying cycling – one group using a virtual reality headset, the other via YouTube. The study found that those using VR were 39 per cent more likely to get on a bike again afterwards, compared to those who saw the YouTube video.
Having fun is the biggest motivator to ride, according to the study. In registration emails sent out to HSBC UK City Ride attendees, messages appealing to a sense of fun or the nostalgia of rediscovering cycling were most effective in motivating people to sign up. The average increase in registration was found to be around 15 per cent compared with alternative reasons to attend.
Discussing the report, Julie Harrington, CEO at British Cycling, said: “We are all creatures of habit, and this is no different when it comes to riding a bike. Most of us are aware of the many health or environmental benefits that riding a bike brings, but still do not cycle regularly, perhaps because we have concerns about safety or lack confidence when riding on the road. Our partnership with HSBC UK is all about understanding those barriers, breaking them down and getting people back on a bike.”
Whether you’re a keen cyclist itching to get a friend or family member out riding with you or you’re a complete beginner raring to get started but needing a push in the right direction, Cycling Plus and B’Twin want to support your journey. Click here to get involved, tell us how far you plan to ride this year and/or how many new riders you’ll be getting on a bike. Visit our Get Britain Riding hub for tons of great info and keep checking in as we’ll be bring you more Get Britain Riding goodness in 2018!
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