Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has teamed up with Love to Ride to encourage more people to get out and about on their bikes.
A new West Midlands community is being developed through the app and website where both experienced and novice cyclists can record their rides, share experiences and seek advice.
Individuals, groups and businesses are being urged to sign up for Love to Ride’s Cycle September campaign for the chance to win a range of cycling prizes.
The campaign comes at a time when there is unprecedented investment in the region’s cycling and walking infrastructure, with spending reaching £10 per head for the first time.
Earlier this month Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) unveiled the Starley Network, a new 500-mile cycling vision for the West Midlands.
The Starley Network represents a new era for the region’s cycling network, which has been reimagined and re-branded to reflect the West Midlands’ ambitions following a surge in people taking to their bikes since the coronavirus pandemic.
Now those cyclists can join the online community through the Love to Ride website and app to record their miles, set goals, share photos, encourage each other and access advice, support and information.
Social groups and workplace groups can also be created and there are workplace leader-boards to foster friendly competition between organisations to see which can get the most staff to try riding in September.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “We want to encourage more people to cycle because it’s good for physical and mental health, good for the environment and is part of the solution to the traffic congestion on our streets.
“Cycling is firmly at the centre of our plans and we are investing millions in infrastructure, including the Starley Network of safe cycle routes across the region.
“For those who are taking up cycling, or those who would like to cycle more, signing up to the Love to Ride app is a great way to get advice, find encouragement and become part of our big summer of cycling and walking in the West Midlands.”
TfWM is also working closely with councils using £17 million allocation from the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to deliver a wide range of projects to encourage more people to cycle and walk for short journeys to relieve pressure on public transport and the road network.
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: “There has been a large rise in cycling since lockdown and so Transport for West Midlands and partner councils are now busy installing pop up cycle lanes, bike storage racks and creating safe spaces on our streets to make it easier for people to cycle to get to work, school or just for fun. The Love to Ride app is a great place to start out.
“We know that more people would like to cycle and have further plans in the pipeline to support them to do so, including support for training, bike rental schemes, maintenance schemes and more miles of safe cycle routes.”
Jack Windle, senior projects manager at Love to Ride, said: “We are delighted that the West Midlands have joined Cycle September. We run quarterly events on our website, giving people and organisations a fun, free way to get involved in the exciting developments for cycling across the region.
“It doesn’t matter if you ride every day or if you haven’t been on a bike in years, everyone is invited to join in and help us get more people on bikes”.
To register for Love to Ride West Midlands visit the website here or download the app.
Visit the Roll and Stroll page for advice, maps and information on how to join the summer of cycling in the West Midlands.