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Guest Blog by: Love to Ride

Love to Ride Atlanta pedaled beyond their 8 millionth mile this month. It seemed timely to take a look back at their 7-year journey with Love to Ride and investigate the benefits of a sustained bicycling encouragement program.

Over 9 Love to Ride campaigns and 7 years of the Atlanta Bike Challenge the Atlanta Regional Commission has achieved some impressive results:

  • 8,043,753 miles…and counting!
  • 622,355 rides
  • 910 workplaces registered
  • 14,080 people
  • 4,101 new riders – $1,314,147 annual benefit to the local economy*
  • 47% female riders

Encouraging more riders to commute by bike

  • 238,423 trips for transportation
  • 30,974 transport trips were recorded by 1,664 people who usually commute to work by car alone

Engagement on the Love to Ride Atlanta platform 

  • 44,607 badges achieved
  • 180 Legends – People who’ve logged 10,000+ miles
  • 1,990 Encouragers – People who have encouraged someone else to ride their bike
  • 1,676 photos and stories shared

“Biketober has become a signature promotion for Georgia Commute Options and for many in the Atlanta region,” said Roz Tucker, Managing Director, Mobility Services, Atlanta Regional Commission. “It’s a great example of how we can promote positive behavior change and clean commuting by building around a fun and social challenge that coworkers, friends and family can do together. Beyond advancing healthy, accessible mobility options, it helps to build and strengthen communities by creating shared experiences, and that is the kind of holistic approach we strive to achieve in our work.”

Throughout the last 7 years, we have been regularly gathering data from riders. Not just their profile statistics, but qualitative data as well. We survey riders at the point of registering to baseline them and find out their habits, motivations and any barriers to riding. We then revisit them during and after their participation in a campaign. These surveys allow us to collect more in-depth data on rider’s barriers to riding, their aspirations and their behavior change – as it happens.

Behavior Change Results

  • 39% riders have increased how often they were cycling 
  • 26% of new riders riding once a week or more
  • 15% of new riders and 31% of occasional riders now riding twice a week or more often
  • 29% of people who did not cycle at all before signing up to Love to Ride Atlanta are now riding to work.

Sustained growth across the years has allowed Love to Ride Atlanta to increase its impact in the city year on year. Each year is an opportunity to learn what has worked well for riders, to hone the communication, targeting, resources, and in turn enable more people to ride bikes and more often.

Don’t just take our word for it though, hear directly from the riders who are the Love to Ride Atlanta community:

I loved how this challenge allowed me to quantify my riding – it made me realize I could add more miles into my day in incremental steps/more commuting/running errands than I had before. – Mk K, Regular Rider

The challenge inspired me to try riding to appointments after work that I normally would have ridden home on my bicycle and then driven to.  To get in more miles for the challenge, I tried bicycling new routes to these appointments and then home that I probably would not have been motivated to try otherwise. – Katie W, Regular Rider

The Bike Challenge got me riding on a regular basis, which helped me feel more comfortable on the road and confident about commuting to work. It was fun and I felt great about exercising regularly too. – Jen F, Occasional Rider

I was already a bike commuter some of the time, but the challenge demonstrated I can do it the majority of the time. – Daniel C, Regular Rider

Seeing my impact reminded me of how I can contribute to making my city healthier. – Heather G, Regular Rider

Biketober was a much-needed reminder of how wonderfully fulfilling it is to ride.  – Shelley N, Occasional Rider

Being intentional about riding has made some of the usual barriers (planning for the weather, enough time, etc) seem like less of an issue – Amanda C, Occasional Rider

The Biketober challenge reinforced the notion that there is a community of environmentally-minded and empathetic bike riders. – Eddie G, Regular Rider 

Biketober and the associated peer pressure in my office led me to fix my bike up. Before I had not touched it in a year, now it’s ready to ride! – Paul L, Occasional Rider 

The Atlanta Bike Challenge is a key annual campaign for the Atlanta Regional Commission’s ‘Georgia CommuteOptions’ program which they work on with a host of partners across the Atlanta metro region.

After 7 years, and over 8 million miles traveled by bike, Atlanta is proof that a sustained program will continue to build on its success, year on year. A Love to Ride bicycling encouragement program is a plug-and-play solution that’s easy to implement and ready to commence when you are. If you’re interested in finding out more then visit their site.

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