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Cycle Buddies - helpers

Can you share the joy and freedom of getting around by bike? Our helper buddies give their time to help others.

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Can you give your time to help someone else find the freedom of cycling?

Our helper buddies are great ambassadors for cycling, sharing their expertise of local routes and giving others the confidence to get around by bike.

If you feel confident cycling on the road with someone else, and are wanting to give back to others, this is the place for you.


What does volunteering involve?

Create a profile on our Cycle Buddies platform and then wait until someone contacts you for help. Then go cycling together, a few times, at their pace, to build their confidence.

Once someone gets in touch, find out what their cycling experience is and what sort of rides they want to do. Follow the advice on the tab below on meeting safely and riding together.

Ask your buddy what their cycling goals are. Listen and give encouragement. Don’t feel you have to explain everything. Help them to work things out for themselves and to track their own progress. There are lots of tips and advice on our website, these can be used to guide your sessions.

You’ll need to find out what they want to do and where they want to go. Some people want to explore quiet streets locally or plan a longer journey for example to work. You may ride to the park or show them local routes – quiet ways, new cycle lanes and off-road paths are popular. They may want to try out junctions or crossing busy roads – think about how to ride those safely.

For a longer ride, like a journey to work, it may be advisable to plan the route in advance, to try it out on your own first and ride it together at a quiet time of day. Sometimes it may take a few rides before you complete the whole route.

After you have ridden with your buddy, we’d like you keep in touch to find out how they are getting on with cycling – maybe contact them after a month and three months. Let them know about LCC activities and group rides they can get involved with.

How long does it take?

We’d like you to be free to go on at least three rides together with your buddy. Rides vary but are typically 60-90 minutes long.

Do I need formal training to be a helper buddy?

You don’t need any formal training to be a cycle buddy (though it is great if you have some!).

You are not training your buddy in how to ride, but we do want you to feel confident that you can ride safely with another person.

We expect you to be riding at Bikeability Level 3, and always recommend the free training available from your borough – see our cycle training page for further information.

What if they ask me things I don't know?

That’s okay! We don’t expect you to know everything, just share your own experience to give help where appropriate – for example, how you check your bike or tips on journey-planning apps.

We also don’t expect you to give people training, so let them know how to access free in-person training with their local council here. They can also contact cycling instructors directly through the Cycle Buddies platform.

How do I get started?

Start by creating a profile on our Cycle Buddies platform. You’ll be asked some questions about the kind of help you want to offer. There’s also an opportunity to add some details in the biography section of your profile.

New riders seeking help will be able find your profile based on their own postcode and the search filters based on the kind of help they are looking for.

Searches can be based on home postcodes or work postcodes. Helper buddy profiles can set either work address or home addresses. Postcodes are not public and only an approximate distance is indicated.

Once you’ve created your profile, new riders looking for help will be able to contact you directly through the chat function on the platform. New riders looking for Helper Buddies can search for local buddies, but experienced riders offering help cannot search for new riders.

It may take some time before someone matches with you. What you put in your biography will help.

What should I put in my profile to help other people find me?

Your profile on our Cycle Buddies platform is your chance to introduce yourself to potential buddies.

Remember, you can’t search for them – they can only search for you – so make your profile clear and appealing.

Include a clear, friendly picture of yourself. Remember not to include photos of high-value items such as jewellery or high-end bikes. Make sure it’s the right way up!

Write a profile that a new rider might be interested in.

For example, maybe you speak certain languages, have had epic cycling adventures, or have particular local knowledge you want to share. Maybe you have experience of adapted bikes or riding with a particular disability. Maybe there is an aspect of your identity which might make a new rider be more comfortable with you, for example you ride with a Muslim women’s group, or cycle with your kids. Or maybe you just want to say what cycling means to you or your motivation for helping others become regular cyclists.

Or maybe there’s somethings you don’t want to help with: maybe you only want to help people on local rides and not on commutes in to central London, or maybe the opposite.

Give people the information and let them find you.

I’m a female rider and I’d like to ride with another woman.

When you create your profile, you can choose to only be matched with riders of the same gender. You can also change this on your profile at any time. No one can choose to only be matched with people of the opposite gender.

I signed up some time ago but I haven’t been paired up with a buddy yet.

If you’re offering to help it may take longer, because someone has to actively choose you to help them.

Improve your chances of being chosen by making your your profile is clear and appealing – see information above.

You may consider helping spread the word about Cycle Buddies locally – we have posters and leaflets available to put up and give away. Just ask cyclebuddies@lcc.org.uk

Personal safety when meeting your Cycle Buddy

Once you connect with a Cycle Buddy on the platform, it is important to remember that you are dealing with a stranger – please follow our advice below:

  • Do not reveal your home or work address.
  • Arrange to meet in a busy public place that you are familiar with, in daylight, and at an agreed time.
  • Don’t share phone numbers or email addresses
  • If something doesn’t feel right, then make your excuses and leave. If you feel threatened or unsafe, call the police
  • Report any concerns using the platform or email cyclebuddies@lcc.org.uk

Feel free to contact the Cycle Buddies team at any time, on this email address. Please contact us right away if you have any concerns about any aspect of the scheme or the arrangements with your Buddy.

I want to find out about Cycle Buddies in the workplace

Find out more about Cycle Buddies in the workplace here and find out more about NHS Cycle Buddies here.

How does LCC hold and use my personal information?

Please see our Privacy Policy here.

Still can’t find the information you’re looking for?


Our Cycle Buddies platform connects up people wanting to cycle more with local buddies who want to help them. What are you waiting for?


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Woman with Dutch bike and basket standing next to friend