Encouraging cycling in the workplace has a tangible effect on employees health and wellbeing with the added benefit of reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint. Cycle Buddies connects people who want support to cycle more in touch with more experienced buddies in their local area.
Buddies can then meet up and ride together – practicing a safe commute or getting exercise outdoors.
I want to encourage cycling in my workplace
Many workplaces promote active travel as a way to keep staff healthy and happy and to help provide a green alternative to private motor traffic or public transport. Cycle Buddies is a great way of providing free support for employees to build confidence on the bike and to learn the essentials of riding safely on the roads. You can also explore the different LCC corporate membership packages and see which one best meets the needs of your organisation.
When you sign up as an individual, we’ll ask you about the sort of rides you are looking to do, where you live and what you are looking for in a cycling buddy. Look out on the events page and in our newsletters for the calls we organise about cycling in London and meeting other cyclists.
We aim to match you up with a buddy within a week. Then you can get in touch with your buddy and arrange a time and place to meet for a ride. We’ll send you some advice by email about how to meet and ride together safely.
As well as Cycle Buddies, you can do online training or find how to do free in-person training with your local council here. If you haven’t cycled on the road before, we suggest you do cycle training before starting with Cycle Buddies.
I want to help other people cycle to work
We’re very grateful to people who cycle already and volunteer their time to help others.
After you sign up, we’ll match you up with somebody in your area who is looking for help. (It may take some time to match you with the right person, depending on who comes forward in your area). Look out on the events page and in our newsletters for the calls we organise for more information about being a buddy.
Please get in touch with your buddy, find out what their cycling experience is and what sort of ride they want to do. We’ll give you some advice 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.
Rides vary depending on what your buddy wants. You may ride to the park or show them local routes – quietways, new cycle lanes and offroad 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.
If your buddy has questions, share your experience - how you check your bike or journey-planning apps or maps you use for example - but do let them know they can get formal training outside of Cycle Buddies if needed.
We ask you to offer your buddy at least three rides together. Rides vary but are typically 60-90 minutes long.
After you have ridden with your buddy, 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.
You don’t need any training to be a cycle buddy, and 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 the level of Bikeability 3, and always recommend the free training available from your borough – see our cycle training page for further information.
Our helper buddies are great ambassadors for cycling – and enjoy sharing the freedom of getting about by bike. If you still have questions, check out our FAQs and the story of our buddies Trish and Jo below. We hope you’ll join us – and that you have fun with your cycle buddy.
I work for the NHS or in a hospital
Cycle Buddies puts NHS and hospital workers who want help to cycle more in touch with riders who want to help them - colleagues who are already cycling into work or local people who are confident cycling. Buddies can meet up and ride together - to work, or maybe at first just to the local park for practice.
Cycle Buddies has helped 100s of Londoners get back on their bikes. We're helping NHS critical workers to make safe and enjoyable journeys to work by cycle. We'll offer advice on safe cycling, and on exercising safely outdoors with one other person. We'll introduce you to a colleague or nearby cyclist who will help you plan a safe, quiet route and ride it together with you.
Whether you are looking for help or offering to help others, sign up today.
Don't forget London Cycling Campaign offers discounted membership to all NHS and hospital workers.
Join today to access a range of benefits, including free liability insurance, regular cycling news and information, free legal advice and a whole load of cycling discounts.
I work in a school. Can cycle buddies help?
The cycle buddy services matches people who are over 18 which makes it great for teachers and staff to build confidence and help plan their bike commutes. We can also help parents plan a route for their children through cycle buddies, although this might also be done through a free cycle training session, available from your local council. In this session the cycle trainer can take an adult and a child out, check cycle skills and plan an appropriate route. And a as parent this will give you confidence that your child has the skills, or can get them with practice, to tackle the route independently. If your school has budget for a lager programme then get in touch with us at LCC and we can work out the best way to pilot something in your school.
What’s it like to be a cycle buddy?
We asked Trish and Jo from Wandsworth, two of the first cycle buddies to meet up and ride together.
"When I saw Cycle Buddies online I signed up right away. I used to go dancing three times a week but I had to give all that up in lockdown. Cycling has replaced my dancing. I’m in my 50s, it’s so much better for me getting around like this. Cycling is fantastic for the heart, for your self-esteem and for your whole body."
"I used to ride only at the weekends. I’d ride on the pavements sometimes even though I knew I wasn’t supposed to - the roads were just too frightening in some places. My buddy Jo has been fantastic. I didn’t feel confident before Cycle Buddies, certainly not to ride to work, but I can do that now."
"When Cycle Buddies introduced us we got in touch through email and then Facebook and spoke on the phone to set up a ride. We took it in turns riding, I led for a while then Trish took over. It wasn’t me training her, it was us doing it together. I find buddying rewarding. It’s so good to build this community, and I’m so pleased I’ve met Trish."
Do you have questions?
Starting or returning to cycling can be daunting, but Cycle Buddies could be the key to getting on your bike. Answers to some of the most common questions from past buddies are available on the FAQs page.
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LCC is highly effective because it's supported by more than 10,000 members. If you cycle in London please consider joining today. You'll be supporting our work and you'll get a huge range of benefits.
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