Saddle up this September!

cycle exeter

Posted on: 30 August 2017

Cycle September makes a welcome return next month and people are being invited to take part in the annual cycle challenge.

The challenge is a fun, free competition to see which workplace can get the most staff riding throughout September.

The Love to Ride website allows organisations to compete against each other in six size categories locally and nationally.

Last year, more than 1,600 people from across Devon took part in the friendly challenge – collectively cycling more than 182,000 miles, the equivalent of cycling around the world over seven times.

The University of Exeter managed to get more than 290 of its staff to take part last year, winning first prize in Devon and nationally in their size category.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling, said:

“The bicycle is celebrating its 200th birthday this year and it’s becoming more important today than ever with the amount of benefits it can provide for your health, the environment and saving money. Cycle September is a good opportunity to either take up cycling or to dust off your bike and rediscover the benefits of cycling. More than 125 businesses and organisations from across the county took part in last September’s cycle challenge and we’re hoping even more will sign up this time around.”

One of those organisations is Exeter University.

Exeter University’s Sustainability Officer Joel Smith said:

“We are excited to be taking part in this year’s challenge and defending the national prize won last year.
“We hope that staff, as well as new and returning students, will get on a bike, whether it’s for fun, fitness or transport.
“Cycling forms an important part of the University’s Sustainable Travel Plan and we hope that this will encourage more of those using our campuses to consider more active and sustainable travel options.”

Al Edmondson, who was one of the top 10 participants for Exeter in the competition last year, said:

“There’s a great team spirit at Exeter, and that was demonstrated by winning last year’s competition. Everyone who took part encouraged others to get involved, and supported them along the way.”

Melissa Summerfield, carbon data coordinator at Exeter University said:

“I hadn’t ridden my bike in three years, so prompted by some great weather and encouragement from colleagues I realised it was time to start again
“I completed one of Devon’s free cycle confidence sessions to brush up on my skills and then got out and about in September.”

If your workplace is in Exeter, Newton Abbot, and Barnstaple, you can access grant funding and support to promote cycling at your workplace. Get in touch with Travel Devon via traveltowork@devon.gov.uk to find out more.

Cycle September is part of a package of measures being delivered by Devon County Council using Access Funding from the Department for Transport to encourage more people to travel by bike.

You can register here  on and create your workplace team for others to join. Points are awarded for riding a bicycle for 10 minutes or more and for encouraging others. The system is designed to reward individuals and their workplaces for helping to get their colleagues back on their bikes. Prizes will be available as incentives and last year there were over 80 individual prize winners in Devon.

Click here to access toolkits to help you promote cycling at your workplace.

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Posted in: Environment | Health and Wellbeing