A survey commissioned by YouGov for British Cycling has revealed that 40% of British adults find it hard to make new friends, as the national governing body looks to encourage cyclists across the country to find and organise local bike rides through HSBC UK Ride Social.
The survey also found that, of those who provided an answer, over a third (35%) believe their best chance of meeting new friends would come from taking part in a sporting activity, and almost half (48%) find it easier to exercise when they do it with others.
HSBC UK Ride Social is the UK’s largest social cycling community, where riders can find likeminded cyclists to ride with, organise their own rides and invite others along, or show off their favourite local routes. Rides vary in length and difficulty, and are the perfect way for riders to discover more of their local area by bike.
Riding in a group is a great way to pick up tips from fellow cyclists, stay motivated and maintain a regular habit of physical activity. HSBC UK Ride Social rides take place across the UK, all year round, and all rides are free to join.
This summer’s HSBC UK City Ride events proved to be a great success, as over 100,000 riders enjoyed a day of traffic-free city centre cycling. 40% of HSBC UK City Ride participants said they’ve been encouraged to find more local places to cycle following the events, and the governing body now hopes that people across the UK will dust off their bikes and begin to cycle more regularly.
64% of respondents to the YouGov poll who provided an answer said taking part in a sporting activity has helped them lose weight or maintain a “healthy” weight, while 61% said it has helped to improve their mood. Research suggests that cycling can burn between 400 and 1,000 calories per hour, and is much easier on your joints than other high-impact activities such as running.
Laura Kenny, Great Britain’s most successful female Olympian, said: “Cycling is a fantastic way to get in shape and improve your overall wellbeing, and these free rides are a fantastic way of getting started.
"Thanks to HSBC UK Ride Social it’s never been easier to find likeminded people to ride with at a time, place and pace to suit you – and many of the rides are tailored for beginners too, so you don’t need to be an elite rider to get involved.
“There are plenty of great rides taking place every week, so register now through the Let’s Ride website and find a ride coming up near you.”
Luke Harper, head of HSBC UK’s partnership with British Cycling, said: “Jumping on a bike and joining an HSBC UK Ride Social ride could be an easy way of expanding your social circle and overcoming nervousness about making new friends, while also reaping real health benefits.
"You don’t have to dress in supertight lycra, or ride at supersonic speed, this is about getting out and about at your own pace with other like-minded people.”
Setting up your HSBC UK Ride Social profile costs nothing and only takes a few minutes, and everybody who either joins an existing ride or creates one of their own this October will be entered into a draw to win a cycling holiday for two to Mallorca. To find out more, visit www.letsride.co.uk/social
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,037 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12 - 13 September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).