PleaseCycle scheme offers companies customisable "Air Miles" for cyclists

Heads up in Human Resources, it's a staff scheme to reward cycling to work

by nick_rearden   November 15, 2011  

PleaseCycle on laptop

Entrepreneurial cyclist Ry Morgan wondered why there wasn't a system like Air Miles where companies could incentivise cyclists for racking up the bike miles.

It didn't take long for his new startup PleaseCycle to sign up international company Reckitt Benckiser - behind such brands as Nurofen and Calgon - with what they're calling a BikeMiles app so that staff can raise money for the Save the Children charity by cycling to work.

According to Morgan, "In the first three weeks, Reckitt Benckiser have donated hundreds of pounds, the staff have ridden the equivalent of three lengths of Britain and saved "four London-Paris flights-worth of carbon." Overall, PleaseCycle's beta users have logged over 5,000 miles using the system since launch on November 1st.

Other clients are opting for more financially based incentives or additional holiday time with leaderboards and friendly competition between colleagues but whatever customised system the employer opts for, it permits the company to reward staff for every mile cycled while offering an extra opportunity to tie in with local services. "Two-for-one deals at a local restaurant in the case of the Quorum Business Park, near Newcastle in the North-East," says Morgan.

"We wanted to create a place which catered for the non, novice and avid cyclist in one go. Newcomers can learn about the activity, plan safe routes and find more experienced peers, while advanced riders can keep track of their overall mileage, compete against colleagues and be recognised for their efforts. It also grants the organisation an overview of cycling within the workplace - allowing them to identify the valuable carbon savings cyclists bring and reward their endeavours."

The basic package is called Cycle Hub, an online system designed to encourage cycling within the workplace. It's paid for by the employer, with staff signing-up to access cycling content, route planners, weather updates, savings calculators and a forum for Bicycle User Groups.

The really useful part though is the employee's facility to log their daily mileage with connection to a mobile app and twitter. You're building up BikeMiles but of course it's being dubbed by PleaseCycle "Air Miles" for cyclists.

Cost to employers starts from a few hundred pounds for a branded hub and apart from Reckitt Benckiser, Please Cycle has already signed up a central London hotel with a mobile app that provides guests with a handy guide to the sights by Boris Bike and the University of Surrey which clearly wants to help students with their cycling activities.

According to Ry Morgan, "The mission is to build a global currency around cycling and empower organisations to inspire 1,000,000,000 cycle journeys by 2020.

Details: PleaseCycle.com

7 user comments

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Looks good - though probably more suitable for bigger organisations who can afford to fund the initial outlay (for the hub and any contribution to the benefits) in return for the longer term benefits of more employees cycling.

Btw, the link to pleasecycle.com is broken - needs an extra 'c'.

posted by step-hent [646 posts]
15th November 2011 - 13:57

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Thanks for the heads-up on the link, fixed that now.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7891 posts]
15th November 2011 - 14:19

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Great idea, I'm going to see if the county council and local university can be persuaded to sign up. I'm a bit annoyed they are calling them air miles though.

posted by horizontal dropout [144 posts]
15th November 2011 - 14:20

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horizontal dropout wrote:
Great idea, I'm going to see if the county council and local university can be persuaded to sign up. I'm a bit annoyed they are calling them air miles though.

They aren't and most likely couldn't anyways because Air Miles is copyright

http://pleasecycle.com/products/bike-miles/

Quote:
Our BikeMiles™ programme is akin to an “Air Miles” or “Nectar Points” for bikes

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8668 posts]
15th November 2011 - 14:56

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Hi Everybody, thanks for the comments.

We have had some brilliant feedback on functions readers would like to have within the digital Cycle Hub, please keep them coming!

Just one point to mention about smaller businesses. Our system has been designed for any type of organisation, a fully branded set up can cost only a few hundred pounds (dependent on employee numbers) which is less than most small companies spend each year on toilet paper and coffee.

One of the first Cycle Hubs we ever built was for a start up with 6 people. In terms of the cost of discounts to the company, this is not a pre-requisite for our clients. If employers don't want to or can't incentivise internally, we are starting to work with partner brands who immediately offer discounts anyway. Brilliantly one client managed to make phone calls to 5 local businesses (like coffee shops and cycle retailers) 4 of whom saw the Cycle Hub and immediately offered discounts to the clients employees who logged miles on the system.

It's a pretty easy sell, the local business can market to (close by) customers who cycle, the employee gets a discount (just for cycling) and the organisation/employer has businesses actively incentivising their workforce to cycle. Basically everybody (including the planet) wins!

posted by AntPC [1 posts]
15th November 2011 - 18:05

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Like the idea. How though are the employees miles verified by the app ?

Rouleur

posted by Stevie B [4 posts]
17th November 2011 - 8:47

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Stevie B wrote:
Like the idea. How though are the employees miles verified by the app ?

There's a 'mapping' function built in, along the lines of lots of different apps you can buy or download for free separately that log where you are and where you've been by GPS. Apart from the distance, you get average speed and a little map. Pretty compulsive - the average speed, anyway - for commuting and incredibly interesting for weekend fun rides.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
17th November 2011 - 9:55

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