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.