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Strava 'earn while you ride' promotion suspended after cyclists sign up in droves

"Tens of thousands" join promotion run by US retailer Competitive Cyclist, forcing a rethink of plans...

A partnership between Strava and the US online retailer Competitive Cyclist that allows cyclists to earn credit of $1 for every hour they ride has been suspended due to a phenomenal response, with “tens of thousands” of people signing up. The news could cause a rethink of any thoughts of introducing a similar scheme in the UK.

As we reported earlier this month, the initiative, called ‘You Ride. We Pay,’ enabled cyclists to link their accounts with the retailer to those on the ride-sharing app and website.

They were then able to earn $1 for every hour logged, up to a maximum of $40 per month, with credit accrued expiring on the last day of the following month.

The scale of response to the promotion, which seems partly due to the spread of news of it via social media, seems to have caught Competitive Cyclist on the hop, however,.

VeloNews reports that the retailer has emailed its customers to tell them it has been suspended, at least temporarily.

The email reads:

When we came up with the idea to pay you a dollar an hour to ride your bike through our partnership with Strava, it was pure, it was simple, and it represented everything we stand for. Apparently you liked it too, because you signed up by the tens of thousands and told everyone you knew. We had expectations and you blew them out of the water.

Because of this we’ve had to pause new sign-ups, and we must stop issuing new credits beginning tomorrow, April 21. We’re already hard at work on a revised program that can support many, many more people. We will update you with the details of this revised program on May 19.

If you have earned money, it’s yours to keep and we encourage you to put it towards something great. Those credits will expire on May 31 at 11:59 pm MST.

Because you’ve already connected, when the program resumes, you’ll be ready to roll. We won’t do anything with your data and we’ll maintain the privacy policy we’ve always held.

Quite how many people signed up is unclear, but assuming everyone would log at least 40 hours a month, the retailer stood to stump up $400,000 per 10,000 people enrolled on the scheme.

If and when the promotion returns, we’d imagine that the rewards will be scaled down and perhaps not even be financial in nature.

When the initiative was announced earlier this month, Simon Kilma, UK country manager at Strava, told “At Strava, we’re always looking at ways to help motivate our community of global athletes. Competitive Cyclist are rewarding Strava members for being active.

“This type of partnership is a first for the company and is currently only available in the US, however, we’ll be exploring if there are opportunities to provide these types of benefits to our members in the UK.”

We’d imagine that any thoughts at Strava of replicating the original Competitive Cyclist promotion with a similar retailer in the UK will have been shelved following the latest news from the US.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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