"We know that not everyone is in a position to own or store a bike, which is why we decided to offer those who wanted to try out cycling to work free 24-hour hire of one of ours"
David O'Leary, Bike Go Director
Leading bike hire scheme Bike & Go has pledged to help as many people as possible celebrate Cycle to Work Day this month – by offering free bike rentals for all subscribers.
Cycle to Work Day, which takes place on Wednesday, September 14, aims to encourage everyone to cycle to work for at least a day, so that they can experience some of the benefits of cycling.
And those registered with Bike & Go are being invited to take up the challenge, with bikes available to hire from various train stations across the UK including Liverpool Central, Moorfields, Southport, Ormskirk and West Kirkby.
Cycling to work has long been credited with helping people lose weight and stay healthy, with a study published earlier this year revealing that cycling and walking to work had been linked to lower levels of body fat.
The report, which was carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine published earlier this year, showed that women who cycled to work were 9.7lbs lighter than those who drove, while for men the difference was 11lbs.
And in December last year, a survey by the Cycle to Work Alliance revealed that the health and wellbeing of employees across the UK had been improved by riding to work.
Nearly 90pc of participants believed cycling had improved their general fitness, while 52pc said that they had lost weight.
Cycling even improved employees' productivity, with 60pc of cyclists saying that cycling to work helped them to work more productively.
David O’Leary, Bike & Go director, said: “The evidence is clear; cycling to work improves the nation’s physical and mental health, which is why the annual Cycle to Work day is such an important date on the calendar.
“We know that not everyone is in a position to own or store a bike, which is why we decided to offer those who wanted to try out cycling to work free 24-hour hire of one of ours.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the distinctive red bikes out on the road, as people take a day to try a greener, more enjoyable, commute to work.”
Free bike hire is just one of the ways that Bike & Go is marking Cycle to Work Day. The scheme will also announce the winner of its Chic Cyclist competition on the day after inviting both male and female cyclists to post photographs of themselves in their stylish everyday cycle wear on Twitter.
Entrants are asked to simply take a selfie, or ask a friend to do it, of themselves on their bikes in their most stylish cycling outfit and tweet it to @UKBikeandGo using the hashtag #ChicCyclist .
The judges, which include cycling enthusiast Linda van der Haar, who has brought her own cycle chic dress code from the Netherlands to the UK, will announce the winner via Twitter on September 14, National Cycle to Work Day.
The winner will cycle away with £250 worth of Love to Shop vouchers, which can be redeemed at a wide range of UK stores and attractions.
To subscribe to Bike & Go, users simply need to register their card details online, which they can do via smart phones, tablets, or at home, and pay the annual subscription fee. They will then receive a user number via email which will allow immediate bike hire (usual cost £3.80 for 24 hours) whilst they wait for their Bike & Go membership card.
Since launching in 2013, Bike & Go has expanded to offer bike hire facilities from almost 70 participating train stations across the North West, North East and Yorkshire, East and South East of England, and Scotland, with more locations opening this year.
The scheme was recently praised by a UK division of the travel giant TripAdvisor when it was included in a list of the top seven bicycle hire companies drawn up by its subsidiary rental company Holiday Lettings.