Riding Every Day wrote:A once a year Ride-to-Work Day is a novelty.....and results in cycling being treated as such for the rest of the year.
It may be a novelty to non-cyclists, but to a new commuter (15% of Ride2Work registrants!) it could be the start of something much more. I can't remember the "conversion rate" from first-timers to regular commuters, but I do remember it being surprisingly high (hopefully Ride2Work can help with figures).
Can you think of better ways go normalise cycling here? How would you get new riders started?
New riders on the day, or the leadup, when surveyed five months later, are still commuting once or more per week at a rate of about 40%. (42% in 2010, 37% in 2011 - although higher actual number of riders). When asked what they were doing a year prior - those not riding in 2011 but riding in 2012, the figure goes up to 53%/63% respectively.
The program is pitched at those in the 'contemplation' phase - the ones that are willing to give it a go, and to give them a nudge. So, as Roshea says, it's the 15% of registrants that give it a try, and then hopefully go on to make it a habit. (Music to our ears kacjp!)
And yes, it is a year 'round program. The 'day' is the key activation, and also the easiest way to get massive media coverage.