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Ride to Work Day 2013 took place on Monday 17 June, with dealers, biker cafes and companies up and down the country taking part. Riders were asked to use their motorcycle or scooter to commute to work to demonstrate the benefits of commuting on two wheels.

2013 saw the largest measured rider participation ever with over 8,000 bikers on the Ride to Work Day Facebook page and another 1,200 on Twitter - all pledging their support. The Ride to Work Day team introduced a mile counter on the website and encouraged riders to send in their mileage for the day, just the miles sent in via Facebook and Twitter come to over 30,000 and the count is still going!

Manufacturer support came from Harley Davidson, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda and ZingBikes, while insurance companies, BikeSure, Carol Nash, MCE and Bennetts all helped promote the event and held their own Ride to Work Day celebrations. Large corporate firms encouraged their staff to consider a motorcycle for their commute, such as Santander and Visteon Global Engineering.

Competitions were run in celebration of the day, not only on the Ride to Work Day sites, but by MCN, Twist and Go and MCE’s Big Ed, with motorcycling app REALRIDER giving away BSB Paddock passes and Michelin tyres if your route was picked from all those uploaded via their app on Ride to Work Day.

One of the winners of the Ultimate Ride to Work Day award went to new rider, Rachel Jones, who passed her CBT in May this year and now commutes the 40 miles from Bo’ness to Edinburgh everyday: “I know I'm a newbie, but even with town riding, I'm getting 140 miles to the gallon! The guys at work laugh at me in my bike gear, but I have the last laugh - I've cut my commuting costs from the train being £8 a day to just £1.50 on the bike”.

Dealers and biker cafes opened early, with special offers and tempting freebies such as bacon sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks to welcome riders. Even councils in Leicestershire and Neath held riding events in their car parks, with free bacon rolls for passing bikers!

Harley Davidson was a particularly strong supporter this year, supplying goods for competition prizes across the Ride to Work Day social networking platforms and encouraging all their dealers to get behind the event. Don Rutherford from Glasgow dealer, West Coast Harley-Davidson said: "Ride to Work Day works very well as a general awareness campaign promoting the benefits of motorcycling. We had the opportunity to use Ride to Work Day to generate solid local media coverage in the local press and radio, and that's good for us. We laid on free coffee and buns, but at the end of the day people were riding to work, and so wouldn't have the time to visit a dealer on the same day. For us, we don't judge the success of Ride to Work Day on the numbers of people that came through our showroom on one day, we have reached a larger audience with an important motorcycling message and that means they could visit us tomorrow, next week or next month. As an industry, we need to promote ourselves and Ride to Work Day does a very good job of that."

Surrey-based dealer, Doble Motorcycles has always supported Ride to Work Day and 2013 was no exception. Michael Lee at Doble explained: "We always support Ride to Work Day, it's a positive event for motorcycling with a good message. This year we organised a staff and customer ride out before work with a free breakfast at the end of it! We had a lot of customer interest with around 50 customers signing up, but unfortunately the weather let us down.  It rained in the morning and this obviously put some people off, but the ride out still went ahead with around 25 riders, and we all enjoyed a 'full English' overlooking the runway at Redhill Aerodrome. We enjoyed the early morning ride out and would definitely do it again next year. Ride to Work Day is the only annual event that is committed to promoting the benefits of commuting by bike - why wouldn't we support it?!"

The team at Zing Bikes celebrated Ride to Work Day by opening early and giving callers to their Huntingdon showroom free coffee and muffins throughout the day. They also held a free prize draw that was open to the public and to employees of parent company Encocam, as long as they rode to work on a motorcycle or scooter. Peterborough biker, Pete Formosa, was the lucky winner and won a ZingWear leather motorcycle jacket and gloves. ZingBikes General Manager Paul Hinchliffe said “We were really pleased to back the Ride to Work campaign.  It gives people a chance to consider the alternatives to the car and to look at the cost savings in fuel and road tax, but also the joy of getting out on two wheels.”

The campaign is part of the MCI’s annual calendar of events. The MCI opened its Coventry headquarters this year, with free bacon rolls on offer for passing bikers, while acting CEO Steve Kenward, recorded his own 136 mile commute.

Overall the aim of promoting the benefits of commuting by motorcycle to existing and potential riders was fulfilled and 2014 promises to be another exciting event!

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