Why we ride – iwoca launches cycling project

iwoca is now sponsoring a leading cycling club, giving business owners in the Lake District free membership. But that’s only the beginning.

21 November 2019

Small businesses. And cycling.

The connection might not be immediately obvious. But at iwoca, we believe cycling can help business owners and their staff live healthier, happier and more socially active lives.

Our friends at Xero recently found that 80% of small business owners say they’ve experienced stress in the past six months. The British Heart Foundation tells us 20 million Brits are classified as inactive – almost a third of the population. Plus, the FSB estimate that 75% of small businesses employ no-one beyond the owner.

In short, by doing what they do and love, small business owners risk affecting their mental and physical health, and can find it their social lives suffering. Because of this, we’re launching a campaign to get more businesses cycling.

Our first foray into the sport is with Kendal Cycle Club (KCC) – one of the fastest growing clubs in the country – based on the edge of the Lake District. The sponsorship gives small business owners and their staff a year’s free membership to the club, as well as providing an injection of funds to help KCC promote cycling in Kendal and the surrounding area.

Why I ride – with business owners from KCC

We recently visited the club to speak with its members and find out what KCC’s business owners get out of being part of the club.

“Don't get me wrong, I love my work, but work can be hard and can be stressful,” says KCC member and business owner Andy Taylor, who founded the Anything Technical ski shop in Kendal. “You don’t generally get stressed on your bike. Cycling, for me, is one of the biggest parts of my life – it is my freedom.”

Sylvie Heath is a musician and founder of Creative Heights, an outdoor adventure and education business. Sylvie started the business after experiencing burnout as a teacher and being signed off work due to stress.

“For me, as soon as I just get on the bike I'm in my happy place,” she says. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I just love the feeling of the motion. I do a lot of outdoor sports – swimming, running and various things – but there’s something about biking in particular, just that motion that just feels good.”

iwoca and Kendal shoreline

KCC has more than 680 members spanning all ages, abilities and interests. Founded in 2015 it incorporates almost all aspects of cycling including road, track, cyclocross and triathlon. There are junior race teams, training programmes and a Wheels for All project which aims to help anyone get riding, including those who need adapted bicycles.

It’s not just businesses in the Lake District who can get involved. We’re also launching our own digital club on Strava, the social network built around sport and exercise. Join us to enter competitions, be the first to hear about new projects and events, and be in with a chance of getting your hands on some exclusive iwoca kit.

We'll be announcing lots more soon. In the meantime, enjoy the ride.

Click here to learn more about free membership to Kendal Cycle Club.

Click here to join our club on Strava.

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Dan Smith is Content strategist lead at iwoca and editor of Insights. He's written for a number of publications such as The Guardian and WIRED on topics ranging from finance to sport.

Article updated on: 18 March 2020

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