Wednesday 17 October 2012 is Ride to work Day with thousands of people taking to their bicycles, tricycles and even unicycles to get to work, school or university. If your driving to work tomorrow, please take care, as always, of cyclists and welcome if this is your first Ride to Work Day as a cyclist.
Fawkner is safer than many other suburbs for cycling within the suburb with no major through roads and lots of quiet residential streets and the Upfield Bike Path, Merri Creek Bike Path and the Western Ring Road Path which all border the suburb.
For Ride2Work Day Moreland City Council have organised a community breakfast in Victoria Mall, outside Coburg Library, Coburg between 7.00am and 9.00am. Enjoy a healthy breakfast to help you on your way to work. Some of us will be riding down the Upfield Bike Path from Box Forrest Rd to enjoy the community breakfast before heading off to work or school.
Further down in Brunswick there is a community breakfast at Lux Foundry Cafe 21 Hope St, Brunswick 6.30am – 9.00am. You can view the full list of community breakfasts in Victoria on the Bicycle Network website.
The day has also been designated as Ride2Uni Day.
Ride2Work Program Manager, Mr Cory Boardman, said one of the biggest barriers of riding to work was poor facilities. “Commuting by bicycle is booming, but not everyone realises it. By registering at Ride2Work.com.au you help us make these numbers real.”
“Registration is critical to demonstrate to governments and employers that people are riding bikes to work, and that many more will ride if the right investments into facilities are made.”
Watch Ride2Work ambassador Sarah Wilson, talking about riding to work and how it beats stress, gets you healthly, and saves you time and money.
Chris Rissel, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney reckons there are enormous social and economic benefits from getting more people to cycle to work, or even part way to work perhaps to a train station. Rissel argues that Governments should get behind bikes, and not just one day a year in an article on The Conversation website. He explained “The international evidence is absolutely clear that the health benefits of a greater proportion of the public cycling regularly could lead to huge savings in the health budget, by helping reduce levels of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases.”
In May the Victorian State Government under Premier Ted Baillieu cut the budget funding for bicycle infrastructure to zero in Victoria. This is a retrograde step as more people cycling frees up more room on our congested roadways for those people that really need to drive. Cyclists organised a rally outside Parliament on 21st June, calling for Bring back the Bike Budget. More infrastructure will encourage more people to cycle which means less congested roads.
Chris Rissel suggests that perhaps we need more than just one day a year promoting Ride to Work: maybe we should have one day a week? What do you thinK?