National Ride2Work Day back with a splash

After a year off due to COVID, National Ride2Work Day was back with a splash this year, with the weather not dampening the spirits of thousands of riders around the country who swapped the car for a two-wheeled commute this morning.

Riders in Melbourne and Hobart were rewarded for their efforts with free coffee and breakfast from Bicycle Network staff and volunteers, to say thank you for making your commute count.

Bicycle Network Tasmania's Ride2Work breakfast in Hobart. Image: Ivett Dodd

In Hobart, two wheels proved better than four again in the Ride2Work commuter challenge which tracked five different transport options from Kangaroo Bay to the waterfront – with the e-bike and push bike both beating the car and bus journeys.

“It’s not just about which mode is quicker", said Bicycle Network Tasmania’s Public Affairs Manager Alison Hetherington.

"Options like riding a bike also provide health benefits and save you money so your daily commute is more than just transport."

Members of parliament popped in to chat to riders before parliament started for the day, including the Premier Peter Gutwein and Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson.

Infrastructure Minister Michael Ferguson enjoys the smoothie bike while Minister Guy Barnett chats to local rider Rob Sheers.

In Melbourne, riders heading into the CBD were able to take advantage of some of the 40 kilometres of fast-tracked bike infrastructure rolled out by City of Melbourne to help aid a pedal-powered recovery after the extended lockdown. 

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said: “The City of Melbourne is proud to support National Ride2Work Day, which invites everyone to enjoy our city’s sights while also encouraging health and fitness.

“We know that people bought thousands of bikes during the pandemic and we’re expecting our cyclists to come back in droves."

Commuters in City of Melbourne, as well as City of Yarra, City of Maribyrnong and City of Port Phillip were offered free coffee vouchers to local cafes, courtesy of their respective councils who partnered with Bicycle Network for this year's National Ride2Work / Ride2Coffee Day.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll also swung by one of Bicycle Network's activations in Melbourne, despite the rain, to show his support for National Ride2Work Day, emphasising: "It's good for your health, it's good for the environment and its good for the community."

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll joins the Ride2Work crew in Melbourne.

Around the country, regular and first-time commuters shared their Ride2Work experience through social media using #Ride2WorkDay. Bicycle Network offers a big thank you to all the workplaces, councils, clubs and community groups who helped spread celebrations around the simple joys and many benefits of commuting by bike.

And while bikes were celebrated Down Under, over at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow bikes do not appear on the agenda for transport day today, where discussions will focus on accelerating the roll out of electric vehicles.

Bicycle Network CEO Craig Richards said: "There’s no arguing that electric vehicles should be part of our climate solution. But why are we settling for better when we should be striving for best?

"The humble bicycle should top today’s agenda. It’s the simple solution to the complex problem of transport emissions."

Read Craig's opinion piece: Time to get on our bikes

Let's all pedal to a better normal

Though the weather may not have come to the party this year on National Ride2Work Day, luckily we have the whole summer ahead to practice pedalling to a better normal. 

As our cities slowly begin to reopen back to full capacity in the new year, it’s predicted that many more commuters will flock to their cars – causing serious concerns around congestion, pollution and personal health.   

Our collective commutes can make a big difference. Join Bicycle Network's new campaign and make the pledge to pedal to a better normal. It could be two days a week or everyday for a month, it's up to you!

Make your pledge by Sunday 12 December 2021 to go in the draw to win a $500 voucher for 99 Bikes.