Velodrome goes electric for the Bicycle Network E-bike Expo

Thousands of people from around Victoria descended on the Brunswick Velodrome on Sunday, where Bicycle Network’s first E-bike Expo offered test rides of all the latest makes and models in a safe, family-friendly setting.

The expo gathered e-bikes from some of the biggest brands and bike stores for a free community event, where folks were encouraged to learn all about what e-bikes can do.

Confirming the widespread interest in e-bikes, people came from all around Melbourne, from Ballarat and as far as Myrtleford in the Alpine region to take advantage of the single-day event.

From the moment the gates opened, a constant stream of test riders circled the velodrome on all kinds of e-bikes with smiling kids and happy pets regularly taken along for the ride.

Along with the unique opportunity to test different types of e-bikes, the event also allowed the public to talk directly to the experts and learn which types may best suit their lifestyle.

“It was a great event, the location was absolutely perfect for testing e-bikes and the response was incredible,” commented one stallholder.

There were also guest speakers including the Mayor of Merri-bek Adam Pulford, local MP Tim Read and winter Olympian and e-bike enthusiast Katya Crema, all espousing the benefits of e-bikes.

Bicycle Network surveyed visitors on the day to gauge public sentiment about e-bikes and to understand the factors impacting transport choices.

Of those surveyed, half said the main reason they were interested in riding an e-bike was to be more physically active, ahead of environmental concerns (40%) and cheaper transport (around a third).

While more than half said bike riding was already their primary mode of transport, 44% said driving was currently the main way they got around.

When asked what the biggest obstacle was preventing them from owning and riding an e-bike, 43% said it was the purchase price, 29% said it was concerns about motor vehicles and 25% said it was a lack of safe places to ride.

Asked if they would be an e-bike if there were financial incentives that made them cheaper, 57% of respondents strongly agreed.

The E-bike Expo is a part of a Bicycle Network campaign encouraging people to ditch their second cars for e-bikes, which are proving themselves as very capable replacements to carry kids to school and groceries home from the shop.

The campaign aims to spread knowledge of e-bikes by allowing people to give them a go, while advocating for government programs that make them cheaper and more accessible for people around the country.

“Every day in Victoria, 2.2 million trips under 2km are driven, a distance that could be covered on an e-bike in less than 10 minutes,” says Bicycle Network Chief Executive Officer Alison McCormack.

“Swapping a second car for an e-bike can also save Australian families tens of thousands of dollars in just a few years. There is so much to be gained from this ingenious mode of transport.”

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