Australia’s largest and most established active transport event, Ride to Work Day, goes national in 2007 on Wednesday 17 October.
Ride to Work Day has been a popular event in most states and territories for a number of years, but this is the first time all Australians have celebrated riding to work on the one day.
Heidi Marfurt, National Ride to Work Day Director, said 17 October promised to be a landmark day around the country with an estimated 60,000 plus workers taking to their bikes and riding to work, around a quarter riding for the first time.
"We already have workplaces from Hobart to Darwin registered for National Ride to Work Day. The Department of Environment and Water Resources is one of our biggest supporters with participants in locations as diverse as Canberra, Kakadu and the Antarctic bases." she said.
"There has never been a better time for people to give riding to work a go", Ms Marfurt added.
"Cycling is a great way to reduce carbons and the cost of daily living, plus it makes you feel healthier and happier."
Bicycle Victoria’s research shows that it’s easy to get into the ride-to-work habit – five months after the 2006 Ride to Work Day, 34% of first-time riders were still riding to work.
Ms Marfurt said that "One of the reasons for the growing popularity of riding to work is that it’s the ideal way to fit some exercise into your day. Regular cycling not only makes you look and feel great, it reduces the likelihood of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers."
"This year we have created a website for the event, workplace promotional kits and a national Cycle-Friendly Workplace publication featuring case studies of leading organisations including Portfolio Partners, Arup, Boeing and Lend Lease."
Harry Barber, CEO of Bicycle Victoria, said "We are delighted to see Big Business getting behind the event this year".
Chip Goodyear the CEO of one of Australia’s and the world’s largest corporations, BHP Billiton said that he regularly rode to work as it provided a great outlet for the demands of the job and gave him time to think. "BHP Billiton has a great cycling culture at all levels of the organisation and we are delighted to be part of National Ride to Work Day," Mr Goodyear said.
ANZ Group General Manager People Capital and Breakout, Shane Freeman, is another ambassador for National Ride to Work Day. Mr Freeman, a keen cyclist, said ANZ is supporting National Ride to Work Day as part of its commitment to the well-being of its employees and reducing its impact on the environment. "In recent years, we have been installing more bicycle racks and shower facilities across our buildings because our staff tell us riding to work is important to them, for both personal fitness and environmental reasons."
Alex Unwin, CEO of Bicycle NSW said "many of Australia’s largest workplaces are national so taking the event national was a logical step and increased attention on workplace health, well-being and global warming makes it very timely."
"For those wanting to beat the never ending price hikes in petrol, this is also a great way to save an estimated $160 per week by ditching your car and getting some healthy exercise," Mr Unwin added.
In many cities and towns, free community breakfasts are being planned to coincide with the day, with events planned for Federation Square in Melbourne, The Bond Centre in Sydney, Victoria Square in Adelaide, two Perth locations and Mawson Place in Hobart to name a few.
Public inquiries: for more information and a free promotional kit for your
workplace visit www.ride2work.com.au