Many people in Bendigo go for a bike ride on the weekend as a form of leisure, after all it is relaxing and you do feel invigorated after a nice ride. This is great to see happening so often around Bendigo, however my role as the City’s new Sustainable Transport Officer is to encourage more people to see sustainable transport such as cycling as a legitimate form of transport rather than just something to do on the weekend for a bit of fun.
I am currently studying a graduate certificate in sustainability which is helping me to fulfil my role as sustainable transport officer, gaining a wealth of information relating to social, environmental and economic issues, all of which are highly relevant to the position. It is my goal to inform people about sustainability and how it relates to each and every person in the choices they make each day.
Bendigo is a brilliant place to do this as many people here live within cycling distance to their workplaces. Five kilometres is considered to be an achievable cycling distance to travel to work, although it might take a bit of time to work up to this if you are a new or returning cyclist. Think about the money you could save by riding to and from work each day; there’s the car parking fees (on average $3.50 per day = $17.50 a week), increasing cost of petrol, vehicle running costs, etc. Not only that, but also consider the health benefits of a regular bike ride. Many of us are looking to improve our health and wellbeing, but can’t seem to find the time. Why not include it in your day to day routine? If riding isn’t your thing then it’s just as simple to catch a bus and get off a few stops early to walk the rest of the way. Humans beings have been designed to walk, and the Walk Bendigo projects happening around the CBD will make walking around our city centre that much easier.
Imagine what could be achieved if more commuter cyclists were seen on the road each morning and afternoon. Car drivers would become increasingly aware to look out for cyclists and there would be good reasons to continue improving cycle paths and linkages to cater for all types of cyclists. And with more cyclists out and about, there might even be an opportunity to join a local bicycle user group (BUG), or even form one at your workplace. This is a great way to meet other cyclists and advocate for ‘end of trip facilities’, such as secure bike parking and maybe even showers, to be installed or improved.
Nicole Porter, Sustainable Transport Officer, 5434 6449 firstname.lastname@example.org