2012 National Ride2School Day 23 March

15 March, 2012
Three primary school age girls on bicycles

Ride2School Day encourages kids to use active modes of transport.

Friday 23 March is the National Ride2School day Australian students will grab their wheels and ride to school, creating one of Australia’s largest celebrations of active participation. It is anticipated that over 140,000 Australian kids at over 1,000 primary and secondary schools will participate. Students and school communities across Australia will embrace a healthier start to the day.

National Ride2School Day is an opportunity to promote riding, scooting, skating and walking to school as a means of transport, which has proven health and wellbeing benefits. The biggest day in the Bicycle Network’s Ride2School program calendar, National Ride2School Day sees student’s in registered schools average riding rate increase to 48 percent, more than double the national average.

Here in Bendigo Schools such as Spring Gully, White Hills, Epsom, St Monica’s Kangaroo Flat, Big Hill Golden Square, California Gully and Axedale Primary Schools have embraced this day with great enthusiasm innovation and connection with the wider cycling community. Read the rest of this entry »


There is a cost!

22 January, 2012

2012 –  you’re about to start with a new beginning in cycling or any other aspect of your life as your new year resolution there is a cost factor that may well need to be considered.

Entering into cycling starts with an initial outlay of purchasing the bike that suits your vision of cycling whether for commuting, riding trails on the weekend, or wanting to join , recreational road riding. Having a budget figure of expenditure is essential or money will slip through your fingers. The bike choice then will require pedal choice and shoes to match. Good sound advice is selecting a well fitting helmet as this can be all that is between you and the road in an event of a fall. Clothing is another area where choice seems to come with some reservations but once the element of comfort is experienced in having a reasonable pair of cycling Knicks  and good gloves you won’t regret the outlay. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring into cycling

23 September, 2011
A man and a woman in business clothes on bicycles

Beneficial: your health and your wallet benefit from riding to work. Photo courtesy Bicyle Network Victoria

Spring, the season of new growth, sunshine and lengthening day light hours the beckoning to get out doors and enjoy the freshness of the wind on the face the warmth of the sun. Never ceases to amaze the amount of new faces out cycling of all ages on the road along bike paths and trails that this great city offers. Ladies overcoming the fear of helmet hair and men prepared to ride with their spouses and share the freedom that cycling brings all comers. Pace not an issue, parking eliminated and coffee stops are frequently found at nearly all ends of the town just off the bike paths.

This spring may well be a transformation for your cycling by taking on the challenge of the 6th National Ride to Work Day on the 12th October 2011. It is anticipated 150,000 Australians will take part from over 3,500 workplaces registering for Ride to Work Day in 2011. Ride to Work Day post-event surveys revealed that 43 per cent of first time riders in 2010 are now riding to work in 2011 and over 50 per cent of participants are riding more often in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Team building on the bike

12 November, 2010
Line up of 11 cyclists in Powercor jerseys and 4 support crew

Team building: the Powercor Peddlers and their all-important support crew

Have your own small business? Involved in a group of people that you would like to take on an eventful weekend away cycling?  Looking to do some team building in your work place and can get Corporate support? Consider a well organised friendly ride like the Port to Port.

Our experience has been after taking away many groups of mixed company we have witnessed the development of many riders increase their cycling repertoire. Last weekend was the ninth Mallee Family Care Port to Port that we had participated in as team number 20 Powercor Peddlers. Port to Port is a 2 day bike ride through scenic national parks, starts in Mildura and runs through Swan Hill and on to Echuca. As we ride we get views of Hattah National Park, rolling vineyards, orange groves through the Almond Plantations and views of the mighty Murray River as we pedal over the 400 klm course. Read the rest of this entry »

Get someone into cycling this year

4 January, 2010
Father and his daughter sitting at a cafe in their cycling gear.

No generation gap here: father and daughter can share the same sport.

Happy New Year and it’s the traditional time for New Years resolutions. It would seem that many are made but fewer are kept – this could well be due to the requirement to give up something.

Giving up an ingrained habit requires commitment support and encouragement from friends, family to be accountable. It would seem that most resolutions are broken if there is not a plan of this support.  Consider New Year’s resolutions that doesn’t require others to keep us accountable in having to give up something but enables us to add to what we enjoy and have as a sound routine.

A new year’s resolution as cyclists could well be getting others involved in the cycling experience.  A mate, a colleague, a neighbour, who would benefit from the exercise routines and making new friends, take the bold step to invite them to start cycling. Read the rest of this entry »

Out to win with diabetes

14 December, 2009
Simon Bennett on a time trial bike followed by a team car

Inspiration: Simon Bennett and Team Type 1 are out to prove you can live life to the full even with diabetes. Photo: Simon Bennett

Simon Bennett is a vibrant 25 year old professional cyclist who has had type 1 diabetes since he was 13. Simon left Bendigo on March 11 2009 embarking on a professional cycling career with Team Type 1 Professional Cycling Team created in 2004 to inspire people living with diabetes to take a proactive approach in managing their health, overcoming obstacles that are often associated with the condition.

Based in the USA, the team has now expanded to include Team Type 2 diabetics along with women’s pro racing and triathlon team. Simon is relatively new to cycling (starting in 2008) and was based in Richmond, Virginia on the East Coast about 1.5 hours from Washington DC living with 4 other cyclists who all see themselves as cyclists having Type 1 Diabetes and not Type 1 Diabetics that are cyclists! Read the rest of this entry »

Cycling vision

22 October, 2009
Bunch of cyclists reflected in a car side mirror

Bunch of cyclists reflected in a car side mirror. Photo: Eddie Barkla

Wednesday was National Ride to Work Day an annual event, a continuing commitment of Bicycle Victoria’s vision and motto of “More People Cycling More Often”.  The City of Greater Bendigo hosted a breakfast in the Civic Gardens as their contribution and encouragement for Bendigo commuting cyclists.

For some it may well has been a part of the normal riding experience. For others it can be new step onto endless horizons of future experiences and the joys of being a commuter, recreational cyclist. Some have learnt to dream and see visions of the future potential of being a cyclists and the other open and ready to try.

I have a dream and vision for this great cycling region some of which I can share. Can you imagine a community that has adopted cycling as part of its culture of health and well being? It well recognised and documented that cycling is beneficial in reducing obesity and the risk of diabetes for all age groups.

There is a huge push to encourage parents to get their children on bike to ride to school, and Bicycle Victoria have a wonderful program Ride2School offering teaching for cycling skills to assist in this being fulfilled.

Cycling is also a great way of dealing with depression particularly for men as they can be around other men in close camaraderie. Part of the vision and dream contains the following changes of thinking for all stakeholders.

Can we foresee the day when all new buildings having provision for bike parking, locker and shower facilities part of building regulations? Wouldn’t it be great if all the new school buildings could embrace a cycling culture in their infra structure for teachers and students alike having adequate storage facilities for bikes and helmets?

Will there come a time when bike lanes and path infrastructure would no longer be a need for consideration that cycling is an accepted practice and mode of transport and the road is shared accordingly? Instead of the infra structure there could be an emphasis on skills training for people encouraging their cycling confidence.  Employers could recognise the overall health and well being for employees and reduction absenteeism and give support to get more people commuting more often. The return in healthier employees could promote incentives such as memberships to clubs or organisations that give insurance coverage that is sadly lacking for cyclist.

Bike shops showing their appreciation of sales increase by conducting bike related activities as part of their overall service in a more formal role than exists now. Basic maintenance, tyre changing and safety checks and skills training all part of the service offered.

Local government having a cultural approach to being the cycling capital of Australia not because of events but the cyclists per capita being greater than any other City or region.  The region becomes a cycling destination that is inviting all comers to experience all aspects of cycling disciplines being normal life and not just grandstand events that have only a day or two impact.

Already Bendigo is being used as a cycling training destination.  Wineries food and culture are all here ready to be tapped into. Can you image if all clubs were united in their vision of sharing resources such as rosters for Marshalling being reciprocal allowing all club members to be able to participate in their own club events? Clubs could send their Marshalls to support other clubs for the good of the sport and encouragement of growth.

Building sporting venues to be cycling friendly such as perimeter criterium track using existing road way infrastructure, saves on road permits and makes a safe friendly venue for all ages to enjoy and bike parking for venue users.

Most of what has been shared above has potential to come to reality as there are glimpses of all these things happening in isolation.  The hope of the dream and vision is that with co-operation and commitment to a cycling culture, barriers and boundaries can be reduced across Road, Track, Veterans, Triathletes, BMX and recreational and commuter disciplines.

Cycling can well be a family affair a business incentive and a schools program with the whole community benefiting.

‘Vision, like courage and discipline, is a trait that can be developed by anyone willing to work hard at making it part of their everyday life.’ The poet wrote: ‘Two men looked through prison bars; one saw mud, the other stars.’

We must energise our vision through faith and give it momentum through hard work!  Even if these don’t come to fruition there is nothing wrong with dreaming of good to come from being a united community of cyclists.

See you on the road soon God willing.