Getting around

Families saddle up and ride on Sydney’s cycleways

Our count shows women and parents with kids are increasingly enjoying the safe and separated lanes.

Mike Blackmore with his kids, Henry and Florence, on their morning commute to daycare and preschool. Image: Andrew Booth/City of Sydney

In a surge that reflects Sydney’s growing cycling culture, new data reveals a remarkable rise in family and female cyclists using safe, local cycleways.

Over the past year, the number of people riding with child seats has nearly doubled, and women now make up almost one quarter of all riders, according to the latest demographic count.

This trend underscores a significant shift towards cycling as a preferred mode of transport for Sydney's residents.

Sydney worker Mike Blackmore has integrated cycling into his commute from Marrickville. He’s found his new cargo e-bike is a great way to get his 2 kids, Henry and Florence, to daycare and preschool.

“The bike is as fast as driving with half the stress and traffic. Riding is almost twice as fast as the bus and has added incidental exercise to my day. With the electric assist, I can choose how hard I need to push the pedals,” Blackmore said.

“Kids love the bike and it doubles as a vehicle for weekend adventures to parks, playgrounds and the beach. We love the Wilson Street cycleway in Newtown and the recent upgrades nearby have made it even better. We also love to find new bikeways exploring the little parks and back streets.

“I’ve loved that I see other families commuting while we're out on the bike. It feels like we've joined a community.”

If you want to join Sydney’s riding community we can help you get started or brush up on some skills. Get all the information you need on events and courses that are fun and informative.

The number of people riding with child seats has doubled since 2023 in the snapshot count. Image: Chris Southwood/City of Sydney
The number of people riding with child seats has doubled since 2023 in the snapshot count. Image: Chris Southwood/City of Sydney

The demographic study counted a sample of 5,722 riders on a Tuesday in March at 2 sites in the city centre, as well as Newtown, Pyrmont, Zetland, Surry Hills and Glebe. People who ride were counted over 2 hours in the morning and evening commute.

Counts at these sites showed a 19% increase of people riding compared to last year’s study.

“We know lots of people want to ride, but don’t feel safe enough on the roads. That’s why we build bike paths, because it makes cycling a genuine transport option for so many in our community,” Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said.

“It’s wonderful to see this infrastructure being used so well, especially by more and more families and women.

Compared to counts in 2023:

  • bikes with child seats doubled
  • women riding increased by 15% overall, with Zetland seeing more than double the proportion
  • share bike use more than doubled across the surveyed areas.

The latest demographic count highlights the steady rise in cycling in Sydney. Our twice-yearly counts at 68 intersections show a 15% increase in people riding over the past year and a staggering 168% increase since we started tracking in 2010. Permanent counters on our cycleways also reveal consistent growth with use up between 4% and 29% in the past year.

Published 5 June 2024

More on Cycling