Bikes are next stop for Sydney commuters

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With the increasingly popular Sydney Rides Business Challenge in full swing, commuters are being encouraged to ride to work and beat the traffic.

More than 300 businesses and over 2,500 people have signed up for the month-long event that aims to get more people riding, reduce congestion and boost productivity for Sydney businesses.

Companies on board include Qantas, Atlassian, Arup, Westpac, eBay, Hilton Sydney, Lend Lease, Fairfax, RPA Hospital, Sydney Airport and Sydney University.

“The more people who ride to work, the greater the benefits for the whole community – whether it’s freeing up seats on public transport or providing road space for people who need to drive,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“With congestion tipped to cost Sydney businesses and residents $8 billion by 2020, it’s essential we encourage new, more sustainable ways to get around.”

“More than 7,000 people ride to work in the city centre each day – the equivalent of 116 full buses or seven packed Sydney trains. The Sydney Rides Business Challenge is the perfect time for more potential riders to give it a go.”

“Why not swap your crowded bus trip for the freedom of a quieter bike ride where you can travel at your own pace?”

Waterloo resident Will Wood is one of four Sydneysiders who recently swapped their commutes. Will changed his morning bus and train ride to work to a trip by two wheels for four weeks, and he hasn’t looked back.

”I previously caught the bus from Bourke Street, near Green Square, every morning but now I’m an absolute cycling convert. It used to take me 35 minutes to travel a measly four kilometres. Nowadays, my commute is only 15 minutes and I arrive at work happy, refreshed and ready to start my day,” Will said.

“Learning the safest and easiest route to and from work was a real eye opener. People automatically think they have to ride the route they drive, but that’s absolutely not the case. There’s nearly always a parallel quieter back-street, some with separated cycleways.”

Will is one of four Sydneysiders who have shared their biking experiences in this new video.

A 2015 study from Sydney University said people who commute by bike are twice as happy as people who drive or use public transport.

The study of 846 people found cycling commuters had an overall better quality of life and health satisfaction.

Gloria Ma also took part in the City of Sydney’s beat the traffic challenge and said her new-found love for riding doesn’t stop with her daily commute.

“At the start of the four weeks, it was all about riding from A to B. But now I really enjoy riding on weekends too,” Gloria said.

“I live in Alexandria so if I want to duck out to the shops, instead of worrying about bus timetables, I just grab my bike and helmet and I’m off.

“The excitement I get riding my bike only grows as I get more confident on the road. I’m looking forward to exploring more places.”

The Sydney Rides Business Challenge runs until 20 March and a range of prizes are on offer for businesses and riders across a number of categories.

Registrations for the challenge are still open at sydneyrideschallenge.net

People who don’t own a bike can also join in three lunchtime ‘try-a-bike’ events between 11.30am and 2.30pm at Hyde Park North on Wednesday 2 March, Baragaroo Reserve on Wednesday 9 March and Observatory Hill on Wednesday 16 March. Mechanics will be on hand for free bike checks and tune ups.

For more information, visit sydneycycleways.net

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney: Louise FitzBaxter, phone 0414 775 275 or email lfitzbaxter@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au or Bridget Ahern, phone 0423 505 854 or email bahern@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay, Phone 0443 182 647 or email pmackay@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

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