Bicycle Network: Your workplace
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- Elysia Delaine
Want to know what inspires others to ride to work?
Our case studies portray the variety of experiences people have when they first started commuting to work. If you have an inspirational, informative or interesting ride to work story please contact us.
A bike ride a day keeps the Doctor away!
Like most 30-something men Mark works full time in a sedentary job and struggles to find time to exercise due to work/family commitments.
In early-2009 he went to his GP who told him he was overweight, unfit and heading towards far greater health problems if he did not change something. Mark decided the best way to fix this was cycling, so for Christmas he asked family and friends for a gift voucher from a bike store, and bought a relatively cheap flat-bar road bike.
Living in the Adelaide Hills Mark and was initially intimidated by the thought of riding all the way home, so at first he started by chucking the bike in the car and riding the 8km each way on the flat. After a month of doing this twice a week he plucked up the courage to ride all the way, and now rides the 34km round trip 2 – 3 times each week. He can now make the trip as fast if not quicker than in the car, so the excuse of being ‘time poor’ really has lost all relevance.
Since he started riding to work Mark has lost 9kg and his doctor is happy with him again, not to mention having found a new weekend activity riding longer distances with friends.
Riding to work has made cycling an integral part of Mark's new, healthy life, and he looks forward to every day when he can get some fresh air and exercise – not to mention the money savings and the benefits to the environment.
Museum Victoria's MV bicycle Fleet
Creating a Bicycle User Group at Museum Victoria has had more positive effects than we ever imagined.
The Museum BUG recently played a major role in gaining approval for a new MV Bicycle Fleet.
The Museum’s Climate Change Committee (a staff group working to make our organisation more environmentally sustainable) and the Museum BUG has more work to do to get the fleet up and running but getting the go-ahead was the biggest hurdle.
The BUG’s involvement in the development of the bicycle fleet has also ensured that broader rider needs and issues, like bicycle security, shower and change facilities, are given a higher priority in the organisation’s strategic planning.
The fleet itself will reduce the use of cars and taxis between the museum’s four sites and will encourage more staff to cycle more often. It is estimated that staff will travel on the Museum bicycle fleet for 7,500 km pa, and so actively contribute to a reduction in the Museum’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of 2.7 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum. The launch of the Museum Bicycle Fleet is planned for mid-2010.
Initiatives like the Museum’s BUG and Bike Fleet continue to help foster our already healthy cycling culture by supporting employees who cycle and promoting this excellent mode of transport.
Upon commencing new employees are informed about the great cycling culture at Museum Victoria and are directed to the Museum BUG information (internal net) to orientate and inform them about facilities and bicycling tips and news internally and externally.
At Museum Victoria they developed their collective BUG voice to better demonstrate where new or improved facilities are required and can now say their BUG is also helping to make cycling a natural part of how they operate.
Museum Victoria’s - Ride to Work Day 2009
If you're interested in starting your own Workplace Bicycle User Group please have a look at our website for tips on how to establish one in your workplace.
Imagine pulling a 60kg chariot on your ride to work
In it, is someof the most precious cargo you can imagine. Our ride comes with a pre-school and school drop off for our two children, aged 4 and 6. The bike trailer is a neat two-seater blue module, connecting to the rear axle of the bike. It has a roll bar, harnesses and pivots independently so if you fall off your bike, it won’t move.
This year, my ride to work at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead was pretty typical. I farewelled hubby on his 15km ride to work. In a crazy school-morning sort of rush, the kids and I bundle our bags into the ‘boot’. They proficiently strap on their helmets and harnesses and we’re off. En route, we follow a bike lane along the 2km trip. Most cars give us a wide berth. Pedestrians stop in their tracks, jaws dropped, or laugh and shriek, “how cute!”.
Pre-school is our first stop where parking is not a problem for us. Back in the trailer and I tow my son to the local primary school. This is where I lock-up the trailer for their Daddy pick up in the afternoon. When we first began this routine, all the kids at school used to cluster ‘round to see the amazing buggy. They loved it and quite a few wanted a ride.
I now make the 13km journey to my workplace. It’s taken me years to find the right route. Most of it is bike lane or separate path. But there are a few dodgy places like trying to get through Parramatta. Like many cycle commuters, each morning, I am confronted with the mystery of the disappearing bike path, which I am yet to solve.
On Ride to Work Day, our Children’s Hospital BUG put on a spectacular array of goods and services. There was free food, coffee, lucky dips, a workshop for novices, and the local Bike Barn cycle shop supplied a mechanic called, “Doctor Bike”. We stick pins on a map proudly displaying our journeys. One pin showed a 40km one from the Blue Mountains.
Every time I arrive at my workplace, it feels like an achievement. Even though the entire trip takes about an hour and a half, it’s worth it for the role modelling, exercise, and plain old fun!
My ride to work, written by Julie Leask - Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney NSW award winner of Best Ride to Work Story 2008
Nick lost 15kg simply by riding to work!
Nick received a bike for Christmas in 2007 and has been riding regularly since January 2008. Having been an occasional runner for many years he took up riding as it was a lower impact sport and wanted to set himself a personal physical challenge to ride in the ‘Around the Bay in a day’.
Nick lives in Blackburn (Victoria) and rides into work in Melbourne CBD twice a week along the Eastern Freeway bike track which is a 26km, one hour, one way commute. If Nick were to catch the train into work it would take him the same amount of time, door to door.
Nick has been riding to work since January 2008 and during this time he hasn’t changed his diet at all but lost 15kg simply by riding twice a week. He notices that he arrives to work with more energy and also sleeps better on the days that he rides.
Within his workplace at Money Managers there is a cycle friendly culture with shower facilities and bike storage.
The only influencing factors that alter Nick’s decision to ride into work is the weather and if he has early morning meetings.
Nick’s wife has also taken up riding again and rides a hybrid. She drives part way into the city, drops the kids at school and then rides into work in the city.
Nicks’ advice to new riders is to:
• Plan your route
• Decide what kind of bike you will ride according to your route (e.g. some road bikes are better off kept on the road rather than on some of the bike tracks)
• Leave a change of clothes at work so you don’t have to carry as many things in with you.
There’s no stopping Phil (except to tie a shoelace)
Phillip Bromley’s disability didn’t stop him riding in National Ride to Work Day in 2008, and it won’t stop him this year.
Phillip Bromley participated in his local Ride to Work community event in Morwell in 2008 with the support of Steve Stainsby, his house supervisor at Spring Court Community Residential Unit. Steve got hold of a tandem bike, with the help of Rural Access worker Bill Lawler and Moe Life Skills, so that Phil could practice riding in his local area ahead of Ride to Work Day.
Steve says of these training sessions that 'they were quite a learning curve for both of us, being novice tandem bike riders. It took a few laps of the circuit to get it right! I would like to thank Phil for his willingness to 'give it a go', Latrobe City for their encouragement to participate and Moe Life Skills for the bike.' Phil adds that 'the tandem was really good', and he enjoyed riding it.
Phil and Steve were both up bright and early to participate on National Ride to Work Day and completed the 3.6km ride with only one stop to tie a shoelace! At the finish line they were greeted by other riders before indulging in a hearty breakfast.
Phil says his favourite part of Ride to Work Day was 'the bike riding with other people, and the big breakfast afterwards.' Steve says the ride was 'most rewarding, especially seeing Phil having such a great time as we rode along with the other riders - he was chatting away and seemed to be really enjoying himself.'
Similar events will be held on National Ride to Work Day 2009 and Phil is keen to participate. 'It was lovely, and I'd like to do it again,' he says. Let’s hope that Phil and Steve’s enthusiasm and enjoyment of the event is contagious. Well done guys - we look forward to seeing you again in 2009!