Bicycle Network: Ride2Work Program
The latest from around the globe and nearby, on the ride2work revolution
Ride2Work results surge
14 May 2013. Have you been thinking to yourself that there seems to be many more people out on the bikes each morning, headed to work? Well, your eyes are not deceiving you. Our latest survey shows Ride2Work Day has played a key role.
Each year, five months after National Ride2Work day we send a survey to all people who registered, asking about their current cycling habits. The results, overwhelmingly, are that Ride2Work has encouraged thousands to take up riding to work, and to stick with it.
Of the people who were motivated by National Ride2Work Day to try it for the first time, a massive 47% were riding to work in the random survey week. And an incredible 87% of new commuters reported they now rode to work at least once per month.
The most often cited benefits from all respondents for riding to work were that they could reduce or maintain their body weight, that it reduced their stress levels and it gave them greater cardiovascular capacity for tasks during the day.
Melissa Kaulfuss, a project manager with IceLab in Fitzroy, who rides the 9kms each way every day from her home in Ascot Vale says "I love cycling to work for a few reasons. I can avoid the public transport woes, the overcrowding and paying money for inconsistent service. I'm also getting my exercise in during the time when I need to travel anyway and besides, it takes me 10 minutes less than public transport."
One the whole, respondents loved National Ride2Work Day because they enjoyed be a part of something big that promotes cycling, the publicity it generates towards people riding to work and just seeing lots of other people riding to work together.
Dutch hospital gets 50% staff riding
18 April 2013. The hospital in the Dutch city of Enschede has half of its 4000 staff riding to work. The big switch came when the hospital ensured staff knew the real costs of their travel.
The Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST) is a large hospital with similarities to those in major Australian cities, and it thinks it can go considerably higher then 50 per cent.
It developed a calculation app so that employees can compute the costs as well as the reimbursements and fiscal advantages of the various means of transport.
These include travel options such as private cars/motors, lease cars, e-bikes and scooters, public transport, rental bikes, carpooling, or combinations of any of these.
Each employee can enter their own specific data and see what various transport options actually will cost.
The hospital has only limited parking for cars, and this resulted in the hospital deciding to get its employees to ride bikes to work.
Employees can earn credits each time they cycle to work. The longer the route the more credits are earned, which can again be used as vouchers in bike shops participating in the credit scheme.
MST also provides the attractive facilities for its employees to commute to the hospital by bike. There is a secure bike parking lot with close and easy access to the hospital.
Within this parking lot cyclists can use the e-bike charging station. Employees can also try out an e-bike and there's a special bike repair day twice per year.
Early in the morning during these repair days, a bicycle repairman is available at the bike parking place to inspect critical bike components and perform needed repairs for free.
Bicycle Network has been working with hospital staff to try and get hospital management to see the value in getting more Australian hospital staff riding to work.
So far it has been an extremely steep hill.
How many cars did I pass today?
2 April 2013. If you commute through a built up area, there are times when you probably stream past bumper-to-bumper traffic. Take a look at this video on YouTube which The Bicycle Channel have put together, showing a commute from Melbourne's inner north-west into the CBD.
View on YouTube here>
LaTrobe University's Bikeshare gets rolling
27 February 2013. Melbourne's LaTrobe University has implemented a trial bikeshare program accessible to a maximum of 80 users at their main campus in Bundoora. All that is required is for people to apply and be provided with a key to use the system, a free helmet and bike light package. Bikes can be used for transport in and around campus with 10 docking stations conveniently located in main areas.
In addition, their partners at Bikes@Work are offering free Cycle-Confidence Training to people who register.
Find out more at the LaTrobe University Bikeshare page here>
Bicycle commuting off the charts
6 December 2012. The 'Transport to work' results from the 2011 Australian Census were recently released, and there's some great data therein. Charting Transport is well-named, and looks at statistics and puts them into charts to make them a little more digestible. Amongst the many other options for commuting, there's also charts for cycling.
In spite of the weather in a number of cities on census day 2011, most capitals reported an increase in the numbers riding bicycles to work - both in raw numbers but also in percentages of total commuters. There are more and more people riding to work each and every year. The chart (right) shows the proportion of commuters riding by bicycle. In fact, Adelaide was the only capital that showed a decrease.
Charting Transport has more detail comparing the last two censuses for a number of capitals - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth* - showing density of riders on a map. (For each, scroll down to see the cycling map, and click on the map for a swapping 2006-2011 comparison).
Looking deeper into local government areas, you can generally see that the ones with the highest spend per person on bicycles also tend to have the largest numbers of riders.
*Note that at this point, Charting Transport has not charted the data from all of Australia's capitals.
Congestion score down! down!
28 November 2012. Bicycle Network is succeeding in relieving Melbourne's traffic gridlock, scoring a low 12.65 on VicRoads' new congestion measuring calculator.
Staff in the office have been reporting their individual congestion scores so that the congestion impact of the entire office can be assessed.
They are using the calculator at unlockthegrid.com.au.
It is part of a campaign by VicRoads to make organisations and workers understand the contribution they make to traffic congestion.
The higher the score the more congestion you are causing.
Travellers are urged to try the calculator. Most people think congestion is the fault of someone else, but the calculator reminds that every commuter adds to the problem, depending on how they travel, how far, and when they travel.
Get your workmates to try it out and see how they go.
Unlocking space and time
15 November 2012. VicRoads have launched a new campaign to reduce peak time traffic congestion in Melbourne, and it demonstrates that bike riders can make a big difference.
What's more, you can establish your own congestion footprint using an on-line tool, and show motorists just how much you are helping keep their blood pressure low!
Called 'Unlock the Grid', the website allows users to enter details about their daily commute to generate a personal congestion score.
Go ahead and try it now. It is a great way to establish the contribution bike riders are making to keeping our roads flowing for essential personal travel, freight and public transport.
VicRoads Director of Road User Services, Dean Zabrieszach, said the new campaign aims to reduce Melbourne’s traffic congestion by encouraging commuters to assess their personal impact on congestion.
“The site then provides users with simple and practical suggestions to help them beat their score, such as changing their mode of transport, the time of day they travel or considering a different route.
“This is the first time individuals are able to use our traffic data to calculate their personal impact on traffic,” Mr Zabrieszach said.
Mr Zabrieszach said a recent survey commissioned by VicRoads reported 50 per cent of Melbourne’s drivers are stressed as a result of their daily commute.
“Drivers reported that peak hour traffic, extended travel times and frustrating driver behaviour in their daily commute was causing increasing levels of stress, both at work and at home,” Mr Zabrieszach said.
“Ninety-five percent of drivers said the most frustrating driver behaviour was blocking intersections, followed by cutting in.”
Mr Zabrieszach said one of the most interesting things to come out of the survey was that almost half of Melbourne drivers don’t think their commute is impacting on the city’s congestion.
“Unlock the Grid aims to show commuters that by all making a few small changes to our daily routine, together we can reduce peak hour traffic. We want to remind drivers that they are not stuck in traffic, they are traffic,” he said.
Mr Zabrieszach said congestion can be eased with more awareness around the things that cause peak hour jams.
Get from A-to-B, pain free
Riding the correct sized bike is vital for an enjoyable and effective ride. However, there's more than just size. If you are doing longer distances, getting a 'bike fit' can be an investment in your health to ensure you don't injure yourself. Across the country on Ride2Work Day, expert musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapists - all volunteers from the Australian Physiotherapy Association - helped participants get from A to B, pain free, by providing free bike fittings and health advice at CBD breakfasts
Take a free punt on Ride2Work Day
We know it's coming up to Spring Racing Carnival time, but we're not talking about that sort of punt. Not even a drop punt. Thanks to the Victorian State Government, Melbourne's Westgate Punt service will be providing free journeys for all people riding to (or from) work on the day from Spotswood to Port Melbourne, and vice versa. And, as a celebration of their one-year anniversary of week-round service, you'lll also get to enjoy a free coffee and croissant. For more details on the location and times, click here.
Get the word out
Do you have a Facebook profile? Let everyone know about your ride with one of our Cover Images. Pick the one that best suits you! Click and save, then upload to your Facebook.
Facebook Cover Image - I'm a part of the Commuter Revolution
Facebook Cover Image - I'm joining the Commuter Revolution
Create tweets, and/or tweet images with hashtag #ride2work. We've consistantly been the No1 trending topic in Australia each Ride2Work Day - we'd love to do that again!
4 October 2012. Ride2Work Day this month will make another powerful statement about the contribution bike commuters make to better transport, but it can be even more powerful: we need all riders to register for Ride2Work.
Help us with the 3reasons2register initiative and encourage every bike commuter you know to both register and ride on October 17.
3reasons2register is an ultra-simple message to remind riders to log on to ride2work.com.au and register:
- inspire others to try riding to work
- influence governments and councils to improve facilities
- the chance to win great prizes
Registration is critical to demonstrate to governments and employers that people are riding bikes to work, and that many more will ride if the facilities are good enough.
Registration helps us collect data on where people are riding from and too, how frequently and how far they travel.
Streets and workplaces in cities and towns around Australia are littered with bikes that people have ridden to work. Add them all up and we have a massive number that would shock policy makers and the general public.
Bike commuting is booming, but not everyone realises it.
By registering for Ride2Work day you help us make these numbers real.
Make sure you are registered, but more than that, make sure every other rider you know or encounter is also registered.
It's simple. Just remember the 3reasons2register.
If you don't have a bike
Melbourne BikeShare are offering free usage on Ride2Work Day. Just go to any BikeShare station, use a credit card to register, and that day's access fee and any usage fees will be waived for 17 October 2012, from 6am until 11am.
Melbourne BikeShare and RACV will also be at the Melbourne Federation Square Breakfast, on hand to answer any of your questions.
Ride2Work Day not a crash risk
20 September 2012 - If there is one day of the year that a commuter can safely try out riding to work for the first time it is Ride2Work Day.
Because of the huge publicity the event attracts, and the larger than normal number of bikes on the road, the risk of a mishap is even lower than its usual rate.
No road user, especially drivers, can escape the buzz around Ride2Work Day each October. Drivers expect to see bikes on the road on Ride2Work Day and so are more alert.
The event has been conducted across Australia for many years and incidents involving cars crashing into bikes have proved especially scarce.
Some people have difficulty grasping the idea that a day with many beginner riders on the road can be low-risk.
This week an attempt by a Canberra doctor to highlight poor cycling infrastructure misfired after he described Ride2Work Day as "dangerous".
A senior anaesthetist at Canberra Hospital, Robert Lang, announced in the Canberra Times that he as cancelling a Ride2Work Day event because traffic conditions around the Woden hospital make it too dangerous for staff to cycle on the road.
Dr Lang is right to be critical of infrastructure near his hospital, and is to be praised for his commitment to bike commuting.
But his scare tactics do more harm than good. The risk of one of his staff crashing on the way to the hospital on Ride2Work Day is extremely low, not only on that day, but on any day.
In fact people riding to work have lower health risks than those who don't ride and who drive to work.
There are lessons to be learned from this episode: Don't describe bike riding as "dangerous" as the facts won't back you up, and; describing bike riding as "dangerous" because you think it will help get you better infrastructure is a really, really bad idea.
Addendum - Ride2Work has since been informed by other parties at The Canberra Hospital that their Ride2Work Day Breakfast is indeed still going ahead. Canberra Hospital has already had over double the number of registrations for Ride2Work than it did in 2011.
Meet Clementine the CargoCycle
28 August 2012 - Following on from the highly visual success of 2011's Yuba Mundo, this year we have the even more head-turning Shorthaul CargoBike.
After a few sneak peeks via our Facebook and Twitter profiles, Clementine will be continuing her rounds of regular commuting routes and appearances at events and high-profile streetscapes. Her role is to attract attention - primarily towards people registering for Ride2Work, and she has no problems doing that. If you have any suggestions for where you'd like her to appear (Melbourne CBD or short distances from), then please get in touch. She can even fit in (most) elevators.
And for those asking, she rides just like most other 'city' style bikes. The trick, when first riding her, is to look ahead of you and not watch the front wheel - after a few minutes, it seems quite normal.
Louisiana surgeon uses child's bike to beat traffic and reach surgery
27 August 2012 - Dr Catherine Boucomm was scheduled in to perform surgery when she was confronted with bumper-to-bumper gridlock. An accident shut down the Interstate she normally drives on. The problem was, she had surgery schedule that morning - and often her patients come long distances from out of town. But quick-thinking Dr Baucom, a regular cyclist, thought of a better way. She quickly rang a friend that lived near her location and asked if she had a bike. Even though her only choice was an undersized child's bike, it proved the best way for her to get to work.
Cycling executives pedaling deals
12 June 2012 - 2012’s Ride2Work program has started well, with over 5,000 people already registered. As in previous years, some Australia’s largest organisations are well represented with Telstra, NAB, ANZ and the ATO leading the pack. Could that be because cycling is the new boardroom?
The ABC recently reported a group of 500 Australian executives are regularly sharing their rides with others to talk business. See a two-minute video about ‘Australian Cycling Executives’ on ABC's website.
And it makes sense. A ride before or to work gets the blood pumping and the thoughts, as well as the business discussions, flowing.
BRW also recently reported that many executives are realising the potential for networking on the bike and they, as well as 2.4 million other Australians have taken up riding as regular exercise in 2011-2012, an increase from 1.6 million in 2006-07. See their report here.
Ride2Work casts its spell
15 May 2012. Ride2Work day continues to work its magic with the most recent survey showing that the event can jump-start the commuter bike riding habit.
The survey results showed 986 new people joining the commuter revolution, out of their cars, or leaving a spot on public transport for others. If these survey results represent Ride2Work Day's total people riding, the real number is likely to be ten times that amount, part of the 150,000 riders who commute to work by bike.
Ride2Work Day is Australia's largest cycling event and has been running for 18 years. It is the key event of the Ride2Work Program, which is designed to help people move from 'contemplation' to 'action' and establish the habit of riding to work. Our research shows that the encouragement of friends, family and workmates is the best way to acheive this.
Of the people who rode to work for the first time on National Ride to Work Day 2011, 38 per cent of them rode at least once in the survey week five months later.
When asked to compare their riding habits with that of a year ago, the results show an even greater change.
Of those who were not riding to work in March 2012, an amazing 63 per cent of respondents, around 4000 riders, stated they were riding to work at least once a week one year later. About 43 per cent stated this was more than once a week, and over one in five said they were riding ‘most days’.
The majority of respondents stated that the Ride to Work program had a positive effect on their cycling habits, with their most common motivations being physical activity, general health and fun!
The survey was taken for one week in March 2012 with Bicycle Network surveying people who registered for National Ride to Work Day 2011. More than 23 per cent responded and the results indicate the program is an overwhelming success in inspiring people to take up commuting to work via bicycle.
It was only one day, but commuters still riding to work
Major findings of the survey:
- 38% of first-time riders on National Ride to Work Day 2011 responded they rode during the survey week 5 months later
- 63% of new riders who were not riding one year ago responded they were now riding more than once a week.
- 21% of new riders who were not riding one year ago responded they were now riding most days
- 56% of all respondents indicated that National Ride to Work day 2011 had a positive impact on their riding.
- The most valued aspect of National Ride to Work Day 2011 was being a part of a big event that promotes cycling.
- The most common motivations were physical activity/health and fun!
The Ride2Work program supports this using evidence-based behaviour change tools to encourage existing bike commuters to encourage other people to ‘give it a go’.
The program highlights the many benefits of riding to work, such as increased physical and mental health, ease of scheduling and enjoyment, as well as providing strategies to overcome the barriers to cycling, such as weather, route choice and the need to carry materials.
National Ride2Work Day is the major event of the program, however through emails and social networking, workplace co-ordinators, and online resources, anyone who registered can learn how easy it can be to ride to work, or share their experiences to assist others in their queries.
Registrations for the Ride2Work Program 2012 are now open and National Ride2Work Day is this year being held on Wednesday 17th October.
Frequent flyer points for bikes
7 March 2012. A city in Denmark is introducing an electronically activated rewards system which triggers incentives for people who use their bikes frequently to get to school and work.
The city of Fredericia has developed a rewards system based on the use of Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on bikes to electronically record trips to motivate riders and increase cycle traffic by more than 25 percent.
Called Cycle Score, the scheme recognises that both children and adults are willing to spend more time on their bikes when prizes are on offer.
Motivational schemes for commuters are popular in Denmark and other places around the world, but are hindered by the requirement for manual data entry and usually operate just a few weeks a year as part of promotional campaigns. With RFID chips fitted to bikes the data collection is automatic and operates year-round.
Cycle Score creates competition among the workers and schoolchildren, with grades or departments contesting for prizes including gift cards for local restaurants, cinemas and shops, bicycles, wine, chocolate and so forth.
The participants mount an RFID tag onto the wheel of their bicycle, and then link the tag – every tag has en individual ID number – to a person by means of a web-based interface.
When a bicycle with a RFID tag passes a receiver the bicycle is automatically recorded. The receiver is located in a container the size of a control cabinet, displaying a red light on the front which blinks to ensure a passing cyclist, that he or she has been recorded. In terms of the Cycle Score campaign, the container is referred to as a “checkpoint”.
The checkpoints are placed at the entrance to various workplaces and schools at strategic locations throughout Fredericia, and report in via wireless internet to the nearby workplace or schools. The collected data is marked with a date and transferred continuously. Cycle Score functions as a database, receiving all recordings from checkpoints throughout the city.
In Fredericia, the participating workplaces and schools have all been offered the checkpoint and RFID tags free of charge.
Future GPS option
The system may be expanded by the possible inclusion of GPS tracking – which 70 percent of Danish mobile phones are able to – by applying an application which is currently being developed. The application enables tracking of trips made on a bicycle, recording activities in “virtual checkpoints” by dividing the city of Fredericia into zones, with no need for physical installations. The website will consequently be made accessible from a mobile phone, once the application is available.
Participants may log on to the website at home or at the office to track their performance, dividing their recordings into daily, weekly, monthly and early statistics on their own performance.
For schools the figures are shown for each class, for every school and all schools combined. For workplaces, the figures portray every department, every workplace and all workplaces combined.
Based on a system in which every recorded day of cycling generates a “ticket” in a virtual lottery, the system will extract winners from the database; making it possible for every participant regardless of the number of “tickets” to secure a prize. However, the more “tickets”, the greater chance one stands of winning a prize.
The checkpoints only allow one daily recording = 1 Cycle Score. Passing by two, or perhaps five checkpoints will however secure additional cycle scores, seeking to motivate cyclists to lengthen their trips, take a detour on the way to or home from work, or to go on a bicycycle trip at the weekends to secure points.
The project is presently in the start up phase with the city hall of Fredericia being the first workplace to have enrolled in the campaign. The initial responses to the campaign have been very good, with people showing great interest in the placement and status of the checkpoints, the prizes and the ongoing friendly competition among colleges.
After an evaluation of the present project it will be for its potential to be scaled up to cover the entire country. Moreover, the project forms the basis of an application to the European Union, seeking to spread the concept to seven more countries.