Bicycle Network: Workplace
See how other workplaces accommodate cycling into their everyday transport options
Department of Human Services - Melbourne
The Department of Human Services building in Melbourne's Lonsdale street has great end-of-trip facilities with a secure cage for parking, showers, changerooms and lockers. But more importantly, it also has a friendly and inviting bike culture.
As Helen describes,"I was a late starter to cycling. In my 40s I started work in the city and one morning I couldn't physically squeeze on to the train as it was too full of commuters. I decided to walk to work. As I walked, cyclists passed me and I wondered if I could do that?
I had a bike but rarely used it. I found a contact for the bicycle user group on the intranet at work and rang him. He set me up with a fellow cyclist who talked me through how to get a locker, showed me the bike cage and talked me through the practicalities of what to wear, what to carry with me and how to carry gear on a bike. I bought some panniers and found my helmet and a light coloured jacket. I met my cycle buddy on my first ride to work day and she showed me some basic road rules and a good safe route to work. I loved it. I am hooked and have been cycling to work for the past 6 years."
Jon is one of the many friendly cyclists Helen shares the amenities with. "There's a great community feel among the cyclists at work - we have a ball and anyone who takes themselves too seriously soon learns. When I started 20 years ago, people used to look at me as if I were a superman for cycling 20km. I'm very slow - I take an hour from Heidelberg to the city and get passed by people the whole way along. I enjoy it - it's not a race. On my commute I saw 2 kangaroos in East Ivanhoe the other morning. I really enjoy my commute when I go by bike - it's my mental health, physical health, chilling out time. I arrive at my desk feeling fresh - I can't imagine why people would drive if they got to enjoy my commute. The changing rooms are a great place to meet people from across the department - full of great gossip that helps you do your job well. There aren't many other ways to just meet people from all levels of the organisation. Cold mornings are cold but very beautiful with the mist and you just rug up - it's a choice between freezing at the start or being a bit warm at the end. You can guess what I go for."
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James Cook University
James Cook University in Far North Queensland has a very active cycling culture, primarily at their Townsville and Cairns campuses, largely due to the efforts of one individual - Adella Edwards.
Adella is the long-time president of the 94 member JCU BUG (James Cook University Bicycle Users Group) and has been instrumental in all manner of bicycle related initiatives.
Townsville campus has bike parking for 700 which is shared by staff and students alike. There is a dedicated, secure, end of trip facility with lockers which requires a swipe-pass for entry. The BUG also has a workshop where maintenance and repairs can be undertaken. To aid in students getting around there has been significant upgrades to the path network in recent years, with much better bike access to the eastern side of the campus.
At their Cairns campus, there's parking for 140 bicycles and some shower facilities in a number of buildings. The route to the campus from the city has a dedicated bike lane, however much of this is on the busy Captain Cook Highway and so this is a barrier to some.
With a regular yearly turnover of students, JCU BUG collect over 70 abandoned bicycles from around the university’s colleges and through their efforts and the BUG's on-campus workshop, they returned 20 of bicycles to students for their use.
And if that isn't all, noticing that many of the students who live at the residences at the sprawling Townsville campuses were choosing to drive, the university's TropEco sustainability program set up a free sharebike program using laid back cruiser style bicycles - suits the climate.