Biketober was back this October and it was the most successful year yet!
4,224 participants from 567 organisations rode 946,153 km. Importantly Biketober also shows the riders that they saved 24,130 kg in CO2. What an achievement!
Biketober is a great way for businesses to encourage their staff to ride bikes for transport, health and fun. It’s a NSW Government initiative that aims to create healthy workplaces and improve the health of working adults in NSW.
COVID-19 has upended our lives in 2020, but how did it impact riders of the Challenge?
Tommy from SDA Structures
“We’re currently about 20 staff members and we proudly have more bike spots than car spots in our office at the moment. Half of the office ride to work on a regular basis, and during October the number of staff involved with Biketober gets up to 90%.
It is incredible how contagious it can be. I started riding every day because my directors were riding every day. It’s just that simple.
Thanks to Biketober, we work together to achieve common goals and we are pushed to ride together even outside office hours. Last Friday, we spontaneously decided to ride around the park all together before heading home just to add a few kms more into our October pot. We have been unlucky this year with a couple of heavy rainfalls over the last weekends that cancelled two of our bike rides, but all in all I am happy with the office results.”
Jullietta from Transport for NSW
“Transport for NSW has been a part of Biketober for a while now. This year we’ve had interest from lots of divisions because of COVID, the pop-up cycleways and also the Communications Team’s effort.
We’ve been promoting a lot around the pop-up cycleways both in Sydney and regional areas including Newcastle, Wollongong and Batemans Bay. There has been a huge uptake in the number of riders this year, which is fantastic to see.
We developed buddy systems if people were actually going into the office to work. Internally we’ve had the executives spruiking the challenge on the intranet. They’ve been out on the pop-up cycleways promoting it on their blog and videos.
It’s such a great initiative via the health sector and it was great to see so many Transport for NSW staff get involved”
Marcia from Wollongong City Council
“Wollongong City Council has been participating in Biketober since 2018. Each year has grown in participation. In 2018 we had 9 active cyclists, 2019 saw a jump to 15 active cyclists and 2020 has had a giant leap to 79 active cyclists. We think this is great – especially since our staff are doing a lot of work in our community at the moment to improve cycling-related infrastructure, and fine-tune our draft Cycling Strategy 2030.
We have a few cycle fanatics that were using love to ride prior to the Biketober Challenge; these are our legendary cyclists as they have been doing it for years and absolutely love it, big points from these team members! To give you an idea; one of our senior riders is 67 years old, he has loved to ride since the age of 14 and for the Biketober Challenge he increased his cycling trips to work.
I think what made the difference was tying this challenge into a spread of mental health month initiatives. This year’s theme was Tune In as it allowed physical health to have an impact on mental health and wellbeing.
To help get people involved, the Council promoted riding buddies for new riders. Some people already have their groups and sometimes they would offer for others to join them.
Well done to all our ONE TEAM members; whether you rode 1km or 2000km, together we put up a really good fight for the finish line. You were all fantastic and I really enjoyed it so I hope you did too!”
Fiona Bennett from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences employee, Kimberley Nash on the school run
“The Powerhouse Museum had a team of 20 people involved in this year. A mix of commuters, mountain bikers, social weekend coffee riders and long-distance riders.
Our Human Resources department was really supportive with information about Biketober being included in all the staff newsletters, along with reminders about safe places to store bikes, locker and shower locations.
Staff were encouraged to ride to work if possible and spring is the perfect time to ride - it's not too hot, not too cold. It's been fun hearing about team members on their bikes for the school run instead of taking the car.
Riding a bike is a great way to get around the city, see the surrounding countryside. Coffee with friends after a ride is a great way to stay connected and lower stress levels. It's our first year so we're already looking at ways to get more people riding for next year.”