Bicycle NSW surveyed it’s members and bike riders from across NSW in October and November 2016. The initial results identify some interesting trends which will help guide Bicycle NSW’s work towards it’s goal of Creating a Better Environment for Cycling.
The first and most alarming result is the enormous disparity between genders responding to the survey which suggests there are many more men riding in NSW than women. With only 26% of respondents identifying as female, Bicycle NSW can see that it’s women’s only community bicycle ride, Gear Up Girl, is a more important event than ever before.
Registrations open next week and we will be working to encourage these 26% of riders to introduce a girlfriend to the joys of riding through our fun, low pressure, recreational ride. We would love to see the 73% of male riders both support the event through volunteering their time to help get more women riding, but also to encourage their loved ones to give riding a go in this safe, predominantly off-road and traffic free bike ride. Kids of any gender ride for free, so it’s time to make a family day of it.
The survey was open to both members and bike riders from across the state, and based on the survey results it would seem that the Sydney catchment area is still the dominant population of bike riders. We have a network of affiliated Bicycle User Groups across the state and we will be consulting with them on how better to work with them and begin shifting these results and encouraging more people outside of the Sydney area to try bike riding for fun, recreation, fitness or even commuting.
Our BUGs already run successful rides for all levels of riders on almost every day of the year, a listing of which can be found on our Push On Rides Calendar. Some already run or are planning to run larger scale events like the Tour de Coffs, we will continue to work with our BUGs to increase participation in cycling across NSW.
Reasons for Riding
Some of the most interesting results lay with reasons for riding. The most significant reason for respondents to ride a bike in NSW is for exercise or fitness purposes (86%) or fun and recreation (81%). Both of these reasons for riding are the exactly why we want to encourage more people to try riding a bike. We were happy to see a significant portion choose to commute to work by bike (52%) or for active transport purposes instead of using a car or public transport (42%). Training also attracts nearly 1/3 of cyclists (31%) and is included in the personal accident and public liability insurances that Bicycle NSW offers its members, the best insurance available in NSW for recreational bike riding.
Worrying trend in Transport Choices
Most concerning is the large number of respondents who are bike riders who drive a car on a daily basis. The initial results indicate more than 20% drive daily but less than 20% of cyclists ride a bike daily. It’s heartening that the 2-4 times a week segment does see a significant portion, nearly half, riding bikes, but still a high proportion of car drivers as well. We will continue to analyse the qualitative data and individual responses on what would make riding better and more accessible for respondents and begin to formulate ways forward in tackling this driving trend to help reduce congestion on our streets.
Our initial survey results are available to download for interested bike riders, members and stakeholders. Download your copy now: Bicycle NSW-bike-riders-survey-results-2016
Bicycle NSW has 40 years of experience advocating in NSW for bike riders and their rights. Members are what makes our work possible and are the key stakeholders we aim to support, whether it’s through their local BUG, through State and local Council policy advocacy, or by increasing awareness of cycling as an easy and safe way to get around under your own steam. Join today.