Recent data shows that bike riding participation in the Sydney CBD has dropped to 2014 levels, a development Bicycle NSW is concerned is indicative of trends NSW wide. So we’re calling on all people who are capable of riding a bike, to join us and make this summer a BikeSummer!
But what is a BikeSummer?
In any area of interest, there are trends that build until they are the hot topic, the trend everyone is talking about, reading about, doing or wearing. Remember when Kale was THE superfood that every blogger and TV host was talking about? Or the emergence of the hipster trend and the surge in men growing a beard? Every trend has it’s ‘summer’ when everyone is doing it, talking about it, and it becomes a normal part of society – everyone knows about it or does it.
Drop in participation
The Cycling Strategy Manager at the City of Sydney made a presentation in late 2014, showing the trends in bike riding participation. Every time a new cycleway in the LGA opened, riding participation experienced a significant increase and then stabilised through until the next cycleway opened, making bike riding accessible and appealing to more people. With participation steadily increasing, she supposed that a Bike Summer was on it’s way. However, since then, for the first time in five years, Sydney has experienced a decrease in cycling participation.
Causes of the decrease
The drop has been blamed on increased fines for cycling offences, the increase in Police activity targeting bike riders, the removal of key dedicated cycleways and the slowed delivery of an integrated citywide bicycle network of cycleways and routes. If the largest city in Australia can’t maintain steady growth in bike riding participation and infrastructure installation, what hope does the rest of the State or Country have in making cycling a priority?
The Bicycle NSW 2016 Bike Riders Survey showed that more than 80% of people ride a bike for fun or exercise. More than half used a bike as part or all of their transport to their workplace, and just under half used a bike as a utility or active transport solution to run errands and travel to locations other than work. More than 75% of Bicycle NSW members reside within the Sydney catchment area.
So we’ve decided to take matter in to our own hands and make this summer, BikeSummer!
Why is BikeSummer important?
Because the more people we can demonstrate are riding bikes, the more positive attention we can have focused on infrastructure and the more influence we can have over how our towns, cities and State are developed to encourage more people to choose a bike for transport. We have seen an alarming number of reports recently about driver aggression endangering cyclists lives and intimidating bike riders through road rage style actions. The negative focus on bike riding in the media and the slowed delivery of infrastructure has nurtured an attitude in non-cyclists that is dangerous for everyone on the roads. Unfortunately, poor education and lack of awareness of cycling rights on our roads and poor driver decisions has even recently lead to death.
More bikes, less traffic
More bike riders equals more cycleways, more bike lanes, more space for riding on our roads and more support for cycling. 60% of people are interested in riding but are concerned about safety – better infrastructure can help get these people out and enjoying a bike too! More people on bikes means less in cars and a decrease in traffic congestion.
So how can you make this summer a BikeSummer?
Simple, get out on two wheels! That’s right, by simply being out on your bike, you’re helping make bike riding more visible and common, and the effect you’ll have is to encourage more people to get out and ride.
But there are even better ways to make a real impact this BikeSummer:
1 – Show Off Your Bike Love!
Get out on your bike, take your friends, family, riding group, coworkers, anyone and grab some photos and videos of you all out enjoying your favourite summer locations by bike. Post them to social media using the hashtag #bikesummer and tag @bicyclensw for your chance to win some great prizes!
2 – Join Us!
Bicycle NSW is the peak advocacy body for bike riding in NSW and we can do more to create a better environment for cycling when we have more members join us as financial members. Membership offers you the best bike riding insurance available and covers you for personal accident and third party damage or injury when you ride anywhere in the world!
Plus, when you join, you’re adding your voice to ours when we advocate to the Government for better infrastructure and bike riding conditions. And to celebrate BikeSummer, we are offering all new and renewing members 2 months free!
Simply join Bicycle NSW with any membership and use the code BIKESUMMER at the checkout to have 2 months worth of membership fee taken off!
3 – Ride With Us!
No matter where you are in the world, you can get on your bike and ride with us in our 4 week virtual cycle challenge. Every km counts and helps show just how many people ride bikes for fun, fitness or transport! Mark 30 Jan – 26 Feb in your diaries, tell your friends, and prepare to ride as much as you can during the 4 week competition for your chance to win!