Remode and reap the benefits
14 September, 2016
Tomorrow marks the start of NSW Bike Week, an annual celebration of cycling designed to encourage more people to enjoy the benefits of getting on their bike.
With Sydney going through a period of major change, there’s never been a better time to reconsider the way you travel in and around the city. Travelling by bike can help save time and money, improve your health and benefit the environment. And with a connected cycleway network now allowing bike riders to travel north-south through the length of the CBD separated from other road users, it’s a great way to avoid construction traffic.
Yvonne Poon made the switch to cycling three years ago, substituting her car or the bus for a trip by bike. She says she has never looked back and now cycling is her preferred mode of transport.
“I started cycling mainly to get fit,” Ms Poon said. “As I reached my thirties, I felt like I needed to get more exercise. My partner took up road cycling and it seemed like so much fun I decided to join in.
“I soon realised that a bicycle would be a really good choice for getting to and from work. Parking is difficult and buses are often full or scarce at times, plus there’s all the traffic and waiting time.”
Ms Poon said she was initially nervous about riding in traffic but, after enrolling in Sydney Cycleways courses cycling in the city and bike maintenance, soon found she had the skills and confidence to get on the road.
“I have been on the bicycle nonstop ever since,” Ms Poon said. “Even in the rain! After doing 10 kilometres on my commuter bike over the last few years, I have recently upgraded to a folding bike to open up more options for travelling – now I can easily take my bicycle on the bus or train if I need to.
“I love travelling by bicycle. I used to get so bored and tired from sitting in a car or bus whereas now I'm really engaged on my commute. I love people-watching and especially seeing all the different dogs and people's decorations around their homes – I found I was noticing more of our beautiful city. Sydney really has the perfect weather for outdoors activities.
“I save money because, after the initial purchases, your fuel is the food you eat. I love not having to rely on someone else's timetable and I love the ability of being able to travel door to door without spending time and money on parking. I actually feel much safer travelling at night on a bicycle (rather than walking) because I'm moving faster.
“I'm not late as much anymore because I'm not usually stuck in traffic – I can easily change my route as I go. I like that I'm not consuming petrol and so it's a bonus to the environment. I also noticed I am not getting sick as much as I used to. But the main thing is that I feel so good because it is really nice having a fun activity that bookends my work day so I feel less grumpy by the time I get home. It was so unexpected to me, but it really makes such a positive difference to my life.”
The Travel Choices program provides support for those making the shift to more sustainable ways of moving in, out and around the CBD. For more information about remoding and other ways to change the way you travel, visit our Travel Choices page.
It's your city. Know what changes are taking place.