Bike blasts through in commuter challenge

THE trusty bicycle won the day when it went head to head with a car and bus in the Ride2Work Day Commuter Challenge last month.

Participants on a bicycle, electric bicycle, driving a car and catching a bus all left the corner of Derwent Park and Main Road in an effort to be the first to reach Mawson’s Place in Hobart.

The bicycle rider took the Intercity Cycleway and arrived at Mawson’s Place 14 minutes later, where the Ride2Work breakfast was being held.

The electric bike rider, car driver and bus passenger all arrived within a minute of each other, 22 minutes after the starting time, although the car driver was technically last as he didn’t park and walk to the finish line.

Bicycle Network Tasmania public affairs adviser Alison Hetherington said the challenge was organised to illustrate the different travel options people had to get to work in the city.

“The bicycle rider took the Intercity Cycleway, which is a perfect example of the kind of separated paths we need to get more people riding,” she said.

“The e-bike rider took the road and had to mix in with traffic and wait for lights, which slowed him down considerably.

“Thanks to RACT and Metro Tasmania for helping out with the challenge, it’s something we’d like to run every year to gauge changes in travel times.”

The Bicycle Network Ride2Work Day breakfast was held at Mawson’s Place Hobart thanks to sponsorship from the City of Hobart and Australian Bananas.

Commuters were treated to a breakfast of croissants from Queens Pastry, pedal powered smoothies and coffees from Quickfire Kitchen and the electric bike coffee cart Aroma Roama.

Henty Designs were on hand to show off their stylish commuter bags and the ‘Cycologist’ was fixing bikes throughout the morning.

Adrian Smith, who was in attendance on the day, said it was “fantastic” to be able to ride to work in the same amount of time it would take to drive.

“The Intercity Cycleway is a fantastic piece of infrastructure that makes cycling in Hobart so much more accessible,” he said.

“In my 10 years of cycling to work, I have seen enormous growth in numbers, especially with the advent of e-bikes.

“Going forward, I really hope to see more cycling friendly infrastructure in Hobart’s suburbs so more people can enjoy riding to work.”

Caption: From left, Ben Lenher, Adrian Smith, Luke Middleton and Cr Helen Burnett at Mawson’s Hut for Ride2Work Day.