Reclaim Ride to Work Day for motorcyclists

Bike lanes lane filtering ride to work

Motorcyclists can learn a lot from the Australian cycling lobby which is a slick, professional outfit that has the attention of politicians and hijacked our Ride to Work Day several years ago.

International Ride it Work Day is being celebrated on June 20, 2015, in 14 countries around the word, including the US, UK, Brazil, Russia, France and Germany.

However, when interest in the concept waned several years ago in Australia, the cycling lobby took over and moved it to October.

Ride to Work for motorcyclists started out as an informal concept in 1992 in the US to advocate and support the use of motorcycles and scooters for transportation, and provide information about everyday riding to the public.
Bike lanes lane filtering ride to work motorcyclists

It’s been tried in a couple of Australia states, but the last one seems to have been in NSW in 2009. While motorcyclists have given it away, the concept has been successfully hijacked by cyclists who moved it to October.

Maybe it’s time to hijack it back!

Representatives of rider groups say the middle of winter is not a good time to have a Ride to Work day, but suggest that another day would be better and that “anything that promote motorcycling is a good idea”.

It certainly is, especially now lane filtering is legal in three states. Lane filtering not only makes the ride to work quicker, but also helps motorists by easing traffic congestion.

A Ride to Work Day would focus driver attention on the fact that lane filtering is now legal in many places and not only a benefit to motorcyclists, but all motorists as it eases traffic congestion.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 6 million cars commute on Australian roads every day. An estimated 110,000 motorcycles and scooters are a regular part of this mix.

Imagine if more drivers who own a motorcycle left their car keys at home and took the bike.

A 2012 study by Belgian transport specialist TML  found that if just 10% of car commuters decided to ride a motorcycle, it would mean 40% less congestion and 6% less pollution. If 25% swapped cars for bikes there would be no congestion.

We don’t expect 10% of four-wheel commuters own a motorcycle as well, but there must be many who do own one.

If you’re one of those, why not take your motorcycle to work more often and make a difference?lane filtering ride to work day motorcyclists

There are stats that show riding to work is as much as 20% faster, although that would depend on the route and whether lane filtering is allowed in your state.

Still, it definitely is faster. Plus it’s less polluting, frees up more parking spaces and it’s more fun!

On June 20, millions of motorcyclists around the world will ignore the weather, skip the bus, leave the car keys at home and fire up the bike for Ride to Work Day.

Millions of people on bikes should make other motorists take notice how it affects their commuting times and how many parking spaces it frees up.

International Ride to Work Day is recognised as the world’s biggest single motorcycle-based event based on the numbers of participants.

Isn’t it about time Australia got involved again? Have your say in the comments section below.


  1. You mean in Sydney and Brisbane you can’t park on pavements freely?

    Not too much of an issue in Mel, though admittedly my workplace is just outside the CBD fringe. I just make sure I’m not on a driveway or manhole cover

  2. Great idea. The only issue in Brisvegas is where to park. After about 7.30 am most motorcycle parks are goooone. I ride into the city most days and over the past 12 months especially, more and more bikes and scooters are battling to find a park.

  3. I ride in preference to driving as often as I can, but out here in the bush, particularly at this time of year when it gets light late and dark early, it’s just not safe. Kangaroos, wallabies, cattle (which should not be on the road, but most of the cattle people neglect their fences; two motorcyclists killed here by cattle in the last few months), pigs, bandicoots, horses, fog etc. just make motorcycling early in the morning and late in the day a bad choice.

  4. Living on the Gold Coast, I think its a great idea, I do ride to work but not all the time and yes I do have one of those bigger cruisers which are not that friendly to filtering, however you can use the last 50 mtrs of the bicycle lane to get to the front at lights and getting to work is definitely quicker and also a lot more fun.

    Looking forward to the ride home after work is what gets me through the day.

  5. It sounds selfish I know but as a 5 day per week, rain hail or shine, 80km round trip commuter to the Melbourne CBD whilst I like your idea of re-claiming a ride-to-work day to be honest I look forward to the end of summer and daylight savings where the commute often feels like a show ‘n shine. Imagine the crash statistics if all of those weekend wavers had to deal with peak hour traffic while talking to their pillions on their blue tooth head sets. Before you know it hi vis will be compulsory, bus lanes will be full of bikes and we will be excluded from using them. If you do go ahead with this please publicise it widely so I can take an RDO and head up into the hills knowing that every VICPOL bike will be cruising the Eastern Freeway, Hoddle St, the Tulla and Calder Hwy promoting “rider safety”.

    1. Spot on Richo. I ride into Barangaroo Sydney 84km daily. A lot of workers also ride and parking is tight. We are about to lose more parking to a bus stop. It would be mayhem.

  6. Motorcycle registrations increase in number every year so you’d expect a ride to work day would have a large impact on traffic. But I wonder what percentage of the registered bikes are capable of filtering and are owned by workers?
    A canam Spyder is still classed as a bike even though it’s really a three wheeled car then there are trikes and sidecars and those behemoths from HD Honda and BMW that need almost a whole lane.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *