Inactive riders urged to ride again!

lane filter filtering splitting traffic commute commuting congestion Brisbane

Inactive motorcyclists who haven’t ridden for some time are being urged to ride again, especially for commuting, as the pandemic travel restrictions begin to ease across the country.

This comes as the national cycling lobby is calling for $300 million to be spent on bike lanes.

Inactive riders

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries motorcycle manager Rhys Griffiths points out that there are about 2.1 million licensed riders in Australia and about 870,000 registered motorcycles and scooters.

That means there are about 1.2 million inactive riders with a licence, he says.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we go about our lives.  Motorcycles and scooters present a clever solution to the challenges the pandemic presents,” he says. 

“A motorbike might well be the best way to maintain social distance without creating congestion. Riders can avoid the contagion risks presented by public transport, while cutting commute times by lane filtering through increased traffic. 

“So the message is, get them out of the shed, get them serviced and get riding. If you haven’t got a bike, your local dealer is open for business.” 

Rhys says the plea to inactive riders will be a theme of their fourth Ride to Work Week in September 2020. Bike lanes lane filtering ride to work tax congestion

He says they will generate awareness through the website and social media.

The FCAI message to inactive riders follows recent surveys which suggest commuters will avoid public transport.

The fear is that this will send Australia from lockdown to gridlock.

The FCAI says motorcycle and scooter riders have two advantages:

  • They can mitigate infection risks by maintaining social distance; and
  • As commuter traffic volumes potentially increase beyond pre-pandemic levels, riders can nimbly negotiate traffic and park conveniently, cutting commute times.

Rhys also reminded riders to strictly observe all social distancing and contagion control requirements, and to regularly disinfect helmets, gloves and any high-touch surfaces on vehicle controls.

He also advises riders to consult their DIY guide to ensuring your motorcycle is ready for the road.

Cyclist lobby calls for bike lanesCyclists in bike lanes ride to work day lane filtering bus lanes reward

Meanwhile, the cyclist lobby is putting pressure on the federal government to spend $300m to build more bike lanes as post-pandemic traffic is expected to explode.

The national cycling safety charity Amy Gillett Foundation has commissioned a national poll which shows “massive support” for safe separate cycling infrastructure.

They claim a “doubling in cycling participation during the coronavirus lockdowns, as Australians turn to bikes for effective social distancing, for transport, enjoyment, and exercise”.

The Foundation is calling for $300m to be allocated from the $3.8billion infrastructure commitment made in late November 2019 by the Federal Government to build bike lanes.

They say the investment could be made immediately as part of the $500m Local Roads and Community Infrastructure announcement last week (22 May 2020).

6 Comments

  1. Let’s stop and look at what this is really all about. If already have a motorcycle, if you ride it only the weekend and you are able to ride it to work – those are the people who should be riding those bikes to work.

    It just make sense. I’m very surprised that some Bike Shops aren’t using this idea as a selling point.

    Safety is the hoary old chestnut used by opponents of the idea. Yet, when you look at the increase in numbers of riders on bikes compared to the past, there is no evidence to support the assumption that more bikes equals more accidents. If anything the opposite is the case.

    Car drivers are now far more aware of riders, due to the efforts of the likes of VMC (here in Victoria) working with TAC and Govt Ministers. Rider Training is better than ever and riders mentor each other. I have a friend who is going for her Licence on Saturday – its an 8 hr day, where she will be taught, checked and tested before she get’s her licence.

    More bikes = safer conditions for riders. Yes, that may sound counter-intuitive, but that’s what’s happening.

    If you haven’t been riding for a while and you decide to get back on your bike – there’s a myriad of information out there – that wasn’t there when I started riding 40 years ago.

    1. Funny, I have memories many many years ago of driving in Sydney (only visiting) in peak hour traffic and slowly passing a bike shop – a Yamaha dealer – and on the showroom window was a large cut out message in fluro yellow that said ‘If you were riding a new Yamaha XJR*** you would have been home 3/4 hour ago” ! A good point for sure, and of course the principal applies to all brands!

  2. I like the idea of making cyclists safer, though need to integrate with better public transport and pedestrian measures to make it more viable for a larger number of users.

    For getting bikers back on the road… We need to look at the cost of things like TAC, motorcycle safety levey, insurance in general as they make it a more expensive proposition than just picking up a bike (imo TAC should be on the license not the vehicle, I can only ride/drive one thing at a time so why penalise me for having a car and a bike or God forbid two bikes)

    Motorbikes, like bicycles, need to be options in an integrated road use plan that covers rural, suburban, and city planning (roads, parking, safety, electrification) not just a bunch of sperate squeaky wheel initiatives

  3. Motorcycle riders could take a good close look at how the cyclist lobby operates. We need to lift our game.

    1. We have been trying to do that for years. Its not as easy as it looks. The Bicycle Lobby are a powerful political force. When I was MRA(Vic) President way back in 2004 I have many jousts with them.

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