International Ride to Work Day on 18 June 2018 is designed to emphasise to other road users and the authorities how many of us there are, yet Australia does not take part.
Instead, we have separate state-based “Ride to Work” events at various times of the year and a national Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week in October.
We can understand that climate has a lot to do with the timing of such an international event and that Australia is a big country spread across several climates and in the opposite season to the rest of the world.
However, without a co-ordinated single national or international event, the promotion just becomes watered down and ineffective.
What are we, anyway? Whimps that don’t ride because it’s cold and wet out there!
The strong cyclist lobby holds a national Ride2Work Day in October which attracts a lot of attention and support. There is a lot we can learn from the cyclist lobby!
We contacted the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries which co-ordinated last year’s first national Ride2Work Day to find out if it would be on again this year but have not received a reply.
Last year they said the promotion was a “slow burn” campaign in the first year with a “low level of activity”.
It looks like being really, really low key this year!
Meanwhile, state rider representative bodies continue to run fractured events with very little media or public promotion.
International Ride to Work Day
The 27th annual worldwide Ride to Work Day is expected to be one of the largest yet, according to the non-profit Ride to Work.
The event is celebrated in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, Phillipines, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Russia and the USA, attracting millions of riders.
Event organiser Andy Goldfine points out that commuting riders can reach their destinations up to 20% faster than drivers.
He says motorcycles and scooters also consume less resources per person per mile and take up less space on roads and in parking areas.
“Many people do not always appreciate the societally positive value of transportational riding, and some don’t know there are also a few hidden deleterious ramifications from having almost everyone default to private autos,” he says.
“Cars are wonderful machines, and we love them, but the reasons to ride, when one can, go beyond stuff like energy or carbon footprints.”
However, he says Ride To Work Day is not just about encouraging the wider adoption of transportational riding.
“It’s about increasing the understanding of — and tolerance for — those who choose this form of mobility, and about providing support and encouragement to those who like to ride in transportation-centric ways.”
The Ride to Work website includes forum areas, merchandise, information, and free promotional support materials.