From delivering bicycle education in the remote Australian outback to getting 25,000+ people riding on Adelaide Free Bikes, it’s been an amazing year. Bike SA’s CEO Christian Haag looks back at some of the highlights.
Way2Go Bike Ed
The provision of bicycle education programs continues to be a deeply rooted part of Bike SA’s DNA. For decades we’ve been inspiring people of all ages to turn their first pedal.
And the news that we had secured the contract to deliver the government’s Way2Go BikeEd program to 2018 had our bidons full of bubbly popping furiously!
Kudos to our wonderfully talented, passionate and professional team of instructors who delivered cycling joy to the 5,500 students we taught this year. By 2018 we will be inspiring over 8,000 primary school kids a year to ride safely! We commend the government’s funding commitment to double the number of children having access to this lifelong learning skill.
Be Safe Be Seen
Our nationally award winning Be Safe Be Seen workplace education program – yes that’s right, we have continued to deliver our free lunchtime safe riding program to workplaces and communities across the state – from Mt Gambier to the West Coast and in between. With program funding partner, the Motor Accident Commission, this program highlights the top three crash types that riders need to be aware of.
This year over 3,000 riders, both those new to cycling as well as the very experienced, have enjoyed the opportunity to learn how to navigate our roads more safely. We dip our helmets to the MAC for their support.
The first question I’m asked from folks is “What does bikes palya mean?”
Answer – Bikes are Good! in Pitjantjatjara
For the last three years we have been delivering an absolutely cracker of a program across ten school communities throughout the remote indigenous of the APY Lands, thanks to comprehensive funding support from the government’s Special Community Youth program.
The results of this program are outstanding. We know this because of the stimulating response from school staff, those children who participate in the program and perhaps more encouragingly their family and community members.
The support from our sponsors is very appreciated. CMI Toyota deserve special mention for their generosity in providing us with a trusty 4WD HiLux to deliver our staff to each and every school over many thousands of kilometres across the far north of our wonderful state.
Our partnership with Skill Hire allows us to not only build BMX tracks in each community but we continue to work with them to build employment opportunities into the future.
Our partnership with the University of SA is delivering a deep and robust evaluation of the program that will provide us with a strongly evidenced based argument for continued funding from government and philanthropic entities.
If you want to see how this program in the far north has touched young Macy’s heart, you can read face a little blog post we did here.
Also check out this amazing video footage about our work in The APY lands.
Rides, Events and Tours
Our events team has continued to deliver premium experiences for residents and visitors to our state. From our five stage Grand Slam Series to our signature rides of Coast to Coast and Amy’s Ride, we’ve made sure the many thousands of riders on our events have a great time.
We were particularly proud that the Annual Tour was a finalist in the South Australian Tourism Industry Council Awards in the Festivals and Events category.
Again more and more riders, families and friends continue to flock to our Dirty Weekend 24 hour mountain bike ‘happening’ on the Cudlee Creek Forest MTB network. And we expect to see these numbers grow significantly after receiving a $190K grant from the Office for Recreation and Sport and matching funds from Forestry SA to develop a Visitor Centre, install toilets at both the top and bottom as well as a new competition downhill track and new climbing trail in the northern sector of the forest.
Of course, there was a federal election this year…! And didn’t the Greens tease us with a strong endorsement of the value of cycling to our community, with their funding proposition of $1 billion over four years for national infrastructure.
For decades we have run one of the largest free rides programs in the country. And each year, the number of passionate volunteer Rides Leaders continues to grow, with new pedalling experiences being shared across the state. Currently, there are over 2,200 organised free riding opportunities – a great achievement.
Norton Summit wasn’t the only ‘must ride’ event this year. The Adelaide City Council’s inaugural Bicycle Summit was a great success and the Australian Bicycle Summit provided the opportunity for every state and national cycling advocacy organisation to get together in Canberra to meet directly with numerous Ministers and Senators.
And lets not forget the new mandatory passing distance rules as well as the ability for us all to ride on footpaths. With each of our member surveys the overall response has been positive but with the reminder that motorist behaviours are slowing slipping backwards with those passing distances being ignored.
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