While most of the Northern Hemisphere celebrates Ride to Work Day on Monday June 19, there is no national co-ordinated date for a similar event in Australia.
Isn’t it time Australian state rider representative bodies got together to promote a Ride to Work Day on the same date each year as cyclists do in October?
A united nationwide day would have much more sway with politicians and the media, giving greater exposure of the benefits of two-wheeled transport, the needs of riders and the safety issues of riding.
The international Ride to Work Day has been operating since 1992 and is now celebrated in Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Israel, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Turkey and the United States.
The purpose of Ride to Work Day is to “advocate and support the use of motorcycles and scooters for transportation, and provide information about everyday riding to the public”.
The international Ride to Work date is not suitable for some parts of Australia as it is in the middle of our winter.
We asked several motorcycle representatives for comments about co-ordinating a single date.
Most states currently hold their Ride to Work Day during their motorcycle awareness month which varies from state to state.
Motorcycle Riders Association of WA president Dave Wright says their day was on the Wednesday (April 26, 2017) of their Motorcycle Safety Week and was “well attended”.
“As far as a national approach is concerned all states seem to add it in to their respective Motorcycle Awareness events, but having said that I believe we would be very much in favour of a National Ride your Bike to work day perhaps as you suggested in the warmer months of October or November,” he says.
“Would this be something you could initiate and promote through Motorbike Writer?”
Yes! We are happy to.
But getting rider representative groups in each state to agree on a date may be difficult, especially when Victoria and South Australia have two warring representative groups.
Victorian Independent Riders Group spokesman Damien Codognotto says he would be happy to coordinate Ride to Work Days in Hobart and Melbourne but would need government funding.
He suggested a Monday in March as a suitable date.
It is believed there is no planned Ride to Work Day in NSW this year.
An independent event was organised in March in 2012 and 2013 called the “Can you see us now” ride/rally in Martin Place in the Sydney CBD, but it failed to continue.
There is also currently no official Ride to Work Day in Queensland. However, after a hiatus of several years, the Motorcycle Riders Association of Queensland reintroduced the conception on March 1, 2017, with an unofficial “soft launch” to gauge interest.
There is no word yet on whether it will continue as an annual official event.
We believe there would be strong support from riders and the public for such a national concept.
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!
RACQ technical and safety officer Steve Spalding, a Suzuki Bandit owner and frequent motorcycle commuter, supports the concept of a Ride to Work Day to alert motorists to the number of riders on the road.
“These Ride to Work days help raise awareness of motorcycles on the road and remind other road users to think about their safety and give them a safe space in city traffic,” he says.
“It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of motorcycles as an option for commuting where parking cost savings can be made.”
Would you like to see a co-ordinated national Ride to Work Day for motorcyclists and scooter riders?