Commuter challenges where private vehicles compete with public transport are run in Australian cities from time to time, usually as PR for the virtues of cycling to work.
However, we riders know that motorcycles and scooters are really the most efficient way to commute.
This has again been proven by a motorcyclist in the most recent computer challenge set up by the Australian Bicycle Network in Hobart.
The cycling PR exercise kind of blew up in their face when long-time rider advocate Damian Codognotto won the challenge riding his Moto Guzzi V7.
Damian says the Bicycle Network Commuter Challenge was “a great way to showcase the value of motorcycles and scooters in urban areas”.
“It was a well-run event. A credit to Bicycle Network,” he says.
“Pushbike and motorbike riders have a lot more in common with each other than with car drivers. Where we can work together, we should.”
The Bicycle Network Commuter Challenge was run today (10 November 2021) in peak-hour traffic from Kangaroo Bay carpark at 8.15am.
Damian took just 13 minutes to ride the 6km around the bay and over the choked Tasman Bridge to arrive at the Brooke Street Pier at 8.28am, beating a car, more than 100 cyclists, an ebike and commuters on a bus and a ferry which had the quickest route straight across the water.
The e-bike rider took the bridge and arrived at 8.32am, the fastest cyclist took the ferry and arrived at 8.35, the car at 8.41 and the bus passenger at 8.50.
“I won the Commuter Challenge on my cute little V7 Guzzi without breaking a single road rule,” Damian says.
Five Members of Parliament, including the Premier and the Transport Minister, were at the finish of the Commuter Challenge to witness the virtues of motorcycle riding.
Let’s hope it results in positive political support for rider issues such as road rules, rego discounts, and parking.
Bicycle Network Tasmania’s Public Affairs Manager Alison Hetherington says they run the Commuter Challenge on Ride2Work Day to show what transport options exist for a route, how long each takes and how enjoyable each is.
“It’s not just about which mode is quicker,” she says.
“Options like riding a bike also provide health benefits and save you money so your daily commute is more than just transport.
“The ferry trial also means bike riders now have an enjoyable way to cross the river instead of having to tackle the narrow, exposed paths on the Tasman Bridge.
“The challenge shows the convenience of bicycles and motorbikes and illustrates the benefit the ferry is providing for people riding in terms of time and safety,” she says.
“E-bikes are an option many people may not have thought about, but they are quick, cheap to run and riders have less need to shower when they get to work but still get in some daily exercise.
“The challenge reflects the true nature of commuting as the car driver and motorbike and bicycle riders all had to park as normal and walk the rest of the way to the breakfast.