Motorcyclists can learn a lot from the Australian cycling lobby which is a slick, professional outfit that has the attention of politicians and hijacked our Ride to Work Day several years ago.
International Ride it Work Day is being celebrated on June 20, 2015, in 14 countries around the word, including the US, UK, Brazil, Russia, France and Germany.
However, when interest in the concept waned several years ago in Australia, the cycling lobby took over and moved it to October.
Ride to Work for motorcyclists started out as an informal concept in 1992 in the US to advocate and support the use of motorcycles and scooters for transportation, and provide information about everyday riding to the public.
It’s been tried in a couple of Australia states, but the last one seems to have been in NSW in 2009. While motorcyclists have given it away, the concept has been successfully hijacked by cyclists who moved it to October.
Maybe it’s time to hijack it back!
Representatives of rider groups say the middle of winter is not a good time to have a Ride to Work day, but suggest that another day would be better and that “anything that promote motorcycling is a good idea”.
It certainly is, especially now lane filtering is legal in three states. Lane filtering not only makes the ride to work quicker, but also helps motorists by easing traffic congestion.
A Ride to Work Day would focus driver attention on the fact that lane filtering is now legal in many places and not only a benefit to motorcyclists, but all motorists as it eases traffic congestion.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 6 million cars commute on Australian roads every day. An estimated 110,000 motorcycles and scooters are a regular part of this mix.
Imagine if more drivers who own a motorcycle left their car keys at home and took the bike.
A 2012 study by Belgian transport specialist TML found that if just 10% of car commuters decided to ride a motorcycle, it would mean 40% less congestion and 6% less pollution. If 25% swapped cars for bikes there would be no congestion.
We don’t expect 10% of four-wheel commuters own a motorcycle as well, but there must be many who do own one.
If you’re one of those, why not take your motorcycle to work more often and make a difference?
There are stats that show riding to work is as much as 20% faster, although that would depend on the route and whether lane filtering is allowed in your state.
Still, it definitely is faster. Plus it’s less polluting, frees up more parking spaces and it’s more fun!
On June 20, millions of motorcyclists around the world will ignore the weather, skip the bus, leave the car keys at home and fire up the bike for Ride to Work Day.
Millions of people on bikes should make other motorists take notice how it affects their commuting times and how many parking spaces it frees up.
International Ride to Work Day is recognised as the world’s biggest single motorcycle-based event based on the numbers of participants.
Isn’t it about time Australia got involved again? Have your say in the comments section below.