The Sydney Rides Festival starts today. This week long Festival is a celebration of all things bicycle - it's the first one we've done and it's big.
The Festival includes three long-running, popular Sydney events - Bicycle NSW's Spring Cycle now in its 28th year, the international Bicycle Film Festival and National Ride to Work Day.
It all starts today with a street fair at Taylor Square from 10am and continues with a range of activities during the week designed to appeal to riders and non-riders of all ages.
The week winds up with Spring Cycle as well as a family fun day in Pirrama Park next Sunday 16 October.
A new event is the Sydney Rides Challenge - it's a free, fun competition that encourages businesses across Sydney to see who can get the greatest number of their staff to try riding a bike.
We are delighted with the way that businesses in the city, big and small, have embraced the Challenge. So far more than 2,800 people from 180 companies have registered to participate. Companies include: RBA, Hilton, HSBC, Department of Planning and Infrastructure, UBS, Westfield, Fairfax, News Digital Media, Atlassian, Yahoo 7, Powerhouse Museum, UTS, RTA, Google, ING, Mac Bank, Lendlease, ABC, Sydney Uni and Qantas, just to name a few!
Bike riding on city streets has increased dramatically in the last year. There are now thousands of riders on our roads every day. Last month more than 1,700 bike riders used the King and Kent Street intersection during a 6 hour counting period.
The City is making it safer and easier for these riders to get around. We are now working to link the Bourke Street cycleway in Redfern with the Bourke Road cycleway in Alexandria. This is part of the Sydney Harbour to Botany Bay route and minor work will shortly commence to establish a shared path on this popular route. Similarly, the Park to Park route, connecting Sydney Park and Centennial Park, will be upgraded soon with a shared path on Sydney Park Road.
This is all new to Sydney and that's why the City is working hard to educate all road users - pedestrians, motorists and bike riders - on the need to co-exist safely. Events like Sydney Rides allow us to reach thousands of new and existing riders.
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