(5pm, Zeta Bar, Hilton Hotel)
Thank you, Katie [Bell, MC] and welcome everyone. It's great to have you here. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and to pay my respects to their Elders, both past and present.
The Sydney Rides Business Challenge was a fantastic success and I'm pleased to be here this evening to present awards to the deserving winners.
Businesses are some of the strongest supporters of our work to make riding a safer, easier option for people. There's no doubt that bikes are good for business, good for staff morale and good for the local economy.
Over 4,500 people from 290 organisations - ranging in size from just three staff to over 500 - took part in our Sydney Rides Business Challenge. More than 900 participants were new riders, the people we most wanted to encourage, which is a really pleasing result.
We ran three free Try-a-Bike sessions in Hyde Park with instructors to encourage new riders and I hope those first-timers are continuing to ride, adding to the growing number of Sydneysiders already riding to work and for fun and fitness.
Last week, around 50 riders took part in the first ever Sydney Suit Ride through the CBD. 50 suit-wearing executives and their staff circled the city creating a wonderful sight showing riding is a great transport option for everyone
I'm very proud of the investment the City has made in the past, and will continue to make in the future, to offer people more transport choices. Our growing network of cycleways is helping to make the city cleaner, quieter, healthier and more accessible. In fact, I'm told the Sydney Rides Challenge saved 27,000 kilograms of CO2 and burn energy equivalent to 622 kilograms of fat!
I want to thank all of you who took part in the challenge - and it certainly represented an impressive cross-section of City organisations, from a small six-person architectural firm to the mighty ABC broadcasting network.
It shows that, given adequate infrastructure, and just a bit of encouragement, bike riding is becoming an accepted way to move around our city.
I'll look forward to seeing more city workers, residents and visitors on their bikes.
Congratulations again to everyone, especially to the winners, and keep on riding!