MORE than a hundred Bendigo residents dusted off their bikes on Wednesday morning and took up the Ride to Work challenge.
Residents woke a little earlier, jumped on their bike and enjoyed a free breakfast at Hargreaves Mall to celebrate the national event.
City of Greater Bendigo's sustainability officer Robert Kretschmer said the day was expected to boost future health in the region.
"Events like this give people a chance to give it a go, and realise they're not the only ones taking up the challenge," he said.
"There's always going to be barriers about why people can't do it, but it's about building confidence and making people realise it really is easy and worthwhile.
"Bendigo's bike culture is strong and growing, which is great to see."
Participants of yesterday's ride raved about the benefits of riding or walking to work, speaking about fitness, affordability, ease of getting to work, positive environmental impacts and good modelling for children. Mr Kretschmer said there was a proven link between the event and future bike use.
"We've seen in the past that this really inspires people to ride to work more into the future," he said.
"We expect the same to happen this year."