Bendigonians jump at chance to ditch the car

Dozens of cyclists, from lycra-clad lads to toddlers on tricycles and hipsters pushing fixies, converged on Hargreaves Mall yesterday to celebrate Ride to Work Day.

Ken Arnold said he had used the day as an opportunity to get back on the bike after a few months off.

“I need to lose some of this weight,” he laughed.

“I like riding down from Golden Square and doing what I need to do. It’s quicker than driving down and getting a park.”

Cycling pays off for eight-year-old Camp Hill Primary School student Tessa Murphy, too.

Tessa usually rides home from school with her mum and sister. The packed school car park means it’s often quicker to get on the bike.

“I like going really fast,” Tessa said.

One Bendigo organisation is hoping to make Ride to Work Day last all year round.

St Luke’s chief executive officer David Pugh said he was encouraging his workers not to drive to meetings within a 5km radius.

“We will just encourage our staff to wear deodorant,” he laughed.

Mr Pugh said Bendigo had the opportunity to become “Australia’s Amsterdam”.

“I dream of the days where we don’t have fleets of cars in each of our organisations and instead we share cars and bikes,” he said.

Cyclists in the mall enjoyed a free hot breakfast cooked up by the Bendigo Sandhurst Rotary Club.

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