Thousands of Sydney workers will enjoy less stress and boost their productivity this March by taking part in the Sydney Rides Challenge.
The four-week challenge gets businesses competing for the most staff riding bikes and promotes a healthy and active workplace.
Companies already on board include Westpac, NRMA, Hilton Sydney, Allianz, Lend Lease, RPA Hospital and Sydney University.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said increasing the number of people riding to work had positive flow-on effects for all Sydneysiders.
“Businesses already know that active employees are happier and more productive – that’s why office buildings across the city have been adding end-of-trip facilities for the growing number of staff riding bikes,” the Lord Mayor said.
“As well as improving our overall wellbeing, more people riding also helps ease Sydney’s traffic congestion, a problem that costs Sydney businesses $5 billion every year.”
According to a study from the University of East Anglia in Britain, people who swap driving or catching public transport for riding or walking become happier, healthier and better at concentrating.
More than 7,000 people ride to work in the city centre each day – the equivalent of 116 full buses or seven packed Sydney trains.
Westpac’s new end-of-trip facilities in Barangaroo reflect the increasing demand for cycling related infrastructure.
“Before Westpac expanded to Barangaroo, we asked employees what they wanted out of the new office space,” Ian Bell, Westpac’s Head of Group Property, said.
“Overwhelmingly, employees wanted a greater focus on wellbeing, including access to significantly enhanced end-of-trip facilities including bike racks, lockers and shower facilities and a towel service.
“The facilities now available for Westpac Group employees at Barangaroo include 400 secure bike racks and 400 lockers, 40 showers, dedicated change rooms and fresh daily towels, as well as amenities such as garment airing facilities, ironing stations, hair dryers and straighteners.
“We really want to encourage everyone who would like to exercise more regularly by making it simple to use our end‐of‐trip facilities and providing a superior range of services.”
Committee for Sydney CEO, Dr Tim Williams, said businesses need to cater for the increasing number of people choosing to commute by bike.
“Global talent, the highly sought-after professionals that all global cities are competing to attract, see the immediate benefits of a city that makes it possible to cycle to work,” Dr Williams said.
“Great bike networks in turn encourage employers to maintain end-of-trip facilities, which supports increased physical activity and better employee engagement.
“There’s good reason that businesses in London, Paris and New York have embraced cycling, and it’s great Sydney businesses are starting to do the same.
“Modern global business knows that the cities that provide world class cycling infrastructure and encourage active transport are the ones that attract talent.”
The Sydney Rides Challenge runs from 1–31 March, with a range of prizes for businesses and individual riders across several categories.
In 2016, a record 4,465 workers from 359 businesses pedalled an impressive 618,604 kilometres in the challenge.
People who don’t own a bike can also join in at three lunchtime ‘try-a-bike’ events between 11.30am and 2pm at The Domain on Wednesday 8 and 22 March and Barangaroo Reserve on Wednesday 15 March. Mechanics will also be on hand for free bike checks and tune ups.
To register and find out more, visit sydneyrideschallenge.net