Anna Meares joins over a thousand riders in support of bike rider safety
More than 1,300 hit the streets of the nation’s capital as part of
Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride
The queues were long as Anna Meares, the world’s most successful track cyclist, signed autographs and had her photo taken with many of the 1,300 people who took part in this year’s Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride.
Meares, in her first public appearance since winning her 11th world title in Paris, was the main attraction on the 20km route and full of praise for Canberra.
“I was passed by a lot of kids and families and then I passed them back again,” said Meares.
“It was a lot of fun and so great to be out there with so many people just enjoying the activity of cycling. I’ve never ridden around Canberra before. It’s a really beautiful city.”
July 2015 will mark ten years since Amy Gillett was killed by an out-of-control driver during an Australian team training ride in Germany. The Amy Gillett Foundation was formed to reduce the incidence of cycling deaths and injuries, and Amy’s parents, Mary and Denis Safe, were among the riders remembering Amy and joining in the fun.
“I’m really heartened to see all the families riding with young children,” Mary said.
“We all want our children to be safe on the roads and this is the young generation who will be the adults of tomorrow so they’re learning all the right things with their parents leading by example.”
Amy Gillett Foundation CEO, Tracey Gaudry echoed Mary’s comments.
“The AGF’s efforts in the ACT and across Australia are to improve conditions for bike riders and instilling a culture of mutual respect between people sharing our roads to ensure the next generation can cycle in safety,” Gaudry said.
“The ACT Government’s commitment to legislating a minimum overtaking distance of one metre when drivers pass bike riders will help make this a reality.”
Pedal Power ACT delivers Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride and Executive Officer, John Armstrong, said the increase in numbers (up from 1,000 last year) bodes well for the future of recreational cycling in Canberra.
“The ACT Government is doing some really great things and more and more people are cycling every day,” said Armstrong.
“I was absolutely blown away by the number of kids who were part of this and the spirit with which people approached the ride today.”
Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride, hosted by the Amy Gillett Foundation and Pedal Power ACT, is Canberra’s premier community bike ride.
The Amy Gillett Foundation urges Prime Minister Tony Abbott to continue riding his bike to help maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and be a positive role model for Australians of all ages.
The Prime Minister’s retired physician Doctor Graeme Killer recently raised concerns that Mr Abbott may be at risk while riding his bike on the road.
As an avid rider, Mr Abbott has extensive experience riding on different roads and in varying conditions across the country during his daily exercise routine. He also enjoys the numerous benefits of riding a bike, such as maintaining health and fitness, and the enjoyment of interacting with people of all walks of life in the bike riding community.
People in positions of influence, such as health professionals, politicians and transport leaders, can all contribute to safer bike riding in Australia by taking positive steps to improve bike education and skills, infrastructure and vehicle design, and raise greater awareness of how drivers and bike riders can share the road safely.