Live, Drive, Ride like a local features the stories of eleven local leaders from the Alpine Region, who share their fears and their solutions for greater harmony on the road.

Based on research evidence, this awareness raising campaign seeks to re-humanise cyclists, a particularly vulnerable and sometimes marginalised group of road users.

By pointing out the importance of a wave or a nod hello to let other road users know you’ve seen them, Live, Drive, Ride like a local centres on the need for acknowledgement and visibility not only on the road, but also in the community. 

Take the pledge to take a little extra care on the roads and keep each other safe. 

“I pledge to see cyclists as human. All it takes is a wave and to say g’day, it can make a real difference.”

Fiona

Wife, Digital Marketer, Bright
Fiona Morris lives in Bright with her husband Garry.

Fiona is a champion cyclocross rider. Riding at altitude in the Alpine region gives her a training edge against the world’s best riders.

“When riding I give drivers a quick wave before they pass me. What I often notice is that they give me just that little bit more room simply because they realise I’m human too.”

Daniel

Uncle, Allied Health Assistant, Mt Beauty
Daniel van der Ploeg lives in Mt Beauty close to his family. He’s an Allied Health Assistant in Mt Beauty.

In February 2005, he was involved in a catastrophic crash with a driver that ended Daniel’s elite sporting career and almost ended his life.

“When I ride, I feel free. When I’m in my car, I make sure I wave to every rider. Just to say g’day. You’re never too pro to wave.”

Phil

Dad, Mt Beauty
Pharmacist, Bright
Phil Bardsley-Smith lives in Bright with his wife, their four daughters and their dog, Lila.

Phil is the pharmacist in Mt Beauty. He drives and sometimes rides over Tawonga Gap. Cycling helps keep him healthy so he can help members of the community stay healthy too.

“It comes down to greater awareness, greater visibility. Not just on the road but also in the community and acknowledging that many people are cyclists.”

Helen

Mum, Bookkeeper, Bright
Helen Hofbauer has lived in Bright with her husband Rob for almost 30 years. She loves to regularly ride with friends, especially the climb up Mt Buffalo.

“I’m a better person and a better mother when I can go out and cycle.

“I have many conversations with my kids about cycling on the roads. But I tell my kids I certainly don’t go out to get killed while I’m cycling.”

Sam and Cooper

Sons, Students, Brothers, Bright
Sam and Cooper Northey live in Bright with their Mum, Elsie and Dad, Tim. Already champion mountain bike riders, the brothers have dreams of a career in cycling “if we’re good enough.”

“I think we can all share the road together. It would be so much safer if everyone appreciates what other people are doing.” Cooper, 13 years

“I reckon we can all share the road. Trucks, cars, buses, cyclists – everyone can share the road.” Sam, 14 years

Doug

Dad, Doctor,
Wandiligong
Dr Doug Devereux lives in Wandiligong with his wife Cassy, their three children and their dog Jet.

Dr Doug is an emergency doctor at the Wangaratta Hospital and drives the two hour round trip from Wandi for every shift.

“I joke the busier the week at work, the more I need to ride. But it really is true. You can easily give me a metre or more and it doesn’t slow you down any and it makes me feel much safer.”

Megan

Mum, Child Psychologist,
Wandiligong
Megan Hollingworth lives in Wandiligong with her husband, their five children and their dog, Weary.

Megan is a child psychologist and treats children and parents from across the Alpine region.

“With COVID-19, some families are finding it tougher than usual. Being able to get on my bike for a hard ride with the bunch or to catch up with friends or to just to get places with my kids is a great way to switch off from work.”

Mark

Dad, Community
Bank Manager, Bright
Mark Ditcham lives in Bright with his partner Stacey, his three children and her two children. Mark is the branch manager of the community bank in Bright. He rides to stay fit.

“Like a lot of my mates, I like the footy, the cricket, going for a beer and having a barbeque. It’s just that I choose to ride a bike every now and then. I want drivers to see me as a person and all it takes is a wave from us riders. It can make a real difference.”

David

Husband, Farmer, Myrtleford
David Wallace and his wife Ruth have a farm just outside Myrtleford with their dog Bella. The Alpine region gives David the opportunity to ride the challenging mountains and enjoy a change of pace from his telecommunications job in Melbourne.

“We love the freedom of the Alpine Shire. Getting out on the bike gives me a completely different appreciation of the area. The climbs are tough but the view is always worth the effort.”

Nick

Brother, Teacher,
Mt Beauty
Nick Wright lives in Mt Beauty. He’s a teacher in Falls Creek and Dederang and he also works at the Bright Brewery.

He loves living and working in the close community in the Alpine region. Nick rides for fitness, fun and to get around.

“You may just give someone a wave and I think that’s valuable for the cyclist and the driver to acknowledge that you’ve seen each other.”

Tell others to take the pledge!

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Live, Drive, Ride like a local campaign development was led by Monash University and RMIT University with expertise in sociology, law and design, in collaboration with the Alpine Shire Council. This project demonstrates the power and potential of interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to road safety to produce true and human messages and perspectives for the community.

Funded by a TAC Community Road Safety Grant, Alpine Shire Council and donations to the Amy Gillett Foundation.