Riding out of lockdown

By Penny Gilbert

CycleSafe Mount Alexander is excited to be rolling out a series of bike rides to help our community ride out of lockdown.
With assistance from Healthy Heart of Victoria and Mount Alexander Shire Council we present a ride to suit everyone. In collaboration with our friends at Bike Bendigo, you’ll find a ride suited just for you, with the best bike riding instructors in the region.
Our first Community Ride on Sunday November 8 rode from the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens to Campbells Creek park and return. The ride was everything we aimed for it to be – great connections and conversations with each other, learning about the trail and stopping to talk to other people along the way – all from the free wheeling feeling of a bike! We have a community ride rolling out every second Sunday of the month. Other rides are leaving from Harcourt, Newstead and Maldon.
Other workshops include ‘Ready, Steady, Ride’ for kinder aged children, ‘This Is How We Roll’ for middle primary and ‘Get On Your Bike’ for grade sixes getting ready for high school (or year sevens and eights wanting more independence next year).
Suited to each age group, participants will learn about road rules, principles of safe riding and sharing the road, the importance of visibility and practical ways to stay visible, a range of safe options for negotiating intersections and roundabouts, and how to choose safe routes to school. They will learn how to do a bike safety check and ensure that their bike and helmet fit correctly.
In a pilot workshop of ‘Get On Your Bike’ delivered in January 2020, participants said they were more knowledgeable about road rules and felt more confident riding than they had before attending. As an example of improved knowledge, one participant’s mother observed her 12-year-old son explaining to his younger sister how she could tell that a car would stop for her at a give-way sign (when she had priority).
The program has a strong emphasis on sharing the road safely with other users; and on cyclists taking responsibility for their own behaviour and appreciating the needs and behaviour of other road users, including motorised vehicles and pedestrians.
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