COVID lockdowns lead to more Canberran cycling | The Canberra Times

COVID lockdowns lead to more Canberran cycling |  The Canberra Times

coronavirus, canberra, canberra lockdown, canberra cycling, pedal strength

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sarah Todd has been much more on the bike around the streets of Canberra than usual. While the Narrabundah resident predominantly used to cycle to work, the impact of COVID has meant she has cycled more for recreation over the past year. “The ride is shorter, but they are more frequent, and if you can only get out and exercise for an hour or two, cycling is perfect for that,” Todd said. “I’m more likely to ride about seven days a week, rather than do it for just five days.” Mrs. Todd’s normal bicycle commute took her from her home in the inner south into the city, a journey that would take about 30 minutes. Between the first lockdown at the beginning of last year and the current set of restrictions, Mrs Todd has retired, but that has not stopped her from getting out and cycling. “The only thing that has changed recently is that I drive more around my local areas,” she said. The Narrabundah resident is far from the only Canberran who has trampled more around the capital, a new report shows. The 2021 National Walking and Cycling Participation Survey revealed an increase in the number of Canberran bicycles for recreation in the wake of the pandemic. The study found that 81 percent of Canberrans regularly run for sports and leisure, up from 67 percent reported in 2019. The results also showed that nearly 100,000 Canberrans, or more than 23 percent of the area’s population, cycle at least once a year. week. This is compared with the total national average of 18 per cent. Mrs Todd was hardly surprised by the results of the study, given the number of cyclists she encountered during her rides. “There have been many more young families on bikes, and there have been many more of those riders out on the local streets,” she said. “People have been looking for something to do to supplement their indoor time, and many do not like running or using a home gym, and cycling is a perfect alternative.” The study also found that COVID affected the number of people who used a bicycle to commute to work. The number of cyclists who used a bicycle as the main form of transportation to get to work fell by almost a third compared to the last survey and dropped from 58 percent to 42 percent. However, the study said that more than two-thirds of ACT households reported having at least one work bike in their home, up from the national rate of 59 percent. The start of the pandemic in 2020 led to an increase in demand for bike shops across the ACT as Canberrans sought to get back to cycling. Some stores at the time reported waiting times of several months for more stock to come from abroad. Pedal Power CEO Ian Ross said that while the study did not take the period when outbreaks of delta variants have led to further shutdowns, there had been a sustained interest in cycling after 2020. “People have been out cycling in droves, and it is great to see, “he said. “We’ve seen this on bike trails and enjoy everything the city has to offer, as well as the mountain bike trails.” My observation has been that the trend has continued and there has been a recovery in the cycling community. “READ MORE: Mr Ross said current trends in cycling across Canberra had the potential to transfer, well after restrictions from the second lockdown eventually eased.” “The more we can invest in cycling now, the more we can do when we step out of the pandemic and support cyclists and maintain that behavior as well, and that’s good for society,” Ross said. If we can take advantage of this now, it’s a golden opportunity for the government because it’s beneficial. ‘ soon and said she was looking to make the most of her two hours. ” They do not always have to be very long trips, sometimes I try and ride up hills to get my heart rate up and get a good workout, “she said. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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