Updated: Jan 21
This week we celebrate World Bicycle Day (Monday 3rd June). A wonderful initiative that aims to get people off their bums and on their bikes. There are a host of benefits of cycling and people across the world are embracing the bike as a means of transport, fun, competition and much more.
We had a quick chat with Triathlete coach Danny Moore from Moore Performance to get his tips on how to get started.
What’s the biggest obstacle to getting people on the bike?
Some people get wrapped up with getting all of the gear which can be costly, it really doesn’t matter, just get a bike and the safety essentials and start riding. The one piece of advice I would give though is get a bike that is the right fit for you.
What other tips for novices interested in starting to cycle do you have?
Firstly, take control of your own safety, the government runs cycling skills workshops which I highly recommend anyone to get involved with. You also need to make sure you’re visible, make sure you have good working lights and visible clothing.
As much as you don’t need to start shelling out thousands of dollars on your first bike you do need to invest in a bike that is in good working order.
Also try joining a group to keep your motivation up. They are great fun and very social.
What steps can cyclists take to stay safe?
I can’t stress enough that cyclists need to follow the road rules and as mentioned bright clothing and lights are essential. The cycling course I mentioned before makes a lot of sense as you get yourself started.
What problems do Sydney cyclist face?
Obviously safety and this comes down to a few different issues, the first is infrastructure; we need better bike lanes in Sydney, but we are getting there.
Then there is aggression from drivers, but there is also inappropriate behaviour from cyclists which feeds the aggression of the drivers so it’s a two way street where both parties need to take responsibility.
What advice would you give to drivers?
Be aware, know what's going on around you and keep an eye open for cyclists. Please don’t use your phones while driving, we see so much of this and it is often the distraction that means a cyclist isn't noticed in time. We still see so much of it as well.
Don’t judge all cyclists by the actions of a few, yes there are some rude cyclists but we’re not all like that. The majority of cyclists follow the road rules and simply want to share the road with drivers in harmony.
What do you think the government could do to help?
More cycling lanes would be a great help, although it may not look like there is much space for bike lanes, cities with smaller roads than ours have managed to do it, London and Paris now have great cycling lanes, I don’t see why Sydney can’t.
This is controversial, but I would be interested to see a central charging zone, and improved public transport to go along with it. It would cut down traffic in the city, encouraging more people to cycle and improve the safety.
Improving the condition of the roads would make a huge difference for cyclists and improve safety as there would be less requirement to swerve around holes and other obstacles.
What do you think of the eBikes around Sydney?
I think that the ebikes are a great idea. They are a great way to get into cycling for people without bikes. For new riders I would suggest that you test the bike in a safe location before you hit up your first ride on the road and ensure that you know the basic road rules before you get going.
Finally what do you believe are the main benefits of cycling?
Obviously there are the myriad of health benefits, it’s also very social, a great way of meeting new people and doing something collectively on a weekend.
You also get to see places that you wouldn’t normally, you can explore new areas of the city or country, the opportunities are endless.
If you use cycling to commute you can save both time and money, not only can it be quicker than public transport, or even driving, you also kill two birds with one stone by working out during your commute.
Overall it's a great past time and can be a fabulous family activity as well. Getting kids involved and teaching them the road rules will give them a great respect for the roads and cars as well.
You are a professional triathlete coach, what services do you offer for beginners and those more experienced?
We have a fantastic group of rookies who learn the skills to make them safe on the road, through too experienced athletes who are chasing PB’s and at the pointy end of trying to qualify for world champ events. We have some that train to race and others more social athletes/people that just enjoy being part of a fantastic group. The main thing with Moore
Performance, no matter how fast or slow you are we work with people with positive attitudes and in a supportive environment.
If you would like to know more about Danny's coaching and Moore Performance give him a call on 0415 464 374 or check out his website at Moore Performance.