We all need to support this initiative even if every week is “ride to work week”
It used to be called “Ride Your Motorcycle To Work Week”.
This year the organisers took a different approach and temporarily crossed out the words “to work” from their logo. This year it’s simply “Ride Your Motorcycle Week”.
It’s the 4th year this great initiative is running and this year it will take place between 21st and 27th of September.
But with so many of us already riding to work every day and every week, why is it so important that we all get behind this event?
What is this week about?
According to the official event website the initiative is “…a chance to bring some fun to your daily commute and reclaim the work day, while sharing the passion for riding…”. The aim is to “…ride together and draw attention to rider safety, while making sure our bikes are ready for the summer riding season…”.
This year, with the severe effect of COVID-19 on our lives, the initiative will “encourage two-wheeled enthusiasts to ‘Ride This Thing Out’, dust-off their bikes and scooters for good mental health and socially distanced recreation”
The initiative is supported by Australia’s motorcycle importers, with the backing of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI). Rhys Griffiths, Motorcycle Manager at the FCAI, said: “The pandemic has hit everyone hard and the mental health benefits of riding are well documented. Riding makes you happy and right now, Australians need a break. The biggest smiles are always hidden behind a helmet.”
Like many others, Mr. Griffiths believes riding your motorcycle is a potential solution to COVID-19: “Riding has a real role to play in helping Australia get back to work, offering socially distanced transportation and alleviating congestion and parking issues.”
The Ride Your Motorcycle website offers riders a Pre-Ride Check Guide to make sure their bikes are safe and road ready.
But I already ride to work every day!
For many of us, every week is “ride your motorcycle to work week…”. Indeed I have seen some negative and sarcastic comments about this in forums and on social media. So here is my view:
This event is not about each one of us as an individual rider. This is about us as a community, as a family of riders. One of the aims of this event is to raise awareness for rider safety and motorbike riding in general.
It is true the initiative should be promoted more heavily to ensure it reaches the wider, non-riding community. TV/radio ads, roadside billboards, group rides and other events (within the constraints of COVID-19 restrictions) should be organised to extend the outreach of this initiative. However, this is only the 4th year and I’m sure it will develop into a larger scale event, especially once the COVID restrictions are lifted..
There are so many issues us riders are concerned about and this is one opportunity to draw attention to some of them. Messages about lane filtering (it’s legal! It’s safer for us!), about leaving a gap to let us through, about motorbike parking, safety barriers, slippery road painting/marking, reducing tolls for bikes and reducing taxes on safety gear to name a few. And of course look out for motorcycles!
So if you don’t usually ride your bike to work, please try to do so during Ride your Motorcycle Week. And if you do ride every day please continue to do so, especially during that week. Spread the word, share the information. Let’s help raise awareness and get our messages across.
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Be safe. Enjoy the ride.