More and more Coasties are getting on their bikes, as COVID-19 sees some people avoiding public transport where possible and others looking for exercise options as they work from home.
People are discovering that you can practise social distancing and exercise at the same time as they join the cycling trend.
President of the Central Coast Bicycle Users Group (CCBUG), Alan Corven, said increased numbers of cyclists were evident all over the region, especially along the shared pathway network and around waterways. “I started noticing it in the early days of lockdown,” Corven said.
“There were a lot of family groups out cycling during the day as people began to work from home and routines changed.
“There are so many benefits to cycling; it’s good for the environment and is a cheaper alternative to driving everywhere, as well as the obvious health benefits.
“A lot of people who drive could use a bike to make the trip – half a week’s shopping could be done quite easily on a bicycle.
“You could also replace your drive to the station with a bike ride; even if not every day it would help.” Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch said she was thrilled to see the community cycling their way out of COVID.
“It’s easy to get consumed by fear and ironically neglect your health rather than keep fit,” she said.
“I’m really happy to see people from all walks of life in our community out and about enjoying the sunshine, the beauty of the Central Coast and using our shared pathways.”
Tesch said with an increased number of cyclists, bike stores have seen a welcome increase in business. Corven said he hoped people would continue the habit after the pandemic danger passes.
“We’re really hoping, once people have had a taste of cycling, they’ll enjoy it and keep it up,” he said.
“I encourage people to get amongst the cycling community, join groups that are suited to them, and enjoy a new activity.
“A lot of people go for a ride and don’t bother to join a group; I suppose groups are more for people who want to develop skills and get more involved.
“But we’d like to see more people join our group; we do a lot of advocacy with the RMS and Council to improve conditions.
“There are gaps in our in shared path network, particularly around Empire Bay, and it would be nice to see those addressed.”
The group will conduct a Brisbane Water Loop Ride on Saturday, August 22, and a Terrigal to Norah Head ride on Sunday, August 23.
Reporter Terry Collins