Sydneysiders are invited to take part in the inaugural Parra Pedal bike ride for the Amy Gillett Foundation this Sunday 13 February as a way of encouraging residents to utilise the cycleways of western Sydney as an alternative to driving. Online registrations close this Friday 11th February at midday.
Taking part will be ride will be local, former Australian road race champion Katherine Bates, last year's Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Rochelle Gilmore and over 1300 registered riders in this family-friendly event designed to get people on bikes practicing their skills in a safe off-road environment.
"Councils have been really proactive in the creation of bike paths and cyclist-friendly alleys through the region – some bike specific and some where the road is shared," Bates explained.
"The Amy Gillett Foundation aims for awareness in these situations, for all users to share the road. Consistent with local government's push for more cycle-friendly roads, it's a great meeting of ideals to have an Amy Gillett Foundation ride leave from such a cycle-friendly location as Parramatta Park which has fostered healthy growth of the sport for many years. As ever, with more congested roads in Sydney's west, it's a great message for the locals to not only respect all road users but encourage would-be cyclists that it can be a safe area to ride."
This is the first time a major cycling event is dedicated specifically to attract the residents of greater Sydney, in particular beginner and recreational level bike riders of all ages.
Participants have a choice of three circuits, which all start and finish with a festival at Parramatta Park where AustCycle will hold bicycle training clinics.
Proceeds from the event will go towards the Amy Gillett Foundation's 2011 national bicycling safety campaign and to support local bicycling safety and awareness initiatives.So far, over $12,000 has been raised in the lead up to the event.
As a sponsor of the event, Roads and Traffic Authority Manager of Sustainable Transport, Matt Faber explains the RTA is thrilled to be part of such a fabulous community that embraces the role of promoting safe cycling.
"The Parra Pedal for the Amy Gillett Foundation is a great opportunity for families and friends to embrace the joys of cycling in a safe environment. By 2016, the NSW Government wants five per cent of the short trips that people take in Greater Sydney to be by bike. Achieving that target could remove over a quarter of a million car trips from the city's roads every day, improving safety for all."
Cyclists can choose to take part in three different distances: 20km, 30km and 55km loops which start and finish at Parramatta Park. All riders and their families and friends are encouraged to stay after the ride to enjoy the multicultural festival in Parramatta Park.
Inspired by the life of cyclist, Amy Gillett, the Amy Gillett Foundation was formed in 2005 with its primary objective to reduce the incidence of death and injury caused by the interaction between cyclists and motorists.
The entry fee is $15 for adults, $10 for children over 12 years and children under 12 years are free. Registrations for the event are now open online at www.parrapedal.com.au until midday on Friday 11th February.