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Danish Ambassador tells Canberra to get on our bikes

By Anne Treasure - 2 April 2017 15

tom norring

Danish Ambassador to Australia Tom Nørring rode to work on Wednesday morning – which, for a Dane, is standard operating procedure. He wants more Canberrans to follow his lead.

Ambassador Nørring rode from his home near the Danish Embassy in Yarralumla to the ANU Global Programs Fair in support of a new initiative called Cycle Works.

“For Danes, riding your bike is in our DNA. That’s what I did every day back in Copenhagen,” said the Ambassador.

56% of Copenhageners who work or study in the city, commute by bike every day.

114,000 people regularly ride a bike in the ACT, yet only 3% of those people use their bike for transport.

Bicycle advocacy group Pedal Power ACT hopes Cycle Works will motivate more Canberrans to use their bikes to get to work.

As a representative of the top cycling nation in the world, Ambassador Nørring sees this as an opportunity to inspire Canberrans to follow Denmark’s example and ride their bikes to work, to meetings and for short trips.

“It’s good for your health, it’s good for the environment and it contributes to making your city more liveable,” said Ambassador Nørring.

“We look forward to sharing our knowledge as the world’s top bicycling nation to inspire Canberra in designing an even more bike-friendly city.”

Staff from the Danish Embassy joined the Ambassador on his ride to work, exemplifying how the Europeans adopt active methods of transport to get around and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In Copenhagen, 85% of all trips are under 5km. In Canberra we might have a little further to travel from home to work, which is why the Government’s Active Travel Office has introduced a Park and Pedal scheme. Free, secure parking at the Arboretum has already motivated many Canberrans who already ride for leisure to ride to work.

Car traffic is increasing, public transport is often overcrowded, and with congestion becoming more of an issue, we need a solution now before our city starts to experience the traffic issues of places like Sydney and Melbourne. More people riding to work in Canberra will improve the health of our population, reduce air and noise pollution, and create a more liveable Capital.

Cycle Works aims to increase the number of people who ride to work in the ACT with a month-long challenge in April.

Current and prospective bike-riding commuters are encouraged to visit www.cycle-works.com.au to sign up and discover the benefits of adopting this European mode of transport.

Anne Treasure is the Communications Manager for Pedal Power ACT. She writes on bike riding in the ACT from the perspective of a lapsed bicycle rider who should be cycling more.

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Danish Ambassador tells Canberra to get on our bikes
1
wildturkeycanoe 7:54 am
02 Apr 17
#

From the linked cycleworks website – “Your life is busy, so get your daily exercise on the way to work.” For the Park and Pedal initiative, parking at the rock garden and cycling the rest of the way is going to increase your commuting time easily by 20 minutes. You have to remove the bicycle from the vehicle, ride for roughly 20 minutes to Civic, then you need to get showered/changed into your work attire. If your life is already too busy for exercise, how is adding this routine into your commute going to free up your day? You will obviously have to leave for work earlier than usual.
And of course, anything spouted by the government has to have one of those meaningless catch phrases like “create a more liveable Capital.”. I doubt that people cycling to work makes it any more tolerable to exist in this harsh Canberra environment.

2
dungfungus 7:59 am
02 Apr 17
#

How refreshing to see a group of smiling cyclists dressed in normal clothes.

PS: I can’t see any bells on the handle bars.

3
Masquara 9:03 am
02 Apr 17
#

Can these bicycle stories be limited to say a generous 10 per cent of Riotact stories? There are plenty of cyclist-dedicated places on the internet where Pedal Power could be posting this endless rollout of rather dull items. Or, if you must, how about a more useful analysis as to how Copenhagen differs from Canberra and how that influences cycling practice here?

4
Masquara 10:43 am
02 Apr 17
#

How often does the ambassador actually cycle to work? PR stunts won’t convince anyone.

5
Maya123 12:29 pm
02 Apr 17
#

Masquara said :

Can these bicycle stories be limited to say a generous 10 per cent of Riotact stories? There are plenty of cyclist-dedicated places on the internet where Pedal Power could be posting this endless rollout of rather dull items. Or, if you must, how about a more useful analysis as to how Copenhagen differs from Canberra and how that influences cycling practice here?

If you find it boring, don’t read them. If you want other subjects, start them, don’t complain. Please keep the cycling articles going. The only problem about cycling articles, is the inevitable boring anti anything-cycling non-constructive vitriol that it attracts.

6
Acton 1:44 pm
02 Apr 17
#

What a fine example the Danish Ambassador is setting for the Canberra cycling community.
He is not riding within a metre of pedestrians.
He is not riding on a shared pedestrian path.
He is not expecting pedestrians, joggers, family cyclists, young mothers, kids, dog walkers and the elderly to clear a path for him.
He is not abusing other road users with rude language, signs and behaviour.
He is not holding up traffic by monopolising the road.
(As far as I can tell) he is not trying to set a new personal best time to his destination.
He is certainly not cycling at 30-50km/h.
He is not showing off his new imported $10,000 carbon race bike.
He is not cycling head down, rear up, tuned out and dreaming of being the next Lance Armstrong.
He is not wearing the dreaded L-word.
He does have a smile on his face and looks relaxed, enjoying life, good company and sunshine.
Well done Hr Nørring. For being such a good example to Canberra cyclists, I nominate you for Honorary President of Pedal Power.
But why stick with a name that conveys such unfortunate connotations of entitlement, privilege and elitism?
Pedal Power is overdue for a rebranding. A new image and a new name.
How about ‘Pedal Safe’?

7
dungfungus 2:50 pm
02 Apr 17
#

Masquara said :

Can these bicycle stories be limited to say a generous 10 per cent of Riotact stories? There are plenty of cyclist-dedicated places on the internet where Pedal Power could be posting this endless rollout of rather dull items. Or, if you must, how about a more useful analysis as to how Copenhagen differs from Canberra and how that influences cycling practice here?

I’d rather see Pedal Power Inc’s latest balance sheet.

8
wildturkeycanoe 4:42 pm
02 Apr 17
#

Looks like the ambassador’s bicycle has not been professionally adjusted to suit him, as the leg is straight and the knee is almost locked up on the down stroke. For cycling “The rule of thumb is that your knee should have a slight bend in it when you’re at the bottom of the pedal stroke.” Obviously he hasn’t ridden this bike very often or he’d know how uncomfortable that would be for his body. Actually, it looks like the lady on the far right also has the seat too high.
All a publicity stunt?

9
bryansworld 2:34 am
03 Apr 17
#

56% of commuting to the city by bike, that’s an impressive statistic.

10
dungfungus 10:05 am
03 Apr 17
#

Acton said :

What a fine example the Danish Ambassador is setting for the Canberra cycling community.
He is not riding within a metre of pedestrians.
He is not riding on a shared pedestrian path.
He is not expecting pedestrians, joggers, family cyclists, young mothers, kids, dog walkers and the elderly to clear a path for him.
He is not abusing other road users with rude language, signs and behaviour.
He is not holding up traffic by monopolising the road.
(As far as I can tell) he is not trying to set a new personal best time to his destination.
He is certainly not cycling at 30-50km/h.
He is not showing off his new imported $10,000 carbon race bike.
He is not cycling head down, rear up, tuned out and dreaming of being the next Lance Armstrong.
He is not wearing the dreaded L-word.
He does have a smile on his face and looks relaxed, enjoying life, good company and sunshine.
Well done Hr Nørring. For being such a good example to Canberra cyclists, I nominate you for Honorary President of Pedal Power.
But why stick with a name that conveys such unfortunate connotations of entitlement, privilege and elitism?
Pedal Power is overdue for a rebranding. A new image and a new name.
How about ‘Pedal Safe’?

How about ” Get Onya Bike” ?

11
wildturkeycanoe 2:10 pm
03 Apr 17
#

bryansworld said :

56% of commuting to the city by bike, that’s an impressive statistic.

Easier to promote when “85% of all trips are under 5km.”, on flat ground and you get gold plated cycle highways without having to share them with pedestrians.
I have a feeling that they are on the right track over there, but the A.C.T government got it all wrong by trying to squeeze the bikes onto footpaths and roads, like the Civic cycling disaster, when instead they should have taken a leaf from the European’s planning brochure.
Surely our pollies and planners have been over there on a junket to see how a system should be designed. If not, perhaps there is some money left from one of the tram feasibility studies to spend on 30 minutes of internet time to research how Copenhagen’s infrastructure works. It is all there in black and white, they just need to download it and start building.
Separate cyclists from cars and pedestrians, then everyone will be happy and we might be able to free up some space on RA for other stories.
Pity they wasted all that money on the tram, we could have had actual gold plated cycle paths across all of Canberra with a little change left over.

12
dungfungus 5:04 pm
03 Apr 17
#

bryansworld said :

56% of commuting to the city by bike, that’s an impressive statistic.

What other modes are the alternatives for commuters in Copenhagen?

What is the percentage of car ownership in that same city?

13
dungfungus 5:22 pm
03 Apr 17
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

Looks like the ambassador’s bicycle has not been professionally adjusted to suit him, as the leg is straight and the knee is almost locked up on the down stroke. For cycling “The rule of thumb is that your knee should have a slight bend in it when you’re at the bottom of the pedal stroke.” Obviously he hasn’t ridden this bike very often or he’d know how uncomfortable that would be for his body. Actually, it looks like the lady on the far right also has the seat too high.
All a publicity stunt?

I wonder if they all had Pedal Power Inc. personal insurance cover notes.

Where is the security detail?

14
dungfungus 6:36 pm
03 Apr 17
#

15
bigred 7:07 am
05 Apr 17
#

Masquara said :

Can these bicycle stories be limited to say a generous 10 per cent of Riotact stories? There are plenty of cyclist-dedicated places on the internet where Pedal Power could be posting this endless rollout of rather dull items. Or, if you must, how about a more useful analysis as to how Copenhagen differs from Canberra and how that influences cycling practice here?

While I enjoy these puff pieces about cycling I would also like to see some gritty stories about the issues facing cyclists in this town that has been devoured by cars. Perhaps a conversation on the need for proper vulnerable road user legislation along the lines of the European model, injury rates and causes and black spots to look out for.

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