Getting Girls on Bikes

Jillian Woolmer
City of Cockburn

A few women at work mentioned that they would like to ride more and also mentioned that they had never ridden a pedal assist electric bicycle. It was a bit hard to find somewhere to do a "Back on Your Bike" session at the Operations Centre, during working hours, as the car park areas are generally fairly busy with staff coming and going for site visits and meetings. I checked all the available areas and decided to trial using the main staff car park, once the majority of outside workers had left at 4.30pm.

The carpark is the best low risk environment for these sessions. There are no parks close by for us to go to as our workplace is in the middle of an industrial area. The roads nearby have many heavy vehicles and a large hill. We were content to ride around in the carpark. (To go out on site visits, we are able to fold the bikes to transport them or put them on a bike rack.)

We pumped up the bike tyres, adjusted the seat height, checked how to lock the bikes using D locks and used slap bands(see photo below) to made sure trousers did not get caught in the chain or wheels. A few staff members saw us riding the bikes in the car park, stopped and checked out the ebikes and helped with taking photos.

I did two one on one sessions, going over basic bike skills and showing how to use gears on the bike, without engaging the power. A pedal assist ebike is just a normal bicycle, when the power is turned off. The folding ebikes are light weight and easy to ride without power. We could not resist parking the ebikes in the M/C parking when we stopped to look at how to turn on the power mode and adjust it to the appropriate level.

Once my colleagues were used to the bike and had mastered using gears, disc brakes and corners, I showed them how to engage the power. They like the extra power – like having the wind behind you – and left the session with a smile.

We covered just a few kilometres in the car park, but I am sure that they will do many more kilometres around their local areas and encourage others to join them. It was a good opportunity to train people on how to use the bikes and to get more “girls on bikes”.

This story is related to Bike skills workshop

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James (Your Move)

That's a real good news story - thanks Jillian! I love the shot in the motorbike parking, but I hope there is also bike parking available! I also haven't seen folding electric bikes before, so thanks for that. You received 50 points for your bike skills sessions, plus 10 points for making a great story out of it.

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Thanks for the extra points James. Yes there is bike parking available for short term visitors as well as bike parking for staff during the day. I have more secure bike parking for the ebikes.

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Kylie (Your Move)

Hi James & Jillian, what a great way to encourage staff to get back on their bikes. And James you can see some of that bike parking lurking in the background of the first picture.

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Thanks Kylie - that is some of the short term cycle parking you spied. It is generally used by staff as it is near the staff entrance. We also have bike parking for visitors in the visitor car parking area, conveniently located near Cosafe so they can watch over any bikes parked there. Another rack is inside the secure enclosure, for staff that are more worried about leaving their bike locked up outside all day. All racks have good passive surveillance by staff and via security cameras.

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