In the first of a series of interviews with ‘Cycling Champions’ from all walks of life in the ACT, we spoke to Celia Craig – Transport Policy Officer in the Environment and Planning Directorate of the ACT Government and dedicated cyclist – about her love of two wheels .
What sort of jobs do you do with Pedal Power or with cycling participation?
Many moons ago, I was vice-President of Pedal Power. One year, I organised and coordinated the Big Canberra Bike Ride. I have been on several NSW and SA Big Rides and did the Federation Ride from Broken Hill to Canberra and then on to Batemans Bay in 2001. My work over the last ten or so years has had a focus on encouraging Active Transport (walking and cycling) in our community.
Why did you get involved with cycling?
Some years ago, when I was single, I wanted to do an “active” holiday. A colleague at work gave me a brochure on a Big Ride. I ended up doing a 700 kilometre, eight day NSW Big Ride along the Murray River. I met some wonderful friends training for and doing that event. I had always enjoyed riding as a child/young adult, but never realised how much fun and social riding could be until I participated in the Big Ride events.
What’s the best part of the job?
Knowing that I am contributing to making Canberra a more sustainable city and at that same time, a healthier community.
If you could do one thing to make Canberra more cycle-friendly, what would it be?
I would love to see some more streets become places dominated by pedestrians and cyclists – similar to what is happening in Braddon and around parts of Acton now. I love to stop for a coffee when I am riding and have time on weekends! I’d also love to do an experiment and close off a busy city street to vehicles in the city and only allow walking and cycling for a few hours – but it would have to be a strategically chosen street and then to talk about the impact/effect with the community.
Describe what sort of a bike rider you are.
I love being active – walking and touring on my bike – and doing these activities with friends and in a leisurely way (stopping for coffee along the way)!
You have two hours to spare for a bike ride on a fine Canberra day. Where would you go?
I never tire of going around our beautiful scenic lake (I think I’d be a millionaire if I had a dollar for every time I had cycled around the lake). It is particularly beautiful early in the morning, but I also love to ride and stop for a cuppa – I love the coffee shops at Braddon, Yarralumla, Curtin, Mawson, Mt Stromlo, Acton and at Gundaroo and Binalong/Yass.
What are your other main interests besides bike riding?
I love to travel (locally and overseas), tennis, swimming, sharing delicious, good healthy food and wine with friends, playing the piano and ukulele, being with family and helping others.