We're very excited to be involved in the first Park and Pedal initiative in Australia, from the ACT Government's Active Travel Office.
The first day was a success, with many Canberrans taking the opportunity to park for free and enjoy a quick ride into their work, building exercise conveniently into a busy day.
There was lots going on early, with a balloon launch next to the Park and Pedal carpark setting an exciting scene in the Arboretum Rock Garden.
The very first Park-and-Pedaller was Rhonda Coppin, who has just moved back to Canberra, and lives in Sutton. She works in Weston Creek, so the Park and Pedal location at the Arboretum is a perfect spot for her to drive to, then get out her bike to include some exercise in her day.
Rhonda is an exercise physiologist, so she is well aware of the importance of including exercise in her day.
By the time we met her at 7am Rhonda had already fed the horses, let out the dogs and fed the cat at her property in Sutton, before loading up her bike and heading down to the Park and Pedal location at the Arboretum.
'Busy' is an understatement, but she is keen to get a ride in during the day and this is how she manages it.
Anna Gurnhill from the Active Travel Office was setting up the Transport Canberra information booth at the Arboretum Rock Garden car park when we arrived.
Anna is an impassioned active travel advocate, and she walks - and also rides - the talk. She has her very own electric bike ("I still love my roadie more," she says), which she planned to ride into Civic for a meeting after greeting CBR's very first Park and Pedal participants this morning.
Volunteers from the ACT Government and Pedal Power ACT will be on hand all this week to give tips and take guided rides into Civic and Woden. One of the volunteers was David from the National Capital Authority, who was there this morning, and will be there tomorrow. David is full of enthusiasm for bike riding and advocating for more Government initiative like this to encourage more people to ride.
Come down to the Lower Arboretum and park your car, then get some exercise and relaxation before work with a beautiful ride along some of Canberra's most scenic paths.
See more photos from the first day of Australia's first Park and Pedal initiative on our Facebook page (and feel free to 'Like' us while you're there!).
Get into the habit of riding to work in preparation for Canberra Walk and Ride Week from March 17, and Pedal Power ACT's exciting new Cycle Works program in April. They will both encourage people who live and work in the ACT to use methods of active travel more than ever.