Eric Huttner has been on the Pedal Power council for three years, all as Treasurer. He is a committed commuter who rides about 50 kilometres a week which he says is not nearly enough! We asked him five key questions.
Why did you become a volunteer with Pedal Power?
I have been commuting to work on my bike in Canberra for the last 23 years. A few years ago I became increasingly concerned by climate change, a loosely defined and sometimes misused term. What I’m really interested in is sustainability in a world that is developing rapidly. What happens when six billion more people on the planet go to work by car, joining about one billion in developed countries who already do? I became interested in concrete actions to reduce our community’s carbon footprint and cycling is still the answer. At the time I was also keen to be more involved in community activities. My background is in managing small businesses so I offered to be Pedal Power’s treasurer and was warmly welcomed!
What’s the best part of the job?
I really enjoy interacting with ‘would be’ bike riders who need support and encouragement and the satisfaction of playing a small role in the expansion of the riding population.
If you could do one thing to make Canberra more cycle-friendly, what would it be?
To change the general public’s attitude that cycling is a sport and bikes are for kids to ride. I want people to think of bikes as a great mode of transport to be used on their own but also in conjunction with buses, trains and trams. Bikes should be the norm for kids to get to school and for adults to get to work.
Can I do two things? I’d like everyone to be happy to share the road and the paths. This includes dedicated bike riders who need to share the paths better with pedestrians, slow down in areas of heavy mixed use, use their bell appropriately, use lights at night and follow the road rules.
Describe what sort of a bike rider you are.
I use a hybrid bike to travel to work, attend meetings in town and to go to the local shops and I enjoy it tremendously. In my previous job this equated to 80-100 kilometres a week but now it’s closer to 40 or 50, not enough! Since joining Pedal Power I have participated in a few Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Rides and I recently rode in the Centenary Trail event so I am starting to get into the recreation side of cycling as well! With my family I rode several of the Victorian rail trails five or six years ago but there are many more to do now so maybe I will start touring when I am less busy at work.
You have two hours to spare for a bike ride on a fine Canberra summer’s day. Where would you go?
The NSW border section of the northern loop of the Centenary trail (Gungahlin to Hall) is very good for mountain bike riders. You need a mountain bike, not a road bike, and some experience of off-road riding but the path is not difficult. If you only have two hours, then you would need to be picked up at the end or you could ride back from Hall to Gungahlin on the sealed bike paths and take a bus from the Gungahlin interchange!
If you have some time or skills to share, we are always looking for volunteers to help with events and projects, including the upcoming Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride, bike minding at the National Folk Festival, Pedal Power social and information nights, Connect and Participate Expo and . We even occasionally have paid positions available. Send us an email to join our Volunteers Register or to talk about the opportunities.