Our story

About Us

For over 40 years Pedal Power ACT has championed the cause of cycling in Canberra – starting at a protest ride in 1974 and growing into Canberra’s largest cycling organisation.

We now represent around 7,800 members, and our team of paid staff is supported by hundreds of volunteers. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of Pedal Power, giving their time, skills and passion to support cycling in Canberra – from board members to event volunteers, social ride leaders and our advocacy team.

No matter what kind of bike we ride, we all share the love of cycling in our beautiful bush capital, and a commitment to our mission of getting more Canberrans riding more often.

Our vision, mission and goals

Our vision is for Canberra to become the cycling capital of Australia.

Our mission is to get more Canberrans riding, more often, for a better community.

Canberra is a great place to ride a bike but we know it can be even better!

As an organisation we aspire to be recognised and respected as the leading voice for cycling in the ACT, and the key organisation for recreational and transport cycling. We represent the interests of all people who ride bikes, and those who would like to – whether that be for transport, fun, fitness, or sport. We provide a range of services to our members from advocacy on cycling issues, to bike skills courses, information on cycle safety and our signature cycling events, the Big Canberra Bike Ride and Fitz’s Challenge.

Our goal is for cycling to be seen by all Canberrans as an enjoyable and convenient everyday activity, supported by the necessary infrastructure, policies and community attitudes.

For more than four decades Pedal Power ACT has been a consistent voice for cycling and has successfully contributed to improved cycle safety and cycle infrastructure in our city. However, there is much more that needs to be done to make cycling a viable transport option for all Canberrans. We continue our work to make Canberra a more bike-friendly city, and to promote the many benefits of cycling for the health and well-being of individuals, the community, and the environment.

Our history

In the early 1970s Canberra was experiencing a cycling boom, and with it the push for better infrastructure. When Canberra’s first bike path opened from Dickson to ANU in 1973, there were still few options for people wanting to ride to work safely.

Frustrated by the lack of planning for the growing needs of cyclists, Canberrans Howard Rawson and Bill Crowle organised a protest ride from Belconnen to Civic in the spring of 1974. Over fifty riders attended this historic event, which was captured by a TV news bulletin.

View the footage of the ride on the National Sound and Film Archive website.

Three months later, at another mass ride, the idea was formed to create a cycling advocacy group. In February 1975, Pedal Power ACT was formed.

Since that time our organisation has been a persistent and consistent voice for cycling in the ACT, continuing its founding mission to advocate for better cycling infrastructure in Canberra. Our work has helped shape the design of our city with its extensive network of paths and cycle lanes. We are proud of our role in nurturing Canberra’s active cycling culture which has encouraged generations of Canberrans to take to two wheels.

More about our story

A comprehensive history of Pedal Power will be available on our online shop as an e-book Firm of Focus: Forty years of Pedal Power ACT 1975–2015

Available soon book cover