Inspiring the next generation of riders and advocates

16 Feb 23 | By pp-admin

The Australian National University was abuzz this week as a brand-new crop of students wandered through its streets soaking in all Uni life has to offer, as part of Orientation Week.

As many students use bikes as their main mode of transport, Pedal Power had a stall at the O-week market day to promote what we do and encourage people to join us to support our advocacy and to take advantage of our member benefits, such as insurance and social rides.

Our presence was well received and staff and volunteers had a very busy day talking to a constant stream of students interested in what we do. Many were keen to join and/or get involved in our advocacy efforts.

This stall was the start of Pedal Power’s more conscious effort to get into the community to increase our visibility and gain a better understanding of how we can encourage more people to cycle.

Students were particularly keen on social rides, especially if they were new to Canberra or assisting with our advocacy efforts if they were locals.

The interactions on the day, highlighted a gap that we knew existed: activities for younger riders.

While we promoted our many social rides, we realised that the times these run and the demographic of riders involved, may not suite University students as much as we’d like. Many of our social rides are also targeted at more experienced riders, while many of the students who attended the stall were beginners.

We are keen to offer a wider range of social rides for our members so please get in touch if you’d like to help us with that! In the meantime, we were pleased to connect students with other social riding options in Canberra.

We directed students towards the Canberra by Bikes social rides as well as pointing them to the social rides organised by the Recyclery.

This was particularly fitting as the Recyclery joined us at our stall for part of the day and that proved to be a very positive partnership. Located on the edge of the ANU campus, the Recyclery is a community bicycle workshop that refurbishes and resells used bikes at very affordable prices, plus they offer maintenance or a space to fix your own bike in their workshop.

Many students were interested in cycling around campus or town, but not all of them had a bike yet. Having the Recyclery with us was the perfect opportunity to connect students with an affordable way to acquire a bike, then encouraging them to join Pedal Power to gain insurance coverage.

“It was heartening to see so many young people interested in riding for pleasure and transport” Says Sheila Webster, the Pedal Power volunteer who worked for weeks to organise the stall, as well as assisting on the day. “We look forward to getting out in the community more in the future to reach even more potential new riders”.

Other volunteers and the Pedal Power staff also assisted on the day, helping to make the day a success.