31 Aug 22 | By pp-admin | Pedal Power, Social rides
Pedal Power has launched a new series of social rides which offer slow, guided tours around the ACT for people of all ages, abilities, and identities.
Founded by Canberra By Bike, the rides are led by Pedal Power accredited ride leader Paris Lord.
“We’re for all types of people on all types of cycles because we want more people to enjoy the pleasure of a leisurely cycle,” Paris said.
“I started this group late last year on MeetUp to try making new friends, to channel my climate anxiety, and see if there were people who were interested in seeing the national capital slowly.
“I’m also trying to create a little of the everyday bicycle culture that the Dutch and Danes enjoy, where they use bicycles as transport, not sport, and their quality of life is incredible.
We ride slowly and are not interested in setting any records
“I encourage people to wear whatever’s comfortable, and stress that we ride slowly and are not interested in setting any records,” he said.
Tour destinations have included the Yarralumla embassy district, the Canberra balloon spectacular, the water and land axis around Lake Burley Griffin, or street art in the inner north.
About six people attended the Vote By Bike ride on 21 May where they rode to the polling station at Old Parliament House, and then visited a local cafe for lunch.
And eight people joined the Christmas in July night ride last month, during which Paris carried a Christmas tree in his cargo bike and blared festive songs on a Bluetooth speaker.
“Some adults who’ve joined our rides haven’t ridden in many years, so our group is a gentle way for them to explore the city and socialise,” Paris explained.
Some adults who’ve joined our rides haven’t ridden in many years, so our group is a gentle way for them to explore the city and socialise
“You notice a lot more when you’re on a bike, so I’d hoped there would be an audience interested in the sculpture trail at the ANU, or enjoying the diverse architecture of the diplomatic missions.
“Turns out there is. Our MeetUp group has more than 300 members, many of whom have joined at least one of our tours.”
The rides are usually on weekends, but include weeknights in summer. This month, the group began a series of rides of all the official Canberra Cycle Routes, but not in sequential order.
“Some riders on my earlier rides in Gungahlin didn’t know the bike paths existed, so I thought we needed a way to show people where those are,” Paris said.
“That way they can then plan a trip that might involve part of a cycle route, and perhaps they can see how they can replace a car trip with their bike.”
Riders have ranged in age from seven through to people enjoying their retirement. A toy poodle, Ginger, is a regular guest, and is carried in a Pokemon backpack.
New rides are added monthly. Future rides still to be announced will include a memorials tour of Anzac Parade and beside Lake Burley Griffin.
In October, Canberra By Bike and Simon the Bike Guy, mobile bike mechanic, will share a stall at the Gungahlin Festival. They collaborated in May for a session on basic bicycle maintenance.
All rides are first listed on the MeetUp group, and are also added to the Team App under “Beginner Tourist Ride – irregular”.