Saddle up for bike week
TODAY'S sky-high petrol prices, an increased awareness of the benefits of exercise, and the negative effects of car exhaust fumes on the environment have resulted in a steady rise in the popularity of cycling.
However, having an increased number of cyclists on the roads has meant concerns about the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians have also risen.
To promote the importance of safe cycling and to help cyclists understand their responsibilities towards pedestrians, this year's NSW Bike Week will focus on safety.
The Queensland government is also promoting the use of bicycles and uses a program titled Travel Smart to encourage students and parents to travel to and from school in an active and sustainable way.
As part of Travel Smart and in preparation for Bike Week, students from Elanora Primary School were asked to decorate their bikes and cycle to school today to show off the results.
Deputy principal Pip Traucnieks said the kids had done a great job in decorating their bikes and didn't stop beautifying their bicycles after arriving at school.
The kids soon started to swap various decorations to add the final touches to their already very colourful bikes.
Year 7 student Tahli Parai said she'd worked for three hours on her bike and loved riding it to school.
"I never used to cycle to school more than one or two days a week," Tahli said.
"Now, I ride my bike to school almost every day.
"The best thing about cycling to school is I can leave home much later than when I walk."
Year 2 students,Twins Anika and Lana O'Neill also decorated their bikes and rode to school.
Anika said the school's promotion had made a real difference and her family had started to use its bikes much more often.
"At the weekend we go ride in the park with mum and my brother Lukas," Anika said.
The NSW state government will provide $250,000 in funding to support local cycling events as part of Bike Week 2012 which will include local rides, family fun days, displays and bike safety demonstrations.
Last year's Bike Week was the most successful since its launch in 1995 with more than 10,000 participant taking part.
Everyone can participate in NSW Bike Week events and especially new and less confident cyclists are encouraged to get on their bikes and use this healthy, easy, low cost and environmentally friendly way to get around.
NSW Bike Week will take place from September 15 until 23.