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AustCycle. Skills, Confidence, Safety.
General Manager Welcome

Spring is the perfect time of year to hop back on a bike, enjoy the sunshine and just ride. Many of our Providers have been busy putting programs together and making the most of the great weather, so if you’re looking for some extra motivation to get out there then I strongly encourage you to read the stories below.

Lately, AustCycle has been busy analysing the data from the latest round of Feedback Forms and we have found that 32% of adults who are coming along to our courses don’t actually own, or have access to, a bike.

This statistic just reinforces how essential structured training is in increasing community participation in cycling. Sure, there will always be people who will purchase a bike and just start riding, but there are also a lot of people who won’t. Having the skills and confidence to ride is absolutely critical in getting individuals to start cycling, which tells us that the first barrier that needs to be overcome is providing access to the training which will give them these two things. Where and how they ride is the second step.


Another interesting finding was that 20% of the participants mentioned above are aged 60 years and older. This just proves that you are never too old to get back on a bike, or learn from scratch, and is an encouraging statistic that shows our seniors are interested in keeping themselves active and healthy.

With only three months left until Christmas we hope that everyone is powering through their programs. Wherever you are over the next few months remember to stay in touch with AustCycle via our website or Facebook page, which is regularly updated with information, Provider stories, pictures and programs.

AustCycle News

AustCycle is now on the Healthy Living Network!

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The Healthy Living Network (HLN) is a website that is funded as part of the Government’s Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) and offers the community an online list of available healthy living programs. This list allows people in the community to find health programs in their local area, and allows medical professionals to refer patients to these programs.

Now that AustCycle is registered all of our Providers are able to register individually. And, we encourage all of you to do so to ensure that your cycle programs are visible to all potential participants.

Read more


Bicycle courier company takes off in Victoria

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Being an accredited AustCycle Teacher opens up a range of opportunities. One day you might be teaching an adult to ride a bike for the very first time, and the next you could be instructing a group on how to ride efficiently in a traffic environment. 

Helping with the safety induction of a new bicycle courier business, however, is something that doesn't happen everyday. But it is something that AustCycle Teacher and Provider Rosy Strong had the pleasure of doing.

Read more


Stabilisers bring joy to Brisbane group

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Members of Queensland’s Sunshine Welfare and Remedial Association (SWARA) had the pleasure of receiving cycle training from AustCycle Provider Cycle Away.

The multi-diagnostic disability centre in Brisbane received the cycle training as part of the Australian government’s Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to get the community healthy and active.

> Read more


A disability group in Cardinia shows Teachers a different side of cycling

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AustCycle Teachers in Cardinia have been working with a community support group for adults with a disability to help get more people in the community active and back on bikes.

“Working with this group has really opened my eyes up,” Doug said. “Any time someone achieves a new milestone or a new goal it is a major celebration for everyone, and everyone is excited. That is just so different to competitive cycling where everyone is in it for themselves, it is very nice to watch. Working with this type of group is probably something more AustCycle Teachers should do”.

> Read more


Addventageous takes on Parramatta


Kids and adults in the city of Parramatta have been making the most of free cycle training this September, gaining the confidence needed to get back on their bikes as well as learning how to ride safely in traffic. 

The most recent cycle skills program, a Learn to Ride workshop for Sistahood, was run by AustCycle Provider Addventageous and was held at the Granville Youth and Community Recreation Centre.

“The girls were fantastic,” Charlene said. “Both staff and girls completed bike fleet and safety checks, as well as learning bike handling skills”.

> Read more


Liverpool Hospital encourages staff to cycle to work


To encourage its staff to cycle to work, Liverpool Hospital in partnership with AustCycle and the Office of Environment and Heritage, ran free cycling skills courses during August.

The hospital has invested in additional bike stands, new bikes lanes with high visibility green paint, improved marking of on-road bike lanes, and the installation of 40 new lockers in both the men’s and women’s change rooms.

> Read more


AustCycle helmet promotion brings smiles to Okaparinga


AustCycle Provider Ride-a-Bike Right has been busy getting local Okaparinga residents back on their bikes, running free programs for adults with a disability.

The three-week program was a follow up to an earlier one funded by the Department of Social Inclusion and taught participants basic bike handling and bike maintenance skills to give them the confidence to ride unassisted, change tires and fix punctures.

> Read more


NSW Bike Week a success for AustCycle

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Nearly all of our NSW Providers were involved in Bike Week this year, which was great promotion both for them and for AustCycle.

So far, we have heard about successful cycle training workshops that were run in Gosford, Wollongong, Sutherland, Scone, Great Lakes, Liverpool, Greater Taree and Bankstown.

To find out what each of our Providers did in their area, visit our website here to read on.

> Read more


HCI cycle training kicks off in the Shire of Kalamunda


Cycling WA has been helping residents get active and back on their bikes in The Shire of Kalamunda.

“This is the first AustCycle course that has been run in the Shire of Kalamunda and we are delighted with its success in the community,” South said. “Of those that participated in the course and provided feedback, all of them said they intended to continue cycling. We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome”.

> Read more


Shepparton father of Olympian gets back on a bike with AustCycle


Residents across Greater Shepparton had the chance to get back on their bikes and learn new cycling skills last month. The free AustCycle training courses were run by Cycling Victoria and included participant Don Fairless, who is the 86-year-old father of a cycling Olympian.

Don, whose son Stephen competed in cycling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, attended the AustCycle course to keep himself fit, and he wasn’t the only Shepparton senior interested in maintaining an active lifestyle.

> Read more


AustCycle helps migrants and refugees learn to ride in South Morang


AustCycle training courses are helping migrants and refugees learn bike handling skills in the South Morang area.

Whittlesea BUG, one of AustCycle’s newest Providers, ran its first official AustCycle training course at the Civic Centre in Whittlesea last week, as part of the Federal Government’s Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI). AustCycle is part of the HCI program funded by the government.

> Read more


Auburn locals are eager to get back on their bikes

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Auburn residents have been jumping at the chance to learn new cycling skills at courses run by local AustCycle Provider Ian Watson Ride School.

Joint owner and accredited AustCycle Teacher Gay Chandler said the courses have been very successful so far and have been drawing in a wide range of participants.

“We’ve been running a course every week in Auburn,” Gay said. “We have back-to-back sessions on a Wednesday where people can just come along and have a go at cycling, and then if they want they can come through to one of our other courses and further these skills”.

> Read more


Logan PCYC is helping women get back on bikes


AustCycle and Logan PCYC are helping women get healthy and back on bikes through learn-to-ride programs funded under the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI).

Candice Sullivan, youth worker and AustCycle Teacher at the PCYC, said three cycling courses had run in Logan so far, with the latest one operating out of the Logan Women’s Health Centre

“Most of the women who came along were looking to get healthy,” Candice said. “But some had young children and wanted to learn so they could have the opportunity to ride with their kids“.

> Read more


Spokesabout gets the Fraser Coast community back on their bikes!

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AustCycle Provider Spokesabout has been helping Fraser Coast residents get healthy and fit through learn to ride cycling programs. They have also been visiting local hotspots in Hervey Bay offering residents quick bike fits.

“With wind sprinter, tool case and AustCycle brochures, we set ourselves up and within ten minutes we were surrounded by nine bikes and about 15 people,” Michelle said. “We were a bit humbled by our audience as well as the enthusiasm of people to find out about the correct fit on their bikes”.

> Read more


Learning to cycle can take you anywhere

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Twelve months ago Maria Strong couldn’t ride a bike. Now, the Melbournian is training for the Australian Paratriathlon National Championships, held in Sydney next year.

As a cerebral palsy sufferer, Maria wasn’t sure she would be able to ride a standard bicycle. Despite this, she enrolled in an AustCycle ‘Bike Handling Skills’ course and just two months after attending her final lesson, she entered her first triathlon – and even passed people on the bike leg. 

> Read more


Provider Profile

City of Stirling

Ladies dressed in pink are now a common sight on the shared paths around Western Australia, thanks to the Women on Wheels program that is run by AustCycle Provider, the City of Stirling.

Joining AustCycle only three months ago, the City of Stirling has had great success so far. They currently offer training to people of all ages who are interested in getting back on their bikes, but their real passion lies in helping women discover the joys of cycling.

Joanne Burgess, TravelSmart Officer at the City of Stirling and the person who initiated and runs the cycle training programs, said that the Women on Wheels program has proven to be hugely popular.

“Women on Wheels is a much needed program, which helps ladies of all ages rediscover how much fun life on two wheels can be,” Joanne said. “As a result of the program, four women-only social riding groups have been established by participants and they can be regularly seen cycling around Perth proudly wearing their pink shirts emblazoned with the words ‘cycling for fun, friendly and health”.


“For many participants, learning to ride and becoming a regular social rider has been the realisation of a lifelong dream,” Joanne added. “For some, the boost in self-confidence has carried into other areas of the their life and allowed them to tackle further challenges. And, for others, it has allowed them to participate in family social time that was previously off limits”.

Due to the popularity and success of the women’s only classes, the City of Stirling plans to run a new trial program in 2013, called Family Cycle Training.

The program will combine cycle training for mums and their children, which Joanne hopes will encourage more families to start riding together for recreation and short trips.

With more and more cycle programs being added, being an AustCycle Provider can be extremely time consuming, but it is something Joanne wouldn’t change.

“Running Women on Wheels is possibly the most fun job that anyone could have,” Joanne said. “And, I’m not giving it up any time soon!”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Women on Wheels programs or the City of Stirling visit their website here.

Provider News

Welcome to our six new Providers!

AustCycle is proud to welcome six new Providers to the team since our last e-Newsletter! Each of the six Providers will be servicing HCI areas, which means that even more Australian communities will now have access to quality cycle training.

Ian Watson Ride School operates in the inner-west suburbs of Sydney and has most recently been running HCI programs in Auburn. Accredited Teacher Gay Chandler teaches both beginner and intermediate riding skills and can be reached on 0403 203 253.

Greater Taree City Council recently participated in NSW Bike Week to help promote the new partnership with AustCycle and will be running courses on anything from beginner skills through to refresher courses through to Mountain Biking. Contact Daniel Lawton on (02) 6592 5265 for any registrations in this area.

Mid-Western Regional Council has hit the ground running as a new Provider, already overseeing a successful 6-hour course in Mudgee, NSW. The council is looking to run both beginner and intermediate classes for adults and there is an upcoming course in Gulgong already planned for this October. To register for the course, or to find out more information, contact the Mid-Western Live Smart Team on (02) 6378 2719.

Warrnambool City Council is servicing southwest Victoria in the municipalities of Warrnambool, Corangamite and Moyne. The council has already had 40 people come through the courses, which are aimed at adults, including those with a disability, and carers who want to learn to cycle or a bike or trike. To register for a course in these areas contact Clare Vaughan on (03) 5559 4437.


Wheel Cyclists is run by Tina McCarthy and will be be starting operation in November. Tina is particularly interested in helping women get back on their bikes, but she will also be running courses for men and women. Tina will be operating out of Kingston, Victoria. 

And, last but not least is our newest Provider, Leeton City Council. The council will be servicing the HCI area of Narrandera, NSW as well as running courses in Griffith and Leeton. For the best person to contact regarding programs in this area, check out our Provider page later this month to find out!

Other News
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'A Metre Matters' proves powerful

Gosford City Council has been busy tackling road safety in its community, launching the new ‘A Metre Matters’ Campaign.

The initiative has seen a large ‘A Metre Matters’ poster installed on the back of two buses that will travel the main routes around Gosford until October 7th.

> Read more


ATAP course a success in Guyra

AustCycle recently headed to Guyra to run a Level 1 Teacher Accreditation Program, meaning six more people are now on their way to being accredited AustCycle Teachers.

Many of the participants were there as part of the Federal Government’s Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI), which means more Australian’s who are at risk of obesity or health problems will now have access to cycle training.

> Read more


Other News


It's magpie season again as I'm sure many of you have already discovered. Spring is the prime breeding period for magpies and while many attacks are against actual predators like cats and dogs, cyclists seem to be frequent targets. In fact, according to Australian Geographic, 8% of magpies have an exclusive hatred of bike riders! 50% attack pedestrians but leave cyclists alone, and the other 29% have a go at both. To keep you safe while cycling this Spring, we have compiled the top tips to help ward off the persistant Aussie predators.

Put eyes on your helmet. It is believed that painting or sticking eyes on your helmet may ward of magpies because they will think you are looking at them. However, Cycling Information believes this to a myth, pointing out that magpies have very good eyesight and will quickly figure out the difference between real and painted eyes.

Attach cable ties to your helmet. Attaching cable ties is another technique that many cyclists swear by so if you don't mind looking like a porcupine then it is worth giving it a try!

Consult magpie swooping maps. Most states have online magpie maps to help you identify and avoid well known magpire areas. Check out the VIC, QLD, NSW, SA maps and download the 'Swoop Off'' kit for printable eyes,warning poster and top tips.

Ride as fast as you can! Professional triatlete Nicole Ward said her best advice is to "never sit on the front of a group when approaching magpie territory, head down and ride as fast as you can".

Dismount. If you are being attacked, dismount your bike and walk to avoid further danger from traffic or falling. More people are actually hurt from falling from their bikes during an attack then by the actual bird itself. Once you have dismounted, try looking the bird directly in the eye. Apparently magpies are less likely to attack if you're watching them.

Find an alternative route. It sounds drastic but if none of the above methods have worked, it might be best to temporarily find an alternative path during the swooping season.

Do you have any other ways to deter magpies? Tell us about it on our Facebook page! 



We all know that cycing is good for our health. It keeps us fit, helps with weight control and makes us mentally alert. But, did you know about the other possible effects that cycling can have on the body? 

According to the 'Cycling & Health' publication by Nick Cavill and Dr Adrian Davis, cycling has the potential to:

Protect you from heart disease. A 12-year study conducted in Finland, which included 30,000 people aged 20 to 93 years old, found that those who did not cycle to work experienced a 39% higher mortality (death) rate than those who did.

Reduce your risk of diabetes. Another Finnish study found that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40% lower risk of developing diabetes.

Lower cholecystectomy rates in women. Researchers have reported that cycling or other regular physical activitiy of 30 minutes per day might help a women avoid gallstone surgery. 

Lower your chance of getting bowel cancer. A University of WA study found that men and women who consistently performed six or more hours per week of vigerous physical activity could reduce the risk of bowel cancer by 40-50%.

Improve your blood pressure. A study in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology showed that cycling can reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients, with average decreases of 11mmHg for systolic and 8mmHg for diastolic blood pressure.


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