Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser.

ISSUE 2, JULY 2013



Forward to a friend

AustCycle. Skills, Confidence, Safety.
General Manager Welcome

It has been a busy start to the year and so much has happened since our last edition, from finishing the Healthy Communities Initiative to piloting new junior riding programs in the school holidays to being recognised under HCF's Health Management Programs.

First off, I would like to sincerely thank all of our Providers, Teachers and Skills Coaches for their commitment, passion and hard work delivering community programs over the past six months. We have achieved a great deal in both the junior and adult space and have seen some impressive results from our participants, who are continually telling us about the positive effects of AustCycle training at a community level.

In the Shire of Manjimup, which is a community located in Western Australia, 12 riders who had never ridden before their AustCycle lessons now continue to meet twice a week to ride for the social and health benefits, and in the suburbs of Melbourne we received feedback saying that our Teacher was recently hugged at the end of a session, the participant almost in tears because she had been waiting for a cycling program like this for years.


In the next few weeks AustCycle is looking to publish its Healthy Communities Initiative evaluation into adult cycle training, which shows that for too long we have let the barriers get in the way of more people enjoying riding a bike. Perhaps the solution we are all after is as simple as making sure everyone has the skills, confidence and knowledge to enjoy riding.

Wherever you are over the next few months remember to stay in touch with AustCycle via our website or Facebook page, which are regularly updated with information, Provider stories, pictures and programs. And, if you're an accredited Teacher or Skills Coach, check out our LinkedIn group, which is full of helpful teaching tips and ideas.

Gareth Watkins, General Manager at AustCycle

AustCycle News

HCF benefits now available towards AustCycle lessons!


AustCycle is excited to announce that HCF members can now claim towards their AustCycle training under HCF’s Health Management Programs.

Under this program, which is designed to address or improve a specific health or medical condition, lessons conducted through the AustCycle Provider network are covered if the cycle training addresses or alleviates a specific health condition.

> Read more


AustCycle school holiday camps a great success!


AustCycle recently piloted their Junior Riding Program by running school holiday cycle camps across NSW for children aged between 5 and 12, and the courses were a great success!

To read all about how the courses went, including parent testimonials, click below. 

> Read more


Kapara residents’ joyride


For Esther Trowse getting back on the bike after more than 35 years was a fantastic experience.

She was one of the ACH Group Kapara residents invited to experience the joy bike riding offers during a three-week activity, run by Ride-A-Bike Right and funded through AustCycle and the Holdfast Bay Council's Healthy Communities Initiative.

“I rode bicycles until I was 50 but haven’t ridden in a long time. At first I was a bit nervous but I built a lot of confidence with this activity and it was a good exercise; it was social and fun,” said Esther.

> Read more


AustCycle Provider coaches girls to first place podium finish


AustCycle Provider Sydney Bike Skills has coached Pymble Ladies College to a first place podium finish at the recent JetBlack NSW All School XC MTB Championships!

This is the third consecutive year that AustCycle Teacher Lisa McHarg has coached the girls, last year helping them secure a win in the girls division at the State Cross Country Championships, and this year ensuring they were crowned the champion school - with three of the four teams placing first in their age division.

> Read more


AustCycle helps asylum seekers get back their independence


Teaching a person how to ride a bike can literally change their life.

And in Maribyrnong, Victoria, AustCycle Provider Bikes@Work has been doing just this, by helping asylum seekers gain the independence and skills needed to go about their life on a bike.

Most asylum seekers in the community can’t work while their visa is being processed and because of this they can’t afford to travel on public transport.

> Read more


Provider Profile

Griffith City Council - Ar'e Abera

This edition we thought we would do a Teacher Q&A to introduce you to one of our newest AustCycle Teachers from Griffith. Everyone, meet Ar'e Abera!

Q: How long have you been an AustCycle Teacher?
I've been an AustCycle for almost three months, since I received my qualification.

Q: What is your favourite thing about being an AustCycle Teacher?
My favourite part of teaching is seeing my students smiling and enjoying their time on the bicycle.

Q: How have the AustCycle programs been going?
I'm the ONLY instructor in Griffith but we are running three classes a week. It is a rewarding program for those that are getting into fitness and wanting to learn how to ride a bike. Our participants are loving every moment they can go for a ride on a bicycle with me.


Q: Do you have any fun stories/inspiring tales to share from your courses?
The most inspiring is a lady that has never been on a bicycle before, maybe since she was a toddler, yet she bought a bike after only one three-hour lesson. Now she's riding every week with her partner.

Q: Do you have any fun cycling games?
Playing the cop in a closed and secured area from the traffic, testing participant road rules knowledge and seeing who puts their helmet on correctly.

Q: When you're not teaching AustCycle where would we find you and what would you be doing?
As I am a co-owner of a fitness studio, you would find me running group fitness and personal trainings, along with other Health & Fitness program's from the Griffith City council.

Provider News

AustCycle participants ride 50kms!

In February this year, AustCycle Provider Wheel Women ran several courses to enable women to get back on their bikes, and just last week nine of these women completed a 50km ride.

Accredited AustCycle Teacher and owner of Wheel Women, Tina McCarthy, said the changes she has seen in the women is incredible and she emphasised they have all come such a long way from when they first signed up for AustCycle lessons.

“Six of the women came from Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) programs, two came from AustCycle programs Wheel Women ran and the last person was a friend who joined because she wanted some women to ride with”.

“Back in February all of the women could ride no more than about 5km, they couldn’t change gears and they were really nervous riders. But yesterday they completed all 50kms of the Ballarat BAD ride on country roads”.

Tina said she was so proud of the ladies for their dedication to training, determination and willingness to give it a crack. And she said that if it wasn’t for AustCycle they never would have had the chance to change their lives.


“Each lady found it long and hard and said the hills were tough and the head wind was agony. But they never gave in”.

“The most amazing comment was ‘if you told me or put in any of your information about the initial programs that I’d be riding a 50km ride in May, I never would have signed up.. but now I can’t believe I’ve done it. Oh my god - I did it!”

If you live in the Melbourne region and know someone who would like to get back on their bike or improve their current cycling skills, contact Tina on 0412 993 650 or email info@wheelwomen.com.au.

To watch a video that Tina put together of the ladies on the ride, click here.

Other News
Spacer Spacer

Women in WA get back on their bikes

Women in Western Australia have been enjoying the benefits of AustCycle training, getting back on their bikes with skill and confidence.

Sharon Mukwada, one of the ladies who attended the course, told Cycling WA that she was thrilled when she found out there was a course being offered in her town and said she has improved her skills greatly.

“The course was fun and exciting; the instructors were patient, innovative and encouraging. They worked with me to start with on the grass as they knew I was afraid of falling”.

> Read more


Other News

Many participants who come along to an AustCycle course do so on the bike of a friend or relative to see if cycling is something they want to continue further, while some don't even have a bike at all.

Buying a new bike may not be financially possible for new riders, and the idea that they need to spend a large amount of money doing so can put them off continuing to cycle after their AustCycle lessons are over.

Thankfully, quality secondhand bikes are widely available for purchase, and often for a fraction of the original purchase price.

If you have a rider who is asking for tips for choosing a secondhand bike, consider the ones below:

Think about what type of riding you will doing. If you're mainly going to be riding to the shops or around your neighbourhood than a vintage-style, slightly heavier bike is fine. But, if your plan is to commute to work, then you will need something lighter and faster.

Make sure you choose the right size. Ensuring that you don't get a bike that is too big or too small is vital. Regardless of why or where you will be cycling, your position on the bike is crucial for cycling comfort, enjoyment and performance.

Check for faults. When buying a secondhand bike look for worn or dried-out brake pads and also look for cracked or bent brake levers. Check to make sure the frame isn't dented or cracked and look to see if there is any rust present. Remember, a bike that needs a lot of work can end up being more expensive in the long run.

Consider visiting a bike shop. Bike shops often sell secondhand bikes and this is often the best option for first-time riders as shop assistants are trained to help with any questions or queries. Buying from a reputable shop is also a lot safer than purchasing blindly off eBay or Gumtree as you get to see and test the bike before you purchase.

Jenny - Elaine pic


The number of people cycling is on the rise across the world, and according to a new report out of the US one of the reasons for this could be due to the fact that the annual cost of owning and operating a bicycle was found to be $308, compared to $8220 for the average car.

The report, entitled 'The New Majority - Pedaling Towards Equity', discusses demographic ridership, the effect of safe cycling infrastructure on cycling, new immigrant perceptions of bicycling, as well as the economic impact of transportation and health inequity.

It also shows just how many young adults, aged 18 to 29, are capitalising on the health and economic benefits of active transport.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

• Less than 1 in 10 Americans say they will ride on all roads and feel confident riding in traffic

• Only 6% of women and 5% of African Americans feel confident riding on all streets with traffic

• 26% of people of colour and 19% of white respondents said they would like to ride more but worry about safety in traffic

• Immigrants are twice as likely as US-born Americans to travel by bike

• Those earning less than $35,000 and living in dense residential areas are more than 10 times as likely to travel by bike

• In 2009 alone, African Americans took 461 million bike trips, Hispanics took 196 million bike trips, Asian Americans took 92 million bike trips and Native Americans took 91 million bike trips

• Young adults are more likely to ride if they have someone to ride alongside them, with 62% indicating that having people to ride with would increase their bicycling. That is nearly 20% higher than any other age categories

• 89% of young adults have a positive view of cyclists and 75% agree that their community would be a better place to live is bicycling was safer and more comfortable

• Almost 4 in 10 African American stated that their perception of bicyclists would improve if people on bikes represented a "broader cross section of Americans, such as women, youth and people of colour" in their community


Don't want to receive this newsletter anymore? Unsubscribe here