For Jeremy Rudge, who rides into his job as creative excellence lead at Coca-Cola South Pacific three times a week, cycling solves four simple problems. 

“I wouldn’t get much time to exercise if I didn’t cycle in. It’s the fastest way for me, over all forms of transport. It’s the cheapest. And, it’s better for the environment,” he said. “It’s definitely the best way in to work.”

Customer and commercial manager, Trent Lilienthal, regularly rides the 20km from Frenchs Forest into work in North Sydney. “It’s about an hour each way, but it’d take you at least an hour to go by public transport,” he explained. “When I first started, I was sitting on the bus for 45-50 minutes a day. I thought I’d try riding so I could get my exercise where I’d otherwise be sitting on the bus doing nothing.”

Although riding takes that bit of extra effort, to Trent’s mind the benefits of getting active first thing in the day are immediate. “By the time you sit at your desk, you feel a lot more energetic, a lot fresher,” he said. “You’ve had the blood pumping and feel far more ready to start your day.”

Dino Bozzone, brand manager for Cascade, also rides to work most days. He agrees that exerting some energy first thing in the morning increases productivity at work. “Any exercise in the morning allows you to perform better at work,” he said. “It clears your head a little bit, and you show up fresh. And, on your way home, it allows you to get into your own space and unwind from the day.”

Over 60,000 Australian workers downed their bus passes, abandoned their car keys and let the train depart without them as part of national Ride2Work Day today. The initiative, run by Bicycle Network, aims to encourage people to very literally get on their bikes, with community breakfasts across the country providing that extra bit of motivation.

Ride2Work Day is only one of many initiatives Bicycle Network employs to get people onto their bikes. The Happiness Cycle, a joint project with Coca-Cola, encourages kids to get moving by donating thousands of bikes in towns across the country.

“Helping hundreds of teens assemble bicycles in a few hours can be hard work, but Bicycle Network is exceptionally well organised,” said Jeremy. “They’re also extremely committed to the cause, and have incredibly thorough knowledge about cycling and its benefits.”

 And, by any account, Bicycle Network is extremely effective. Incredibly, a recent survey showed that 60 percent of new riders who register to take part are still cycling to work five months after the event.

“Riding to work is a great way to fit the recommended 30 minutes of exercise we need to maintain our health around our busy work and family commitments,” said General Manager of Behaviour Change at Bicycle Network, Tess Allaway.

“Riders tell us that the Ride2Work program has a significant and positive impact on developing a regular habit of commuting by bike – and this survey proves it.”

While perhaps less scientifically accurate, Trent’s own experience confirms the dramatic rise in cycling’s popularity. “When I first started cycling, there’d be a couple of guys on the Harbour Bridge when you’d go across,” he said. “Now, there’s literally a queue.”