Bike Month is up and running at the City of Albany, with 9 staff members already signed up. With an article in the latest staff newsletter (see below), and encouragement via an all staff email from HR, hopefully there'll be a few more joining in too. Big thanks to Julie for always being such a bike champion and providing such great encouragement to all our riders!
City of Albany's stories
The City's annual Green Fair on the Square is happening this weekend, with the focus on all things sustainable. What better place to reward people who travel by bike! Anyone arriving on two wheels will get a free coffee voucher for their trouble. There'll also be displays from local bike shops to add to the active transport flavour.
Schools in the Albany area are really well serviced by school buses, but the system can be a bit confusing for parents to navigate - which is understandable, as we've got two seperate systems operating side-by-side. One is the buses operated by School Bus Services, for our mostly rural kids who live more than a certain distance away from their school. The other service is our TransAlbany buses, who have lots of different routes going to all of our schools, within the Albany public transit area. One is a free government service, the other is a pay-per-trip. Clear as mud?
The City has worked with the two bus providers to come up with a simple map to help parents and schools to easily identify which service applies to them, and then where to go for more information. We'll be working with schools to promote this resource, with the hope that we'll see more kids on buses and less coming to school by car!
The City of Albany recently held a Cycling Australia School Teachers training course, which provides teachers with the skills and capabilities to offer bike education to their students.
Seven teachers attended the course, which was facilitated by experienced instructor, Mark Hudson. It was a really practical day, with lots of time on the bike to put the skills learned into real life situations.
It's going to be great to see where the schools take things from here - watch this space!
We recently mentioned the City of Albany Green Team's regular page in the monthly staff newsletter. Here's part of the page from July. Things we share include photos of staff "actively transporting", tips for walking or cycling, an inspirational quote or relevant fact, upcoming events or workshops and even a tabloid-style "Spotted" column (only positive active transport gossip of course!). The aim is to feature staff champions while making active transport look fun, convenient and something we can all do. Staff especially notice photos of themselves and their colleagues so we aim to include new photos of a range of people for extra attention.
The City of Albany regularly features Commuter Champions in our monthly staff newsletter. It's a great opportunity to highlight staff who use active transport to work and get others thinking that they could do the same. Jana from the Events team rides her e-Bike to work in rain, wind and shine, carrying all she needs in the front and rear baskets.
Use of the City of Albany's EBike fleet continues to grow with the bikes now popular with the Events team staff and volunteers as an effective way of getting round during events.
This Thursday morning 5 staff will be utilising the bikes while acting as marshals along the route for the Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay.
With full road closures in place along the route the EBikes have been identified as a great option for the staff to travel to and from their allocated marshalling location and also allow them to quickly travel to the final event destination in the Albany Town Square once the event has passed their location.
One of the Ebikes has even made an appearance in the official team photo.
Thanks to funding from RAC and after overcoming difficulties in recruiting appropriately qualified coaches the City of Albany's in school cycle education program is set to commence on 1st March 2018.
The first day of lessons will be held at Lockyer Primary School (a Your Move School) with students in years 4-6 offered the opportunity to participate in the sessions based on the Your Move - Bike Education- The absolute basics module.
Once the program is in full swing a different school will be participating each Thursday with approximately 10 schools to be engage in Terms 1-2. For schools that have difficulty in squeezing the sessions in to the busy school days the City is currently investigating options to provide sessions for their students on a weekend day.
As well as the qualified coach trainees currently hosted at the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre will also be assisting both to assist with implementing the program but also to develop their skills and knowledge in this are prior to them undertaking an MTBA Level 0 coaching course later in the year.
Results of the City of Albany Staff Travel Survey conducted in December as part of an overall Health and Wellbeing survey are in and show a small increase on staff using Active Transport from 2016.
43 staff indicated that they had cycled to work in the last year with 8 riding on the day of the survey, while 12 people had walked to work during the year with 3 walking on the day of the survey.
Lack of suitable public transport options again saw only 1 person reporting having used the bus to travel to work during the year.
The increasing number of staff utilising EBikes was another noticeable increase over the year largely due to the RAC Regional EBike Trail held in Albany over the 2016/17 summer with 15 City of Albany participants, the implementation of a salary sacrifice Novated leasing program for staff and regular EBike demonstrations at City staff events.
The number of staff who chose to have their bike checked by a bike mechanic or to test ride one of the City of Albany's EBikes as part of Health and Wellbeing Week saw long lines as participants waited for their turn.
Blyth Andrews from the Albany Cycle Club undertook the bike checks and conducted basic maintenance on the staffs bikes while also providing advice on further maintenance required, bike set up to improve comfort and suitable riding routes around town.
TravelSmart Officer Carl Beck supervised the EBike demonstrations and distributed information about the City of Albany's salary sacrifice options to allow staff to lease an Ebike.
Running the sessions from 11am-1pm allowed staff to participate in the activities during their lunch break and the activities being run in the court yard and area adjacent to the staff lunch room also generated plenty of walk past interest and comment even from those staff not actively involved today.
As we know everyone (or at least most) loves to ride as a way of getting out in to the environment and spending time with our friends as well as getting fit!
To ensure this opportunity is available to everyone the City of Albany is currently working in partnership with Mountain Bike Australia and Break the Boundary to see Australia’s 2nd ever Adaptive Mountain Bike Adventure Camp, held in Albany at Camp Quaranup from 16-18th February 2018.
Participants will enjoy 3 days and 2 nights in the beautiful bush-land overlooking the southern shores of West Australian in Albany for a relaxing and family-friendly camping and handcycling experience. From the coastal bush-land of the Vancouver Peninsula participants will be overlooking the majestic Royal Princess Harbour - where land meets sea!
Participants will be encouraged to jump on different equipment, learn the basics and tackle different trail features. Then when the sun sets, roast some marshmallows over the camp fire with family, friends and fellow riders!
Riders will be guided by a Mountain Bike Australia affiliated and accredited coach from Break the Boundary with the support of experienced handcycle volunteers. You'll have the opportunity to check out some cutting-edge technology. Learn where to get equipment from and different grant/funding opportunities in WA!
On the last day of the camp there will also be a “Beyond the Wheelchair: Adaptive MTB Come and Try afternoon at the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre open to the whole community as part of Bike Week
Other partners contributing to the project include the Dept of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, the local Albany Mountain Bike Club. South West Mountain Bike Club and Rebound WA.
The Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay (QBR) is coming to Albany on Thursday 22nd February and providing the local TravelSmart team with another opportunity to promote how easy it is for students and parents to walk to school.
With the Albany QBR starting at St Josephs College and passing/stopping at a further 3 schools (Spencer Park Primary School, Albany Primary School and Albany Senior High School) on its 4.5km journey to the Town Square for the official community function the TravelSmart team is currently organising a Walk the Route event to happen just before the QBR.
It is hoped by encouraging community members to Walk the Route this will help to continue in promoting how easily parents and students can use the share path systems around the schools to walk or ride to school.
City of Albany Staff are being encouraged to Give their Bike some Love this Valentines Day as part of the COA Heath and Well Being Fortnight. A volunteer bike mechanic from the local Albany Cycling Club has been recruited to provide free bike checks and basic maintenance for staff who ride to work (or at least bring their bikes) on the day. Tyre tread and pressure, front and rear brake adjustment, ensuring handle bars are aligned and secure, seat height adjustment and basic gear adjustment will all be checked for each bike, while the mechanic will also provide staff with advice on any other more significant maintenance that needs to be carried out by one of the local bike shops.
A volunteer bike mechanic from the local Albany Cycling Club has been recruited to provide free bike checks and basic maintenance for staff who ride to work (or at least bring their bikes) on the day. Tyre tread and pressure, front and rear brake adjustment, ensuring handle bars are aligned and secure, seat height adjustment and basic gear adjustment will all be checked for each bike, while the mechanic will also provide staff with advice on any other more significant maintenance that needs to be carried out by one of the local bike shops.
Tyre tread and pressure, front and rear brake adjustment, ensuring handle bars are aligned and secure, seat height adjustment and basic gear adjustment will all be checked for each bike, while the mechanic will also provide staff with advice on any other more significant maintenance that needs to be carried out by one of the local bike shops.
Other activities available to COA staff during Health and Wellbeing Fortnight will include basic health checks, skin cancer screening, art therapy & yoga sessions and EBike trials.
The City of Albany is happy to welcome new Sport and Recreation Trainee Ashleigh Woods to the team. Ashleigh’s new position is supported by the Wirrpanda Foundation as part of a project funded by Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries
In her first week Ashleigh has assist TravelSmart Officers Julie Passmore and Carl Beck to implement programs as part of the Active Albany School Holiday program including a Break Out the Bikes children’s supervised ride and a Family Spotlighting Night Walk
Ashleigh secured the position after recently having completed a 12 week internship at Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre in a Customer Service Role and will be working at the City of Albany for 12 months helping to plan, organise and implement a range of recreation programs including providing assistance to the TravelSmart Team while completing a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation.
The Albany 10 Great Rides Map was a joint project completed by the Albany Cycling Club in partnership with the City of Albany and using funding from the Great Southern Development Commission in 2015.
Due to strong demand the initial 10,000 copies of the map were quickly snapped up by local community members and visiting cyclists resulting in the map being unavailable in hard copy for several months. But luckily additional funding was identified by the City of Albany to do a reprint and the maps are now back on the shelf just when the weather is perfect for riding in Albany. The maps and associated ride notes are also available for down load from the Amazing Albany website https://www.amazingalbany.com.au/adventure/10-great-rides/
Also available in the 10 Great Series of maps is the 10 Great Walks and 10 great Paddles maps that were developed after the success of the 10 great Rides map and with funding from Lotterywest.
Parking is always at a premium at the Beach in summer so the City of Albany TravelSmart team has been working with the event organisers for the Middleton Beach Festival and Australia Day celebrations to be held at the popular Middleton Beach from 22nd-26th January 2018 to promote active transport options.
Options for riding or walking to the beach and events have been advertised via social media and in other promotions of the events
A Ride to the Event Photo competition is now also being promoted with anyone who rides an event and submits a photo of themselves and their bike will go into the prize draw to win a prize pack including a Polar Heart rate monitor valued at $150.
Middleton Beach is well serviced by a shared path system that allows members of the community or visitors to easily and safely access the area from the City Centre or surrounding suburbs with all the paths on the Albany TravelSmart Map.
It was easy to keep the kids motivated to walk on the first of 5 planned Family Spotlighting Night Walks as part of the Active Albany Holiday Program last night.
Completing the 3km walk around Lake Seppings took longer than expected due to the number of frogs, spiders, birds and the lone Western Ringtail Possum spotted by the group.
All of the participants reported enjoying the walk and that they are now more likely to do more walking after dark by themselves at other locations around the City
The Staff at the Albany Library have been great supporters of the Cities TravelSmart Program and specifically the EBike Promotion so it was a natural progression to partner up to have EBike Demonstrations as part of their Summer Holiday Library Lounge Program in the Town Square
The first session yesterday afternoon was very successful (so much so we were too busy to take many photos) with over 25 people of diverse ages and backgrounds having a test ride (and a free coffee).
The most common questions were "why should I buy an Ebike?" which was easy to answer (see http://www.50cycles.com/blog/10-reasons-why-people-buy-an-electric-bike-in-the-new-year/), "are Ebikes available for children?" which we are now looking into with the local bike shops, and about the City's Salary Sacrifice program to allow staff to lease an Ebike.
The next EBike Demo afternoon is on Monday 8th January
Active Albany is a unique and innovative program offering range of diverse and affordable activities designed to encourage community members and visitors to be more physically active and explore everything Albany has to offer.
After being trialled in Term 3-4 of 2017, Active Albany will be back in Term 1 2018 with a significantly expanded program with something for everyone including the new Adventurous Bushwalkers activity aimed at young adults aged 18-25yrs, Kids Intro to Mountain Biking and Zumba Gold All Abilities class.
Registrations for the for the program open on 15th January 2018 with more information available from http://albanyleisurecentre.com.au/programs-/active-albany/
Busy people often say they haven't got time to fit in some exercise but don't consider going for a walk after work if it is already dark.
As a way of encouraging community members and visitors to consider the option of a night time walk the City of Albany has included a number of Special Family Spotlighting Night Walks in its Active Albany Summer Holiday Program.
The walks will be held at Mt Clarence, Lake Seppings and Emu Point on Tuesday and Thursday evening from 9th- 23rd January with an experienced walk leader guiding the walks and pointing out the many interesting things you can see on a night walk.
Group numbers are limited to ensure a quality experience for all and increase the chances of participants seeing animals such as the endangered Western Ringtail Possum. Anyone wanting more information about the Active Albany Holiday Program can contact the City of Albanys Recreation Programs Officer on email@example.com
Staff at Vancouver Art Centre are the newest EBike enthusiasts after taking delivery of one of the City of Albany’s Ebikes last week.
The staff will be using the bike for short work trips around the CBD or when travelling to meetings at other City work sites.
The staff will be using the bike for short work trips around the CBD or when travelling to meetings at other City work sites.
As well as being lots of fun EBikes are a convenient way of getting around town, taking the hassle out of finding a parking spot and allowing you to turn up for your appointments feeling fresh.
Photo - Team Leader Vancouver Arts Centre Amber Cordon trying out the City EBike
As part of the Active Albany January School Holiday Programs the City of Albany is hosting 3 Break Out the Bike sessions for children aged 7-12. The sessions wil take participants on 3 progressive rides that will teach the basic skills to ride safely and skilfully on Albany's many cycle paths and trails. For more information contact the Recreation Programs Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations to all the Riders who completed the Albany She Rides Program yesterday. The weather really turned it on and now is the time to use your new found skills to enjoy riding to work, the shops or just for fun.
The City of Albany's internal Green Team - made up of staff in sustainability and promotions roles - meets monthly to keep each other informed and support one another in our roles which often overlap. It also helps to build support for sustainability within the broader organisation.
One of the things we've been working on together is including active transport in promotion of all City-organised events.
Last weekend was the 2nd annual Green Fair on the Square, a celebration of all things recycled, upcycled, green, and sustainable. The community was encouraged to ride their bike to the event with the incentive of a refreshment voucher to be used at one of the onsite vendors. The 50 vouchers were handed out well before the end of the Fair and people still kept arriving by bike!
A bike rack was placed at the front of the Albany Town Square and more racks were available at the entrance to the Library on the edge of the Square. They were all well-used throughout the day with bikes including e-Bikes, a tandem, cargo bikes, MTBs, road bikes and more...
The event was also promoted to staff and one of those who rode down was Senior Community Development Officer Tammy Flett on the e-Bike she purchased following the RAC Regional e-Bike Trial.
Working and cooperating with others in the organisation is definitely helping to spread the active transport message in Albany!
In the final of our trio of Ride2Work breakfasts, Library Staff ventured out on a drizzly morning for a 7km ride before breakfast. Library Officer Kate Houderrani organised the ride and prepared the healthy breakfast with the support of bike-mad Youth Services Librarian Dora Adeline.
All participants had a great time and also took the opportunity to test ride the staff fleet e-Bike. The verdict is that the e-Bike is awesome and a couple of staff are considering the novated leasing option available to City of Albany staff.
We're finding that when events like this are organised by a direct colleague staff are more likely to turn up even when it's raining because they don't want to let their mates down. And a ride on the Albany waterfront is beautiful even when it's drizzling :)
Triple the Ride2Work Day joy with healthy staff breakfasts at three different worksites! Depot staff rode to work last Wednesday (and had so much fun they forgot to take photos), yesterday was at the central Admin Building, and a breakfast will be held for Library staff early next month.
Creating a bit of friendly rivalry between worksites has helped to create interest - particularly among Depot staff who were keen to keep the Ride2Work title three breakfasts in a row. They even kept their total attendance a secret until yesterday's ride to the Admin Building. They look set to retain the title (with 12 participants last week) unless Library staff can top it in November.
Numbers are definitely higher when we enlist the help of a worksite champion to promote the breakfast among their own workmates. We are also grateful to the HR team who includes the breakfasts in their budget, and helps to promote in staff newsletters and emails.
We made use of leftover breakfasts by gifting them to non-riders with a verbal agreement that they do an e-Bike induction with us sometime!
We made the most of the staff e-Bike fleet to take two Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns judges on an e-Bike tour of Albany last week. Judges were told about Albany's TravelSmart/Your Move highlights from the past 12 months, before receiving an e-Bike induction and hitting the pathways. With the sun shining, it was the perfect way to showcase some of Albany's achievements on the 6km tour, before judges were taken by bus for the rest of the journey. It was also a great opportunity for some City staff to try the bikes for the first time, and to promote e-Bikes to other attendees at the Tidy Towns information presentation.
One of the City of Albany's staff fleet e-Bikes has clocked more than 1000km on the odometer! When it came into circulation as a fleet bike after use in the RAC Regional e-Bike Trial it had about 150km on the clock. Admittedly, this e-Bike is located at the Albany Leisure & Aquatic Centre where Carl and I (who both love cycling and work hard to promote it) are based, so it is no surprise it gets a lot of use. The other two staff e-Bikes at the Library and Admin Centre haven't covered quite as much ground, but they are ridden regularly for work appointments (such as Storytime in the Park) and leisure use during lunch breaks.
Staff in the City of Albany's main administration office are slowly cottoning on to the benefits of using the fleet e-Bike. A Technical Officer in Planning & Engineering Support Anthony Svanberg is a regular user of the e-Bike, using it for work meetings and for exercise, fresh air and amazing Albany scenery during his lunch break. Anthony especially enjoys the freedom and ease of the e-Bike.
Some of our staff really, really, really love bike riding! We had a chalkboard sticker made up so we could capture the reason people ride at our Bike Week events and it's proved popular. It's been great seeing the huge variety of reasons - from physical fitness and mental wellbeing to getting to the shops and spending time with family. This is TravelSmart Officer Carl Beck. He likes riding A LOT!
With overnight storms many of those planning to head to the City of Albany staff Bike to Work Breakfast decided to stay in bed instead. But a check of weather forecast online the night before showed that rain was unlikely between 7am-9am (not that a little water ever hurt anyone anyway!) and six staff from the Admin Centre, Leisure & Aquatic Centre and Public Library braved the winds for a cheery breakfast at @ The Poolside Café.
One of the City of Albany's three fleet e-Bikes is based at the Albany Public Library for staff use. Youth Services Librarian Dora Adeline rides to her weekly Storytime session at YMCA's Play in the Park and, after a trial with putting the sound system in a basket on the back, she reports a much more stable ride towing it in the City's new trailer! Parents/carers and children have been invited to ride or walk to Play in the Park next week and join Dora for some wheelie great stories to celebrate Bike Week. Free coffees from the local coffee van are on offer for the first ten adults to walk or ride with their children.
The Albany Leisure & Aquatic Centre will host a Bike to Work Breakfast for City of Albany staff during Bike Week. With the City's Administrative Centre just 500m from the Leisure Centre this is a great opportunity for staff from both locations to celebrate Bike Week together.
The RAC Regional e-Bike Trial which involved 15 City of Albany staff is featured in the latest Local Government Professionals WA Statewide magazine. Fantastic to read again how much our staff member Sue-Ellen Shaw loved the trial. She enjoyed her e-Bike so much she purchased it at the end of the trial and has continued to use it for commuting and recreation.
The City of Albany is excited to be the first organisation in WA to offer staff the opportunity to lease an electric bike through salary sacrifice. Staff had the chance to test ride bikes and ask questions of Melbourne-based e-Bike novated leasing company E-stralian. It's the next step in encouraging staff to use active transport to get to work - especially because bikes used for work commuting are tax exempt! Local newspaper The Weekender printed the story in this week's edition.
Are you part of this organisation? Please refer to the contact email above to request an invite.