Sydney riders pedal to the moon and back

Sydney riders pedal to the moon and back

Sydney workers have pedalled an impressive 768,000 kilometres during the City of Sydney’s third annual Sydney Rides Challenge – the equivalent of riding to the moon and back.

4,421 staff from 432 businesses participated in the challenge, which aims to get more people riding and boost productivity.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the number of businesses taking part in the challenge has increased year on year.

“Top Sydney corporates like Westpac, NRMA and Lendlease know active transport is good for business,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Active employees are happier and more productive, and office buildings are being retrofitted with showers, lockers and bike racks to support the growing numbers of people riding bikes to work.

“Significantly, one in five challenge participants were new riders, showing there’s growing interest in bike commuting.”

Debra Jason, office champion for category winner Maxwell Forest, managed to convince 21 of her colleagues at the Darlinghurst fintech firm to jump on a bike throughout the challenge.

“At the beginning of the four weeks, I was hoping for 50 per cent participation, but to get 88 per cent was amazing,” Ms Jason said.

“People’s reaction to the Challenge varied from very enthusiastic to quite tentative, however as the month went on most people realised how great it was to be involved.

“I think they caved into me pestering them so much. But seriously the ‘Try-a-Bike’ events were key to making everyone feel that they could give it a go.”

Debra’s colleague, Phil Webster, said the challenge inspired him to make a big lifestyle change.

“It’s been ages since I rode a bike. When I was younger, I worked as a courier back in London and riding was the way I got around. Then I just stopped using my bike – I don’t even know why.

“So when Deb started pestering me, I thought I’d give it a go. Getting back on the bike was such a great feeling. I now ride to and from work most days and have even cut down on smoking. I feel great!”

The businesses that claimed top honours in their categories in the 2017 Challenge, based on the greatest percentage of employees who logged rides and encouraged new riders over the four week period, are:

  • 500-plus employees: Westpac
  • 200-499 employees: Hilton Sydney
  • 50-199 employees:
  • 20-49 employees: Maxwell Forest
  • 7-19 employees: SDA Structures
  • 3-6 employees: Liverpool Street Gallery.

Organisations involved in the Sydney Rides Challenge included Westpac, Qantas, NRMA, Allianz, the Hilton Hotel, Commonwealth Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Lendlease, eBay, Sydney University, Stockland, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the NSW Heart Foundation.

Since the Challenge began in 2015, 11,834 people from 689 businesses have covered more than six million kilometres.

The Sydney Rides Challenge was overseen by event specialist Love to Ride, and is part of a worldwide program that has seen more than 237,000 people from 13,966 organisations in 10 countries sign up for similar events over the past 15 years.

For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Bridget Ahern, phone (02) 9265 9753, mobile 0423 505 854 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay on 0432182647 or email