Thank you for making 2017 another massive year for cycling in Queensland!
Pictured: President Bill Loveday with CEO Anne Savage
We can be proud of our achievements in getting more Queenslanders cycling more often, with over 800,000 Queenslanders riding every week.
In fact, according to the latest data, Queenslanders travel about 350 million kilometres by bicycle every year, roughly equivalent to riding to the moon and back 455 times.
Of particular note – this figure represents a 46 percent increase on the distance travelled in 2001 – demonstrating the impact of dedicated strategies to get Queenslanders cycling.
Importantly, more than one million Queenslanders now live within one kilometre of cycling infrastructure funded under the Queensland Government’s Cycling Infrastructure Program, compared with just over 6,000 in 2006.
We know, without a doubt, that people are more likely to cycle when there are more off-road pathways, more on-road bike lanes, and better connections between bikeways and schools, shops, parks, and pools.
With all this in mind, in 2017 we continued to advocate across all levels of government for greater investment in bikeways and road user education initiatives.
We also successfully staged major cycling events such as the Great Brisbane Bike Ride, the Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge, and our signature Cycle Queensland Adventure Tour.
None of these events would have been possible without the support of you, our loyal members, volunteers and friends.
Today we stand at what I hope will be a tipping point for cycling in Queensland.
As 2017 draws to a close I would like to take the opportunity to reflect on the career achievements of our retiring CEO, Ben Wilson, who has dedicated a lifetime of work to our mission of getting more people cycling, more often.
Ben’s leadership has seen BQ grow from a small collective of concerned citizens to one of the largest and most influential bicycle advocacy organisations in Australia.
As we farewell Ben, we are delighted to welcome our new CEO, Anne Savage, whose knowledge, skills, and expertise have been developed over more than two decades of experience across diverse sectors and industries. As a dedicated cyclist who has never owned a car, and can’t remember how to drive, she gets cycling. Her career history includes leadership of landmark campaigns on social justice issues such as tobacco control and Indigenous health equality, campaigns which have earned her recognition as a courageous and respected advocate.
We are excited that Anne will now have the opportunity to invigorate Bicycle Queensland’s mission, consulting closely with the community, our hard-working staff, our loyal members, our passionate volunteers, and many hundreds of thousands of current and future cyclists across the state.
Anne’s appointment marks the beginning of a new phase in Bicycle Queensland’s history and a great chance for us to get Queensland cycling.
We will do this by expanding our advocacy to encompass new services and programs, driving outcomes through collaborations and partnerships. We will canvass community views and investigate perceptions and trends, informing public policy development across all levels of government. We will engage in research and translate our findings into practice, showcasing cycling’s transformational power as an uplifting force for community and individual health. We will reach out into regional areas, growing our membership base and ensuring that all cyclists, irrespective of where they live, have access to comprehensive insurance and legal advice. We will motivate Queensland’s next generation to cycle more often, providing practical support and training to synthesise their cycling skills.
Ultimately, our aim is to inspire all Queenslanders to ride safely with us. Together we have the power to grow the number of weekly cyclists in Queensland from about 800,000 today to more than 1,000,000 by 2020.
On behalf of the BQ team, I wish you and your loved ones a healthy, safe, and happy holiday season.
Thank you for riding with us – your involvement makes a difference.
Dr Bill Loveday
President, Bicycle Queensland