Atlantic Cities

A Tour de France for Australia's Bike Commuters

A Tour de France for Australia's Bike Commuters
Jon Harris/Flickr

As I write, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, the immensely appealing Nairo Quintana and the indefatigable Richie Porte are mere days away from completing the 100th edition of the Tour de France. It's a sports event like no other, three weeks of world-class cycling competition, pageantry and drama amidst some of the world's most beautiful countryside and towns.

It's not quite the Tour de France but, meanwhile, the Australian city of Adelaide stages the Tour de Work, a different and more accessible cycling event designed to encourage bike commuting. Held each November (springtime in Australia), the Tour de Work reaches out to employers to participate in a fun, free competition. It's popular: 162 workplaces representing at least 1,633 riders joined the program last year, and the results of each firm's participation are posted on the Tour de Work website.

According to the video below, more than 40 percent of the non-cyclists who took park in the Tour in 2009 have continued to cycle regularly afterwards.

The Tour de Work is run by Adelaide City Council, in partnership with the UK-based Challenge for Change and the Adelaide-based organization Sustainable Focus. Challenge for Change’s mission is to encourage cycling, while Sustainable Focus works with businesses and individuals towards implementing practical changes to help ensure sustainability into the future. Over the last four years Challenge for Change has run over 50 cycling challenges internationally, involving 76,338 people and 3,481 organizations.

All this is mainly to introduce you to the fun, upbeat video about the program.  Check it out:

Top image courtesy of Flickr user Jon Harris. This post originally appeared on the NRDC's Switchboard blog, an Atlantic partner site.

Kaid Benfield is special counsel for urban solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law, co-founder of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, and author of several books on cities, smart growth and sprawl. All posts »

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