New family-friendly cycling routes will soon be highlighted at a number of central Ballarat locations.
Ride Ballarat, a network of cycling paths spanning more than 16km throughout the city, takes users on a tour past many key attractions in the city.
Bike route wayfinding signage will be installed on associated bike lanes and bike paths surfaces in the coming days to enable users to follow the different routes.
The routes will start at a new trail head to be created opposite Ballarat Railway Station and take users around Lake Wendouree (via Macarthur Street) and back to the CBD via Sturt Street (with optional additional routes to the Arch of Victoria and Victoria Park).
Ride Ballarat is an initiative supported by Neuron Mobility, who have launched a fleet of 12 e-bikes in the city for the summer period.
Neuron e-bikes can be hired by people who are 18 or over and are fitted with many cutting-edge safety features. These include an app-controlled helmet lock that secures a safety helmet to the e-bike, an emergency button which can tell if someone has had a fall and helps the rider call the emergency services and more.
Riders will be able to book and use the e-bikes through Neuron’s user-friendly app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Standard trips will cost $1 to unlock the e-bikes and 45 cents per minute thereafter.
The City of Ballarat’s Traveller Experience Plan 2021-2030 highlights there is room to improve the region’s cycling opportunities.
The four routes that form Ride Ballarat are:
The City Ride
The Lake Ride
The Victoria Park Loop Ride
The Arch of Victory Ride
City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the addition of the e-bikes, as well as the new Ride Ballarat routes, would be crucial in making Ballarat a city less reliant on cars.
“As people move through our city by bicycle, our city’s unique history and the many stories that can be told will become a cornerstone to the experience,” Cr Hudson said.
“Ballarat has a growing network of safe, quiet and enjoyable routes to ride a bike and the Ride Ballarat initiative includes easy wayfinding to guide locals and visitors on a curated highlights package of Ballarat sites.
“The Neuron e-bikes are available for hire or you can just bring your own bike and enjoy cycling as a safe and low-cost activity to share with family and friends this summer.”
Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club (BSCC) secretary Luke Taylor, who has liaised with the City of Ballarat on Ride Ballarat, said the routes provided a safe and efficient way to travel across much of the city.
“BSCC is excited the City of Ballarat is investing in a safe, harmonious cycling network that has the potential to expand and connect the west of Ballarat to the centre of Ballarat,” Mr Taylor said.
“This in turn promotes a healthier and safer community. Having a cycling network in Ballarat is essential for the city’s development, for providing safety as well as clearing congestion on the roads.
“I’ve personally seen my son use and enjoy the existing network, which connects the centre of Ballarat to many schools in the city.”