It’s Ride to Work Day – and Dr Alison Williams is ready to go.
The staff specialist anaesthetist at Westmead Hospital first rode to the precinct in 2006 as a senior resident medical officer at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Now, after a five-year hiatus of juggling work and a young family, Alison’s back on the pedals.
“I returned to work at Westmead in July this year and thought it was a good time to get back on the bike again,” she said.
“I’ve been so surprised by the use I’m getting out of my e-bike (a bicycle with an electric motor) and I’m keen to spread the word,” Alison said.
“Riding to Westmead has many hidden joys. I’ve seen the sun rise over Iron Cove, I hear the magpie’s warble in the afternoon in Parramatta Park and I share smiles with other cyclists on the Parramatta River cycle path.
“It’s a much more pleasant trip to work than being in my car.”
So what encouraged her to make the switch from four wheels to two?
Simple: a combination of avoiding the environmental impact of driving, the financial cost of tolls and fuel, and the bonus of exercise.
“And Westmead Health Precinct is perfectly placed for cycling access from the east along the river,” she said.
“But what has really made it possible is the availability of e-bikes. And I’m pleased to report my e-bike is so much better than I thought it was going to be.
“Cycling 26km to Westmead as a 40-something who hasn’t cycled for a few years was a bit daunting, but the e-bike has made it a very manageable option.
“I use it all the time to dash around the inner west where I live. It’s so much more convenient than driving in traffic and having to worry about parking. I even take my kids for a ride, and I can push them up the hills on the e-bike!”
As for advice to new cyclists or those thinking of jumping in the saddle, there’s help at hand.
Alison says there are more cycle paths than most people think and plenty of resources to find them, including Bicycle NSW, its maps and cycling training courses.
“Have a chat to cyclists already riding routes near you and ask for tips to help you find the best and safest routes.
“If anyone wants to talk to me about trying riding from the inner west, I’m happy to share my journey.”
Westmead Redevelopment is a proud supporter of Biketober and other active travel initiatives as part of the Westmead Redevelopment Sustainable Travel Plan.