Bicycle Network’s popular Back on your Bike program has been re-funded for another two years thanks to the Tasmanian government’s Healthy Tasmania grants.
Successful recipients of the Healthy Focus grants were announced by the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Premier Jeremy Rockliff, on Friday 5 May.
“These grants will support the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians through a broad range of activities that promote physical activity, healthy and sustainable eating, healthy lifestyles, positive mental health and community engagement,” Premier Rockliff said.
“Initiatives range from providing mentorship to at-risk young people and establishing community groups to encouraging adults to ride bicycles and supporting communities to cook healthily.
“I look forward to seeing the impact these projects will make to the health and wellbeing of Tasmanians across our great state.”
Back on your Bike offers free skill sessions to people who need help to get riding again and can be tailored to include bike maintenance, road rules and route planning.
While many of the participants have a basic riding ability, learning skills such as riding slowly, using gears, turning and riding on gravel gives them the confidence to get back on their bike.
In a survey of participants over one year more than 90% said they felt more confident on a bike and thought the skills they learned were useful, and 100% said they would recommend the program to others.
Back on your Bike was originally targeted at middle-aged women looking for ways to improve their physical and mental health but not confident about their riding skills.
The program is also working with community groups such as Reclink and the Migrant Resource Centre to reach people with a disability, people facing life challenges and new arrivals in Tasmania.
The regular sessions with clients at supported independent living group Able Australia are frequently at capacity and some enthusiastic participants have come for multiple sessions.
Some of the reasons people give for taking part in the program include spending time with children or grandchildren, enjoying retirement with partners and friends, getting fit, and wanting a cheaper, healthier way of getting around.
The re-funding means Bicycle Network can keep offering the program for free across the state for the next two years.
Back on your Bike winter warmer sessions in Sorell and Dodges Ferry are now open for bookings: www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/back-on-your-bike
Back on your Bike will also organise additional one-off sessions for two or more participants. Requests for sessions can be made by email.