Thousands of Australians are getting on their bike today with this year's Tour Down Under participation event at record numbers.
The huge public response to this world class event, a record 7041 participants in the Mutual Community Challenge Tour is a reflection of the growing interest Australians have for cycling. This is more than double last year’s number and well above the 652 riders who participated in the inaugural 2003 community challenge event.
The decision by seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong to come to South Australia for his return to competitive cycling has helped fuel the boom in Australian cycling. This rapid growth is an indication of the success cycling groups have had in helping more Australians appreciate pedal power.
Cycling is now the new golf and the Cycling Promotion Fund hopes this message is being heard by both the Prime Minister and South Australian Premier, each of which have attended the Tour Down Under celebrations.
“The soaring number of participants in the 2009 Mutual Community Challenge Tour is backed by growing numbers of Australians choosing to cycle. Cycling is the 4th most popular physical activity with 1.7 million adults cycling in 2006."
"There has also been a significant increase in cycling for transport. Figures from the latest Census record a 28% increase in cycling to work across Australian capital cities” said Elliot Fishman, Policy Advisor with the Cycling Promotion Fund.
Check out the action at www.tourdownunder.com.au