A longtime cyclist in Wagga has called for residents to ditch their cars in favour of cycling as petrol prices rise.
Paul Johanson, a member of the Wagga Cycling and Mountain Bike Wagga clubs, has been commuting mostly via two wheels for the past 30 years.
He says there has never been a more pertinent reason to use cars less and bicycles more.
“Petrol prices have gone up over the years and when I began, it was for both financial and health reasons,” Mr Johanson said.
“We had only one car between my wife and myself, so to cut costs, I began riding to work.
“In 30 years of working, I cycled about three-quarters of the time compared with driving.”
While he is now retired, he still commutes via cycling for everyday activities.
“I do it for exercise and ease now – when you take a bike into town you don’t have to deal with not having enough parking as you can lock it to a street post.
When you take a bike into town you don’t have to deal with not having enough parking as you can lock it to a street post.Paul Johanson, Wagga cyclist
“Petrol prices don’t really affect me now as I’m in a different stage of my life, but I’d encourage people who drive to consider it,” he said.
Mr Johanson also cited the city’s growth and Wagga City Council’s new cycle trails as reasons for more to commute via bicycles.
The latest weekly report by the Australian Institute of Petroleum shows that average regional unleaded price for the week ending October 7 was 156.9 cents per litre – a five-week high.
The previous five weeks’ average rose 148.7–156.2 cpl.
As of October 11, the highest was 189.9 cpl in some parts of NSW while the average prices in Wagga was 154.7 cpl based on the NSW Government’s Fuel Check app.
In August, Wagga’s average was less than 150 cpl.
Peter Khoury, head of NRMA media, said the general trend leading into Christmas was unfavourable.
“World oil prices are not working in our favour and the Aussie dollar is lower than last year,” Mr Khoury said.
“This has resulted in prices being pushed higher in regional areas.
“There’s no price relief in sight, nothing in the short term.”
He said he hoped the speculation that petrol prices may hit $2 per litre would not be widespread.
“It’s an upward trend, but if it does reach $2 per litre, then it would be the exception and not the norm,” Mr Khoury said.
It’s an upward trend, but if it does reach $2 per litre, then it would be the exception and not the norm.Peter Khoury, head of NRMA media
“Some service stations are $1.90 at the moment but that’s for premium and there’s not many.”
The call to cycle more comes as National Ride2Work Day approaches.
Held on Wednesday, October 17, it is an event that encourages Australians to “jump on a bike and get active on their way to work”.
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