THE benefits of riding or walking to work should not be underestimated, with a range of physical, mental and environmental benefits to be gained.
Tomorrow is National Ride2Work Day and Warrnambool City Council Travelsmart officer Nicole Wood encouraged cyclists and walkers to participate.
The reward includes a free, healthy breakfast at the Warrnambool Art Gallery.
Ms Wood said it was an opportunity for people to try cycling or walking to work and experience the health benefits of incidental exercise.
“It’s a good way to start the day,” she said.
“If you live somewhere out of town find somewhere to park and walk in to work.”
Ride2Work is a nationally-run program that encourages Australians to get active.
It has a strong influence in the increasing number of people choosing to ride to work, with 47 per cent of new riders registered in 2012 still riding to work when surveyed five months after National Ride2Work Day and more than 10,500 commuters now riding to work more often.
Ms Wood said the mental health benefits of getting active included increase in the amount of endorphins released through exercise and feeling happier.
She said council staff would use the morning to gauge whether Warrnambool road safety campaigns including A Metre Matters, an initiative of the Amy Gillett Foundation to help make cycling safer, was effective locally and being adhered to by drivers and cyclists.
“It’s really important for cyclists and drivers to leave that one-metre space,” Ms Wood said.
She said the event was a chance to meet other cyclists and walkers. Breakfast is available from 7am to 9.30am at the art gallery in Timor Street.