Central Coast workers are being encouraged to get on their bikes and join in Australia’s biggest celebration of commuter riding on Wednesday 19 October.  

National Ride2Work Day is organised by Australian charity Bicycle Network and aims to support and encourage people to get active and enjoy a healthier commute by cycling to their place of work.

Yoni Hope-Hodgetts, who works as an organ donation specialist nurse for Central Coast Local Health District, has been regularly cycling to Gosford Hospital from her home in Erina Heights for the past couple of years. She says her love for cycling dates back to the birth of her daughter.

“I wanted to stay fit after my daughter was born. I took part in a training boot camp which involved a lot of running, but I suffered from bad joint pain afterwards,” Yoni said.

“My physiotherapist encouraged me to take up swimming or cycling. I tried swimming but it just wasn’t for me. I like to be outside and look around, so cycling was perfect, and I’ve loved it ever since.

“My ride into work is stunning. It takes me through Point Frederick and Adcock Park, and along Gosford waterfront. We’re so lucky on the Coast to be surrounded by beautiful scenery and lots of interesting and safe routes to get around.”

After catching the cycling bug, Yoni’s passion for two-wheeled transport extended to competitive racing, and she took part in her first race in 2007. She went on to win state and world championships, winning the UCI (International Cycling Union) World Masters Championship in Sydney in 2009.

In 2020 Yoni was diagnosed with breast cancer, and cycling played a big part in her recovery before she underwent successful surgery later that year.

Although Yoni admits her competitive cycling days may be over, her love for cycling shows no sign of stopping. Last year, she and her husband sold their second car and both bought e-bikes to cycle in to work together.

“Staying active and healthy through things like cycling was really important during my cancer treatment because exercise can help your body cope with the chemotherapy,” Yoni said.

“Now I get on the bike to stay healthy rather than compete, and riding to work has become a really convenient way to do that.

“The great thing about cycling is that anyone can do it. If you’re not sure about cycling to work yet, I’d say go out and have a practice run on a day off. Work out a nice, picturesque route for you to take. You’ll feel great afterwards, and you’ll be surprised how it doesn’t take as long to get to get there as you think.”

To coincide with National Ride2Work Day, Central Coast Local Health District will be holding its monthly Central Coast Go Active 2 Work Day gathering in William Street Mall, Gosford between 7:30am and 8:30am.

Nigel Tebb, Health Promotion Officer at Central Coast Local Health District, said cycling is convenient for getting the exercise we need for good physical and mental health.

“Cycling is an ideal way to get that exercise in before you start work for the day, and a great opportunity to contribute to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity adults need each week.

“If you’re thinking about giving cycling a go, Ride2Work Day is the perfect excuse. And if you’re in the Gosford area, roll up to our Go Active 2 Work Day gathering for a cuppa and chat with some friendly, bike-minded people, then head off to work healthier and happier for it.”

For more information on National Ride2Work Day, visit bicyclenetwork.com.au/ride2work-day.