CEOs, executives and industry heavyweights from hundreds of businesses are gearing up to join next month’s Sydney Rides Business Challenge – the biggest event of its kind in Australia.

The four-week challenge from 22 February to 20 March, aims to get more people riding and boost productivity for Sydney businesses.

Companies already on board include Qantas, Westpac, LinkedIn, eBay, Hilton Sydney, Lend Lease, NRMA, RPA Hospital and Sydney University.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the Sydney Rides Business Challenge highlights the benefits of riding not just for health but also for businesses big and small.

“The bottom line is, bikes are good for business,” the Lord Mayor said.

“More people riding or walking to work generates more productivity for businesses – and it helps ease the chronic traffic congestion, which costs Sydney businesses and residents $2.5 billion every year. Bike riders shop locally, and more often.”

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Last year’s Challenge was won by IT giant, Atlassian, which has also been awarded BRW’s “best workplace in Australia” title for two years running. The Australian start-up was recently valued at almost $US6 billion after debuting on the stock exchange.

Atlassian CEO Scott Farquhar attributes a big part of their success to valuing its employees’ health and encouraging them to lead active lifestyles.

“Happy and healthy employees perform better. It’s as simple as that,” said Mr Farquhar.

“We’ve seen first-hand that employees who ride to work are more efficient and alert during the working day. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone in the Atlassian team to get involved in the Sydney Rides Business Challenge.”

The City of Sydney services over one million people – residents, workers and visitors – every day. Sydney2030.com.au

“More than 7,000 people ride to work in the city centre each day – that’s the equivalent of 116 full buses or seven packed Sydney trains. The Sydney Rides Business Challenge is about supporting active, healthy and happy employees already riding to work and encouraging their workmates to give it a go.”

“Last year we had close to 100 staff participate and because of the great feedback, this year we’re aiming to double that number.”

Committee for Sydney CEO, Dr Tim Williams said the free competition was a great opportunity for businesses to benefit from being a bike friendly workplace.

“Not only is cycling an increasingly popular way to commute, it’s also at the heart of the economic success of global cities,” said Dr Williams.

“There’s good reason that businesses in London, Paris and New York have embraced cycling, and it’s great Sydney businesses are starting to do the same.

“Cycling isn’t some eccentric hobby. Modern global business knows that the cities that provide world class cycling infrastructure and encourage active transport are the ones that attract talent.”

“Global talent, the highly sought after professionals that all global cities are competing to attract, see the immediate benefits of a city that makes it possible to cycle to work. Great bike networks in turn encourage employers to maintain end-of-trip facilities, which supports increased physical activity and better employee engagement.”

The Sydney Rides Business Challenge runs from 22 February to 20 March, with a range of prizes for businesses and individual riders across a number of categories.

Members of PPB Advisory at Try a Bike

People who don’t own a bike can also join in at three lunchtime ‘try-a-bike’ events between 11:30am and 2:30pm at Hyde Park North on Wednesday 2 March, Baragaroo Reserve on Wednesday 9 March and Observatory Hill on Wednesday 16 March. Mechanics will also be on hand for free bike checks and tune ups.

To register and find out more, visit sydneyrideschallenge.net

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