Westmead teams push benefits of biketober business challenge
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Time to shelve your car keys and put away the Opal Card.

Biketober’s here to provide proof Westmead Health Precinct is headed back to the future of pedal power.

Want to be part of the two-wheel revolution? It’s easy.

Get Healthy at Work, an initiative of NSW Health, has partnered with Love to Ride to create the Biketober Business Challenge. It’s a fun, free cycling challenge to encourage staff to enjoy the benefits of biking.

The Biketober Business Challenge is open to everyone who lives or works in NSW. Simply ride a bike for as little as 10 minutes during October. Join in and win prizes at lovetoride.net/nsw

The competition wheels have already spun into motion, according to Anne O’Loughlin from the Westmead Redevelopment.

The project team behind the 14-level Central Acute Services Building (CASB) is eager to make the most of Biketober.

“There’s a multitude of reasons,” Anne said. “And the Biketober Business Challenge makes it easy.”

She said the Business Challenge pack outlined the key benefits to biking:

• Preventing the decline of your immune system in the short and long-term. The rise in body temperature when riding helps us better fight infection.

• Boosting your mental health, helping to make you feel happier and more connected to your surroundings and less prone to depression.

• Reducing stress and anxiety. Biking can help take your mind off problems, or give you a chance to think about things calmly.

Anne said Biketober also formed part of the Sustainable Travel Plan, developed as part of the Westmead Redevelopment.

“The plan is designed to get people engaged in active travel (use of transport other than single-occupant car travel),” she said.

‘We also want to promote new bike provisions (known as end-of-trip facilities) coming to Westmead’s Central Acute Services Building (CASB).”

The new area accessed via a bike-only ramp from Hawkesbury Road down onto Level 1 of the CASB’s visitor carpark (adjacent to Adults’ Emergency Department) includes:

- secure access through to female and male staff changing rooms, lockers, showers, bathroom facilities;

- secure bike storage area with swipe access for up to about 40 bikes with electrical powerpoints for charging, plus bike maintenance equipment (including pump, tools etc).

Anne said the Westmead Redevelopment Sustainable Travel Plan had also set up a working group to help determine how the CASB facilities would operate, and another group including Transport NSW to establish travel access guides for staff and the public.

“The Sustainable Travel Plan will not only provide staff with tangible end-of-trip facilities and support travel options other than cars, but also offer a platform to re-engage with a better quality of life,” she said.

The new amenities will augment other facilities across the precinct at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Westmead Institute of Medical Research and Westmead Hospital. These areas are available to all forms of active transport - walking, running, cycling, scooters etc.

During Biketober, we’ll talk to team members across the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) to see how their two-wheel movement is transforming thinking across transport, planning, health and wellbeing.

Pictured top: Two-wheel challenge … Anne O’Loughlin from the Westmead Redevelopment encourages teams to enter the Biketober Business Challenge.

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