Roll on September 2022 - marking one year to go!
It’s hard to imagine, but at this time next year the world’s elite cyclists are due to hit our city’s roads for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships – Wollongong NSW.
This eight-day event is the biggest annual road cycling World Championships held by the UCI and features a mix of road races, time trials, and team time trials.
It’s a huge coup that Wollongong has been chosen to host the event, and we’re only the second city in Australia to receive the honour. Our commitment to improving cycling opportunities for our residents has been internationally recognised with our UCI Bike City status, awarded to us by the world governing body for cycling early this year. The status sees us recognised alongside other international bike riding hotspots like Vancouver, Paris and Copenhagen.
“This event and our Bike City status recognises Wollongong City Council’s commitment to cycling and the significant investment we have made into a wide range of biking opportunities across the city that benefits our community, the environment and provides long-term tourism opportunities,’’ Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.
“Our impressive escarpment and coastal landscape won’t just provide exciting racing conditions but will make for some pretty breathtaking scenery as it’s broadcast into homes across the globe.’’
For those with some downtime at home this weekend, there is the opportunity to watch this year’s UCI Road World Championships in Flanders, Belgium, from Saturday 18 September.
“I will certainly have my TV on SBS and be watching the races and the scenery of Flanders as I enjoy this event once more. The energy and atmosphere I experienced in Harrogate in the UK during the 2019 event was amazing. Flanders will now enjoy what Wollongong is preparing to experience,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
Council will also continue to work closely with the Wollongong 2022 local organising committee who are learning first-hand about key learnings from the Flanders event.
“Wollongong 2022 have representatives in Flanders for the event and they will gather a wealth of information and insights that will be invaluable to us as we move towards September 2022,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“This event is such an opportunity for Wollongong and Council has a key role to play in its successful delivery. It’s a responsibility that we are embracing and taking seriously.’’
Those inspired by the international competition to hit the city’s bike paths and tracks this weekend are encouraged to be mindful of others, and to stick to the Public Health Order.
“We’ve been investing in our local cycling infrastructure and it’s a real thrill to see the city reap the benefits of this with Wollongong enjoying a cycling network that stretches more than 130km,’’ Cr Bradbery said.
“Whether it’s around the lake or in the northern suburbs around Sandon Point there are so many riders of all skillsets out enjoying themselves. It’s really positive and we anticipate this will continue long after the current impacts of COVID-19 are being felt.
“That said, I do ask those who are out riding the tracks be mindful of others, wear your mask if it’s appropriate and keep a social distance. Plus, be sure to follow the road rules when it comes to bike riding.’’
As part of Council’s cycling focus, we’re currently asking the community for feedback on two proposed bike tracks at Dimond Bros Reserve in West Dapto, and are working through the feedback about a proposed Criterion track for Unanderra.
Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said the roll out of the city’s pop-up cycleways continues through Port Kembla, and work on the mountain biking trails in Cringila Hills is moving forward.
“There is just so much happening in the cycling and bike riding space and this is something our city should be proud of,’’ Mr Doyle said.
“To see the excitement at a grassroots level around Harry Graham Park’s new bike track, to see the changes to our CBD that will make riding more accessible to everyone and to see our city’s first dedicated mountain biking park in Cringila coming together are all really exciting steps. These will benefit our community’s health and wellbeing, and reduce our environmental impact. These are all important wins in my book.’’
To find out more about cycling in the city visit Council’s website.