Pedal power puts a smile on dial

Baulkham Hills accountant Lyle O'Keefe laid down his calculator to be part of a commuter revolution today.

He is one of more than 150,000 Australians who rode to work as part of National Ride2Work Day.

Mr O'Keefe rode a staggering 42 kilometres from his home to Alco Battery Sales in Emu Plains — something he does once a week anyway.

"It takes me just over an hour," Mr O'Keefe, 42, said.

"I started riding to work about four years ago. Back then I was working in Circular Quay; I'd had two flats on the way to work. It took about 50 minutes."

Mr O'Keefe takes part in Ride2Work Day every year. He also rides socially most Saturdays.

"The benefits of riding are obviously improved fitness, you feel better when you get to work after a ride, energised, you're not adding to the petrol fumes each day, and I actually enjoy being out on the bike," he said.

Ride2Work program manager Cory Boardman said Ride2Work Day had proven an excellent catalyst for introducing healthy transport behaviours in the longer-term.

"We surveyed first-time participants in last year's event and five months later 38 per cent were still riding at least weekly," Mr Boardman said.

He says it takes only three hours of riding a week to reduce your risk of heart disease by more than 50 per cent.

Register for Ride2Work Day at ride2work.com.au.

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