ROSS COTTEE CLOCKS UP 1,000 RIDES WITH MELBOURNE BIKE SHARE
‘I’ll be soon reaching one thousand rides. I’m Melbourne’s number one user of MBS. My stats speak for themselves!’.
Ross Cottee of Carlton is fast approaching his 1000th ride with Melbourne Bike Share (MBS), the public bicycle scheme that’s only been in operation for one year! By official MBS records, Ross is the highest user to date, he has taken full advantage of living near a MBS station and travels to destinations all around Melbourne.
Ross grew up in the 80s when films like ‘Back to the Future’ left huge impressions on growing minds. Can you remember the futuristic ‘Hill Valley’ set in 2015? When ‘Back to the Future – Part 2’ was released in 1989 Ross was inspired about the possibilities that the future might bring. Who could imagine that movie showing us a future of television screens in your pockets, information at your fingertips and ‘Hover Boards’… OK! Hover boards haven’t been invented… yet. The technology that allows Melbourne Bike Share to operate would have fitted well into the movie’s script. Maybe that’s the reason that keeps Ross coming back to docking stations.
In 2003 Ross fell off the fifth storey apartment building where he was staying in Tokyo, Japan. Broken bones heal, but it was the brain injury he received that was the most damaging. Ross fell into a coma for 2 ½ weeks, and spent 9 weeks in a Japanese hospital. On his return to Australia, Ross spent further time in hospitals. Adding up to 9 months in medical care Ross received additional in-house rehabilitation, and this is why he is such a big supporter of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (www.everyaustraliancounts.com.au). Since sustaining a brain injury Ross says it’s been important to actively work on his own wellbeing, and the blue bikes make getting around town fun, easy and green.
Ross now works, is half way through a Social Work qualification at RMIT, and spends a significant amount of time in voluntary positions to assist the wellbeing of people with brain injuries. Healthy body, Healthy mind, he likes to keep fit and is a member of the Melbourne City Baths. Ross loves the convenience of Melbourne Bike Share. The MBS has introduced an I-phone application ‘Spotcycle’ to support users looking for their closest station and availability of bikes.
Melbourne Bike Share (MBS) is heavily promoted to tourists. As a resident of Carlton, Ross sees the benefits of two wheel CBD travel for tourists and locals alike. Many of the places that Ross frequents have MBS stations, such as: Federation Square, Docklands, RMIT, Bourke Street and the Melbourne City Baths.
Ross is passionate about the Melbourne Bike Share scheme and encourages others to have a go.
“Two wheel pedal power, that’s the future of CBD transport. The number of cyclists continues to rapidly increase. Soon Swanston Street will feature ‘Copenhagen style’ bike paths starting from Flinders to Latrobe streets. Cycling is good for our environment and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Wider usage of the Melbourne Bikes Share service has the potential to take some of the pressure from CBD trams”.
Ross Cottee has been to Sydney many times over the years, but never fully appreciated what the city had to offer until hiring a bike on his last visit. Ross thanks the Melbourne Bike Share for encouraging him to discover places on two wheels.
‘I never got to appreciate the city of Sydney until I experienced it on two wheels. Sydney doesn’t have a Bike Share scheme, I can see it as becoming a popular service if they decide to set it up there’.
Ross says he’s likely to celebrate his 1000th ride by doing a lap around Albert Park Lake, departing from the newly set up Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre station. The new station at Albert Park opens the door for purely recreational riding around a park. Until now the MBS has been promoted to commuters wanting to get from location ‘A to B’.
“Apart from a triumphant ride around Albert Park Lake, a good friend of mine has offered to bake me a MBS cake to celebrate the milestone of 1000 rides!”
Some suggest that helmet laws were a barrier to the scheme’s initial success, but Melbournians appear to be warming to the idea of the blue bikes.
“I’d like to see helmets viewed as fashion accessories. Having acquired a brain Injury, I wouldn’t want the government to roll back on what they’ve achieved by relaxing helmet laws. I encourage people to have a go!”