Leading an ebike charge to put our behaviour to the test

One Noosa researcher about to help launch a locally ground-breaking trial on the benefits of electric pedal power, once regarded the ebikes as a bit of a joke.

But now Dr Carina Anderson, of CQUniversity School of Nursing, who is about to steer a three-month trial is one of the battery-charged converted road users.

"I'm just really keen to see less people using their cars so we have less emissions,” Dr Anderson said.

"Thirty per cent of emissions come from transport, so if we can get some of the cars off the road it's good for everyone and it's good for the infrastructure, because you have less wear and tear on the road.”

She cycles and charges along on electric no-pedal power.

"I never thought I'd own an ebike, because I laughed at them the first time I ever heard of them,” she said.

"One of the guys in town let me ride one and I thought this is really fun.

"It took me a year to buy one, but gee I'm really hooked - I love them.

"For me it makes me ride my bike when normally I would have taken my car.

"So I make an effort now - I live at Castaways and I make an effort to hop on the bike and go to Coles or up to Aldi to get the groceries, because I can and it's fun.”

CQU has teamed up with bike company GIANT and Zero Emission Noosa to put two lots of 10 indifferent bike users to the test.

ZEN has been helping recruit for this study that ties in with its electric vehicle push along with other green groups like Noosa Parks Association.

"It's about trying to get people in Noosa out of their cars and thinking of alternate low emissions form of transport,” she said.

"We're looking at whether we can change their behaviour and also at their health and well-being benefits of using an ebike.”

The study will chart the changes in the mental and physical state.

"We're recruiting right now. They have to do a bicycle safety workshop first and that will be on September 8 and so long as the bikes are here on time we'll be kicking off after that.”

Locals need to meet the following criteria: 

Regularly drive your car to get to work 

Do not cycle often

Are over 18 years of age

Have a body mass index of between 25-40 

Are physically inactive

Live and work in Noosa

Dr Anderson can be contacted on c.anderson@ cqu.edu.au.