By LUKE VOOGT
WESTERN Victoria Region MP Simon Ramsay jumped on his bike this month, joining Surfside Primary students for National Ride2School Day.
“Being physically active is so important for kids that age,” he said.
“It was great to see everybody get into the spirit of it.”
Mr Ramsay made the ride from Geelong to Ocean Grove on 4 March, arriving at the school in time for its 9am assembly.
“It was a beautiful ride,” he said.
The school’s shed was packed with bikes as more than 200 students rode to school.
As the State Liberal MP toured the school he was impressed by its efforts to promote healthy and active living, and its focus on sustainability.
Mr Ramsay made a small donation towards the school’s fundraiser for new play equipment and presented students with a Victorian flag.
So far the school has raised $13,500 of the $20,000 required for the equipment.
“I’ve been a president of a primary school and know what it’s like to try and raise money,” Mr Ramsay said.
Mr Ramsay, 60, is fast becoming a keen rider, which he said helps him stay in shape.
“I’ve caught the riding bug I’ve got to say,” he said.
He participated in the 68km Cadel Evans Peoples’ Ride for the first time this year, and hopes to do some more challenging rides in the future.
More than 350,000 students took part in National Ride2School Day across Australia.
The number of children riding or walking to school has fallen from 80 per cent in the 1970s to 25 per cent today, according to the Bicycle Network Australia.
Schools registered in the Ride2School Program have more than doubled this figure.