Jessica’s day job sees her on location around Adelaide to report for Channel 10 news.
Life is busy for Jessica Braithwaite – by day she’s out on the road for Channel 10 News, reporting on anything from wild weather to the best of entertainment, while in her downtime she’s on stage with guitar in hand with her indie pop band, Gemini Downs.
We talked to the Ride2Work Day Ambassador about cycling in Adelaide, why life is better on two wheels and what it takes to get organised for the commute to and from the newsroom.
What’s your earliest bike riding memory?
My earliest bike riding memory is my dad trying to teach me to ride in our backyard in Mount Gambier. My older brothers were there cracking up laughing at me because I was pretty wobbly and once I got going I wasn't sure how to stop. I screamed a bit then crashed into the back fence, which my brothers of course found even more hilarious.
Where’s your favourite spot to ride in Adelaide?
I love riding along the Torrens. It's so pretty riding along the water and there are always lots of other people out cycling, walking and running, so it's a really fun atmosphere to be exercising in.
What do you like about riding to work?
It's just the best way to start the day. I'm out in the fresh air and I get my blood pumping through my body and by the time I arrive at work I'm feeling completely energised. I swear I have some of my best ideas when I'm riding my bike – I think the exercise helps to get the creative energy flowing – and it's also a really effective way to squeeze some fitness in to a ridiculously busy working week.
I love breezing past queues of banked up traffic in the city – the drivers are often stuck frustrated in their cars and I'm just there flying past on my bike, listening to my music and having a great time!
With a busy work schedule including Channel 10 reporting as well as performances with your band, Gemini Downs, how hard is it to fit riding into your diary?
It's perfect because it's basically a necessity. Parking is tricky in the city so riding is by far the easiest option, and I honestly believe that the morning exercise helps me be more creative, energetic and pumped up when I get to work in the morning. I've also got a really cool guitar-shaped back pack that I can slip my guitar in, so it's great for cycling to jam sessions and music events. It's actually easier than driving because you don't have to pay for parking, taxis or petrol.
What are the personal benefits of riding to work?
I lead a super busy lifestyle, so sometimes it's hard to set aside time for exercising. Riding to work is an awesome way of getting some fitness in to the week. Plus, it forces me to exercise even when I can't be bothered, because that's how I have to get home!
How much preparation does it take to ready yourself for work once you arrive at the office?
It's all pretty simple. I shower once I get to work and change into my reporting clothes there. (Apologies here to any colleagues of mine who have to listen to me singing in the shower.) Helmet hair and TV reporting aren't really a great match, so I do my hair once I'm at the office.
What do you enjoy about Ride2Work Day?
I love having all the extra cyclists on the road! I enjoy stopping at traffic lights and having other riders to chat to on the way to work. We all look out for each other and the little bits of cyclist chit chat can be really entertaining! It's also such a perfectly timed event. Ride2Work Day happens just as the sun is starting to come out a little more, so it's a great time of year for people to get the bike back out of the shed and get moving again.
I'll definitely be hitting the bike path as per usual this Ride2Work day, and of course stopping in at the free event at Hindmarsh Square. What's not to love about free brekkie on the way to work! Plus it will be great to soak up the positive atmosphere that is inevitable when so many happy people hang out together.
Any tips for people who are thinking about riding to work for the first time?
I think the hardest thing is always just getting into the rhythm of it. Once you've hopped back on the bike and ridden to work a few times then it all comes really naturally and you will definitely start to look forward to those daily bike rides.
If you haven't ridden to work before, it's a good idea to do a test run on a weekend. That way you can figure out your best route and get an idea of how long it will take you.
But ultimately, I would say that the best thing you can do is start! The hardest part is actually making the decision to do it for the first time. After that, it all just flows.
Ride2Work day is on 16 October from 7am to 9am in Hindmarsh Square/Mukata.
Free breakfast will be served courtesy of Australian Bananas, Bakers Delight and Adelaide City Council.
Visit ride2work.com.au to register today.