Celeste Bruce recruits her dog and clients in daily cycling commute

From cycling to her South Melbourne pilates studio with her four-legged friend to ensuring her workspace is set up so others can follow suit, wellness advocate Celeste Bruce is a fitting example of why cycling is a desirable commuting option.

Choosing to cycle instead of taking public transport is a no-brainer for Celeste.

I love to ride to work because I live in the most lovely location of Port Melbourne and work in South Melbourne - right on the fringe of Southbank and the city. It’s such a pleasure to ride through the wide streets with big beautiful trees. I love feeling the wind on my face, hearing the trams and knowing I can ride quicker than I can drive and park or catch public transport. And it costs nothing and I’m exercising!

Cycling is a special time for Celeste to take in the surrounds she misses while driving.

I love the feeling of freedom and being able to smell the fresh air as I ride, and seeing all the things I miss when I’m behind the wheel of a car. I always feel more relaxed on my bike, whether it be riding to work or to the South Melbourne Market or doing the Capital City Trail on weekends with friends. It makes me appreciate this beautiful city I am blessed to live in.

Celeste is often spotted riding with her scruffy sidekick - her dog, Lenny.

Walking to work at my pilates studio takes about 40 minutes but only about 10 minutes to ride - and Lenny doesn’t love walking. At first, I would ride and leave him at home, but it was no fun for him to be stuck in the house instead of being at the studio getting pats and treats. So I got a harness for my bike (an XDS Irene Alloy Retro) and now he’s safe and close to me as we ride. He loves the wind in his face.

She feels South Melbourne is safe and becoming increasingly even more cyclist-friendly.

I’ve worked in the area for more than 18 years and have really noticed the change in how many more people cycle. It’s constantly evolving and getting safer, with wide roads and more designated bike lanes. The new bike lanes on the Moray Street roundabout at the intersection of Moray and Dorcas are particularly safe. It makes cycling a better experience knowing it’s obvious that cyclists have their own lane.

Celeste stays safe while riding on the roads by staying seen.

I always try and wear visible clothing, and have good lights on the front and rear of my bike. I obey all road rules and ensure drivers are aware of me.

She believes drivers and cyclists can help each other by slowing down and staying alert.

Slow down and take a minute to look around and see what’s happening. It’s also helpful to make eye contact so you know the other person - be it a cyclist or a driver - has seen you.

Celeste has made her workplace cyclist-friendly so others can ride to her studio, too.

I encourage both my staff and clients to ride their bikes and many of them do. There wasn’t sufficient bike parking to begin with, but after contacting the City of Port Phillip they very promptly added extra bike storage racks.

She urges road users to remain aware so we can reach our goal of zero deaths and serious injuries.

I believe the key is awareness. Let’s keep an eye out for each other, be considerate and understand we all share the roads.