Cycling for a cause: Cogent AGF Classic 2018

Co-CEO Gareth Townsend cycling

Gareth Townsend will be cycling alongside other tech leaders at the second Cogent AGF Classic this Wednesday 21 March.

The exclusive one-day, 100KM road cycling event raises funds and awareness for national cycling safety advocates, the Amy Gillet Foundation.

“This is the first Congent Classic I’ll be participating in,” says Gareth. “The AGF do great work, so I was really happy to be invited along to participate.”

The Amy Gillet Foundation is a national organisation with a mission to reduce the incidence of serious injury and death of cyclists in Australia. Amy Gillet was a cyclist killed by a driver in 2005 while in Germany with the Australians women’s cycling team. The AGF works with all levels of government, road authorities, corporate, motoring, cycling and community safety organisations and the public to create a safer bike riding environment in Australia.

As an avid cyclist, Gareth understands the risks and safety concerns cyclists face every day on the road. He started cycling in his mid-20s, first as a way to commute to work and keep fit, but eventually started racing.

“Amy’s death was a tragedy, but it’s not the only one,” says Gareth. “Both professional and amateur cyclists are killed or seriously injured while training more frequently than one would hope, either by cars not paying attention or simply being impatient and overtaking them when it’s not safe to do so.”

The AGF wants to partner with tech companies and tech leaders as a way to collaborate on tech that will improve road safety for cyclists everywhere. Cogent hopes to raise awareness of the work of the AGF and provide an update on the Metre Box project.

The “Metre Box” – a current collaboration between the AGF and Monash University – is a small device that attaches to a bicycle seat and will record the distance between the cyclist and every passing vehicle. The AGF hopes this device will lead to new legislation that will police minimum passing distances between cars and cyclists on the road.

“Ultimately, I don’t want to have to worry about my friends, family and their kids when they go out on their bikes,” says Gareth.

As for what he’s looking forward to most about the day, Gareth remains humble.

“Finding out whether I can still ride 100km in the hills without collapsing. Hopefully I won’t be the rider everyone else is waiting for.”

Thanks to AWS Startups for sponsoring Gareth.

Learn more about the Cogent AGF Classic.

Follow Gareth and Clover on Twitter tomorrow to receive live updates from the event.