Newcastle’s Bike v Car Time Trial


Last Tuesday, a small group of active transport advocates coordinated an independent time trial in Newcastle.  Their aim was to access the differences between various modes of transport travelling between the Newcastle campuses of the University of Newcastle. Synchronising their watches at 8:30am they headed off in their different modes of transport – public bus, shuttle bus, car and bike. Having recruited architecture students from the University of Newcastle for this time trial they had more than enough hands on board.

Decreasing the car parking in the Newcastle CBD has raised many concerns amongst residents recently.  University of Newcastle is contemplating expanding the city campus but this does not include any additional parking.  While within the CBD itself there has been a loss of parking spaces due to new buildings.  These advocates for active transport aimed to tackle this growing demand for more car parking by highlighting that driving by car is the slowest way to get around in peak hour.


NewcastleTimeTrialBelow are the times it took each time trialer to reach their meetup point:

Public Bus – 35 minutes, 12 seconds

Shuttle bus – 36:41

Bike – 44:50

Car – 46:04


Interesting Sam who drove his car did say that he would have arrived at the same time as the public bus however, he struggled to find parking on campus.  In actual fact, there were 2 hour spots closer to the meeting point but for a 2 hour lecture at university they wouldn’t have been sufficient enough so he had to drive an additional distance to find a four hour parking spot.  Not to mention it cost him the $4.50 to park at the university, plus fuel and car maintenance on top of that.

Their time travel test highlighted the need for having alternative methods of getting around other than by car. The active transport advocates are pushing for the Cyclesafe Network to be built in its entirety to prevent the rapidly growing centre of Greater Newcastle from being buried in car parks and roadways. This was great work by some active transport advocates to help highlight the need more alternatively ways to get around other than by car.


Watch the video below!

A woman on a funky bicycle

Brush Up On Your Laws

Bike riders sitting in the sun with their bikes
A woman on a funky bicycle

Haven’t been bike riding in a while? Or want to brush up on the NSW laws around bike riding? Take a look at the list below so you’re in the know when you’re on two wheels.

In NSW, a bicycle is considered a vehicle and riders must comply with same road rules as other vehicles. There are special rules to make it safer and easier for drivers, pedestrians and bike riders when sharing NSW roads.

Things Drivers and Bike Riders Should Know

Minimum Passing Distance

The Minimum Passing Distance rule helps ensure that bicycle riders and motorists remain safe when sharing our roads. Drivers who pass a bicycle rider must allow a distance of at least:

  • 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less
  • 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h
  • If drivers cannot pass a bicycle rider safely, they should slow down and wait until it is safe to pass the rider, leaving the minimum distance. To help drivers provide the minimum distance, some exemptions to the road rules will apply, such as keep to the left of the centre of a dividing line - broken and unbroken lines.

Find out more about the Minimum Passing Distance here


Bicycle riders are allowed to turn right from the left-hand lane. When passing each exit, bicycle riders must give way to any vehicle leaving the roundabout.

Transit lanes

Transit lanes are used for vehicles containing a certain number of people, but these lanes can also be used by bicycle riders, as well as buses, taxis, hire cars, motorcycles, and emergency vehicles.

Bicycle lanes

When a bicycle lane is marked on the road and has bicycle lane signs, bicycle riders must use it unless it is impracticable to do so. Cars may use these lanes for less than 50 metres when entering or leaving the road at a driveway or intersection, when overtaking a vehicle turning right or making a U-turn, or when avoiding an obstruction.

Bus lanes

Bicycle riders can use bus lanes, but not if the words “Bus Only” appear on the bus lane sign. Buses are the only vehicle allowed to use these Bus-Only lanes, except emergency service vehicles.

Riding Side by Side

Bicycle riders are allowed to ride two abreast, but not more than 1.5 metres apart.


The Door Zone

Drivers should check in their rear-view and side mirrors to avoid opening their car door into the path of bicycle riders. Not checking before opening a door can be dangerous, and legally the driver can be at fault.

Things Pedestrians and Riders should know


Children under 12 years of age can ride on footpaths, unless there is a ‘no bicycles’ sign. An adult rider who is supervising a rider under 12 can also ride on footpaths. Children between the age of 12 and 18 can only ride on footpaths if they are accompanying a rider under the age of 12 and are also being supervised by an adult rider. All bicycle riders may ride on bicycle paths or separated foot paths where indicated by signs or road markings.

Shared paths

Across NSW shared paths can be used by both pedestrians and bicycle riders. On shared paths, bicycle riders must keep left and give way to pedestrians. Bicycle riders are also encouraged to travel at a speed that is safe to pass pedestrians, and to allow pedestrians a metre of space on shared paths where possible. It’s  polite and courteous to let pedestrians know you’ll pass them by ringing your bell or calling “passing on your left/right”, when you are a few metres away.


Things Bike Riders Should know

Bicycle equipment

All bicycles must be fitted with a working bell, horn or similar warning device and at least one working brake. When riding at night or in hazardous weather conditions, bicycle must display a white light on the front of the bicycle and a red light and red reflector or the rear of the bicycle.


Bicycle riders are required to wear an approved helmet securely fitted and fastened. Approved bicycle helmets have stickers or labels certifying that they meet the Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 2063).

Click here to find out more about staying safe on our roads.



This article is sponsored by Transport for NSW.

Meet Pedal Advocacy Against Poverty Ride Captain “The Flying Scotsmen”

Peloton Café Events organises and leads professional events for amateurs from 1 day charity rides to 7 day international charity rides to world championships training. At the helm is Jon “Scotsman” aka Flying Scotsman who this year is set on raising money for charity in the Pedal Advocacy Against Poverty. 

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jon. 


So Jon, how did you get into bike riding?  

Always loved the bike. It is a metaphor for life, the more you put in, the more you get out, the more people you meet and healthier you feel

What type of riding do you do? 

For events like Pedal Advocacy Against Poverty 1300K 16000m of climbing leading others I need to be fit and on top of my game.  I use Training Peaks to plan my riding. I mix it up between long rides, shorter intervals and of course rest days.

What is your most memorable ride?

My favourite ride each year is the Bicycle NSW Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle. To ride with thousands of other riders across the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is both a privilege and fantastic experience.

What is your go-to weekend ride?

My local HKGG’s Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Gorgeous Gorges 4 Gorges Ride – Bobbin Head, Galston Gorge, Berowra Ferry and Climb and back through Bobbin Head with a bunch of great mates

Now, soon you are embarking on an epic bike ride fr a great cause. Would you like to tell us a little about it? 

PaaP (Pedal Advocacy Against Poverty) was born 2 years ago as a ride from the Gold Coast to Sydney to raise money for the Vulnerable Chirldrens Fund. We repeated that in 2016.  We have raised around $170,000. But we have also created an amazing riding experience. We have a pro peloton experience with ride captains, support cars, mechanics, KoM’s, rolling pace lines, massage and even your expresso ready at each rest stop.  In 2017 we have expanded the Peloton Charity Challenge to a challenging Melbourne to Sydney via the Snowy Mountains, Canberra and Southern Highlands. We have expanded the Charity platform to 2 charities and have the ambition to expand this by one new charity each year.


How did you decide on those 2 charities?

Vulnerable Children’s Fund is the foundation charity however the advocacy for a Better Environment for all Cyclists is really important. So we made the decision to support Bicycle NSW through the Bicycle NSW Environmental Trust this year.


Who will be joining you on this adventure? 

5 ride captains, 6 support volunteers and 20 riders


What are you most looking forward to?

It will be amazing ride but it is the life long friends that the many hours of suffering in the saddle and the laughs off it that will make this adventure truly memorable



For those who want to donate to the ride or riders, where can they go to pledge their support?

Go to the website  click on sponsor a rider to this page  choose a rider, any rider, donate and add a comment. If you choose Flying Scotsman, Travis Eddie or Ride Captains I would be delighted but it really does not matter who you choose as it all goes to the same charities.

Stay posted for regular updates from the road during the 8 day event on the Peloton Cafe

A WIN for cyclists!

Around 10,000 cyclist took over the streets of Sydney on Sunday, October 15. The riders came together to cycle over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, past the Opera House and through the City, in Sydney’s largest display of cycling advocacy.  From Inner Sydney out to the West, riders rediscovered the joys of cycling in the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle, supported by the NSW Government. Bike riders from Sydney, NSW, and even overseas culminated in one location for one purpose.  Spring Cycle is the only day of the year, where all bike riders can stand up and be counted, to come together as a community, to ultimately change and improve bike riding accessibility in NSW.

The 2017 Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle was one for the history books with the appearance of some of Australia’s A-list athletes.

8 time BMX and Mountain Bike World Champion, Caroline Buchanan, opened the 105km Challenge with Spring Financial Group’s Managing Director, Keith Cullen. Australian cycling hero and 12 times Tour de France rider, Robbie McEwen along with SBS cycling commentator, Mike Tomalaris, led out the 105km Challenge Ride to start the 2017 Spring Cycle.

Experiencing a ride on a penny fathering, Minister for North Shore, Felicity Wilson, happily opened the 50km Classic Ride. While inspirational speaker, writer and triathlete, Turia Pitt opened the 10km Sydney City Ride.

Everyone from the once-a-year rider to the daily commuter and even centurions came out in force to enjoy a scenic and safe ride. Thanks to the advocacy work of Bicycle NSW, the many voices of Spring Cycle participants were on show.

“It is days like the Spring Cycle that really showcase the important work we do to create a better environment for cycling. Joining us on one of our four rides – our Spring Cycle riders stood up and were counted, helping us secure a better future for bike riding”, remarked Craig Meagher, Bicycle NSW CEO.


Jane Robertson, Bicycle NSW Event Director, continued “One of our aims for Spring Cycle is to highlight the cycling infrastructure in Sydney that people just do not know about. We want to support as many people to get out on their bike and showcase cycling routes that everyone can enjoy all year round. It is wonderful to give riders the opportunity to cycle over the Harbour Bridge, through the corkscrew, Cahill Express and the Western Distributor. It is incredible to see so many happy faces from families to experienced riders as they all come together on this one day to celebrate cycling. It is an honour to be a part of it.”


Bicycle NSW new bike share partner, ofo, took on Sydney Harbour Bridge with 100 riders on their brand new bikes. “Following the successful launch of our pilot scheme in Adelaide earlier this month, ofo was extremely proud to be the exclusive bike share event sponsor of one of Australia’s favourite cycling events - Spring Cycle.  As the international market leader in bike-sharing, we want to lead the market in launching in Australia ‘the right way’, and so it was great to be part of Spring Cycle, getting to know Sydney and showing Sydney not only what ofo can do, but how we have designed our bikes and service with Sydneysiders in mind. We’re committed to working with local stakeholders to provide the best possible bike-sharing service for each city, so keep your eyes peeled for a bright yellow ofo bike near you soon.” Says Scott Walker, Head of Strategy, ofo Australia.


We would also like to thank Waterview in Bicentennial Park who kicked off the entire weekend by hosting the inaugural Bicycle NSW Fundraising Dinner on Friday, October 13.  We had over one hundred guests who were there to support and celebrate all the advocacy work Bicycle NSW does.


“We had some fantastic items up for auction including the Chris Froome’s signed yellow jersey from the Tour de France. It was a great evening to get all of our sponsors and supporting in the same room to showcase all the work Bicycle NSW does, and can do.” Commented Craig Meagher.

New Pedestrian & Cyclist Bridge Design

As part of improving connectivity and celebrating the Parramatta River, the City of Parramatta is designing a new world class pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the Parramatta River at Alfred Street, Rosehill.

We are inviting you to provide feedback and comments on the concept design by Saturday 28 October 2017. Community support for the project will greatly assist Council in advocating to potential funding partners for its construction. This project will unlock pedestrian and cycling movement in the area, link precincts and reflect the City’s vision to be Sydney’s Central City; sustainable, liveable and productive

It’s an exciting and innovative design, as the first ever diagonal arch bridge in Australia, a potential coup for Western Sydney to claim. Public feedback and support for the project will be key in securing funding for this beautiful piece of architecture, so we’re encouraging our members and friends to show their support.

Parramatta Council is conducting a series of pop-up community consultations, including at our very own Spring Cycle finish site in Sydney Olympic Park! Find out more information and RSVP on their Facebook event to keep up to date.

Pop-Up Consultations:

Friday 13th October, 9am to 2pm 2017
Pop-up @ Parramatta Town Hall / Centenary Square

Sunday 15th October, 9am to 2pm 2017
Pop-up @ Sydney Olympic Park, Spring Cycle

Saturday 21st October, 9am to 2pm 2017
Pop-up @ Corner of Alfred St and River Road West

Sunday 22nd October 7am to Midday 2017
Pop-up @ Northern Foreshore Path between Pemberton St and Morton St


A woman on a funky bicycle

Parramatta Light Rail – Stage 1

The Parramatta Light Rail EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) has been released. It can be viewed here, and will be on exhibition until Monday 23 October 2017.

There are thousands of pages within this document and not all of the proposals are going to benefit bike riders.

Bicycle NSW Advocacy Manager, Ray Rice, has made a submission on behalf on Bicycle NSW. Many voices will make a change to help make a better environment for cycling, so we’re encouraging all members to consider making a submission as well.

If you are wishing to make a change for Parramatta and greater Sydney by making a submission, Ray has made some suggestions for you below to help you with your submission.

Make your submission here.

A woman on a funky bicycle


  • Parramatta Light Rail presents a golden opportunity to complete essential Active Transport links for the future
  • This is a 50 year plan so we must do this well
  • Route is already noted as a Strategic Bicycle Corridor in Sydney’s Cycling Future (Dec 2013)
  • Will be part of Sydney’s future Principal Bicycle Network as it is an essential link in the route, connecting Parramatta with Epping and Macquarie University & Park
  • It connects major trip generators: three uni campuses, two business districts, and major residential areas
  • Links with the existing Parramatta Valley Cycleway

Features needed:

  • Build it now, for the future
  • Separated cycling and walking areas
  • Multiple/frequent access points to the Active Transport link to aid in permeability and usage
  • Must be continuous to cater for all Active Transport groups, from ages 8 to 80


  • Must be in corridor for full length. The proposed out of corridor section at Adderton Rd (Telopea) should instead remain inside the corridor. This serious lack of continuity impinges on the total amenity of the project. It will be a barrier for the younger and older.
  • Walking and cycling areas should be separated over the full length
  • At Kissing Point Rd, access to the Active Transport link should be from both sides of the road
  • The bridge over the Parramatta River at Camellia should be minimum of 4m wide. A width of 2.5m is manifestly inadequate, for example we have seen width issues on both the ANZAC Bridge and Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Bicycle riding must be maintained in all Parramatta CBD streets, including those with Light Rail
  • A 30 km/h speed limit should apply to Parramatta CBD core
  • Church St should have a pair of dedicated uni-directional bicycle paths
  • The unused rail corridor from Camelia Station to Clyde Station should be retained as an Active Transport Link. This will then link in the future to a Duck River Active Transport Link. This would provide an Active Transport link all the way to Sefton. A major Active Transport corridor!

Complete your submission here

Spring Cycle – The Biggest Advocacy Day of Them All!

The 34th annual Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle is right around the corner. With a new, fourth ride option, and plenty of people excited to Ride the Bridge, it’s a great opportunity to step back and see the bigger picture.

The event has grown from a small ride event 33 years ago, to what now sees around 10,000 people of all ages and experiences ride together on one massive display of bicycle advocacy. As the only cycling event that closes lanes of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and dedicates that space to bike riders, being involved as a rider or a volunteer is akin to standing up and being counted as one of the 1.25 million bike riders across NSW who we represent when we speak to the NSW Government for better biking outcomes.

By participating in Spring Cycle you’ll be part of our critical mass, demonstrating that the vital work we do is paramount to making bike riding accepted and normal on our roads. Adding your two (or three) wheels to our event means you will be seen by our side by the likes of The Hon Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, and The Hon Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, as we work with them to ensure the best outcomes from their portfolios for all vulnerable road users. With you by our side, we can roll ahead to create a better environment for cycling for us all.

It’s not too late to gear up and ride or volunteer in the Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle on Sunday 15 October 2017. Register today to beat the 1 October price rise, and be sure to receive your rider pack in the mail. If you’re not a Bicycle NSW member yet, why not add your membership to your registration and get your 20% members discount of your ride too! Members can log in to the Members Benefits page to receive their discount code. 

Ride the Bridge. Ride Sydney. Ride with us and help make a difference this Spring Cycle!


Driver pleads guilty to Shellharbour cycling death

Our southern Bicycle User Groups alerted us last October to a tragedy on the Illawarra roads however it has taken some time for the legal system to bring the driver in question to trial. With great relief, last Wednesday the driver faced court and pleaded guilty to “a charge of negligent driving occasioning death”. 

Our thoughts are with the Angus family as the legal system does it’s work and this case comes to it’s close on 16 November with sentencing. We will continue to work with our southern BUGs and members to follow this case through to it’s conclusion. 

We note a common theme that drivers are experiencing difficulty seeing riders when driving facing into sunlight. We urge any person operating any vehicle at dawn and dusk to take extra care on the roads, and more precaution if vision is obscured due to intense sunlight. It’s the responsibility of every road user that they take measures to ensure they do not cause harm to others, especially road users more vulnerable than themselves.

Parliamentary Inquiry Report

Back in February this year, Bicycle NSW submitted to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Driver Education, Training and Road Safety, and we were one of three cycling advocacy bodies, alongside Australian Cycle Alliance and AGF, who presented evidence directly to the inquiry.

The report from the inquiry is now available to read.

It’s pleasing to see that one of their Recommendations (number 22, page xviii) is that Transport for NSW should “conduct future driver education campaigns with an emphasis on the development and demonstration of safe driving attitudes, which address the following topics:

– Driver and other road user distraction, with particular emphasis on the dangers for vulnerable road users,
– Road sharing and pedestrian, motorcycle, bicycle and heavy vehicle awareness,
– New and poorly understood road rules such as the minimum passing distance rule with bicycles”

We are willing to assist Transport for NSW in these campaigns to ensure the riding public are both informed and assured that wider road users are also educated.

It’s also pleasing to note that they agreed with our recommendation that a more professional approach is needed in Learner driver education.

The Government is required to respond to the Committee’s recommendations within six months of the report being tabled. We will endeavour to bring you more on this promising outcome as plans progress.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Update

Bicycle NSW welcomes the news that the Sydney Harbour Bridge design consultation will soon be open for public feedback. Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, The Hon. Melinda Pavey announced over the weekend that the consultation will open for public feedback in November.

“The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an international icon and appreciated by millions of people each year. It is also a vital commuter link for Sydneysiders including cyclists enjoying the view of the harbour or commuting to and from work,” Mrs Pavey said.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway upgrade has been a key advocacy project we have worked on from the very beginning where we have advocated for improvements to both the North  and the South ramp access points and are delighted to continue working with the NSW Government now to ensure sufficient community consultation and feedback is received on the designs so that swift action can be taken to deliver the much needed upgrades to our national icon.

“We look forward to working with Minister Pavey and her team to ensure the best piece of infrastructure for Sydney is delivered, bring our iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge to everyone who rides a bike or wants to explore our cities growing network of cycleways.” commented Craig Meagher, Bicycle NSW CEO.

Completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway forms a pivotal piece in our goal to complete an interconnected Sydney wide bicycle network to support and encourage more travel by bike and to relieve our congested streets. We announced, in partnership with the former Minister, the confirmation of funding for the multimillion dollar project in December 2016 and committed to supporting the consultation efforts to ensure best practice and design are achieved.


We have since been regularly attending the City of Sydney and RMS co-run workshops on the South Ramp Access with the goal to improve the connectivity between the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway and Kent St, as well as the North Ramp workshops run by RMS, with the goal of replacing the steps with a complete cycleway connecting to Northern Sydney existing and proposed cycleways.


Our advocacy work has seen our influence on the preferred design options to ensure the best outcomes for riders, as well as for the local community. We look forward to advising our members and friends when consultation is open and how bike riders can have their say on this exciting project.


You can read the full Press Release from The Hon Melinda Pavey, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight here.

Bike Riding in NSW – Decline of Bike Sales

Announced this morning by the Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation (ACPF), bicycle sales are at decade low. Simultaneously, Australian children are at a peak of inactivity. Are Australian children in an inactivity crisis? The ACPF has called it so.  Bike riding in NSW is also in a crisis being the lowest in the country. By encouraging children to ride more we can help tackle this increasing lack of physical exercise in children through encouraging bike riding.

Within the City of Sydney Council 20% of residents ride their bicycle regularly compared to the 10% in Greater Sydney. Lord Mayor Clover Moore, stated that it was the long term project of building safe and connected bike paths that created this increase.  Even between 2016 and 2017, there has been a 6% increase in bike riders within the Inner Sydney area.  Three quarters of these riders had been cycling consistently and more than one fifth were returning to riding after a break.

Interestingly, residents in greater Sydney has access to one or more bicycles but rode twice as little as City of Sydney residents. 

Two women riding bicycles

At Bourke Street Public Street in Surry Hills (located in the City of Sydney) approximately 80% of the children walk, ride or scoot to school.  Principal, Peter Johnston, said “The kids enjoy it because they can ride along the bike lane to the school gate...Living in the inner city, it’s the perfect way for families to get daily exercise. It’s also great for the kids’ minds because they’re observing all that’s going on in their surroundings. It makes them an active part of the community. We encourage riding, walking and scootering as transport because they are such great fitness activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.”

Even amongst children aged 10 to 17 living in the City area, 40% are riding bikes, once again double that of the greater Sydney area.


New research highlights that 71% of children and 92% of young people are not meeting the recommended guidelines for physical activity in Australia.  This is a grave concern to us especially when bike riding in a viable option for many as an active form of transport.

According to the CEO National of the Heart Foundation, Adjunct Professor John Kelly, a survey of parents found that only 7% said their children did the recommended one hour per day of exercise, which means an estimated 600,000 children are inactive.

“It is vital we encourage daily physical activity for all our children and the daily trip to school is one of the best value investments we can make for their future health,” Professor Kelly said.

Comparatively, forty years ago 75% of children walked or rode their bikes to school and 25% were driven.  Times have changed and now more than 70% of primary aged are driven to and from school daily.


Why not even encourage your children to be active by riding in events?  Spring Financial Group Spring Cycle is the largest bike riding event in NSW and the only one where you can ride across the Sydney Harbour Bridge car free. Children also ride for free. It would be a great ride to work towards and lead to children being more active on weekends.

With national children’s bike sales at its lowest since 2003-2004, is it easier to link this information.  Children are simply not riding or walking to school as much. 


City of Sydney has been actively encouraging children to walk or ride to school.  This includes, conducting Bicycle Education for a 1000 students last year.  Roads and Maritime Services have built a number of Community and Road Education Scheme (CARES) Facilities in order to teach the local communities about road safety for all users.  You can find these centres in Wyong, Prospect and Bass Hill.


The Australian Cycling Promotion Foundation is concerned that it has become too hard for children to be active as part of their daily trips to school and other local destinations.

“The ACPF believes that the declining sales (of children's bikes) are a simple indicator that we need to do more to make walking and cycling a real option every day for our children,” ACPF spokesperson Stephen Hodge said.

They continued to call on governments and local councils to focus on creating safer routes for children to get to school. It would be the first step to building a healthier and more engaged generation.

“A coordinated approach to active travel to and from school will give 3.7million children in schools access to healthy physical activity every day and embed good health promoting behaviours from an early age,” Rosemary Calder, Director, Australian Health Policy Collaboration stated.


Bicycle NSW encourages this change. Bike riding is an active form of transport that will help curb inactivity amongst children.  Simply riding to school, children can gain all or most of their recommended physical activity. Together, we can tackle this situation.