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A Win For Sydney – Ramp to Replace Bridge Steps

shbstepsimagekbellBicycle NSW has been advocating for a solution to the stairs at the North end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. After a number of years and significant input and review of potential routes and solutions, Bicycle NSW welcomes the NSW State Government’s announcement today of funding for the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleways. The Bridge is an international icon and is appreciated by millions of people every year, whether local, interstate or international visitor, by vehicle, foot or bicycle.

The facelift will see improvements to the Southern connection to the Kent Street cycle way, and most importantly, a cycleway to replace the existing steps at the north end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This new ramp will link to the future Naremburn cycle route and connect through to the CBD. Bicycle NSW has been meeting with the State Government and attending workshops to identify possible routes, solutions and innovations to deliver this key piece of infrastructure while maintaining the integrity, importance and the heritage values of the area. The new infrastructure will play a major role in connecting Sydney’s bicycle network of routes, cycleways and shared paths and will provide greater accessibility to the vital commuter link for Sydneysiders wishing to travel between the north and the CBD.

“It’s a testament to our longstanding role as the peak advocacy body for all bicycle riders in NSW, that Bicycle NSW has managed to work with RMS, Transport for NSW and the NSW State Government through the plans and issues presented in the proposed Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleways, to find a solution that maintains the heritage and importance of the Bridge, while allowing more people the opportunity to experience our iconic landmark on two wheels. We have no doubt that this commitment to and investment in bicycle infrastructure will see an increase in people riding bikes for pleasure, recreation and commuting” said Bicycle NSW President, Jon Leighton.

Bicycle NSW will continue to work closely with the Government to advocate for the best possible infrastructure designs and route choices on this integral planning piece of work. With commencement slated for 2017 and anticipated completion dates in 2020, Bicycle NSW is delighted with the funding commitment to support future growth in cycling participation across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Community consultation and input will be sought to provide feedback on the proposal coming in mid 2017. Bicycle NSW will ensure it’s Bicycle User Groups and members are kept well informed of their opportunity to add their voice to the consultation process.

Watch the Roads and Maritime Services Sydney Harbour Bridge Projects Overview Video

View our live video stream of the announcement on our Bicycle NSW Facebook page and read our media release here.

We invite all cyclists to join us in celebrating this next step in creating a better environment for cycling. By joining Bicycle NSW today, you will be helping us continue this great work.

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Celebrate Cycling with Bicycle NSW

Cycling collageBicycle NSW is still celebrating the announcements of the past two weeks!

Friday 1 December 2016: Our advocacy on behalf of both our members and all bike riders in NSW, has successfully demonstrated to the NSW State Government that the proposed Mandatory ID laws slated to come in to effect on 1 March 2017 were not necessary in today’s cycling environment. Our data from the NSW Bike Riders survey helped to prove that a majority of bike riders already carry identification when riding a bike. We are proud that we have a valued place at the policy table and can discuss such important issues directly with the Government and find the best outcome for the needs of the greater NSW community.

Wednesday 7 December 2016: After years of working with the government, participating in scoping workshops and advocating for a commitment to cycling infrastructure, Bicycle NSW was proud to endorse the NSW State Government announcement of funding for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleways to replace the steps  at the north end and connect the south end directly to the existing cycleways network. This commitment and funding for vital commuter infrastructure will make accessing more of the city via the Bridge more accessible to all bike riders.

To celebrate this achievement, and to help continue the important work we do, we invite all bicycle riders from across NSW to join Bicycle NSW today and help contribute to further great advocacy goals, campaigns and achievements.

Bicycle NSW membership offers great benefits to its members:

  • The best bike riders insurance available in NSW for recreational bike riding – no matter where you live, a Bicycle NSW membership can cover you
  • Comprehensive coverage worldwide, 24 hours a day – ride anywhere in the world and know we’ve got your back
  • Free legal advice and discounted legal services from Veritas Law – ask them for help on bike matters or any other legal service, from property law to wills and estate law.
  • Member benefits and discounts including discounted entry to our iconic event Spring Cycle, the only bike riding event across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and Gear Up Girl, the soon to be biggest women’s only community bike ride
  • Representation at the policy table when we advocate for a better environment for cycling

Use the code celebratecycling when you join to receive a celebratory discount off your membership fee!

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A Win for Cyclists – Bicycle NSW successfully advocates for changes to proposed ID laws

green-bikesThe NSW State Government has said that it will no longer pursue the mandatory ID laws for bike riders that were scheduled to come into force on 1 March 2017.

Bicycle NSW has always maintained that carrying ID is not a requirement to riding a bicycle and have now been successful in demonstrating that to the Government on behalf of all bike riders.

It’s because of our role as the peak advocacy body for all bike riders in NSW and the on going discussions we have had with the Minister and his Office over the year, that we were able to deliver effective advocacy on this high profile cycling issue and provide an alternative solution to mandatory bike rider ID.

Our 2016 NSW Bike Riders Survey garnered thousands of responses across NSW. During this time, we met regularly with the Minister and the Government to discuss the issue, share the trending results and investigate the need for such a legislation.

In fact, more than 93% of bike riders surveyed currently carry some form of identification when riding.

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Bicycle NSW will continue to encourage all bike riders to carry some form of ID when riding such as a Bicycle NSW digital membership card. From 1 March 2017 all Bicycle NSW Members will be able to download an alternative ID to a Drivers License with a Bicycle NSW Emergency Membership Card.

“I am proud of the strong, working relationship Bicycle NSW developed with the NSW State Government, RMS and Transport for NSW in order to discuss and resolve this issue.” CEO of Bicycle NSW Craig Meagher said.

Bicycle NSW is creating a Better Environment for Cycling for all Bicycle Riders in NSW and this change in Government policy highlights how we truly represent our membership base.

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Initial bike riders survey results show trends to work on

Bicycle NSW surveyed it’s members and bike riders from across NSW in October and November 2016. The initial results identify some interesting trends which will help guide Bicycle NSW’s work towards it’s goal of Creating a Better Environment for Cycling.

Gender divide

gender-resultsThe first and most alarming result is the enormous disparity between genders responding to the survey which suggests there are many more men riding in NSW than women. With only 26% of respondents identifying as female, Bicycle NSW can see that it’s women’s only community bicycle ride, Gear Up Girl,  is a more important event than ever before.

Registrations open next week and we will be working to encourage these 26% of riders to introduce a girlfriend to the joys of riding through our fun, low pressure, recreational ride. We would love to see the 73% of male riders both support the event through volunteering their time to help get more women riding, but also to encourage their loved ones to give riding a go in this safe, predominantly off-road and traffic free bike ride. Kids of any gender ride for free, so it’s time to make a family day of it.

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The survey was open to both members and bike riders from across the state, and based on the survey results it would seem that the Sydney catchment area is still the dominant population of bike riders. We have a network of affiliated Bicycle User Groups across the state and we will be consulting with them on how better to work with them and begin shifting these results and encouraging more people outside of the Sydney area to try bike riding for fun, recreation, fitness or even commuting.

Our BUGs already run successful rides for all levels of riders on almost every day of the year, a listing of which can be found on our Push On Rides Calendar. Some already run or are planning to run larger scale events like the Tour de Coffs, we will continue to work with our BUGs to increase participation in cycling across NSW.

Reasons for Riding

reasons-for-riding-resultsSome of the most interesting results lay with reasons for riding. The most significant reason for respondents to ride a bike in NSW is for exercise or fitness purposes (86%) or fun and recreation (81%). Both of these reasons for riding are the exactly why we want to encourage more people to try riding a bike. We were happy to see a significant portion choose to commute to work by bike (52%) or for active transport purposes instead of using a car or public transport (42%). Training also attracts nearly 1/3 of cyclists (31%) and is included in the personal accident and public liability insurances that Bicycle NSW offers its members, the best insurance available in NSW for recreational bike riding.

Worrying trend in Transport Choices

transport-choices-resultsMost concerning is the large number of respondents who are bike riders who drive a car on a daily basis. The initial results indicate more than 20% drive daily but less than 20% of cyclists ride a bike daily. It’s heartening that the 2-4 times a week segment does see a significant portion, nearly half, riding bikes, but still a high proportion of car drivers as well. We will continue to analyse the qualitative data and individual responses on what would make riding better and more accessible for respondents and begin to formulate ways forward in tackling this driving trend to help reduce congestion on our streets.

 

Our initial survey results are available to download for interested bike riders, members and stakeholders. Download your copy now: Bicycle NSW-bike-riders-survey-results-2016

Bicycle NSW has 40 years of experience advocating in NSW for bike riders and their rights. Members are what makes our work possible and are the key stakeholders we aim to support, whether it’s through their local BUG, through State and local Council policy advocacy, or by increasing awareness of cycling as an easy and safe way to get around under your own steam. Join today.

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Take action – make your local area a better environment for bike riding

The City of Parramatta is working to build a new Bike plan for their local area. They are asking the community to give them feedback to feed directly into their plan and information about any potential new / improved cycle routes.  If you want this to happen - let them know!

The survey provides an opportunity for all residents, business owners, workers and visitors to influence Parramatta’s future transport system to support a healthy, resilient, vibrant and sustainable city.

This survey focuses on cycling, and they are keen to hear from all of the community, especially if you are interested but do not currently ride for any reason.

If you are a local businesses, they would love to hear how cycling can assist you, for both your staff and for your business.

There are three parts to this process, the Survey, a Community Workshop and an Online Mapping Tool (see links below), which will be available for four weeks, between 14th November and 11th of December.

There will be a community workshop in Parramatta, at Town Hall, 6-8pm, on the 7th December - light refreshments will be provided and all participants will receive a $50 Coles/Myer gift card as a thank you for your time - please see here for details and to register.

There is also an online mapping platform, where you can map bike related issues in specific locations in Parramatta.

Please feel free to share this survey with your family, friends and colleagues.

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The MS Gong Ride

On Sunday 16 October, our Membership Manager Katie welcomed thousands of excited Spring Cycle riders to the 12km Sydney City Ride finish site at Pyrmont and the first ever exclusive members lounge. After a day filled with elated riders from all walks of life, young, old, new to riding, old hands, happy families, teams, workmates, rusty riders and everyone in between. Seeing photos online of her friend completing the 50km Spring Cycle, Katie thought she should give the MS Gong Ride a go. Here’s an account of her day riding south.


gong2“Before I began working for Bicycle NSW, my friend Lisa and I rode the 20km Gear Up Girl this year for the first time. We had a fun day out and it was the first ‘long’ ride either of us had done in a long time. Little did I know that Lisa had caught the riding bug and begun working towards riding the 50km Spring Cycle. She was so excited to have completed it, that when I saw she was doing the 58km Gong Ride, I thought I had better get on my bike and go along with her.

We wore our Gear Up Girl Jerseys and met the Sydney Cycling Sisters at the start site, they are particular heroes of mine. We had a lovely day, taking it at a steady pace and using it as an opportunity to catch up. That was until we hit the National Park and I realised just how many hills were coming our way. Lisa was worried she wouldn’t be able to take the hills but I kept telling her she could just do it at her pace. I ride an electric bike because it makes riding far more pleasurable and accessible for me, but Lisa has always ridden a regular hybrid. So we soon came to a rhythm where I would ride to the crest, and wait to cheer Lisa on to the top. I was the one who lined up to get coffee at the rest stop while Lisa pedalled her way up the long slow ascent.

She didn’t want to resort to walking and pushing her bike up any hills, and we were so elated when we got to the Bald Hill Lookout at Stanwell Tops, that the long hard hills were done. Or so we thought. Next were a series of short but steep hills, punishing for us who were not regular distance or hill riders. Even on an electric bike, it’s a lot of work to get to the top. But at the top of every hill, I stopped and waited for Lisa. I saw lots of Spring Cycle jerseys ride by, and we gave cheery hellos to all the Gear Up Girls we met along the way on the road or at rest stops. People began to recognise me and Lisa, they’d let me know she wasn’t far from the top, or that she’d stopped to catch her breath.

Other riders who knew I was riding an electric merely commented, “at least you’re participating” and that is exactly the point. Getting more people out on two wheels whether under their own steam or with electric assist is the goal of events like Gear Up Girl, Spring Cycle and the Gong Ride.

gong1To finally arrive at the finish line was a thrill. We rode across together and celebrated an enormous achievement for both of us, the longest distance either of us had ever ridden. Lisa had managed to ride up every single hill, the very concern she had about the ride. Sure, she took her time and stopped occasionally to catch her breath, but she rode every single kilometre of the 58km ride.

I was honoured to discover that Lisa was spurred on by my presence. She knew I was at the top of every hill, waiting for her, supporting her and cheering her on, and that was all the inspiration it took to get her pedalling up each and every hill, no matter how imposing it looked. Having friends to ride with is the key for both of us, and now we’ll be recruiting more friends to ride with us!

Lisa is looking forward to getting the girls together and helping them take on Gear Up Girl 2017, where they might also catch the riding bug and get out on two wheels more often.

Watch out cycleways, shared paths, roads and cycle lanes, the girls are coming!”

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Get Appy!

No matter where you are in NSW or Australia, you can make a difference while out on your bike!

Check out these two apps that will let your own experiences shape riding for everyone else.

Want the most up to date cycling maps?

Have you ever mapped out your ride and headed out for a lovely day on the bike? Only to find that the route you are following has changed?

The team at TripGo can help you.  Their app is one of the leading route planning apps in the market.

In order to keep their maps up to date,  TripGo are seeking help from NSW’s bike rides. They source their maps from OpenStreetMap. It is like a Wikipedia for maps!

If you find a change to a cycling route when you are out riding, you can login to OpenStreetMap and let them know.

This update will be used by TripGo to update their app.

To hear about how TripGo uses OpenStreetMap and their relationship with Transport for NSW, click here.

So next time you are out on the bike, you will have all the information to get you where you are going.

Together we can build better tools for the entire bike riding community!

Snap Send and Solve nasty hazards!

We’ve all seen nasty potholes, fallen branches and other hazards on paths and roads that can be very dangerous to bike riders.

If you see something (and it is safe for you to stop)  why not take a picture and report it?

Snap Send Solve is already Australia’s most used mobile incident reporting app and continues to empower constituents by giving them a solution to report on their terms – no queues, no forms and no need to know in advance who to contact.

The app gives you access to over 600 Australian & New Zealand Authorities.

To view more information about this service, click here.

 

 

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Tell the Greater Sydney Commission what Bike Riders want for Sydney

Have your say

The Greater Sydney Commission was established in January 2016 to lead metropolitan planning for Greater Sydney.

Bicycle NSW are a part of the Social Panel of the Greater Sydney Commission. We have strongly advocated for safe and connected cycleways to help improve health and transport outcomes to be included in their plans. Your opportunity to give feedback directly is coming up this month!

Membership with us gives you a voice with the commission. Not a member yet or has your membership lapsed? Join us today and we can add your voice to ours.

Since their establishment, they have been talking with and listening to people with a vast range of expertise and interests. They have connected with more than 7,500 individuals and groups representing local councils, state government agencies, peak bodies, community interests and the general public.

The GSC will soon release these plans as drafts for discussion and feedback, and they will be on an extended public exhibition until the end of March 2017.

Why not pop in and tell them what role you would like to see bike riding take in their plans?

If you have any questions about the sessions, please contact us on 1800 617 681 or engagement@gsc.nsw.gov.au.

Community drop in sessions in each district across Greater Sydney

The community drop in sessions are an opportunity for you to find out more about the draft District Plans, and ask questions and discuss feedback with members of the district planning team. All members of the community are welcome to drop in any time during the sessions listed below.

Saturday
26 November
10am – 1pm
Central District Redfern Town Hall

73 Pitt Street, Redfern

Monday

28 November

6pm – 9pm

South District Club Central

2 Crofts Avenue, Hurstville

Tuesday
29 November
6pm – 9pm
West Central District Parramatta RSL, Auditorium

Cnr Macquarie and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta

Wednesday
30 November
6pm – 9pm
South West District Liverpool Catholic Club

424-458 Hoxton Park Road, Liverpool West

Thursday
1 December
6pm – 9pm
West District Penrith City Council Library Theatrette

601 High Street, Penrith

Saturday
3 December
10am – 1pm
North District Dougherty Centre
7 Victor Street, Chatswood

This is just the beginning and there will be more opportunities in February and March 2017, which will be publicised.

 

 

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Have Your Say – Bicycle NSW Bike Riders Survey 2016

Some media outlets would have you believe that there's only one kind of person cycling in Australia, a Lycra clad road warrior with no regard for other road users. However, we know the bike riding community is far more diverse, considerate and inclusive than that and we intend to prove it.

Help us paint an accurate picture of bike riders across NSW, so that when we speak to your local representatives, we can more accurately demonstrate who rides a bike and why we need to work together to create a better environment for cycling.

Both members and non-members are welcome to complete the survey, there is a special section just for Bicycle NSW members to complete as well! Every bike riding member of a household or family are encouraged to stand up and be counted in the 2016 Bike Riders Survey. 

Your responses will help inform Bicycle NSW as we speak to the NSW Government about the priority projects for cycling across NSW.

The 2016 Bike Riders Survey has now closed. You can view the initial results here

To sweeten the deal, by adding your voice to ours and completing our Bike Riders Survey, you will be in the running to win some great prizes including:

$50 Gift Voucher from Bikebug to spend in their online store
$100 Gift Voucher from SCODY to spend in their online store
A MonkeySee gift pack full of their latest line of cycling accessories including gloves, tote, harness, waist bag and more.
Receive the last two editions of Treadlie Magazine and read up on the latest in local and international bike culture. More than just bikes, Treadlie magazine looks at the lifestyle and culture of all bike riders, whether it's distance riding, touring, or just recreational weekend rolling, there's something for every rider.
  • Signed copy of Cadel Evans' new autobiography, The Art of Cycling
  • Tickets to meet Cadel Evans at his book launch at Dymocks in Sydney on 17 November
  • We believe that a Bicycle NSW membership offers great value to our members across the state and we're keen to prove it. For non-members completing the survey, you will go in the draw to win a free trial membership to Bicycle NSW so that you can experience the work we are doing across the state.
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    Executive Announcement

    craig photoBicycle NSW is delighted to announce that Craig Meagher has been appointed as the new CEO, effective immediately.

    After representing Bicycle NSW in the role of CEO since February 2015, Ray Rice has decided to step back from fulltime employment, effective Friday 12 August. He will remain an advocate and member of Bicycle NSW, and continue to assist the organisation to ‘Create a Better Environment for Cycling’.

    Bicycle NSW would like to thank Ray for providing the organisation with a strong voice with Government.

    The Bicycle NSW Board commented that “whilst it will be sad to see Ray stepping down from a full time role with the organisation, we are excited to have Craig join Bicycle NSW as we celebrate 40 years of representing and supporting all bike riders across NSW. Craig’s experience across Membership, Events and Sponsorship will ensure the organisation continues to grow and best represents our members as we campaign for a better and safer environment for cycling.”

    New CEO of Bicycle NSW, Craig Meagher says, “I’m excited about the challenge and opportunity to represent this organisation and its members. With 1.2 million people on a bike at least once a week in NSW, becoming a member and having a voice is now more important than ever.”

    “We also have a fantastic annual community event called the Spring Cycle that gives everyone the unique chance to ride our famous Sydney Harbour Bridge car free. I want to build this iconic community event and ensure it is the pinnacle event for all cyclists each year. I encourage everyone with a bike at all levels to come and join us on Sunday 16 October as we all pedal together.”

    To become a member or to join us at the Spring Cycle, visit bicyclensw.org.au.