AusDay4 (1)

Do Australia Day By Bike!

Australia Day is right around the corner and there’s no better way to enjoy the public holiday than by getting out and about on your bike! We’ve compiled some of the best ways to get involved and celebrate the best things you can do on a bike in NSW!

If you want to take in some history…

A group of riders
Parramatta Heritage Rides (a part of our CAMWest BUG) are running 3x 90-minute bicycle tours for free on Australia Day, with each showcasing different elements of Parramatta’s diverse history. The first one goes at 11am with a specific focus on the farmlands of the first settlers. The second ride will depart at 1pm, touring sites that hold a significance to the local indigenous communities. The final ride will begin at 3pm and will take riders all around Parramatta’s most well known historical sites. Places are limited so book now to make sure you get in!
Bike Liverpool, one of our great Bicycle User Groups, is running an awesome Australia Day Heritage Ride on the 26th. They’ll be going from Liverpool Train Station at 9am on an easy ride past Brickmaker’s Creek, the Crossroads Pub and Cowpastures and promise interesting and informative commentary about the history of the area. If you’re interested, contact Matt on 0424093940.

If you don’t know where to go…

Man on a small bike in funny costume
What prevents a lot of people from riding is just not being sure of where they can ride! Local councils offer up maps of cycleways and bike-friendly areas in your neighbourhood, making it even easier to plan out your Australia Day ride.
Check out your local Council’s Australia Day activities and see whether they have Bike Parking available for you and your bike crew!
Some of our favourite spots to ride around the Sydney area that you should be checking out this Australia Day include:

  • Cooks River Cycleway – easily one of the most popular shared paths in Sydney, this 23km stretch is fantastic for family trips around the inner South West. Start from Gough Whitlam Park in Earlwood and cycle along to river through Beaman Park, Canterbury Park and up to Punchbowl Rd.
  • The Spit to Manly Beach – take in some stunning waterfront vistas on this 19km ride that will challenge you with a climb up Battle Boulevard, through Balgowlah and ending with a fresh dip at Queenscliff Beach. Perfect!
  • Centennial Parklands – perhaps the most cycle-friendly spot in NSW with over 750,000 cyclists visiting every year, there’s no better location to take the family with shared cycleways for beginners and more experienced riders and cycle-hire running 7 days a week.

If you want to be social…

A group of bike riders enjoy Australia Day
All throughout the state are Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) made up of people keen to socialise and go for a good ride.
Some inter-state social rides for Australia Day weekend include Shoalhaven BUG’s Saturday Morning Meander for those who want a easier ride, Central Coast BUG’s Terrigal – Norah Head Return ride for those who want to push themselves a bit harder and the Coffs BUG’s Sunday morning ride from Coramba to Nana Glen.
Our PushOn Calendar has a comprehensive list of all the rides coming up around the Australia Day weekend and into the future, so head there to find and contact a group of like-minded riders in your area.

If you want to keep it chill…

A bicycle near the beach
If you’ve already sorted what your Australia Day plans are, that’s fantastic! Maybe you’re heading to the beach, or to the park for a BBQ, or to a mate’s to listen to the Hottest 100. Why not jump on your bike to get there? The perfect way to start off a very chill day is to take a ride and appreciate all the natural beauty of Australia in the summertime.

If you don’t own a bike…

..why should that stop you? Bike rental places are set up everywhere that offer cheap rates for people to take out a bike. Here is a list of the great bike rentals spots around the city of Sydney.
Check out our friends in Newcastle, at newly launched bike share scheme Bykko who offer awesome bike hire deals from $1.40 per hour for a 24 hour hire. All you need is a credit card to take a bike out for a lovely Australia Day with friends or family. Self-serve stations are located in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley and Sydney.

 

Make your summer a BikeSummer!

Don’t forget to snap a few pics of you and your friends or family out riding, share them on Facebook or Instagram, hashtag #BikeSummer and tag us @BicycleNSW to show off how great your Australia Day ride is!

image02

Bicycle Lanes Cycleway, Shared Paths & Bicycle Routes: Navigating the Differences

Last week a number of riders were fined for “Not using Bicycle Lane” at the corner of Liverpool and Pitt Streets in Sydney. While there is a cycleway it is NOT a designated Bicycle Lane according to Rule 153 of the NSW Road Rules.

Here is the intersection below:

A CBD intersection

To be precise, the actual definition of a bicycle lane according to NSW Road Rules, Rule 153 is defined as “a marked lane, or the part of a marked lane:
beginning at a bicycle lane sign applying to the lane, and
ending at the nearest of the following:

(i) an end bicycle lane sign applying to the lane,
(ii) an intersection (unless the lane is at the unbroken side of the continuing road at a T-intersection or continued across the intersection by broken lines),
(iii) if the road ends at a dead end-the end of the road.

This is the important signage where you must obey if you are cycling on the roads:

As the NSW Road Rules, Rule 247 (Riding in a bicycle lane on a road) states, “the rider of a bicycle riding on a length of road with a bicycle lane designed for bicycles travelling in the same direction as the rider must ride in the bicycle lane unless it is impracticable to do so.” In all situations, all bicycle riders MUST use the bicycle lanes provided if they see the signage and are travelling on roads, whenever practical.

With that being said, there is a slight difference to that of a separate cycleway.

Although the term “cycleway” is a term that is not part of the regulations, the definition of a separated cycleway in Sydney’s CBD is referred to sections of roads/paths where cyclists and pedestrians are allocated separate areas of use. They are also considered as ‘bicycle paths’. The only exception to this is Rule 51, which prohibits cyclists crossing the bridge on roads, but this only applies to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The other type of “cycleway” is a “shared path”. According to Rule 242, these shared paths are separate areas where space is shared between cyclists and pedestrians with the separation, which is found on the bicycle path.

Cycleway stencils on share pathShared path images from a Sydney Cyclist forum post.

As shown in the picture above, the symbols do not show or designate either a bicycle lane or bicycle path and this is considered as a “bicycle route”. As part of the bicycle NSW guidelines, a bicycle route is defined as:
“Bicycle route – any marked route which forms part of a bicycle network. The route may utilise different types of bicycle facilities and may be on-road (bicycle lanes and bicycle shoulder lanes), or off-road (bicycle paths, separated paths and shared paths) in the road related area paralleling roads or, through parks and reserves.”
Basically, a bicycle route is simply a recommended route for cyclists to follow but it includes the use of regular roads. “When the bicycle symbol is painted on the road, be it in the centre of the lane or the shoulder, and neither a bicycle lane or bicycle path regulatory sign is present, the road is for all intents and purposes no different to any other road a cyclist may choose to ride on” says Rob Berry, General Manager of BikeWise.

As seen at the start of the intersection of Liverpool St, there is clearly no signage of a “bicycle lane” so this is considered to be as a “cycleway.”

CBD intersection

 

 

Bicycle NSW has been contacted by a number of individuals affected by this and have made a request to NSW Police that:

  1. All “Not ride in a Bicycle Lane” offences issued on 19 January, 2017 be withdrawn as soon as possible.
  2. All officers be made aware of the difference between a cycleway and a legally designated Bicycle Lane.

A huge benefit of being a Bicycle NSW member is that we provide you with free legal consultation with Veritas Law Firm when it comes to these sorts of issues. Veritas Law Firm are highly experienced and will help any cyclists that are in need of legal advice regardless of their financial situation.

A great article written by Michael O’Reilly explains the reasons bike riders sometimes avoid their lanes.

 

City Rider at dusk

You can make BikeSummer a Reality!

City Rider at dusk

Recent data shows that bike riding participation in the Sydney CBD has dropped to 2014 levels, a development Bicycle NSW is concerned is indicative of trends NSW wide. So we’re calling on all people who are capable of riding a bike, to join us and make this summer a BikeSummer!


But what is a BikeSummer?

A separated cycleway in Sydney

Trends

In any area of interest, there are trends that build until they are the hot topic, the trend everyone is talking about, reading about, doing or wearing. Remember when Kale was THE superfood that every blogger and TV host was talking about? Or the emergence of the hipster trend and the surge in men growing a beard? Every trend has it’s ‘summer’ when everyone is doing it, talking about it, and it becomes a normal part of society – everyone knows about it or does it.

Drop in participation

The Cycling Strategy Manager at the City of Sydney made a presentation in late 2014, showing the trends in bike riding participation. Every time a new cycleway in the LGA opened, riding participation experienced a significant increase and then stabilised through until the next cycleway opened, making bike riding accessible and appealing to more people. With participation steadily increasing, she supposed that a Bike Summer was on it’s way. However, since then, for the first time in five years, Sydney has experienced a decrease in cycling participation.

Causes of the decrease

The drop has been blamed on increased fines for cycling offences, the increase in Police activity targeting bike riders, the removal of key dedicated cycleways and the slowed delivery of an integrated citywide bicycle network of cycleways and routes. If the largest city in Australia can’t maintain steady growth in bike riding participation and infrastructure installation, what hope does the rest of the State or Country have in making cycling a priority?

Survey results

The Bicycle NSW 2016 Bike Riders Survey showed that more than 80% of people ride a bike for fun or exercise. More than half used a bike as part or all of their transport to their workplace, and just under half used a bike as a utility or active transport solution to run errands and travel to locations other than work. More than 75% of Bicycle NSW members reside within the Sydney catchment area.

So we’ve decided to take matter in to our own hands and make this summer, BikeSummer!

Why is BikeSummer important?

Cyclists and Look both ways intersectionBecause the more people we can demonstrate are riding bikes, the more positive attention we can have focused on infrastructure and the more influence we can have over how our towns, cities and State are developed to encourage more people to choose a bike for transport. We have seen an alarming number of reports recently about driver aggression endangering cyclists lives and intimidating bike riders through road rage style actions. The negative focus on bike riding in the media and the slowed delivery of infrastructure has nurtured an attitude in non-cyclists that is dangerous for everyone on the roads. Unfortunately, poor education and lack of awareness of cycling rights on our roads and poor driver decisions has even recently lead to death.

More bikes, less traffic

More bike riders equals more cycleways, more bike lanes, more space for riding on our roads and more support for cycling. 60% of people are interested in riding but are concerned about safety – better infrastructure can help get these people out and enjoying a bike too! More people on bikes means less in cars and a decrease in traffic congestion.


So how can you make this summer a BikeSummer?

Bike riders enjoy the sun in a parkSimple, get out on two wheels! That’s right, by simply being out on your bike, you’re helping make bike riding more visible and common, and the effect you’ll have is to encourage more people to get out and ride.

But there are even better ways to make a real impact this BikeSummer:

1 – Show Off Your Bike Love!

Get out on your bike, take your friends, family, riding group, coworkers, anyone and grab some photos and videos of you all out enjoying your favourite summer locations by bike. Post them to social media using the hashtag #bikesummer and tag @bicyclensw for your chance to win some great prizes!

2 – Join Us!

Bicycle NSW is the peak advocacy body for bike riding in NSW and we can do more to create a better environment for cycling when we have more members join us as financial members. Membership offers you the best bike riding insurance available and covers you for personal accident and third party damage or injury when you ride anywhere in the world!

Plus, when you join, you’re adding your voice to ours when we advocate to the Government for better infrastructure and bike riding conditions. And to celebrate BikeSummer, we are offering all new and renewing members 2 months free!

Simply join Bicycle NSW with any membership and use the code BIKESUMMER at the checkout to have 2 months worth of membership fee taken off!

3 – Ride With Us!

No matter where you are in the world, you can get on your bike and ride with us in our 4 week virtual cycle challenge. Every km counts and helps show just how many people ride bikes for fun, fitness or transport! Mark 30 Jan – 26 Feb in your diaries, tell your friends, and prepare to ride as much as you can during the 4 week competition for your chance to win!

Make your summer a BikeSummer

Join now. Bicycle NSW representing riders for 40 years.

 

A woman enjoys a Bicycle ride

5 Ways A Bicycle Will Improve Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year, New You

2017 has finally arrived but you may already be struggling with those dream resolutions you’ve made. It’s a big ask to suddenly give up carbs or treat your body as a temple and most people don’t really know where to start. Luckily, we have a couple ideas to keep you committed to some of the more common New Year’s Resolutions with the help of a bicycle.

Resolution 1 – Lose Weight

A woman enjoying a bike ride

The cardinal new year’s goal for most people is to lose a bit of weight and to get your body into shape. Gym memberships are frequently purchased around the start of the year and then quickly neglected. Cycling is a easy way to fit a fun form of free exercise into your daily routine. It works all your major muscle groups, improves your stamina and can be as intense you make it. Even just going for one long weekend ride can make a huge impact on your long-term health. Summer is the perfect time of year to starting being out in the sunshine working up a sweat on your bike.

TIP: Already workout? Why not ride to and from your Gym or PT session for a great warm up and cool down benefit, and the most fun way to get to your workout!

Resolution 2 – Spend more time with family and friends

A happy bunch of riders going uphill

Finding quality time to socialise with people can be difficult to fit into a busy schedule. If you’re aiming to make more time for people over the new year, getting a friend out on the bike can be a great way to branch out and spend some quality time riding and adventuring out on some of NSW’s most scenic cycleways. If you’re struggling to find mates who want to cycle, don’t worry! All throughout NSW are Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) filled with eager and active riders of all varieties who ride socially and always welcome new members.

TIP: Being a new rider can be daunting, try some great shared paths and cycle areas away from the roads to help get your friend’s confidence up!

Resolution 3 – Stop wasting time/ procrastinating! Or, build a routine…

A coffee and sandwich with an electric bike

The hardest part of a new year’s resolution is keeping your momentum going for the whole year. We can all struggle to stick with our goals. A great way to stick to cycling is by making it a part of your daily commute to or from work and working it into your everyday activities. Book in a weekly ride with friends or your local BUG so that they can drag you out on your bike and keep you on track for your new year’s goals. Our Push On Rides Calendar lists all the upcoming social rides happening across NSW.

TIP: To far to ride all the way to work? Then try riding just a bit of it and park your bike somewhere safe while you catch Public Transport the rest of the way!

Resolution 4 – Achieve something great – Try signing up for an event

Gear Up Girl riders cross the finish line

Many new year’s resolutions involve setting yourself a goal and then working to achieve it. But along the way, you can often find yourself reframing the goals by pushing back dates or making allowances for yourself. Sign up for an upcoming ride throughout the year so you can set yourself a challenge and give yourself opportunities to succeed. Push yourself to be up front with the riders in lycra, or take it at your own pace with some friends. If you want to get involved, Gear Up Girl is right around the corner and is on pace to be the world’s largest women’s community bike ride. If you think you’ll need a bit more time to get ready, Spring Cycle runs later in the year and offers you the only opportunity to ride on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, traffic free!

TIP: Bicycle NSW members get great discounts to cycling events all year round AND give you the peace of mind with the best worldwide comprehensive bike riders insurance!Join during our BikeSummer campaign to get 2 months membership free!

Resolution 5 – Learn something new, like how to take care of your bike

An animated gif of cleaning a bicycle
So many resolutions are about learning to take better care of yourself mentally, physically, spiritually. But too often bike riders forget the little things, like taking proper care of their equipment. If you’re all about giving yourself some love this year, take a few minutes out of your day to give your bike some love too. Bicycle NSW is affiliated with an amazing group of bike shops that not only distribute the highest quality products but also offer discounted workshops for members on how to maintain your bike. Register today!

TIP: Spending time on learning a new skill and fixing your own bike is great for your mental health and your wallet!

No matter what your New Year’s Resolutions are, Bicycle NSW is here to help get more people riding bikes and create a better environment for cycling. You can join as a member and help us achieve these goals! Join in January or February using code BikeSummer to get 2 months off your joining fee.

join-now-footer

Laura Cunningham on her bike

Meet the Member – Laura Cunningham – #whyiride

Laura Cunningham on her bikeName: Laura Cunningham

Age: age is just a number

Lives: Mosman NSW

Bicycle NSW Member since: 2010

How often do you ride? Three to four times a week on average

Tell us about why you ride a bike? Do you ride with a group, with friends, on your own?
I ride for fitness and friendship, and a bit of adventure on the side. I also have a mountain bike. I have a wonderful cycle group composed of women all over 60 and we laughingly call ourselves the Cycling Goddesses. I also try to ride with Bike North at least once or twice a week, and have travelled to Victoria, SA, Alice Springs and New Zealand to ride their fabulous rail trails. I’ve also hired bikes in California, Italy, France, Poland and Mexico and even at Uluru, which makes discovering new places so much more fun. I’d like to cycle in Cuba next year.

What is the best thing about your Bicycle NSW membership?
Being covered by insurance is important to me. And I like the fact that Bicycle NSW is constantly advocating for improvements for cyclists in NSW. It’s nice to have a collective voice.

Can you share with us a time you have used your membership? Eg bike rider’s insurance, legal assistance, retail discounts, come to our events?
I have enjoyed the annual spring cycle event and hope to take place in the Gear up Girl event next year as I’ve been away every year until now!

What would you say to someone who is considering getting back on the bike or taking up bike riding?
Cycling is such a great way to get around; it allows you to soak up so much of the sights and sounds of a place. And there’s the added bonus of a bit of fitness. My husband and I had fold up bikes we carried around in a light aeroplane so I’ve cycled in many towns around Australia, and enjoyed every moment.

If you would like to share your story and tell us why you ride with Bicycle NSW, please email us at info@bicyclensw.org.au

Future Transport Strategy – have your say!

Transport for NSW is taking a new approach to long term transport planning through the Future Transport Strategy.

They are creating a 40 year plan that will focus on the major technological, economic and social changes that lie ahead.

The first stage of the Future Transport Strategy website is now live, providing insights into the transport planning process and a snapshot of what has been delivered since the 2012 Long Term Transport Master Plan. Unlike the 2012 Master Plan, this Strategy will be a ‘living document’ that is regularly updated through the website, rather than a static document that is updated every five years.

In 2017, this website will incorporate new interactive transport planning tools that will allow the community and industry to have their say in shaping the 40-year transport plan. The Future Transport Strategy is also strongly linked to our Future Technology Roadmap, which provides a pathway for capitalising on the technologies that will help us create a better, more personalised transport service for our customers.

NSW Government agencies are working together to ensure the Future Transport Strategy is coordinated with other long terms plans supporting the growth and prosperity of NSW, including the Greater Sydney Commission’s District Plans and the updates of A Plan for Growing Sydney and Infrastructure NSW’s State Infrastructure Strategy 2017.

In 2017, Transport for NSW will be talking to communities, industry and other key stakeholders about how they can get involved and have their say on the Future Transport Strategy.

To find out more about the Future Transport Strategy and to register your interest go to future.transport.nsw.gov.au

bykkonewcastleimage

Newcastle riders – get on your eBike!

This week BYKKO launched a trial for their electric bike share program in Newcastle – and you can all be a part of it!

BYKKO bike share introduced Australia’s first-ever electric bike share system into Newcastle’s West End precinct.

Three electric bicycles will be installed outside the offices of Rethink Financial Group, near the Recharge Café (corner Dick and Hall Streets Newcastle West).

These e-bikes will be available for use by the Newcastle West business community over summer. Free three-month memberships will be available from 30 November 2016 for riders to use the electric bikes around town.

Electric bikes are a convenient and enjoyable transport mode to get you anywhere around Newcastle.

BYKKO electric bikes can be used to attend meetings, go shopping, head up to the beach or to get to and from where you need to go.

The pedal-assisted e-bikes have a daily range of around 50km before they need recharging and the electric motor assists you with speeds of up to 25km per hour, so you will arrive at your destination refreshed and ready.

Of course, you can also use them as normal push bikes, to combine your journey with your fitness regime. And, you won’t need to bother about finding (and paying for) a parking spot. Just lock the e-bike and helmet up and head to your appointment. At the end of your journey, return your E-bykko to the docking station so that it can recharge and be ready for the next user.

The BYKKO RECHARGE trial will include research on how members use the bikes, providing valuable information for future public or private bike share systems for Newcastle.

For more information about the trial, please visit the BYKKO website.

And be sure to check your Bicycle NSW membership is up to date so you have the peace of mind you get from the most comprehensive bike rider’s insurance for recreational riding. To join us, or renew your membership, click here.

Newcastle Inner City Bypass – Jesmond Cycleway

The Roads and Maritime Services of NSW are building the final section of the Newcastle Inner City Bypass from Rankin Park to Jesmond.

At the northern interchange, the current plans are to remove the shared cycle/foot path between Jesmond Park and Jesmond and replace three signal crossings over eight lanes of traffic.

Bicycle NSW are in consultation with the RMS on this issue and are working hard to impress on them how greatly this will impact bike riders who use this infrastructure.

Local bike riders and Bicycle NSW members are campaigning strongly to have the RMS review their plans for this cycleway. You can log on to http://kissyourpathgoodbye.com/ for details about how you can have your say in this matter.

Submissions to the RMS close on December 16th 2016.

M5 Active Transport Network Review

As part of our ongoing advocacy work, Bicycle NSW has been invited to attend workshops for the review of the M5 Active Transport Network.

Last month our representatives met with groups from the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), City of Sydney and other councils, to begin to provide feedback on providing adequate connections to existing and planned cycleways.

Bicycle NSW pushed the following agenda items:

  • A regional cycleway from Bexley North to Tempe, which could utilise parts of the rail corridor or Wolli Valley.   Our position clearly stated that any on-road route would be sub-standard for bike riders. The  RMS Active Transport group have agreed to do some follow up on this matter.
  • Widening the existing parallel shared paths between King Georges Rd and Bexley North.
  • An Active Transport bridge over King Georges Rd.

We will be posting updates from this working group on our website and in our monthly newsletters.

A Win for Old Meadowbank Rail Bridge Users

Recently we met with Ausgrid in regards to their project to install a high voltage cable across the Old Meadowbank Rail Bridge in late 2016 and early 2017.

This work will affect the pedestrian and cyclist access to the bridge.

Originally, Ausgrid proposed to completely close the bridge for a month. However, following consultation with Bicycle NSW and the bicycle community, they have agreed to:

  • No closures at all (including no diversion via Ryde Bridge)
  • A  narrowing of the bridge over a 30m length which will progressively move across the bridge over a one month period  (Jan 2017). This narrowing will require riders to walk the 30m.

This is a significant win for bike riders. Original plans were to completely close the path. Other plans included night closures, however the final plan allows access to remain open at all times during construction.

The construction will also be occurring during January 2017, which means it will occur in a holiday period when commuting is at its lowest.

Bicycle NSW worked hard with our affiliated Bicycle User Groups (BUGs), Bike North and Canada Bay BUG to achieve this outcome.

We like to acknowledge Ausgrid for their willingness to change their plans to allow for continued access to this bike riding infrastructure.

If you are using the path, please take extra care during this period.