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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.

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    NSW Bike Riders Conference Program Announced

    Bicycle NSW and Newcastle Cycleways Movement have teamed up to present the NSW Bike Riders Conference - a gathering for BUGs, by BUGs!

    Local Council's are amalgamating, our neighbourhoods are changing, and we want bike riders to have a say in the way bike riding is included in their suburbs. Come along and meet other bike riders, discover what our Bicycle User Group network are doing across the State and share your experiences and ideas for the future of cycling.

    The conference will focus on sharing the why and how of engaging with your local Council and your local community, and give you the tools to help create a better environment for cycling. Held in Newcastle and hosted by local BUG, the Newcastle Cycleways Movement, a great example of community led action will share the strategy and successes of the CycleSafe Network and how similar projects can be made reality in other parts of NSW.

    An expert panel will lead a hands on workshop exploring the new Community Strategic Planning process which will be rolling out across NSW Councils this year. Walk away from the NSW Bike Riders Conference confident in how you can play a role in ensuring better biking infrastructure, planning and engagement occurs in your home town.

    Book your place for the two days that will give you the power to make a difference, see more people riding bikes, and secure better biking for the future.

    The NSW Bike Riders Conference runs from 8.30am Saturday 13 August until 1pm Sunday 14 August at Travelodge Newcastle and includes the celebratory dinner marking the 40th Anniversary of Bicycle NSW delivering the peak advocacy work and member representation in the State.

    Time Session Presented by
    Friday 12 August
    5-6.30pm

    6.30-7:30pm

     

     

    7:30pm onwards

     

    Pre-conference registration and Happy Hour at Travelodge Newcastle, 12 Steel St, Newcastle

    A 10 - 15km Night Ride around Newcastle, based on the Bathers Way Loops, will depart from Travelodge Newcastle at approximately 6.30pm and proceed at a leisurely pace, and return to The Star Hotel.

    Bike Hire available from Metro Cycles, just a short walk from the venue. Call or email ahead to book a bike for the night or the weekend. 

    Drop in for a social drink at The Star, perhaps grab a bite to eat, and a catch up with friends old and new in an informal get together before the conference.

    Bicycle NSW

    Newcastle Cycleways Movement

     

    Saturday 13 August
    7.30am Conference registration at Travelodge Newcastle
    8.30am Official Welcome to the NSW Bike Riders Conference Bicycle NSW and Newcastle Cycleways Movement
    9.00am The Newcastle CycleSafe Network : a community-based initiative Newcastle Cycleways Movement
    9.30am Influencing the new NSW councils’ community strategic planning process : vision to reality for a more bike-friendly NSW Peter McCue, Fiona Campbell
    11.00am Morning Tea
    11.30am Lessons from London for big and small communities Mark Ames, Strategic Cities
    12.00pm Creating a cycle-friendly NSW together : How BUGs and Bicycle NSW can work together effectively to create a better environment for cycling Ray Rice and Bicycle NSW Council
    1.00pm Lunch  
    1.45pm

    Your choice of sessions to attend

    Stream 1: How to ride a Tandem with Vision impaired
    Limited spaces, booking required.
    John Domandl
    Peter Lee, Newcastle Cycleways Movement
    Stream 2: BUG skills, a mini seminar

    Learning to talk Engineer Speak - it needn’t be Double Dutch

    Making change through action - using social media to normalise plain clothes riding

    Planning longer BUG rides - breaking the 7 day barrier; a case study of the Hub&Spokes rides

    Warren Salomon, BIKEast
    Sarah Imm, Velo-a-Porter
    Adrian Boss, BIKEast
       
    3.00pm Afternoon tea
    3.30pm

    Your choice of rides

    Led Ride 1: Facilities inspection tour – a 20km tour of Newcastle bicycle network facilities – the good, the bad and the beautiful. (Easy pace – 1.5 hours) Newcastle Cycleways Movement
    Led Ride 2: Two City Circuit – a 55km of the established circuit through Newcastle. (Fast pace – 2.5hours) Newcastle Cycleways Movement
    Own Pace Ride: Use the maps and suggestions provided by the local BUG to explore Newcastle at your leisure Self-guided
    7.00pm – 11.00pm Bicycle NSW 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner

    Guest Speakers:

    Peter Duncan, CEO of Roads and Maritime Services
    Jon Leighton, President of the Bicycle NSW Board

    Sunday 14 August
    9.00am BUG Brag time! Come along and share your successes your BUG has had with rides and hear and learn about what other BUGs are doing with led rides, Discovery Rides and other fun activities. This is your time to shine and share! Bicycle NSW

    Any BUG members attending

    9.45am Rail Trails in NSW – towards tourism led recovery. A presentation with question and answer session about Rail Trails developing in NSW Tim Coen, Rail Trails for NSW

    David Atkinson, Richmond Vale Rail Trail Inc

    10.45am Morning tea
    11.15am Cycling for Change – building people power to hold government representatives to account

    Australia’s cycling movement has won major gains through research, submissions and diplomacy. When political circumstances have required other approaches, cycling advocates have also built people power to hold representatives to account, protested and fielded election candidates.

    James Whelan,The Change Agency
    12.45pm Closing session Ray Rice and Bicycle NSW
    1.00pm Conference close

    Members of both Bicycle NSW and their local affiliated BUG can book their place at the conference and dinner at a discounted price of $95.
    Members of one of either Bicycle NSW or an affiliated BUG can book their place at the conference and dinner the discounted price of $110.

    This conference would not be possible without the additional support of Bike North and the City of Sydney.

    A social rides program and activities for family and friends of attendees will be announced shortly.

    Bicycle Summit election campaign update

    With the federal election rapidly approaching, the Cycling Promotion Fund, on behalf of the Australian Bicycle Summit organisations, including Bicycle NSW, has written to the major parties seeking their election commitments for cycling and walking. Today the Greens have announced realistic provisions [PDF] which will reduce traffic and pollution, improve health and well being, and make it easier and safer to ride and walk.

    Central to their commitment is a $250 million annual fund to invest in cycling and walking infrastructure. This equates to approximately $10 per person per year, and is less than 1% of the $26.3 billion that was spent nationally on roads in 2013-14.

    The Australian Bicycle Summit organisations, through the Cycling Promotion Fund have issued this statement [PDF]. Bicycle NSW is particularly pleased that the benefits of the Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network have been recognised. This project is now on Infrastructure Australia’s priority list, and would return $3.88 for every dollar invested.

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    The first steps toward police ‘hearing’ the concerns of bike riders

    Bicycle NSW
    We’ve taken the first steps to address the
    imbalances in enforcement, evident from 1 March, by initiating open and honest conversations with NSW Police. The meeting orchestrated by Bicycle NSW was held on Monday 23 May with senior members of Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) and NSW Police. The key concerns of bike riders were presented in regard to the recent surge in cyclist fines and the lack of enforcement of the Minimum Passing Distance.

    Key outcomes and steps are:

    1. Police have agreed to publicise pedestrian/bicycle compliance campaigns in advance – as they do for other campaigns (eg Speeding; Drink Driving etc). This will be combined with education on bicycle safety and regulations.
    2. All parties agreed that better and increased publicity and education on the Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) would increase the safety of vulnerable road users, and that compliance monitoring is still required.  Police have agreed to run publicised compliance campaigns on MPD and to evaluate new technology to help monitor compliance.
    3. Importantly, Police have agreed to review video evidence of possible MPD offences.  Signed statements will be required. We note the challenges of providing proof beyond reasonable doubt.
    4. Police have agreed to meet with representatives of cycling clubs to discuss bicycle safety and compliance issues.

    Bicycle NSW CEO Ray Rice said “Although not unexpected, we were extremely disheartened to hear of the steep imbalances with the release of statistics yesterday on the increased fines and minimum passing distance. It further emphasises the need for open and honest dialogue which we’ve been able to facilitate. The outcomes will remain to be seen but we’ll continue to press for the positive steps agreed by all parties above.” 

    Bicycle NSW pressed for this meeting at our March Board meeting, attended by the top executives of TfNSW. Representatives from the Amy Gillett Foundation and Cycling NSW also attended yesterday’s meeting at the request of TfNSW.

    At the board meeting it was recognised and agreed by both Bicycle NSW and TfNSW that cyclists need to obey all road rules. It was also recognised by all parties that the more that people are positively encouraged to cycle – the better the outcome for all road users in NSW, particularly in Sydney. The positive outcomes being better journey times for all and the underlying health and environmental benefits from an active cycling transport initiative. Therefore it was agreed to arrange a tripartite meeting between BNSW,TfNSW and NSW Police to actively work with the Police to achieve this outcome, with our objective to move away from specific campaigns that may potentially scare off cyclists and move toward better education.

     

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    #BikeToWork Day Competition – Making #CommutesCount

    Bicycle NSW is getting behind Strava‘s Global Bike To Work Day this Tuesday 10th May, 2016. By encouraging our members and social media fans to participate, we can envisage a real impact on the future of cycling in Australia. The more data identified on Strava as a commute, the more well informed decisions can be made by designers when considering an integrated bicycle network across local government boundaries, and right across the State. As a key part of our advocacy, we want to see strong decisions on cycling infrastructure made on information and evidence.

    To support the initiative, Bicycle NSW are offering two prize packs for participants who share photos of their commute on our social media pages. Simply share a photo of the favourite part of your commute and use the hashtags #BicycleNSW and #CommutesCount to be in the running to win. The photo with the most likes and the most creative photo, as judged by the Bicycle NSW team, will both win a Bicycle NSW prize pack each.

    Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to participate in the competition and share your photos. Make sure your posts are public so we can see them!

     

    #BIKETOWORK COMPETITION TERMS AND CONDITIONS

    1. The promoter:

    Bicycle NSW

    Bicentennial Drive

    Bicentennial Park

    Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

    Call us: (02) 9704 0800

    Email us: info@bicyclensw.org.au

     

    1. Who can enter:

    People aged 18 years and over.

    Exclusions: Employees and contractors at Bicycle NSW

    1. How do people enter
    • Follow @bicyclensw on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter
    • Post an image of your bike commute and tag it #bicyclensw and #commutescount between anytime between Thursday 5th May and 5pm Wednesday 11 May  
    1. How is the winner chosen?

    The winner will be judged by staff at Bicycle NSW who will be judging based on creativity and the number of likes (on Facebook and Instagram)  or retweets/likes  (on Twitter)   the post receives.

    1. When will the winner be announced publicly?

    The winner’s name will be announced on the Bicycle NSW Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday 11th May 2016

    1. When and how will the winners be informed?

    The winner will be informed by direct message on the social channel they have entered their post on and has until 21st May to respond

    1. What is the prize?

    The prize is: A Bicycle NSW pack containing drink bottle, bag, stickers and promotional items

     

    1. When will the prize be delivered.

    The prize pack will be available to be picked up by arrangement at the offices of Bicycle NSW, Bicentennial Park, Homebush or posted to you upon arrangement with the winner, by the end of May 2016

    1. Special mention

    The promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram, Facebook or Twitter

    $39M investment for cycling – What does it really mean?

    The NSW Government recently announced a $39 million “boost” to deliver new cycleways and walking upgrades in NSW for the 2016-17 FY.     

    This is not increased funding by any means, and is already part of the longer term budget.  Bicycle riders should consider some key facts:

    • This $39mil is less than the $40mil allocated in 2015-16.
    • It represents only about $5 per person in NSW.
    • The annual budget for transport infrastructure is around $10.3 billion per year (ie over $1,300 per person).
    • The $39million for cycleways and walking upgrades is less than 0.4% of the transport infrastructure budget.  
    • By comparison, London has been spending about $33 per person, just on cycling infrastructure – and achieving great results.  It is anticipated that by 2018 more people will be cycling into central London than driving.

    Bicycle NSW believes that this level of funding does not show real commitment by the NSW Government to active transport.   The Government’s aim of a 5% share transport mode share for cycling cannot be achieved with this meagre level of funding.

    To produce real transport, health and environmental benefits in NSW, we call on the Government to allocate 5% of the transport infrastructure budget to cycling.  Such funding will help achieve the Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network, the Newcastle CycleSafe Network, and many more worthwhile cycling projects across suburban and regional NSW.

    If you agree, you can write to Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport & Infrastructure to demand greater consideration for bike riders and cycling infrastructure within transport funding.     

    See the projects to be funded through the $39 million on the RMS website.