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.

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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

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.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway

Recently, Bicycle NSW attended a project meeting with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), City of Sydney (CoS), Transport for NSW and other stakeholders to continue discussion to improve the Sydney Harbour Bridge cycleway.

This project is to improve the connectivity between the Sydney Harbour Bridge Cycleway and Kent St.

The route has many complex constraints brought about by land use, heritage, and topography. All these factors need to be considered and planned for.

Bicycle NSW is working closely with RMS and City of Sydney to advise and advocate for the best possible connection for bike riders to use the Sydney Harbour Bridge. This project is one of our key part of our goal to complete an interconnected Sydney wide bicycle network.

The RMS will be sending us updates first. So we will you know when and where works are happening and what closures will be in place.

As we get this information, we will post it on our website and send news items to all our subscribers. If you are not subscribed to our newsletter, click here to subscribe.

Membership to Bicycle NSW gives members of the bike riding community a voice. The more members, the better we can represent you and create a better environment for bike riding in NSW.

If you would like to join or renew your membership, please click here.

A Win For Sydney – Cycleway to Replace Bridge Steps

Cyclists wheel their bikes up Sydney Harbour Bridge stepsBicycle 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.

Join Bicycle NSW

 

Photos from the Media Launch on Wednesday 7 December, 2016

 

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!