Our 2016 Bike Riders Survey demonstrated the gender divide is alive and well on two wheels. With a significant lack of coverage of Women’s Cycling in the media, it’s no surprise to see that less than 1 in 3 bike riders are female.
Bicycle NSW knows that 60% of the population would like to ride more but face numerous barriers to actually getting out on two wheels. Research shows that for women, these barriers can include:
So over the last 9 years Bicycle NSW has been building our Gear Up Girl, ladies bike riding event, with the aim and purpose of encouraging and supporting more women to choose bike riding. Since its inception, Gear Up Girl has grown in size to now include 3 distances making riding achievable for all levels of bike riding skill and experience. Gear Up Girl has even spread to South Australia with BikeSA, our sister organisation, running their event for 7 years. This year Bicycle NSW is proud to expand the Gear Up Girl event even further and welcomes a new satellite event on the Central Coast.
Our women’s bike riding initiative is all about giving women the opportunity to experience the fun of riding and the strong sense of community and support they can receive from each other while, reaping the benefits of a bike.
Gear Up Girl is a fun and social ride, not a race. We’re encouraging every riding lady to bring a friend and introduce them to the joys of riding. Gear Up Girls can set up their own team and get the girls from work, the gym, mothers group, your neighbourhood, or any of your friends together to ride, chat, experience the beautiful bayside ride and festival finish!
Everyone who participates gets a limited edition Gear Up Girl medal to mark their achievement and we are hoping to set the world record - not bad for a Sunday ride! And remember - Kids Ride Free!
Our Ride routes are up to 95% off road, utilising the great bicycle paths, shared paths and bike routes through the Inner West, St George and Sutherland areas. Our 20km Beach Ride has no riding in traffic! Feel safe riding with friends and like minded ladies - be loud and proud riding together.
Experienced riders can stretch their legs and support a friend! We encourage all those experienced riding ladies to bring a girlfriend and ride with them for the 40km or 60km rides - help show them how easy it can be and maybe they’ll come riding with you more often!
Plus, we have a range of Workshops where women can learn basic bike maintenance and we have opportunities to brush up on basic riding skills to develop confidence before the big day!
We’ve developed a 6 week training guide for each distance, for anyone wanting to take part in Gear Up Girl. Even if you only train a little bit beforehand, all 3 rides are predominantly flat and achievable for those trying out riding distances for the first time in a while.
We provide rest breaks along the way and knowing there’s no race pressure means you’ll enjoy the ride much more!
Bicycle NSW has a network of Bicycle User Groups (BUG) who lead social and recreational riding groups on rides for all levels of experience across the State every week. We invite all bike riders to visit their local BUG and find some friendly locals to ride with. This year, Central Coast BUG are delivering their own Gear up Girl event for those who can't make it to the Sydney event.
Gear Up Girl is a social ride with no pressure to perform. We have seen every fashion statement from wings and tutus to dresses, casual wear, active wear and cycling kits - like the Australian made Gear Up Girl Jersey! Perhaps you and your team of girlfriends would like to set your own dress code for your Gear Up Girl ride?!
Gear Up Girl Participants are also encouraged to raise vital funds for The Heart Foundation!
Did you know...
Recently, Bicycle NSW was approached by the Mosman Daily to give a statement in response to Clr Simon Menzies’ call to Mosman Council to ban cyclists from Military Road and Spit Road corridor during peak hour for reasons of cyclist safety and improved traffic flow. We were advised that “He believes this is reasonable because an alternate purpose-built cycle route is available to use and he said it’s currently under-utilised” which we understand to refer to the Beauty Point Route.
Submission on DA-2017/179 – Cook Cove Southern Precinct
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!
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.
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:
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’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.
..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.
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!
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:
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.
Shared 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.”
Bicycle NSW has been contacted by a number of individuals affected by this and have made a request to NSW Police that:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
Because 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 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.
Simple, 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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