ACT retains passing minimum distance laws

After a trial, the ACT government has decided to retain mandatory minimum passing distances for motorists passing cyclists.  Read more in the Canberra Times article.

Do you think we should follow this lead in Victoria?  Currently the law only specified a ‘safe’ passing distance and the government has funded an education campaign.

WA has a minimum passing distance of 1m for speed limits of 60kph or less and 1.5 m for speeds over 60kph.

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Support new Cycling Infrastructure for Geelong – have your say

To promote the safety of separated bicycle infrastructure, these kids have produced a music video…

Please find the time to comment on Geelong’s proposed new cycling infrastructure – https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/yoursay/item/8d51c8881af246e.aspx

To view the detailed plans, there’s one final drop-in session from 3-6pm, next Tuesday (February 13th) from 3-6pm.

Let the strength of our cycling voices lead to positive, safe cycling infrastructure!

Where are we cycling?

Strava* compiles the ride data of millions of subscribers to produce a ‘heat map’ of where cyclists are riding.  If you follow the link embedded in the map screenshot, it will show you the accumulated data up to 2017.  The map can be fully enlarged to show you the details of where people are riding in the area where you live.

Strava data for Geelong to 2017 Click the map to go to the heatmap.  Then move the map centre over Australia and enlarge till you come to the area you’d like for which you’d like more detail.

The heatmap is also a useful guide to where people ride, if you’re visiting somewhere new.  However, it’s important to realise that many of the people who use Strava are serious cyclists who like to ride far, fast and difficult.  As more and more average cyclists use Strava, the data will be less skewed towards the fast and furious end of cycling.

*Strava is an ap. which can be uploaded to a mobile phone, and will also link to GPS trackers like Garmin.  It tracks the user’s rides, giving a map, distance, ascent and other statistics.  It is available in a basic free version, or a premium version.  If you don’t have a bike computer, Strava will give you an accurate picture of how far and fast you have ridden.

Amsterdam: Cycling Heaven – 5 reasons why

Geelong moved a step closer to becoming a leading cycling city with the opening of the first stage of the Malop Street Green Spine last week.  There is now a one-way cycleway westwards from Yarra Street to Moorabool Street.  As funding becomes available, it is planned to extend this further along Malop Street.  City of Geelong is to be congratulated for this step towards making the Geelong CBD more people-friendly.  (Unfortunately, at least for the present, if you’re travelling eastwards, you still need to use the old bike lane with the hazards of fast-moving motor vehicles, and opening car doors.)

Amsterdam has one of the highest rates of cycling for transport in the world.  It wasn’t always so!  I recommend you read In the City of Bikes:  The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist by Pete Jordan (available at the Geelong Regional Library) to find out how Amsterdam transformed itself into a cycling Mecca. 

This is despite the fact that for much of the year, Amsterdam has an unfriendly climate for cycling.

Making a city where most trips are done on bikes requires utterly discarding conventional car-centric ways of thinking about transportation. Norman Garrick

With Geelong’s easy terrain, wonderful climate and the beginning of the Principal Bicycle Network, we’d love to see Geelong transformed to a place where cycling is the norm.

Five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes

For more, here is an article on the five reasons why Amsterdam works so well for bikes.  Underlying all this is designing transport for people rather than cars.  In a city with a greater urban area population of 1.8 million people, traffic deaths are 2/100,000 of population.  Australia’s rate of traffic fatalities is close to triple this.

Look at any photo of people cycling in Amsterdam.  You’ll see  mixture of male and female, ages and many assorted bicycles.  One measure of how well our infrastructure makes cycling safe is the percentage of females riding bikes.

Cycling in Amsterdam. People go about their daily lives using bikes for transport. Low speeds and good infrastructure mean that cycling is safe for all. Image from http://www.local-life.com/amsterdam/articles/cycling-in-amsterdam

Humans in Geelong Expo, Sunday, 8th October, 2017

Humans in Geelong began in August 2016 ago as a Face Book page telling good news stories about people and organisations making a difference to the Geelong Community.   This year, Humans in Geelong ran a most successful EXPO at Deakin University Waterfront Campus.

Cycling Geelong was one of over forty groups represented.  Rod Charles, Mike Currie and I ran the table with photos, giveaways and lots of interest from the many hundreds of visitors to the EXPO.   As well as cycling in general, Rod had his three volume history of cycling in the Geelong region on display.  He was surprised that one visitor is planning to buy a penny farthing – Rod’s comment was that they had gone out of date by the 1880s.  However there is now a lot of interest in historic bikes, and the Victorian Penny Farthing Championships will be held at Geelong West Velodrome in early December.

Helen & Rod at Humans in Geelong Expo – a lull in customers

Several other Cycling Geelong members including Vicki and Rosemary were also working on the EXPO – Vicki with Geelong Sustainability and Rosemary with the Humans in Geelong Committee.  Quite a few Cycling Geelong members visited the Expo – some after completing their stint working on Around the Bay in a Day.  We also had a visit from Maria from 94.7 The Pulse’s The Bicycle Show.

Another Cycling Geelong visitor was Tina, who came along with her mother.  They were delighted to meet up with six young Danish guys on a gap year between school and university, who were spending that time promoting Cycling Without Age.  These men rode in on two passenger tricycles, which they had ridden all the way from Newcastle to Geelong via Sydney, Dubbo, Canberra and Bendigo (which all have Cycling Without Age programs running).  People at the EXPO were invited to have a ride on the bikes – Tina and her mum are looking forward to the program starting in Geelong.

The Expo included a program of performers, speakers and other entertainment.  The winners of the first ever Humans in Geelong Writing Competition for schools were announced.  The primary school winner was Hamish West, , Year 3, Ashby Primary School, with runner up Indigo Niblett, Year 6, Clairvaux Primary School.  The secondary school section was won by Bridie Griffith who is in year 7 with year 8 student Archer Drummond second.  Both these students attend The Geelong College.

* For Cycling Without Age, the passengers do not require helmets.  The demonstrations were held in Deakin’s enclosed courtyard.  Normally, the riding tricycle pilots always wear helmets.

It is also legal in Victoria to ride these passenger tricycles on footpaths – speeds with passengers are usually around 3-6kph.  Geelong’s first Cycling Without Age program will be at Multi-cultural Aged Care in North Geelong and is expected to get underway early in 2018.

Luke Sherwell at Club meeting

Around 30 members attended the dinner meeting on Tuesday, May 16th, at the Belmont Hotel.

The guest speaker was Luke Sherwell, Active Transport Officer with City of Greater Geelong.  Luke talked about the types of issues that are faced in providing safe cycling infrastructure, and showed examples of international and local solutions.  He also fielded questions about issues faced by our members.

Dave has cycled the Bellarine Rail Trail that day, and brought along a large number of photos of problems with the unsealed section from Drysdale to Queenscliff.

Other issues included the poor shoulders on Bacchus Marsh Road, the unsealed section of the Barwon River circuit at Fyansford, closure of southern end of the Ted Wilson Trail and dangerous railings at head height on the new bridges over Waurn Ponds Creek.

Vicki Perrett talked about the pilot program of Cycling Without Age which will be starting soon.  Cycling Without Age involves the provision of electric rickshaws to be based in aged care facilities.  Volunteer cyclists take residents on bike rides – to shops, sight-seeing, for appointments etc.  The program began in Denmark and is now all over the world, including in two places in Melbourne.  Multi-Cultural Aged Care in North Geelong are purchasing one bicycle, and there are plans to fund raise for a second.

It is hoped that a number of Cycling Geelong members will be among the volunteer bike pilots for this program.

Thanks to guest speaker Luke Sherwell, and to Stephanie and Geoff our social secretaries for organising this most successful evening.