Did you know that, just by the act of riding, you can help show our council, and others who provide infrastructure, where cycling facilities are needed?
The blue areas show ‘hot’ spots for cycling (Strava heat map 2015)
Most people have a smart phone these days. More and more cyclists are relying on their phones for much more than just making phone calls. As a cyclist, your phone can record how far you ride, and keep an annual log of your distance! It can also tell you other things like where you have ridden and how fast, and lots of other data that, up until now, needed a bike computer or sophisticated GPS tracker like Garmin.
To change your phone to a bicycle computer, you need an app. The most commonly used one for cyclists is Strava. Because of this, our governments and councils now use the raw data from Strava inform themselves about where cyclists are riding.
Geelong area 2015*
Geelong CBD cycling data 2015*
When you have Strava on your phone, all you need to do is turn on recording at the start of your ride, and turn it off at the end (it auto-pauses if there are pauses in your ride). As well as informing you, the data becomes part of the whole picture.
This data only shows people riding with Strava. If you don’t your cycling movements are only recorded if, for example, you are visually counted on Super Tuesday.
Strava map of cycling in Geelong. High Street-Moorabool Street corridor is red (highest density of cyclists). Note also, the large numbers of cyclists using Portarlington Road and Bellarine Highway to ride to Geelong from the Bellarine Peninsula.
(Click on the above map to see a comparative map of data from 2014 and 2015. Try zooming in to the area where you ride to see where people are cycling.)
Already quite a few Cycling Geelong members use Strava to log their cycling. It’s easy. The ap is free (though you could, if you wished pay for a ‘premium’ service). It’s important that we show our councils that we are cycling, and let them know where we’d like the infrastructure to be improved. For example, if you look at the Geelong map, a large number of cyclists use Moorabool Street to travel north-south. A fair number also use High Street Belmont, despite it’s lack of safe cycling infrastructure. It’s clear that this is a route where safe cycling infrastructure needs to be fast-tracked. The City of Greater Geelong is progressively adding bike lanes as Moorabool Street is resurfaced, with a long term plan for a dedicated off-road cycle path, but currently the proposed routes for south of the river are sketchy and convoluted.
What the current data lacks is the riding of casual cyclists and those who use their bikes for day-to-day movement around their local area. This data would be hugely valuable in getting infrastructure in place. If you’d like to help, give Strava a try.
*Reading Strava heat maps.
The aqua, blue and red lines show cyclist numbers – the red is most usage. The thicker the line, the more cyclists.
The latest news about Geelong’s cycling infrastructure
Have your say about what needs to happen next
Cycling Geelong Club Dinner – Tuesday, May 16th, Belmont Hotel (dinner from 6pm)
The guest speaker at this dinner is Luke Sherwell, Active Transport Officer for City of Greater Geelong. Come along to hear what CoGG is doing for cyclists. Bring your questions, and comments about how cycling infrastructure can be improved where you ride.
If you’re attending the dinner, please let Stephanie know.