Cyclists sprinting to the line in NSW election

There are just a few days to polling day, and the Australian Cyclists Party is shifting up a gear to draw as many first preference votes as possible so that the government is forced to acknowledge their failure to meet cycling targets and do something about it. Whatever the result on Saturday, it has been worth it. The Labor party have announced an active transport policy that looks like it could have been lifted straight from the ACP. We don’t mind. It’s great to see a major party recognise the benefits of active transport. Now we just need the others to come on board.

What have I been up to? Unless you pay close attention to the Inner West Courier, you wouldn’t have seen me. And even when speaking at a public forum as one of three candidates present (shame on the Libs for not facing the public), a minor party like ours doesn’t get more than a quick quote.

So here’s the transcript of the only thing I wrote down. Hopefully it spells out what I’m standing for, and why you should consider giving your first preference to the Australian Cyclists Party. If you’re so convinced you’d like to help out on polling day, get in touch!  Continue reading

FAQ in case you see my name in the press

Meet the Candidates at Glebe Town Hall (L-R: Verity Firth, Jamie Parker, Patrick Fogarty)

Meet the Candidates at Glebe Town Hall (L-R: Verity Firth, Jamie Parker, Patrick Fogarty)

Hey, there’s someone named Patrick Fogarty running in the NSW election as a candidate for the Australian Cyclists Party. Any relation?

Not quite… It’s me.  Continue reading

Sydneyrides is over. Keep riding Sydney!

Sydney Rides The Night

Sydney Rides The Night

With the wet weather Ride2Work day was a damp squib, but the sydneyrides festival went out with a bang thanks to Sydney Rides the Night. The night ride festival attracted over 2000 people to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair to enjoy a spectacular event. People of all ages, and from all cycling ‘tribes’ were out enjoying the closed road loop, light installations and fun atmosphere, including a silent disco, roller racing and bean bags set up to enjoy some bike-related short films and docos on the outdoor screen.

Despite the occasionally bad weather, and the Telegraph’s feeble attacks on Ride2Work day, the closing event capped off a successful fortnight of events encouraging people to get out and enjoy riding.  The Spokespeople organised the Hill Climb and Gold Sprints for those with a competitive edge, as well as bike-themed film screenings. The Spring Cycle and Checkpoint Challenge got people out and exploring Sydney on two wheels, and bike maintenance workshops to teach people how to look after them.

One event that slipped under the radar was the lunchtime presentation ‘Reinventing the Wheel’ where the Dutch Cycling Embassy (that really is a thing) shared their knowledge about building cycling-friendly cities, and Australian delegates who had travelled over to see the Dutch example in the flesh reported on their experiences. Quotes from one delegate included “Roads aren’t just for cars,”  and we must work together to
“demand better bike lanes”… that particular speaker was from the RACQ.

Aletta Koster from the “embassy” spoke not only about the key features for building a successful bike network, but also the need for three things to make cycling accessible: hardware, software, and orgware. Hardware is the infrastructure, such as bike paths, parking, tunnels and bridges. Orgware is the ability for organisations at different levels to communicate and work together to make projects happen. Software is even less tangible, and could be expressed as the general attitude in the society towards cycling. As Koster pointed out, you can build all the cycle paths you want, but if you neglect the other two legs of the tripod, it will eventually fall over.

In light of that, I think it’s worth remarking that the sydneyrides festival isn’t just a council-sponsored collection of jollies for cycling types. It really is about building that software, encouraging people to get on a bike and reminding them of how much fun it can be; an important task given the hatred levelled at cyclists from the media and government offices. Every 10-year-old knows how great riding a bike is, but by the time people turn 30 many have been convinced otherwise. It was great to see everyone from 8 to 80 out and riding at Sydney Rides the Night.

The festival might be over, but it’s no excuse to stop riding, or inviting friends out for a ride. And if you need an excuse, you could do worse than Supercross this Saturday, the Gong Ride on Sunday, or the Newcastle Overnight next weekend.

Get Out Of Town: Cycling in Orange

Somewhere out of Molong

Cycling in Orange

Throw your bike on the roof-rack (or hop on the XPT) and head to Orange for a weekend of riding. 250km from Sydney, Orange is NSW’s food bowl and home to some fine produce and wines, making it the perfect destination for cycling along country roads interspersed with quality ‘refueling’ stops.

Continue reading

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! or Magellan Cyclo GPS!

Sydney. On a bike.

Sydney. On a bike.

This has to be one of my favourite ride shots: nothing particularly special about the taking, just grabbed the smartphone and shot from the hip (ok, saddle – don’t try that at home kids). No time spent planning it or composing it, just a quick click as my buddy and I swung under the bridge after a morning spent riding along the coast under Sydney’s glorious winter sunshine. Continue reading

Even More Cycling Fun in Sydney in November

It seems my last post on upcoming cycling events in Sydney was published too soon. As Demtel would put it: “But wait, there’s more!” Continue reading

Spring Into Riding

Sydney_Harbour_Bridge_Sunday_RideAfter a rain-soaked false start, it looks like Spring has finally arrived in Sydney. Thanks to longer days and milder weather it’s a perfect time to get out and ride. Or perhaps take up riding for the first time! Continue reading

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