Archive for the ‘ Sydney Stuff ’ Category

Political Science: thoughts on the NSW election and what next for Sydney

The NSW election has been run and won, and things are looking pretty bad for Sydney’s transport. The Liberal government will push ahead with Westconnex to bring more motorways and more traffic into Sydney; cycleways are going to be ripped up; and Labor opposition has decided to attack the one piece of public transport that might help the CBD.

So, was there any point in running for the Australian Cyclists Party? Continue reading

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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.

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

Rapha Supercross: Mud, Sweat and Beers

supercross_m

Rapha brought their fun take on cyclocross to the inner-city, with their Supercross event held at Sydney Park on Saturday. With the help of the spokespeople, a 1km course was set up on the side of a hill next to the Sydney Park Cycling Centre, complete with a bar where spectators could enjoy a drink and watch the riders making their way around the off-camber turns, over the obstacles, and through the foam cannon. Continue reading

Sydney Rides Festival

Sydney_Harbour_Bridge_Sunday_Ride

Spring is sprung, which means a lot of Sydneysiders have come out of hibernation and the City of Sydney is doing its best to convince them to get on a bike. (even though the city’s bike lanes are still an un-connected mess of green paint thanks to the NSW government’s “Stop the Bikes” policy).

As well as the usual  Ride2Work day (woo hoo! Free coffee and tune up!) and Spring Cycle (a rare opportunity to ride across the bridge on the tarmac) , the festival program includes bike dating, a series of bike-mechanic workshops, and even a hill race competition, to give all the MAMILs a chance to show off their shiny bikes and hairless calves.

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