Posts Tagged ‘ Bike event ’

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.

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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

Newcastle Overnight ALSO on November 16

Image from newcastleovernight.wordpress.com

As if Rapha’s Supercross in Sydney Park wasn’t enough bike-based fun for one day, the second Newcastle Overnight will be run the same night. Which begs one question: can you do both?

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.

International Cycling! In Sydney!

Billed as “some of the world’s best cycling stars” The Age can only muster up “Simon Gerrans and local stars Chris Sutton and Rochelle Gilmore” as highlights. No offence to the organisers or competitors, but this aint no Tour Down Under with a Lance Armstrong last-time-ever-until-the-next-time-I-make-a-comeback appearance is it?

But if you don’t feel like a trip to Adelaide, then you can get your shiny carbon bike fix right here in Sydney. Well, not right in the centre of Sydney, but in Bathurst (Dec 8th), Parramatta (9th), Gosford (10th), and like everyone else, heading to the beach on the weekend, Coogee on the 11th, Cronulla on the 12th.

It’s a shame they won’t be riding in the centre of Sydney… I mean, what a great advertisement it would be for Clover’s cycleways! Imagine the peloton zooming down the Bourke St bike lane, picking up foodbags from hipster cafes! Or a breakaway forming as the leaders accelerate away from the 10km/h zone of Pyrmont bridge, and only the first two riders get through the perfectly mis-timed set of lights as you head up King St!

Jokes aside, catch some racing action at a location near you (if you’re lucky) this week and weekend. It’s free!

Spring Cycle 2010 In Pictures

More than a few occasional cyclists will be nursing saddle sores and stiff legs after completing yesterday’s Spring Cycle. Judging by the digits on the issued rider numbers well over 10,000 people (on everything from top end racers and blinged out fixies to recumbents and rusty old supermarket bikes) took part, riding either the 50km route from North Sydney, or the 35km Cooks River route, finishing at Sydney Olympic Park.

Getting up stupidly early, we saw the competitive early starters zooming along as we headed in the opposite direction to get to the start. Trains groaned with the unusual number of bikes on the early morning service, leading to an end-of-escalator pile up as we were all disgorged at North Sydney. Departing in the ‘family and recreation’ group proved more perilous than the name suggests: having a lot of unpractised riders and swerving kids in one place is a recipe for disaster, and unsurprisingly we witnessed a large-ish pile up as one fall led to others, and a few people by the side of the route recovering after a tumble. Nevertheless, the event went well and everyone enjoyed the rare opportunity to ride across the ‘other’ side of the Harbour Bridge, and my favourite moment, going across the Glebe Island Bridge.

As the day wore on and the heat intensified, the rest stops were more and more crowded with exhausted bodies, and the sense of relief was palpable when Stadium Australia (or whatever it’s called now) hove into view. Unfortunately for those with tiring legs, there was at least another 10kms of looping around Olympic Park before the finish line. Thanks to Bicycle NSW, and all the volunteers for making the event such a great day! And congrats to all the youngsters who slogged through the route to finish and embarrass plenty of the adults!

If you’re considering doing it next year, here are some tips:
• Sunglasses and sunscreen. Do NOT forget them like I did…
• If you want to go fast, get in the early start group rather than mowing down kids later in the day.
• Take care on the ride – it’s not a peloton of trained professionals, and you never know when the person in front will slow suddenly or a kid will swerve in front from nowhere.
• Be courteous getting too and from the event – Sydney’s trains and ferries aren’t used to carrying that many bikes at once.
• Don’t stop when you get off an escalator!

Have you got any tips (or gripes) when riding in big events like this?

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