Posts Tagged ‘ cycleways ’

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

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.

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.

Good News in Sydney

Clover wins. Photo wins. Coincidence? I think not.

Clover Moore has successfully defended her position as Sydney’s lord mayor, frustrating the efforts of the major parties and media mouthpieces to oust her. This is a Good Thing. Continue reading

Got A Great Sydney Bike Route? Tell The RTA NOW!

Carts. Horses. Swings. Roundabouts. The new cycleways are already built, so it seems as good a time as any for some ‘community input’ into where people actually ride. The RTA is seeking advice on where Sydney’s cyclists actually ride: the secret back alleys and byways that you use to avoid cars, traffic lights and hills. They also want to know about cycling hazards that make certain routes unrideable (my pet gripe: the Victoria Road ‘cycle path’ on the shared footpath is a great idea to get cyclists off the road, but all the bus shelters take up so much space you can’t ride past them).

The information gathered will be used:

• To be included in the underlying dataset for an online bike trip-planning facility offered through the Transport Info 131500 website

• To inform the development of longer-term online solutions for the NSW government to get feedback from cyclists

• To help road authorities, including local councils, with identifying missing links and hazards

You can post your info by drawing on an online map, or uploading a trip from your bike computer to the mybikeroute website. If that’s too technical you can simply email/fax/post it in. But be quick, apparently the 10-week trial closes on December 22.

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!

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