Posts Tagged ‘ Ride To Work ’

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

Ride To Work Day, Hyde Park

Today is Ride To Work Day – did you? If you did, and you work in the CBD, then hopefully you enjoyed the free breakfast and various stalls at Hyde Park this morning. Our Lord who art in Mayordom (Clover be thy name) was there, doing her bit for the new cycleways – you can now ride all the way from the Harbour Bridge to the Anzac Bridge on bright green paint. But watch out, that green stuff (when freshly laid down) can be slippery in the wet!

The Hyde Park event was a nice excuse to share a bit of the bike love, although the comments here show that it can also act as a target for the anti-cycling crowd. Something particularly handy at today’s event was the presence of free mechanical checks and physios to assist newer riders in making sure their bike is running ok, and fitted properly for them. Having spent a while riding an undersized, poorly-tuned, second-hand bike (thankfully some bike thieves eventually took it off my hands), I know a tune up and tips on riding position can go a long way in helping someone keep riding, rather than dumping the bike back in the garage.

Coming in via Pyrmont, it was nice to see local businesses piggy-backing on the event and seeing the cycleways as a positive (in stark contrast to the class-less naysayer opposing the Bourke St cycleway) with the local cafes banding together and passing out vouchers for a free coffee to the cyclists, encouraging them to stop in for a drink before heading to the office. Nice touch.

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