November 30, 2009
Presently, I am staying in Launceston and thought it sensible to write about a few bike-related occurrences occurring here. What is plain when one travels through this town, is that there are a lot less people riding bikes here, percentage wise, compared to Hobart.
The Launceston City Council continues to add bike lanes into urban road planning here, and there is an increasing number of bike racks lock-up bars popping up around the place. There is a fabulous bike track that runs parallel to the West Tamar Hwy that winds its way to the wildlife and bird sanctuary Tamar Island, and a number of BMX tracks can be found at the Gorge.
I came across flyers in the fantastic vegetarian café ‘Fresh’ for the Tamar Valley Bike Users Group. The group is a ‘not for profit organisation working towards building a strong cycling community whilst increasing cycle awareness and safety in and around the Tamar region’. It has events planned for the summer, looks to be led by a proactive and excited bunch of people, and more information can be found at: http://www.tbug.org.au/content.php
At present, the majority of cyclists in Launceston and surrounds are those who ride for exercise on racing/ road-bikes. I do not mean to generalise as I write this, but the term ‘Lycra-wearers’ fits the description of such cyclists well. It gives me a buzz to see a group of (often professional) men and women riding along, obviously enjoying the experience. Cycling provides a wonderful opportunity to socialise, get fit and enjoy oneself, and it appears that many people relish such an opportunity here. Launceston’s burgeoning excellent coffee shops provide the much desired caffeine fix and relax after a hard early-morning slog too!
Anna Bickel (not me), a young Launceston cyclist who is involved in such community-minded schemes as ‘Food Not Bombs Launceston’, is keen to set up a Courteous Critical Mass in the north of this lovely state. She plans to have the first one in January, and any northern-readers who are interested in assisting are asked to contact her at. Leave a posting on this page, and I’ll pass it on to her pronto.
November 29, 2009
It is with great pleasure that I announce a solid commitment to making the daily commute an even more joyful, friendly and sociable affair. Recently I purchased a very cute and quirky bike bell not only as a legal bike accessory, but also as a quality means of connecting with those who pass me by as I cruise the streets of Hobart.
A great benefit of riding, is that you can see, hear, smell, feel, taste and acknowledge your surroundings. The purchase and use of this bell has given me the ability to respond audibly to those things that make me smile, grunt, groan or sigh. Seeing another person on a bicycle always make me smile, and my friendly “ding dong” bell gives me the delight of greeting and encouraging that fellow cyclist! I hope that in Hobart we can all use our bike bells frequently to salute and congratulate each other for participating in such a wonderful activity.
Written for the love of bells by Katie Kingshott
November 28, 2009
I am an avid reader of a bike blog out of Copenhagen called Copenhagen Cycle Chic, see: http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/. This blog has converted me to the powerful influence style has as a key advocacy option for encouraging people to get on their bikes. The people who run the website seem to spend all their time watching bikes go by and taking spectacular if not consented to photos of stylish people on bikes. Lord Mayor Rob Valentine is a big believer in Cycle Chic Style and can be seen in his suit whenever he gets on his bike.
Written for the love of bikes by Liam.C
November 28, 2009
A day of rain and drizzle did not deter around 70 riders from joining the November Courteous Critical Mass ride but did seem to deter those with creative ideals. Some splendid prizes were on offer for those who dressed up as the following:
- santa, baby jesus, virgin mary, elf, three wise men, cow herd, tooth fairy, lamb, christmas tree, present
But unfortunately, only a big bike present could be seen on Friday among the riders.
The ride followed a nice flat route due to requests from two cycle rickshaws that joined the ride, and completed several laps of Arthurs Circus in Battery Point before rolling down to Salamanca. The police bike squad must be back in action as we had the pleasure of their company on the ride. Due to the number of children participating it was great to have a few flashing lights at the front to warn motorists to slow down.
HTH lugged a portable bike stand along for the ride and afterwards delivered a chain cleaning and lubricating service for about 10 bikes. This included teaching the youngsters how to do it themselves. We hope to be able to clean hundreds of bikes if we can recruit enough volunteers to get their hands dirty.
We were honoured to have the esteemed company of lord mayor Rob Valentine who as usual rode in style with his smartly pressed suit and modest bike. He now has a clean chain thanks to us.
The ride was also joined by some of the promoters of the walk against warming see: http://www.wilderness.org.au/articles/walk-against-warming who are promoting a bike ride out to the Florentine Valley event that is planned in early December, http://www.wilderness.org.au/articles/sustainable-tansport-options. We thank them for letting us know they would be attending the ride and for handing out leaflets after the ride and not before.
The message we like to stick by is as simple as we can make it and replaced pannier bags with signs this ride:
November 25, 2009
I was enjoying the beauty of Hobart on a blustery sunny morning recently, and turned my head to marvel at the way the sun was streaming through the leaves of the trees along the Hobart Rivulet track. I failed to notice the gutter drain grate on the side of the road and went charging straight into it, managing to get my back-wheel wedged in between the unforgiving metal bars. I can only say that it was lucky my front wheel didn’t go into it, or I might have been ‘head-over-handlebars’!
A brilliantly buckled wheel, flat-as-a-pancake tyre and newly-developed wrecked braking system later, I limped my way to the trusty people at BikeRide, to get my bike fixed.
After receiving sympathy from these kind expert bike fixers, I was informed that there are plans afoot to swap the conventional gutter grates one sees currently, to a grid-like structure, with bars of metal going both length and width-ways. This would prevent such accidents as mine from occurring. I have looked into such ‘plans’ for such a alteration of gutter grates, but haven’t come across any yet. I plan to lobby the Hobart City Council for such a change, as I believe it is highly warranted. They would prevent costly damage to both bike wheels and frames and riders’ teeth and pride; such grates would be just great!
November 25, 2009
Good day to all, and thanks for reading this wonderful collection of bike-related reflections. My name’s Anna, and I am a new contributor to the Healthy Transport Hobart Blog.
I was first exposed to bikes nearly 20 years ago (my age), and have wonderfully vivid memories of me as a 4year old bowling around on my training-wheeled sparkly purple bike. For about 5 years, I arrived at ballet classes all trussed up in leotard and stockings having been dinked by my Dad across Fawkner Park in Melbourne. I have now upgraded to a sophisticated black number plus/minus basket that is constantly getting punctures, and (obviously) now live in Hobart to attend university.
Any comments or feedback are greatly appreciated, and I wish you all experience smile-inducing and safe, cycling.
November 23, 2009
We were recently invited by the Society of Friends in Newtown to assist with a bike maintenance workshop with some youngsters. A couple of months ago we headed off on a ride with them up the bike track and found a lot of flat tyres and dirty chains so we thought it a good idea to help out. So on Sunday 22 September we headed up to Newtown to meet some passionate young bike riders. Every Sunday the Quaker Meeting happens at 10 am and the kids get to go out and have fun for an hour, parent free.
We are not expert bike mechanics so we focussed on just some basic cleaning and maintenance principles to help the kids get their bikes running more well. We attempted to teach them how to pump up their tyres, clean their bikes with a rag and clean and oil their chain using a chain cleaner. They learnt quickly everyone had some black hands to show for their efforts.
November 23, 2009
We passed these billboards parked on the side of Sandy Bay Rd yesterday and questioned the message that they are spreading. We don’t eat and MacDonalds so why do we need this advertising flung in our faces on a sunday morning as we ride into town? Do they have permission to do this? If so, do they have to pay for the privilege of blatant street side advertising in public space?
We will be finding out about these questions in the coming week to determine if we too can find carparks in the cbd, park bikes with big signs attached to them in the CBD and get free advertising space for healthy transport related messages.
November 23, 2009
Hobart Christmas Pageant has been and gone and we reckon it has got to be the best event the CBD sees all year. For once the thousands of cars that dominate the city are banished with their noise and air pollution so people can experience the city as a people city, not a car city. We rode the christmas pageant this year to promote the ride to work message and make the most of riding in the middle of the streets without cars to contend with. Our costume designs didnt win us any awards, but we would have won the slowest bike race award if there had been one.
The event is a wonderful opportunity for community groups to celebrate their achievements and see the city in a new way. We noticed so many buildings that we’d never seen before as we are always on the footpaths or the edge of the roads.
November 18, 2009
We had the pleasure of attending the launch of the Conversations In Kingborough youth transport study on Friday 13th November. With a grant from the Federal Office of Children and Youth affairs a documentary maker travelled around the municipality with a red couch talking to 65 young people about their transport needs.
The launch was attended by Minister for Infrastructure Graham Sturges, Kingborough Mayor Graham Bury and other councillors and politicians. Following the release of the research paper the project now hopes to develop an action plan for improving young peoples transport options in Hobart.
The Report recommended the following themes:
-A review of current bus routes and bus times, particularly to extend the network into growth areas and make buses more regular on weekends for non urban services.
-A review of bus fares to make the usage of public transport more economically viable
-Improved service planning to meet the needs of local communities such as Margate, Snug, Kettering, Woodbridge and Middleton.
-Seamless public transport services that include connections with the Bruny Island Ferry
-The creation of a youth friendly central area in Kingston with services, facilities and public space open opportunities
-The inclusion of young peoples views in the planning for the future Central Kingston area and the integration of accessible transport into future planning
-The improvement of rural young peoples access to educational opportunities
-The provision of Park and Ride or Park and Walk facilities
-The integration of cycling into bus service to enable individuals to either safely leave their bikes at bus stops or to take their bikes on the bus
-The provision of end of trip facilities such as bike racks, and lockers on major routes, to encourage greater cycling
-Increased encouragement of car pooling
-The creation of ‘people friendly’ bus stops with seating and shelters
-The development of measures to cost the benefits of alternative and accessible transport
-The promotion and integration of physical activity as a component of transport
-Increased marketing of alternative transport options through websites and other promotions so that the community is aware of the options available
-The implementation of a system of incentives and deterrents to encourage greater usage of alternatives
-Increased driver awareness of cyclists and safe cycling programs
-The promotion of cycling as a form of tourism within the Municipality
-The connection and improvement of cycling infrastructure and walking paths on frequently travelled routes, with particular attention to increasing the the safety of school routes
-Further development of the walking school bus or pedal pods programs to increase the number of children walking or cycling to school.
HTH member Liam rode there on a cargo cycle and talked about his experiences growing up in the kingborough area and how he found hitch hiking and riding his bike easier and more convenient that catching the bus.
The Launch will be followed by the development of an action plan. It was covered by ABC and Southern Cross TV and HTH member Liam along with Mayor Graham Bury and Film Maker Lucien Simon were interviewed by ABC local radio that afternoon.
November 15, 2009
HTH has been on the lookout for an ironing board to add to the change room of facilities co-ordinator Liam. And what popped up on the side of the channel highway on hard rubbish day but a quality looking ironing board that will be added to a hospital shower and change room in Hobart. HTH will be purchasing an iron to use on it and never have to put on crumpled shirts again. We have been using the iron it at home, roll it up carefully and then put it on at work trick, but a few annoying work mates have been hassling us to drive to work so we look smarter. We’ll show them now.
November 15, 2009
The recent development at Long Beach, lower Sandy Bay has dedicated a considerable area to car parking spots, but has thankfully included the rack capacity for 16 bikes in the improvements. HTH congratulates the HCC on the installation of such racks yet will request for another rack near the pizza place which is a popular parking spot for people riding out to Sandy Bay for Pizzas.
We are impressed by the people friendly design with lots of open space as well as it being disability friendly and the installation of barrier/seating along some of the wall. We ride past the beach most days and it seems to always have people walking along it.