Taking insurance into mind

3 December, 2011
Man sitting on ground tangled with a bicycle and with head spinning.

Take care: a well maintained bike and focus on what you're doing are just as important as insurance.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act has certainly changed our thinking in meeting our “duty of care”, and understanding “responsibilities” in the work place, placing duties on manufacturers and suppliers, work place management and workers alike.

It is common place to have a disclaimer on how products and equipment are to be used in a safe manner with limited risk to health and safety. Employers are to provide for employees, so far as is reasonably practicable a work place without risk to health and safety. Employees are asked to take reasonable care for themselves and others who may be affected by their acts or emission in the work place. Read the rest of this entry »


Unnerving the cyclists

5 August, 2011
A metre matters logo showing a cyclist wtih one metre distance to car

What's a safe distance? Cycling advocates like the Amy Gillet Foundation are lobbying to have a safe distance mandated. Image source Amy Gillet Foundation

As a commuting cyclist on average spending 10 hours a week covering approximately 200 km just getting to and from work to home almost anywhere across Bendigo city limits there are many moments quite unnerving while sharing the road. 80-90 kilos of body and bike combined are no match for a tonne of metal on wheels and there are no grounds for creating a confrontation as to who may have right of way. Lying on the road being right does not make sense when broken bones and serious body damage may occur. Read the rest of this entry »

What are your blind spots on safe shared road usage?

17 December, 2010
Two cyclists sharing the road with cars at a busy intersection

Share the road: both cyclists and motorists need to be aware of the other's rights and their own responsibilities.

This week’s article has come from a number of different incidents that highlighted a gap in understanding in sharing the road safely regulations and laws ascribed to in our community.  These incidents also confirmed that in community groups there will always be a sliding scale of those that try their best to be responsible shared road users and at the other far end there will be those that have a different agenda motorist and cyclists alike. These are mainly in a minority and we find it hard to comprehend or understand where they may be coming from when mixed with anger and frustration towards other shared road users. Read the rest of this entry »

Cancer conscious cycling

10 October, 2010
Peaked cap, lycra bandana and arm covers, and tube of sunscreen

Cover up: cyclists need to be sun-conscious and cover up as much as possible. Photo: Eddie Barkla.

I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains. I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea, Her beauty and her terror – The wide brown land for me!

The draw of wide open country roads, and bushland tracks, all part of Bendigo’s culture and heritage beckoning us. Daylight savings has kicked in and training is in readiness for the Bay in a Day or the Port to Port or maybe the Great Vic Bike Ride or a bit later the Alpine Classic or even the Otways Classic. Plenty of incentives to be out there soaking up the sun and kilometres even if none of these are your target ride for end of 2010 and start of 2011. Cyclists quite often expose tender skin to the blistering heat of the sun and the dreaded C word needs to taken into consideration. Read the rest of this entry »

Swooping season

4 October, 2010
Two magpies swooping a cyclist on a country road

Attack: Magpies and some other native birds will swoop people near their nests.

It’s the eve of the Grand Final of Australian Rules Football and on the mind of far too many cyclists is whether the magpies will win.  By the time we get to read this article the AFL premiership team for 2010 season will be known but still on the mind of many cyclists will be whether the magpies will give them a good smacking next time they are out on the road.  Yes it is Springtime, the season of swooping birds and the magpies are quite aggressive this year albeit just for a season and they will quieten down unlike if the Magpies win the Grand Final the noise could go on for years how they gave their opposition a good smack around the ears.

The following statement from the Department of Sustainability and Environment was released a short time ago how they are bringing technology to the rescue, including using Twitter to plot the hotspots. The Department has launched a new campaign—The Swoop!—to improve safety this swooping season.

“This year, we are taking a more technology based approach to spread the message about avoiding bird swooping areas,” a spokesman said.

“We have set up a ‘magpie map’ to show swooping hotspots in Victoria, and are encouraging communities to let DSE know via twitter, email or the call centre where these hot spots are so that DSE can plot them on the Magpie Map on the DSE website. Report the swooping location by emailing swoopvic@dse.vic.gov.au, telephoning 136 186 or sending a tweet of the details including #swoopvic in the message.” Read the rest of this entry »

Buying time and space on the road

11 June, 2010
A cyclist approaches a roundabout with a van on his right

Playing dice: cyclists take their life in their hands entering situations like roundabouts. Photo: Eddie Barkla

The world would have us believe that we need everything now. It is the latest the greatest and the best in the world we are told.  It will transform you instantly. It is available to you now don’t delay. We are bombarded with these words from many forms of media. The truth is the only thing that is for now, is our salvation. I remember so vividly a quote of my mother “want will be your master”.  We want to be in the best position, we want to be successful, we want to be rich, we want time to move faster, we lack that virtue of patience and all good things comes to those that wait.

Sadly the manner in which we share the road is taking on a similar tone and neither cyclist nor motorist are devoid of this curse of “wanting”. There is enough space on the road for us to safely share the road in the right timing.  What seems to be creeping in is that we are all buying for the same time to sharing the same space. Read the rest of this entry »

A metre really does matter

4 June, 2010
Cyclist riding in Melbourne traffic

Not so close: giving cyclists a metre's clearance can make things a lot safer for everyone.

Through the generosity of media outlets of TV community services, pay TV, radio and cinemas across Australia and the use of large roadside billboards in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane an important shared road use safe cycling message is being conveyed through the Amy Gillett Foundation. It is quite simple and catchy: “A Metre Matters”.

For over nine years, bike sales have exceeded car sales with in excess of 1.1 million bikes sold per year. As more and more people are turning to bicycle riding for health and transport needs, the potential for fatalities and injuries on our roads can increase. All road users need to be mindful of their actions on the road to avoid the potential dangers of mixing cars and bikes. Read the rest of this entry »