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 »


Global unity in Ride of Silence

27 May, 2011
Bendigo cyclists lined up awaiting the start of the 2011 Ride of Silence

Remember: Bendigo cyclists join the Ride of Silence each year to remember cycilsts who have been killed on the roads.

There are three things we can be assured that we will face in our life time: birth, taxes and death. Births can be such a celebration, the creation of new life a God given gift to be shared and enjoyed in the fullness of life. Taxes are a necessary evil for society to evolve and something many spend their life time trying to avoid or lessen the impact of and for us not to forget that taxes pave the roads we ride on. Death is something as mortals we won’t avoid it comes to us all sometime some place we may not have a choice in making.

In our lives statistically we are likely to attend more funerals than we will attend marriages. Deaths in cycling are real and something that grieves the soul when a cyclist dies as a result of a road trauma accident. It could well be that we see cycling having such a freedom that losing a life as a result of an accident is such a tragedy as the person killed is in the prime of their life not necessarily doing anything to affect others but enjoying themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


Enjoyment comes in proportion to preparation

15 October, 2010

 

13 cyclists lined up in the early morning

Last leg: riders on the Bendigo to Bathurst get ready to leave on the last morning. Photo Danny Breen

 

After five days riding you come to appreciate that it can be ground breaking, crossing new boundaries and looking at a set target that for some was beyond previous miles stones of cycling experience. The St Lukes “Ride for Youth – Bendigo to Bathurst” was a wonderful experience for all that participated, a strong and powerful testimony of mateship and camaraderie and that is not just on the bike but in all facets of the whole event from the first thought to mission accomplished. 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 »


Recognising the time, place and signs to be safe

2 April, 2010
School zone sign showing 40km limit and times it applies

Sign of the times: be aware of the sort of vehicle and pedestrian traffic you're likely to be sharing the road with. Photo: Eddie Barkla

We all have regimented regimes, governing our days: sleeping, eating, working or being active in sport or relaxing in front of the TV.  We look forward to these every day, regular as clock work.

Our cycling routines could well be the same case, having adopted required behaviours for riding times and routes that we stick to religiously. We meet the same cars or other shared road users such as other cyclists, walkers and joggers sharing their regimented life style.

Having a sustained well balanced lifestyle of sleep, food, drink and exercise and challenges of the mind body and soul can be very beneficial for sustained health. Getting caught out of routine or trying something new can be quite daunting and challenging. Read the rest of this entry »