Putting Cycling on the Qld Election Agenda

Only a few weeks (31 March 2012) until those of us in Queensland will vote in our state election.  Now, cycling is an important state issue and CBD Bug has put together a great list of suggestions as well as some form/sample letters for you to send to the candidates in your electorate about their cycling policies.

Some of my favourite issues in the suggestions are:

  • Driver competency and education
  • Cycleway connectivity
  • Hostile road rules

I strongly urge you to write to your candidates about these important issues and let them know that cycling is vital to our community.

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Two thumbs up – business providing customer bike facilities!

I went to the dentist today and whilst that is awesome in itself, it’s not the story I want to talk about.

The dentist in semi-suburban part of municipality had a bike rack in the car park in the shade!  I was astounded that they would provide such facilities and was impressed that they weren’t tucked around the back or really inconvenient to access.  They were right at the front of the building closer even that the regular car parks!  I was expecting to have to lock my bike up on a tree or railing or street post.  Certainly made my day (I’m easily amused).

Great work!

My ride today

So, in the spirit of riding more, I rode up to Pie in the Sky today with some friends.  For some of them, it was the longest ride they’d ever done.  Thankfully, the weather was a beautiful blue, and so, on an assortment of bikes (everything from roadies to Kmart specials), we headed off.

Despite 2 flat tyres, we all had a great time, and although quite hilly, everyone did enjoy the screaming downhills.

Here’s a couple of pretty ordinary pictures from the ride today.  Sorry, I should have taken better photos!

ride 1

ride 2

Confessions

I was riding home today, and I actually came to a realisation that is kind of scary.  Riding in traffic actually scares me.

Now I wouldn’t call myself a novice rider, but sometimes riding in Sydney can sometimes feel like an extreme sport.  Between watching right for drivers trying to squeeze up the right side, watching left for cars pulling out, doors opening, pedestrians running out in front of you and monster pot holes, is there any wonder that a short ride through traffic can sometimes leave you strung out and feeling as if you’ve just been in battle?

Some days, every car you pass seems like a win, and every intersection you successfully get past seems like a battle won. Oh, and any roundabout, where a car on your left actually gives way to you – wow – that’s like winning the lottery.

I mean, really, are drivers really trying to kill us?

New Year’s Cycling Resolutions

I’m not one for ever doing any New Year’s Resolutions.  So these are both belated and aspirational rather than resolutional.

Ride when ever I am able.

This is deliberately open ended.  Riding is already my primary means of getting to and from work but I could probably move more journeys to the bike for social events, to and from sport, the shops, etc.  Some of these, I currently bum a lift or catch the bus/taxi.

Buy Australian made cycling products.

If possible, I hope to buy Australian made cycling products.  I bit of a long shot for many things but plenty of the things that make cycling fun and add novelty are made in Oz.

If not Oz made, then from the Local Bike Shop.  If not from the LBS, then from an Oz retailer.

It’s unfortunately all too easy to get that thing you want online from overseas much cheaper than here.

Try to normalise cycling.

Both to myself and others.  Even though I ride every day as my primary means of transportation, it still doesn’t feel normal.  This is a terrible admission on my behalf and probably a bit of a reflection on the poor state of cycling in Australia.  Cycling doesn’t feel like something normal people do.  I’m going to try to wear normal clothes, cycle to normal everyday activities, talk down cycling short comings and encourage others to give it a go.

More advocacy.

Write more, tweet more, contact members of government more.  Join the local BUG.  Complain when important public facilities have no/inadequate bike infrastructure.  Take down number plates and report to police poor behaviour.

Don’t forget to ride for recreation.

I do a lot of commuting.  It’s easy to forget that riding for the sake of it is fun.

Cycle to the beach

Something I’ve wanted to do but haven’t gotten around to.  It isn’t even that far!