Shame on Herald Sun – Cyclist with Baby. It’s normal!

The most popular article on the HS today is a photo of a female cyclist transporting her child around in a manner she sees fit.  A normal and natural way to get around.  An acceptable, non-event pretty much anywhere else.

But, unfortunately, the HS has written a vile article calling this person the most irresponsible woman in Victoria and stating some irrelevant and generalised stats that don’t even back up this claim.  A bit rich…….  The disgustingly overly dramatic “child’s life at risk”, “life threatening situation” makes it seem like this perfectly normal activity of transporting yourself and your child to your destination is certain death for even thinking about such a thing.

Cycling is safer than walking and much safer than driving.  This person’s actions wouldn’t have even been cause for a second glance internationally.  Why have we allowed car culture to permeate every pore of our being so that the only perceived “safe” way to transport children is inside a tonne of metal?

I would also like to make a special mention of the person who took the photo “Melanie, 39”.  It seems to me that they have taken this photo whilst operating a motor vehicle, from my understanding of the road rules, an illegal act that has the potential to kill someone!  Don’t see a huge write up about that one!

What is up this week, Major Newspapers?  Your coverage of cycling has been reprehensible this week with several terrible anti-cycling articles.

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Cycling and the Qld State Election – My letter to candidates.

*Rant Warning*

I’ve written a letter to each of the candidates standing for my local electorate.  It’s below if you are interested.  I’ve e-mailed / sent it to as many candidates as I could find online contact for.  The e-mail address for the Family First candidate did not work and I couldn’t find an address for one of the independents.  I’ll post their responses for those interested.

If you want to send one of your own, there are some suggestions here.

Continue reading

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.

Near Miss *Rant Warning*

I had the horror of a very close near miss this morning.  I was travelling in the left hand lane approaching a set of lights.  There were three cars queued in the right hand lane.  The first turning right,  the second and third going straight ahead.  The left hand lane was clear.  I’ve had trouble at these lights before, so about 50m before the intersection, I moved in to the centre of the left hand lane to take the whole lane and remain obvious.  The lights turned green before I needed to slow down, so, I continued on at normal speed. I’m very cautious in these situations so am on the look out for any indicators or signs that driver will make an unexpected manoeuvre.

The second car in the queue decided they did not want to wait for the first car to turn right and made a sudden swerve into the left hand lane with out indicating or even creeping forward first.  I had to brace my forearm on the passenger side door in order to not get pushed over.  The driver did not stop.

This was incredibly frightening and has made the top 3 of bad things that happened on the bike.

But the worst part was I told this story at my work safety meeting and was met with a person stating that they don’t look for cyclist because they don’t expect them.  How in your right mind can you state in a safety meeting that you blatantly don’t follow the road rules.  And therefore don’t really care if one of you injure or kill one of your colleagues as a result.

I Share the Road

James from the Toronto bike blog – The Urban Country has started a campaign for road safety called I share the road.

For as little as the postage cost ($1.50 CAD), you can get 10 x I Share the Road stickers in two sizes – large and small.  Small is a great size for chucking on the bike – on the fender, mud guard, seat post, racks.  Postage time to regional Qld was about 2 weeks.

I think I’ll be adding these stickers to our X-mas cards for our friends and family.

Below the cut is some photos of my stickers in action.  There has been one particular instance in the last two weeks where I wish I had the sticker to refer some drivers to. Continue reading

Riding at night

So, I have to confess, I did something today that was probably not terribly safe.

I commute from home to the station, and then from the train station to work.  As it is summer in Sydney, it generally doesn’t get dark till 8.00pm, I haven’t really been bothering about lights.  I have these Knog lights as I like the way they look, and figured that they’d get me home.

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Fitzroy Principal Cycle Network Plan – Workshop 9 Dec 2011

Coming up on 9 December 2011 is the community consultation for the Fitzroy Principal Cycle Network Plan (PCNP).  Basically, this workshop is to provide local user input in to the PCNP as part of the Queensland Cycling Strategy.

Details are as follows:

Rockhampton

Date: Friday 9th December 2011

Time: 9 am – 12pm

Venue: Wentworth Room, Kershaw House, Glenmore Road, Park Avenue, Rockhampton

RSVP:  cyclePCNP@tmr.qld.gov.au

Info: http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Projects/Name/F/Fitzroy-Principal-Cycle-Network-Plan.aspx

Agenda: http://www.bq.org.au/_downloads/Rockhampton_Agenda.pdf

First of all, for shame DTMR!  The community consultation and workshop is on during the middle of the day on a weekday!  How the proverbial are normal daily commuter cyclists supposed to attend this meeting?  Isn’t this the exact target market you are trying to reach with these programs?  Certainly not a great way to reach them by putting on the program during the most inaccessible time for them.  At least the venue is bicycle accessible, I guess…..

Secondly, for shame DTMR!  Your website on this process contains no information or dates on when this meeting is going to occur.  So, apart from the e-mail I got from BQ that this was going to occur, I had no knowledge of its existence and I do have fair access to what’s going on in the local biking community.  There has been no general talk about it and no notices that it was going to occur.

I don’t know if I will be attending or not.  I will certainly try to get there but most people just can’t up and leave work for half a day.

If you aren’t in the Fitzroy area and want to participate in these events, I would look up your area on the Projects Page (not an easy navigation) and contact the relevant addresses about the dates for your area.  If you are a member of BQ, I’d imagine you will probably get an e-mail about it as a reminder.