PEDAL UPDATE No. 208 September - November 2012
Parking Day â€“ What do you like/don't like about riding in Adelaide?
a message from the chair by JEREMY MILLER There is a certain seasonal melancholia that seems to set in towards the end of winter only to be relieved with the onset of spring. For me, it is summed up with an utterance that I often mutter to myself - "I'm so over winter", especially when I need to be somewhere, it's cold, wet, rainy and I'm tired. I did only catch a taxi once this winter, and sponged a lift from a car owning friend a couple of times, and borrowed a car once. When the season starts to turn, the days grow noticeably longer, the blossoms appear and the weather warms, those hardened cyclists who ride in any weather at any time, well their hearts must lift, I know mine certainly does. Thoughts of warm morning rides and evenings traveling home while it is still light, weekend rides with less kit because the weather is not going to turn nasty accompanied by the smells and sounds of the world waking up from a winter characterize this time. For the motorist commuter however, I wonder what changes they notice. The traffic is the same, the air conditioning is the same, the frustrations and petty road rage is the same, the route one has to take only have little variance. There is very little sense of seasonal differentiation other than the frustrations that it brings - like returning to a hot car in the sun, sun glare and visibility, dealing with other motorists and maintenance issues that sometimes see a car catastrophically overheat and die on the side of the road. All these things mean nothing to the cyclist (perhaps other than dealing with the petty frustrations of road rage, the three 'Iâ€™s' - inconsiderate, ignorant and impatient - that characterize so much motorist behaviour to other road users). I guess that is why I prefer my bicycle over any other form of transportation. It is fast, efficient, relieves stress, keeps me fit, and allows me to experience the wonders of the world around me and my capacity to move through this ever changing landscape under my own motive force. For me, nothing beats this daily occurrence. There is a lot to be gained by encouraging more people to experience bicycle commuting; the health benefits both physical and mental are well documented, as are the cost savings that can accrue to the individual. Less cars on the road also means less congestion, which essentially means that for every cyclist riding to work, who might otherwise have driven, there is quite literally 'one less car'. 2
One less car means more space for those who either have to drive, or choose to drive because there are no other options available to them. This essentially means that there is more space for everyone else on the roads. This is where spending on cycling infrastructure has positive paybacks. Not only a healthier society, fitter and less stressed with more discretionary spending to put back into the economy, but less congestion on our strained road system. Within this discussion I often wonder at the figures I hear bandied about the spending on cycling infrastructure compared to other transport modes. I think to myself “how much of the transport budget is actually spent directly on cycling infrastructure?” - if we had 3% of daily commutes being undertaken by bicycle , or were actually aiming for a target of 10% of all daily commutes, then why not allocate 10% of the overall transport infrastructure budget to cycling projects? This would be an amazing sum of money each year, year in, year out. Now imagine what Adelaide would actually look like with that sort of money spent, all it takes is commitment and a consistent funding allocation to the transport mode of now and the future.
meet our new secretary I’m pleased to join the committee this year after being a Bicycle Institute member for a number of years. I’m not sure where my interest in bikes started but as I get older I seem to be more interested in all things bike, but ultimately my interest is about cycling as part of everyday life. I also believe that there is a huge opportunity for cycling to become a much bigger part of everyday life in Adelaide (and SA) with all the benefits that come with increased bike use.
I want to see action on good bicycle infrastructure to support the great progress that has been made in a more bipartisan support towards benefits and opportunities for cycling. For me good infrastructure needs to be easy to use and designed for long term use (ie designed for best solutions, not stop gap). My test for good bike infrastructure is would they be used by my 7 and 9 year old son; and 70 year old mother in law. And I’d like to take the chance to remind you that in order to achieve this we need members so spread the Bike Institute of SA word to your cycling friends, we need more members to support us and help do our work. 3
skip to moolooloo by BRIAN JENKINS
Riding the Mawson Trail from the Adelaide Hills to the Flinders Ranges takes in some wonderful scenery. The top end of the Trail is Blinman (SA’s highest town, population just gone from 22 to 18). Blinman is where the North Flinders Ranges begin, and there are some options to explore in day rides from here. One loop is down past Angorichina Hostel to Parachilna Gorge, then returning by the Glass Gorge road. The Parachilna road, while unsealed, is a main tourist route. The Glass Gorge road less so, but some vehicles are likely. Generally these roads are of reasonable quality. A slightly longer loop that is rougher and quieter but more rewarding is to use a Public Access Route to visit Artimore ruins, near the looming presence of Patawarta Hill that oversees this country. The route is south along the Blinman-Wilpena road – 3 kms of token sealed surface for the day. Turn left onto the Wirrealpa road (a route to Arkaroola). The 10 kms spent on this road has corrugations that can be hard to dodge (my banana survived, but only just). Left at the turn-off to Narrina Station for 3 ½ kms.
Left again when the start of the Public Access Route is reached. From here it’s 25 kms to Moolooloo Station, and 32 kms total to the Glass Gorge road. There is the possibility to visit Patawarta Gap up a side road. Left once exiting from Moolooloo, it’s 16 kms to Blinman via Glass Gorge.
Note: most distances are approximates off of my maps. I was carrying a Garmin for the rest of the 10 days up there to plot the cacti we were poisoning – but this was my day off. The route is undulating, going along the valleys between the Ranges, and Gaps and creeks through the Ranges. From the Narrina Station turn-off to the Glass Gorge road, I saw 2 4WD vehicles together early on, and 1 more near the end – all going the other way. I found out later some of the cactus party were following my tracks in their vehicles, but they could only travel my speed (approx 10 kms/hr). And one of them got a flatty!
2012/13 bicycle funding by ANGUS KINGSTON The state government has announced the details of how $1.4 million will be spent in 2012/13 for cycling initiatives across the state through the State Government’s Black Spot Program and the State Bicycle Fund. Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Patrick Conlon said a significant portion of the funding has been assigned to improving cycling access to, and conditions within, the City of Adelaide, reflecting the Weatherill Government’s priority to create a vibrant city for all South Australians. “We want to encourage more people to take up cycling which provides not just health benefits but important social and environmental benefits as well,” he said. “By investing in these specific projects, which were selected through consultation with cycling groups, we will help make the roads safer for cyclists.” Most notably DPTI has been allocated funding to lay a green coloured surface to existing bike lanes to improve their visibility for all road users and also increases driver awareness of cyclists. DTEI says “research from throughout the world shows that coloured pavement reduces the chance of accidents. For example a 2011 study in Christchurch, New Zealand showed a 39 per cent decrease in crashes. The roads include Greenhill Rd, Hackney Road, Park Terrace, Torrens Road, Rundle Street, Robe Terrace and Anzac Highway.
The Bicycle Institute are also excited to read that $100,000 has been allocated for the creation of separated bicycle lanes on Port Road and James Congdon Drive to South Road. We sought more information on this project but were told there were no details available at this time but the money had been allocated and specifics would be available when the planning was complete. In the Adelaide City Council area funding has been provided for bike lanes, shared use path and local area traffic management. Patrick Conlon said “Almost 9,500 people now cycle in and out of the CBD daily - an increase of more than 50 per cent over the past five years”. While this is a great result the minister would like to see this figure grow even more. Areas to see some changes include the Frome St corridor, North Terrace to Glen Osmond Road along Frome, Regent, Castle and Charlotte Streets. Some of these developments were created with consultation from The Bicycle Institute. Also announced was a shared use path between Greenhill Road at Porter Street and existing shared use crossing of Glen Osmond Road and Bicycle lane, Pulteney Street, North Terrace to Pirie Street. Along with these projects, 11 councils across South Australia will also receive funding and regional areas have not been forgotten with money allocated for bicycle lanes, road crossing improvements as well as the construction of shared use paths. “Projects include bicycle lanes, road crossing improvements as well as the construction of shared use paths,” the minister said. “These projects are complementary to the record investment already being made in separated bike paths through the Government’s Greenways program.” Councils to receive a funding boost include the City of Salisbury for a shared use crossing, Little Para River Trail, Kings Road crossing, Mount Gambier, Berri Barmera and Wakefield Regional Council for a shared use path at Gwy??? Terrace from the school crossing to Wallace Street, Balaklava.
For the full list of allocations http://www.ministers.sa.gov.au/images/ news_releases/12_07Jul/bicycle_funding.pdf 7
the revival and travels of a bike named Charlie by KATIE GILFILLAN A while ago my bike was stolen. Now I have a new one. I thought I would share the story of my new bike, and hopefully by doing so share a little of Adelaide’s history and explore some of the amazing bike stuff that goes on in Adelaide. It was a sad sad day; the day my beloved road bike was stolen. The bike I rode everywhere. The grief, as I stared blankly at the spot it had been locked up, was overwhelming. Thankfully, I was on my way to a Bicycle Institute meeting. There’s nothing like hugs from very understanding fellow bike lovers to make you feel better during such miserable times. Despite this, my grumbles continued until a work mate Michelle, heard my despair and offered help. She had cleared out the shed and was selling at a garage sale that weekend two retro 80s bikes that had been hers and her sisters. One blue, one pink and in pretty good order. I picked up the two for $30 and decided the pink one felt right. First step, a name. Her frame showed she was born Madison Pro, but I decided on a stage name. Charlie. And here starts the story of Adelaide’s amazing bike world, from the making of Charlie in the early 80s to her revival in 2012. Charlie was made in Adelaide in the early 1980’s by Southcotts Pty Ltd, a family owned company founded in 1886. Her curvaceous steel frame was designed and built in Adelaide by their cycle division. They ceased making bikes in the 1990’s and shifted their focus to distributing international bicycle brands; I guess as bikes got wings and started to fly over the ocean.
Charlie happily spent her first 25 years with Michelle, purchased from an Adelaide store when she was in her early teens. I can imagine Michelle in a super 80s outfit, side pony tail held in place with a fluro pink scrunchie cruising the streets of north east Adelaide with her sister on a matching blue one. To be honest though I think Charlie had plenty of time to rest up in those early years, luckily kept well in the garage. As the garage got an upgrade Charlie was finally kicked out. And so we met. It wasn’t love at first sight. I’m not sure what I thought when I picked her up, maybe a bit disappointed. I wanted a sit up bike and she was a racer, brakes didn’t work, gears were dodgy, chain buggered, she had some rust and looked a bit small for me. She needed work. I only knew the basics but was keen to learn. I headed to the Adelaide Community Bicycle Workshop to ask for help. And help I got. With the bike, some advice and a heap of help from the amazing Tamba. A couple of hours passed, she was scrubbed, the rust was gone, and the brakes and chain fixed. All while chatting away with others fixing up their bikes. With the basics done I was excited to move onto the rebuild, but I needed parts. I visited Clarke’s Cycles on Magil Rd for some ideas. This store is an Adelaide cycling institution (owned by Kevin) that has an amazing stock of parts to help fix up an old gem. It also turns out Clark’s used to sell Charlie’s model of bike in the 80’s. When I walked in the door I found our very own Chairperson, Jeremy Miller, another Adelaide cycling institution, skulking about in Clarke’s bike heaven. For what I wanted Kevin and Jeremy suggested new handle bars and stem, a new seat stem, new brake levers and cables, new wheels, tubes, grips, lights and I was done. $100 bucks. Bargain. Hmmm, now to get the bits on the bike. From that sentence you can tell I was pretty skilled at this bike stuff. I felt better when I asked Jeremy if he thought I would be right and he was confident. Then he kindly offered his shed and tools to work in, with advice on hand if needed. I had a blast trying to work out what to do, failing mostly, and then asking for advice before trying again. It was such a pleasure to work on restoring my own bike and slowly, slowly she started to come together with the help of so many. From Southcotts Pty Ltd, to the generous Michelle, to the brilliant Tamba at the Bike Workshop, to Clarke’s Cycles, to Jeremy’s bike shed, Charlie was back cruising the streets! 9
Once finished I was so proud. She is brilliant to ride and of course looks gorgeous. She’s light, has plenty of gears and is so comfortable. She does squeak a bit but I pretend not to notice. Braking also isn’t her strong suit but who’s perfect? It is a whole new experience for me and I now take her with me everywhere, loving that she draws in plenty of smiles. The best thing though about having a new bike is undeniably that you can ride it places! There are some special places and events Charlie has been since her revival that I want to share. It is a chance to celebrate a few of the fabulous bike things that are happening in Adelaide, all of which us at The Bicycle Institute are excited about. First, we went to the beginnings of the new Adelaide Bike Kitchen started by a brilliant group of youngins that are creating a place where all are welcome, based on the principles of shared learning, social equity and a love of bikes. They also throw a mighty fine party, are brilliant cooks, and show innovation in everything they do. At the end of each month Charlie heads to Critical Mass, a group ride to reclaim the streets for bikes. It is a celebration of cycling diversity with a shared message; the road is ours too. A socialite at heart she also keenly joins the Radeladies Bike Gang. Yep, a ladies bike gang that rides weekly just for the fun of it, sometimes frocking up and finishing their ride with cocktails, sipped delicately, or not so, while dancing the night away. Charlie also took me to the first dinner with the U go girls bike group to organise our Tassie cycle tour. U go girls ride Sundays, welcoming all women to come and ride with a group to build up fitness. From very nervous beginnings, with very different levels of experience, U go girls are now thrilled to ride the hills with confidence and can’t wait to see the sights of Tassie on bike. I’ll be honest though. The rotations still need some practice. Charlie only attends social events. By rebuilding Charlie I feel like a piece of Adelaide’s history has survived to be a part of Adelaide’s exciting cycling present and future. Thank you to all that helped. 10
bicycle facility design in new buildings â€“ is the green star rating effective? by NICK THOMAS I started working in Adelaide CBD last year and have the good fortune to work in a 6 star rated green energy building which has great cycling facilities. As a user I thought it would be great to profile the good facilities in Pedal Update and describe how the green star rating system helped promote the design of the facilities. What I found was good guidance on bicycle facilities design, however this makes up only a tiny proportion of the green building rating. Notably the requirements for bike facilities design are substantially met or exceeded by Adelaide City Council development plan requirements, in the case of visitor parking significantly. I think I am lucky. I have great bike facilities at work. Secure parking close to lifts; showers and lockers; it all makes arriving at work quick and easy. The facilities contribute to making cycling the quickest option for my 5-6km commute at less than 20 min door to desk. I donâ€™t need to use the showers or lockers, although a large proportion of riders do use them and they can be busy as there are many other users other than cyclists.
The green star design used for the building is based on certification against criteria including transport. Effectively point for bicycle facilities make up 3 points. This equates to approx 3% of the total score, where 75 is required for the 6 green star rating. 2 points are awarded for secure bicycle storage for 140 people (10% of the workforce based on 1 person per 15 m2 net lettable area (NLA)), and changing facilities with 1 accessible shower for 10 bike space with 1 secure locker per bike space. 1 point is awarded for a visitor bike park for each 7,500 m2 of NLA. The design brief included bicycle facilities based on the green star building criteria. To achieve the secure bike parking requirements there are two large bike cages within the secure basement carpark; each cage with approx 35 standard design bike racks. There are also male and female change facilities and lockers adjacent to the carpark (as well as showers on each floor). Exceeding the guidelines (and design) additional lockers were added due to high locker demand and clothes racks installed within the bike cages to ensure towels and wet clothes can be left to (partially) dry during the day. A foot pump is also provided and there is a BUG that is used to communicate on any issues with the parking facilities and cycling in general. For visitors there are a number of external ‘standard’ bicycle racks at either end of the building near the two entrances, some of which are partially protected from the weather. The building is rated on design and the success or otherwise can only be determined by how the facilities are well used. I’m told that as soon as the building was full there were high levels of use and it is estimated around 80 bikes per day use the facilities all year round with some variation depending on the days weather with numbers occasionally dropping to 60 and increasing to well over 100 in good weather. This is despite one of the project team that provided the design brief telling me that he thought the bike parking would never be fully used. There are some potential improvements / and compromises in the design. For one there is a relatively steep ramp to exit the basement carpark and some people push their bikes up rather than ride. Also, despite being nominally for 140 bicycles the areas do start to feel full when there are more than 100 bikes, partially due to some bike stands being parallel to the cage netting making it difficult to secure two bikes too. The facilities are relatively busy and the guideline for one locker per bike park doesn’t take into account either the many people that use the locker for other purposes (eg gym, jogging) or that the group of people riding changes each day and over the longer term.
One of my concerns with building to a code is that it is seen as doing enough and while even greater facilities may be needed the ‘rules’ only require a certain level. Indeed with cycling facilities only 3% of the score under the green star building rating and a 60 required for a 5 star building and 75 for a 6 star building (see footnote below on the assessment criteria). Therefore it is possible to build a 6 star green building with no cycling facilities! Further, I referred to the Adelaide City Council development plan (the requirements that should be met for all developments in the Adelaide City Council area) and found that they require 1 bicycle parking space for every 200m2 of gross leasable area or only slightly less than the Green building council 10% requirement. In fact for visitor bike parking the ACC development plan sites 2 plus 1 for every 1000m2 of gross leasable area. For SA Water House this means that the ACC requirement is greater than 23 spaces vs only 3 to achieve a point under the green star building code. To me this highlights that while choosing to design a green star building will provide guidance, complying with Adelaide City Council development plan requirements if applied for bicycle parking should result in the same effect. As I continue to use the cycling facilities daily designers of new buildings in Adelaide should take note of the examples of good facilities that exist and learn from them. We should also learn that good facilities will be used often and regularly and that the demand exists. Finally the requirements for bike facilities exist for all buildings in Adelaide, not just the 6 green star buildings, and we should expect them to be built. If you know of other good (or bad) bicycle facilities we’d love to hear from you and feature them in future Pedal Updates. Examples of good bike facility show others what can be done.
adelaide community bicycle workshop one year on... by MIKE BRISCO The Adelaide Community Bicycle Workshop, based at the Plympton Community Centre (34 Long Street, Plympton) first opened its doors last August (2011). Open every Saturday between 9-12 (and occasionally other times) it consists of a fully equipped workshop (5m x 5m) based inside the building and a kitted out shipping container which is also used for storage outside. There is also carpark which people can work on their bikes and go for a test ride. Experienced volunteers attend regularly (usually 3 or 4 each Saturday) to help visitors with their bike work. Common jobs include: wheel trueing, gear adjustment, rebuilds or restoration of old bikes, cluster removal, service of axles, tricky repairs, the assemblage of new bikes along with basic service and maintenance. The workshop has full stock of general and specialist bike tools, and up to 5 people are able to work on bikes at one time. A large stock of recycled parts are maintained which the public can source for repair or restoration. The workshop is also a recycling service to people who own bikes but no longer need them. This is a new service for Adelaide as many of the usual charity groups that accept other second-hand goods usually won’t accept bikes. The owners’ options are otherwise limited, they can try to sell their bike secondhand however a majority of these bikes – even if in OK condition will end up as scrap metal, or hard rubbish.
Highlights of the first year include:
Approximately 250 “jobs” completed – an average of 4 to 8 per week.
Several short sessions on both puncture repair and gears which have been organized by both individuals & groups using the workshops facilities.
Bikes for Refugees which also use the facility on Saturdays, supplied 200 bikes to organisations working with refugees/asylum seekers in Adelaide. During the year several people from those groups visited the workshop to choose bikes, or get bikes repaired. These services are provided free of charge.
Between 30 and 40 bikes have been sold during the year. The workshop is becoming known as a supplier of low cost second-hand bikes - offering a selection for people to choose from. Once someone has chosen a bike, a volunteer will work with them to check that is roadworthy and to make sure they are OK riding it.
The workshop has built a capacity to support other organisations to run bike -related activities to promote and encourage cycling. On-site bike-building events have been organised for schools with the workshop providing suitable bikes to work on, bike tools along with advice and information.
During the year the workshop just about broke even. We decided the workshop would aim to fund its costs by voluntary donations and sales of parts rather than charging fees, setting up a membership scheme, holding fund-raising events or seeking grants. This policy has been well accepted, and during the year the workshop received several hundred dollars in donations and donated goods. I would like to thank the regular volunteers who have made time to turn up during the year and to the Council for providing us with the space. 15
by JEREMY MILLER
During the last school holidays I went on a family trip to Melbourne. As we don’t own a car, for a trip like this we usually hire a brand new vehicle for the trip over and take a couple of days to make the trip worthwhile. We actually went by the Great Ocean Road as the kids had never seen it (though it is an attraction that I do plan one day to cycle!) Into the boot of the car I made sure that we had our bicycle helmets with us as my intention was to give the Melbourne Bike Share a test – mainly to see how easy it is and what it feels like to use a bicycle share scheme to make short hops and stops around the centre of Melbourne (my daughter and I were staying with my sister who lives pretty much in the heart of Melbourne). After spending a few days walking past the racks of prominent blue bikes and checking the instructions for use, Chrissy and I finally decided to give it a go – we had to get from the city to an appointment in Collingwood. So, find bikes – check. Read instructions – check. Swipe credit card – check. Number of bikes (2) – check. Enter code for bikes (beep, beep, beep, beep) – check. And we are away! The bikes are simple, robust, and frankly quite idiot proof. Three gears in a hub on the rear wheel (nicely spaced for Melbourne hills), mudguards, quality balloon tyres, integrated everything…. All good. No complaints here. For an initial daily fee we get ½ hour of riding then there are additional fees thereafter. This is similar to many other bike hire schemes in other parts of the world. The basic upshot is that if you only require the bike for small hops (longer than walking for example but under 30 minutes) then you can effectively only pay one day rate, keeping each “hire” under the 30 minutes and collecting a new bike as required. For Chrissy and me we rode just north of the city and deposited the bike in the nearest rack. We then walked the rest of the way into Collingwood. After lunch (being tourists) we walked back towards the Melbourne Museum where we collected another set of bikes (all within the initial hire fee) and rode back down through the city to deposit them at yet another hire station.
While we brought our own helmets there are helmets available to purchase (at only $5!!) to use with the scheme. Notices are prominently displayed to inform international guests that helmets are compulsory in Australia including use with the Blue Bikes. There has, of course, been debate about the implications of compulsory helmet legislation on the success or otherwise of this scheme. I am not entering into a helmet debate here, but one does have to wonder as to the ease of use of the system when users have to have a helmet – meaning that casual / incidental use by Melbourne residents (that the scheme should really excel at) may not be utilised to its fullest – with a majority of users being tourists. I must admit that in my time in Melbourne I saw lots of bikes in racks waiting to be hired but not actually many being ridden. All up our experience of this scheme was really positive. I got a really good sense of how (for a cost of I reckon about $5.20) we could effectively ‘hire’ multiple bikes, at multiple locations over a day – all you need to do is keep an eye on the time! Perhaps for this scheme to really flourish within the current laws we will need to see a culture of helmet chic where the helmet (and bag to carry it) is an accessory that every person will naturally have with them so that at any time they might jump on and ride one of these machines.
photos MARK MATTHEW
What a success it was with nearly 200 people turning up in their finest tweed attire for a afternoon Sunday ride and a picnic. Hope to see you all again next year.
the bicycle instituteâ€™s SPRING RIDE SUNDAY 28th OCTOBER 11am torrens weir (next to Par 3 Golf Links, North Adelaide) The ride will be a family-friendly trundle along bike paths in the West Parklands, and finishing of at Pinky Flat around noon for a BYO picnic and chat. Do come along. 18
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And also a big thank you to all the contributors over the last year or so that I have been editor of Pedal Update. This edition will be my last as editor. Send plenty of stories and support to the new editor at email@example.com. Cheers Nicole Dowling Pedal Update is a newsletter of the Bicycle Institute of South Australia Inc., published four times per year. The Bicycle Institute is incorporated in South Australia. Material published in Pedal Update is copyright unless otherwise stated. Articles and graphics may be copied and republished by non-profit organisations, provided the author and Pedal Update are given credit. Opinions published in Pedal Update are not necessarily those of the Bicycle Institute. We are always looking for contributions, send any stories, ideas or feedback to the firstname.lastname@example.org
Road Hazards? Call DPTI: 1800 018 313 Reporting Dangerous Drivers? Call Traffic Watch: 131 444 www.sapolice.sa.gov.au/sapol/road_safety/traffic_watch.jsp 20
The bi-monthly newsletter from the Bicycle Institute of South Australia.