Tuesday, 20 November 2007
"What better combination - a fair trade cotton t-shirt that doesn't cost the earth, with a snappy challenge to 4-wheeled road users. On yer bike!"
Visit New Internationalist at this link to view and buy: http://www.newint.com.au/shop/no-fuel-tank-t-shirt-1670.htm
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Good weather saw us out along Ruthven Street in a pleasant temperature. The wind was quite strong at times, the flies were very friendly, the barking dogs very loud and surprising and the traffic was scant.
Plenty of stops to ensure no-rider-was-left-behind worked well.
Another good ride with 36 kms covered before returning to coffee and cakes at the Oxygen Cafe.
One incident marred the day with a car driver being reported to Toowoomba Police by one of the riders. Always a good idea to keep a pen and paper handy for writing down number plates.
Later in the day, some riders re-appeared to provide wheeled back-up at the Walk Against Global Warming, along with a few who didn't ride in the morning.
Stop press: December BUG ride dates are December 2 and 16- routes to be advised later.
Sunday, 4 November 2007
Instead of the third Sunday we are going on 11 November 2007, the second Sunday.
The last ride attracted 17 people. This time we will regroup more often to make sure the tail-end riders are not left behind.
So, this Sunday, 11 November, meet you at the Oxygen Cafe at 7.00 am (also a change from our winter time 7.30 am) for a 36 km ride via: Top Camp, Hodgson Vale, Vale View, Drayton- return to the Oxygen.
Ask a friend to come along.
See you there.
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
The October Toowoomba Social BUG ride chequered-flag saw 17 people whisper their way into the Oxygen Café, one by one, except that some came in two’s… by tandem.
Leaving for adventures around the town the ‘postie’ red bicycle gleamed, restored with a fresh coat of enamel after a decade or two of rust. A daily workhorse this beast, and just recently returned from the Brisbane to Gold Coast grand-day-out.
An equally old bike, with equally old brake rubbers, broke the peaceful descents with a screech. They will be changed by the next ride.
Those for whom the hill proved too much… were free to walk to the top.
The ‘mountain must be conquered’ spirit of Tour de France was half a world plus a hemisphere away from the casual crisp air of this Sunday morning Toowoomba BUG ride.
They came, they rode and they conquered.
The next ride is the third Sunday of November.
See you there.
Saturday, 27 October 2007
In 1993 the South Australian Government made a commitment to double cycling in South Australia by the year 2000 and increase cycling safety. It was recognised that to achieve behavioural change that will increase cycling safety a wide range of strategies needed to be deployed. The Cycling Strategy for South Australia (October 1996) ensured that engineering, enforcement, education and encouragement strategies would contribute to and reinforce cycling safety. The Share the Road public awareness campaign, which aimed to increase awareness of cycling related road rules and safety precautions, has been an integral element of this strategy.... read more here including a short video: http://www.transport.sa.gov.au/rss/content/safer_people/issues/share_the_road.htm
And, read this series of cycle related myths:
Many myths, generalisations and assumptions are often used toward cycling and riders. So here’s a collection of some commonly misunderstood issues accomponied by clarity that hopefully helps to clear up what many non-cyclists think... read more here:
The Varsity: A cyclist’s crash course - After getting hit by cars seven times, Kristen Courtney has a thing or two to say about bike safety on and around Toronto’s largest campus
Kristen Courtney is no newcomer to cycling. The third-year law student at the University of Toronto has been riding her bike for years, and once took a 7,500 km cycling trip across Canada. She has ridden without any problems in nearly every major city in the country, except Toronto. Since moving here in 2005, Courtney has been hit by cars seven times.... read more here: http://www.woj.com.au/2007/10/26/canada-a-cyclist%e2%80%99s-crash-course/
It's well worth a visit, but don't forget to watch the video there.
Click here: http://www.woj.com.au/2007/10/26/netherlands-cycling-friendly-cities/
It's about 15 minutes long.
Notice how the people in this video dress.
Not for them the fashion statements of lycra. Cycling is so much a part of their lives they simply wear ordinary clothes, making cycling to work less of a drama.
Here in Toowoomba we do have the 2050 project making an attempt to find out what people want.
That is also worth looking at here: http://towards.toowoomba2050.com.au/content/view/3/4/
But we do not have to reinvent the wheel, Europe, as well as many other areas of the world, is well in advance of Australia and there is much that we can learn from to be applied here in our city.
But only if cyclists take it upon themselves to lobby for a safer, better, sustainable future.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007
"SPEED limits on all urban streets should be reduced by a further 10kmh - to as low as 30kmh in busy pedestrian zones - to save hundreds from death or injury every year, road safety experts say.
"A decade after 26 NSW councils became the first in the country to trial a 50kmh limit on residential streets, many studies have proven that dropping the speed has greatly reduced the number of car accidents.
"The 50kmh limit has now been introduced in all residential streets, and experts at the Australasian Road Safety Conference in Melbourne this week hailed it as a relatively cheap and simple way of saving lives" .... read more from the Sydney Morning Herald here:http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/push-to-reduce-residential-speed-limit-to-30kmh/2007/10/21/1192940905037.html
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
1. On page 19 there is a story, Tell the police, encouraging motorists to use the QPS (Qld Police Service) Traffic Complaints System, which has recorded 30,000 complaints "... involving hooning, dangerous driving, road rage, drink driving and speeding".
This is the same process T-BUG advised readers of earlier, and a link can be found on the right-hand side of the blog, taking you to the Qld Tpt site and a pdf form for printing and taking in to the Toowoomba Police.
2. Ben Wilson, of Bike Queensland, is featured in a story on page 30, Fairer sharing, concerning the relationship between motorists and cyclists.
We all know what motorists are capable of from time to time, but we have to be aware of our behaviour as cyclists too.
Ben makes a number of good points for cyclists reminding us not to go through red lights, to be well lit at night, to be conspicuous, assertive but not illogical, and to be aware of our surroundings and to respond to them accordingly, finally, Ben advises cyclists should take care in narrow bike lanes too.
Incidentally, membership of Bike Queensland offers riders public liability insurance as an integral part of the membership fee as well as the ability to buy some bike insurance if your household/contents insurance does not offer you any. See http://www.bq.org.au/membership/
This would be a good idea for Australia too.
Visit The Police Bike Shop here:
Monday, 22 October 2007
The aim of the Queensland Cycle Strategy is to make cycling safe and convenient across the state, and encourage local governments, and communities, to support and respect cycling. The strategy also seeks to integrate cycling into government strategies, policies, standards and guidelines wherever possible, from the beginning of a project.
Read this web page and download the Qld Cycle Strategy here:
Wouldn't it be good if the Toowoomba range road was provided with a special cycle lane?
And what about the new range crossing the Deputy PM has just announced?
Here we go:
Main Roads considers all road users in the design and maintenance of our state-controlled road network. This includes motorists, public transport users, pedestrians and cyclists.
Main Roads has a policy on Cycling on State Controlled Roads [ - 211 KB]* which states that along priority cycling routes (as shown in regional or local cycle network plans), Main Roads will positively provide for cyclists in road-upgrading projects. On other routes, Main Roads will seek to make state-controlled roads cycle-friendly by incorporating cycle-friendly design in traffic operations, road-upgrading, and maintenance projects. This may include the economical retrofitting of roads where necessary to accommodate cyclists. See the policy for further details.
Positive provision for cyclists includes marked bicycle lanes, bicycle or shared paths or other suitable facilities. Cycle-friendly provision involves road design that makes is easier and safer for cyclists to use a particular section of road.
As a result of this policy, many of our new projects include facilities for cyclists to commute to work and school as well as riding for leisure and fitness.
Friday, 19 October 2007
Thirty six Queensland Department of Primary Industry (DPI) staff attended the Ride2Work Day BBQ, with a good number of riders participating on the day.
Toowoomba BUG representative, Matt,
Toowoomba BUG representative, Matt,addressed attendees about workplace health and well-being as well as road safety awareness, which was warmly received.
DPI Toowoomba gained a number of new commuters as a result of the R2W Day, in the process creating a 'critical mass' of cyclists prepared to start lobbying for improvements, in line with most workplaces, to much needed end-of-journey facilities.
As a starting point for progressing the DPI end-of-journey aims, it is hoped that new bike racks can be constructed in a secure area, building on the established shower facilities and lockers.
Special mention must be made to the core group of DPI riders that commute to work on a regular basis, and to the extra effort by Douglas, who rode a 42klm round trip from his home in Meringandan .
Yer done good Doug!
Finally, there was great interest in creating a Toowoomba DPI BUG, with enthusiasm from our media unit to continue state wide promotion.
Thursday, 18 October 2007
The Garment Bag for Biking to WorkOur bicycle commuter pannier was developed to simplify getting your clothes, accessories, and papers to and from work. Our bike commuter pannier was designed by cyclists for cyclists. We use it (and abuse it). We guarantee that our Commuter Pannier will simplify bicycle commuting.
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Toowoomba BUG is pleased to report its involvement with USQ and the first Ride to Work day activity to be held at the USQ campus.
Not only did the Vice Chancellor gave his in-principle and financial support to the day, he also rode his bike to the RtW breakfast to join nearly 60 other staff and student cyclists.
And it wasn't just USQ Toowoomba doing the riding, with the Springfield and Fraser Coast campus staff and students also joining in with their own versions.
Toowoomba riders started arriving at about 8.00 am and enjoyed a USQ and Student Guild supplied feed until work/study called all just before 9.00 am.
At lunch time, the Quad and R block were taken over with various displays.
Outside, staff and students were treated to a collection of odd and unusual bikes, courtesy of James, a BUG member.
SpeedPedal, the Greenspeed recumbent tricycle and Burley trailer specialists from Mount Tamborine, were there with a GT3 Series 2 and two child trailers on display, as well as a very popular Brompton folding bike: http://www.speedpedal.com.au
Inside, Bikeline was there in force with a display of bikes and information.
Bikeline offer a womens special group training ride class twice a week for beginning and advanced riders- contact Bikeline for further details: 4638 2242
Also there was Queensland Transport, Queensland Health, Toowoomba City Council, and HOPE.
The Toowoomba BUG is hoping USQ staff and students will form their own workplace BUG as a result of this very successful day to help build some momentum in advancing Toowoomba as a cycle friendly city, building on the good work TCC has already done with the TCC Cycle Strategy.
WIN TV called in and a short burst of the lunch time activity appeared on the 6.00 pm news on the night.
Toowoomba BUG thanks USQ and all who appeared or assisted in making the day a success.
Next year, more USQ riders and more Toowoomba workplace BUGs is the objective.
Sunday, 14 October 2007
Two young Aussie males undertook a trip to see what 'the other side' of Africa was like.
There is a short video intro' to what seems to be a four part TV series.
Worth a look:
And this site is an inspiring series of odd and interesting bikes:
Saturday, 13 October 2007
This video is from the UKs CTC organisation. It is the new cinema advertisement to promote cycling as a legitimate element in controlling climate change.
See it here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=w-2IQvm2eQw
This is a blast-from-the-past. The Monty Python 'Bicycle Repairman' skit.
See it here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=54CpPlCnM4I
Watch this to see 'the fastest bike' in the world:
See it here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=5V2FgwN_re4
A Bamboo bike?
See here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lsaMb7Wuinw
Pink Floyd 'Bike'
See here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=KN-j9H0nIDs
The Mixtures 'The Pushbike Song'
See here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xsKqa3ej5sU
Paul Hogan's version
See here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pX6MtWRGW3M
Monty Python 'Cycling Tour' part 1
See here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=R3Wre5zO4Ek
Monty Python 'Cycling Tour' part 2
See here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrejCK_OIY
Monty Python 'Cycling Tour' part 3
See here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lu_WyvghQbQ&NR=1
CLODAGH RODGERS - JACK IN THE BOX
See her here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MBkG41Zq998
Tuesday, 9 October 2007
Wilson HTM Cycle Challenge
The Toowoomba BUG was represented, unofficially, by a number of riders.
No doubt there were many Toowoomba cyclists there but since we all went as individuals we probably will miss people on this list.
Spotted by The BUG were Bruce and Margaret and Mark was spotted by them. David and Hugh were there together, and The BUG snapped Graham relaxing after a hard slog (see mugshot).
The day started at 6.00 am at South Bank, where thousands of riders assembled in readiness. A few megaphone calls to get riders to 'come out the shoot' as required by the permit, and then a wave of 'clip-clip-clip-clip' up and down the lines as the front line riders readied to go.
The I-Ride team was just in front of The BUG and we saw them shoot off.
Most bikes were 'bikes' but there was a tridem as well as numerous tandems. Recumbent bikes and two trikes were spotted, there could have been more.
One dad had a tag-a-long with a daughter pedaling with another daughter perched on the very tail with no powered feet.
One Burley trailered boy was spotted a few times throughout the day, along with a young lad perched on his fathers cross bar, on a special seat- having a whale of a time.
There were young-to-old on all sorts of bikes.
A stop at the 40 kms mark also allowed riders to join the stream there instead of at South Bank.
The next stop at 75kms offered a very welcome lunch, drink bottle refills and space to spread out for a while.
The last 25 kms were fairly easy going after some of the very rough roads we were put on to, and the Gold Coast crowd were very friendly with more than a few bystanders clapping riders in to the finish line.
The BUG returned by bus with the bike going on a covered truck ahead and both arriving back at South Bank at the same time. Perfect, and a very welcome ride home.
Bike Qld organised a very good day with no hint of any breakdowns, for The BUG at least.
This bike day has been going for three years now and is well worth the modest costs involved, although if the Toowoomba BUG were to organise a group to go down together, the cost of getting down and back could be reduced for each of us.
Well worth it, a very enjoyable day out.
How to Not Get Hit by Cars
by Michael Bluejay
"Since I've become more observant of how bikes and cars interact, I've decided that bicyclists have two major safety threats: cars and themselves." --Lee Nichols
This article comes from 'Critical Mass Sydney' and has been adapted from an American web page for Australian conditions.
It's worth a read: http://www.bikesarefun.org/bicyclesafe.html
Tuesday, 2 October 2007
"The $17 million Normanby Pedestrian and Cycle Link connects the CBD with New Farm, West End and Kelvin Grove and boasts round-the-clock security via Closed Circuit Television. It is also disability-friendly".... well, that's just the sort of story The Chronicle could be writing about Toowoomba if our city councillors were serious about cycling.
Read the full story from the brisbanetimes.com.au at:
Then write to the Toowoomba City Council and ask them what they are doing to promote cycling.
Sunday, 30 September 2007
This young man (right) has fitted his helmet with cable-ties in an effort to dissuade magpie attacks.
He suffered two before our camera snapped him.
One on East Creek cycle path near Herries Street and one in Queens Park not far from where this photo was taken.
So, the cable-tie solution hasn't worked for him.
What does work then?
Below are a few urls that cast some light on the life of the magpie and their habit of attacking some, but not all, cyclists and pedestrians who pass through magpie protected territory.
It seems a large flag pole and an orange flag help, as does walking rather than cycling through the contested area.
And the correct collective noun for a 'mob of maggies'?
A tiding of magpies.
Not 'good tiding' for some folk though.
Any tips appreciated and will be posted here.
ABC 'Mapies behaving badly':
NSW National Parks: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/content/media_260804_magpieattacks
Flinders University magpie injury information:
Bicycle Queensland article:
Bird Observation and Conservation Australia:
An illustrated tale 'Magpie Attack:
Friday, 28 September 2007
"USQ Vice Chancellor, Professor Bill Lovegrove, said the event offers staff and members of the community the opportunity to have a real impact on global warming and reap the health benefits of getting active."
See the entire text of Professor Lovegrove's message to USQ staff and students here:
This is a big event for cycling in Toowoomba, and the Vice Chancellor is to be congratulated for his foresight and encouragement.
It would be good if all Toowoomba employers considered such a move, considering there are many productivity benefits to be gained from staff, as well as by staff, who cycle to work... not to mention the global benefits as pointed out by the VC.
Well done USQ, your support is noted and appreciated.
This is the post-ride pile-up of bikes at the Oxygen Cafe.
About twenty riders went on the ride this day, with more-than-a-few stopping to recover with some 'Oxygen'.
Next ride due in October, third Sunday.
Keep an eye out in the Saturday Chronicle in the TCC section for details, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure you are added to the social ride list.
The time was late afternoon just before a short storm, hence the light was failing fast.
It was good to see the artist who undertook this work seems to be considering the bike as a relevant form of transport.
It would be good to think the artwork remained intact throughout the Carnival wouldn't it?
Perhaps the TCC could consider leaving this artwork up as a reminder to motorists that bicycles and their riders share the same roads, have the same rights and the same responsibilities as motorists, the same 3Rs of the Toowoomba BUG.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
(cut and paste the urls into your browser)
"Learner drivers now have plenty of reasons to study for their driver’s licence thanks to a ground-breaking initiative that aims to both educate and motivate with a substantial prize pool. Developed by the Amy Gillett Foundation, with the support of the Australia Driver Trainers’ Association and State and Territory licensing authorities, Road-Right is the first program of its kind designed to heighten learner driver awareness of people cycling on Australian roads"... read more here: http://www.amygillett.org.au/news-21-08-07.html
View the Amy Gillett Foundation TV advertisement here: http://www.amygillett.org.au/flash/agf-tvc.swf
Amy Gillett Scholarships: http://www.amygillett.org.au/scholarships.html
This is the url for Australian Cyclist:
If you join Bicycle Queensland (BQ) then you will receive six copies per year of Australian Cyclist as a part of your annual subscription.
Join BQ here:
'Cycle safety... in the perfect world': http://www.australiancyclist.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=2822
'Knee pain-part 1' :
'Knee pain-part 2':
'Getting comfortable'-women: http://www.australiancyclist.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=2827
'The 28 day cycle' -women:
'What the world needs now'- obesity, transport, climate change: http://www.australiancyclist.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=2283
'Breathe easy'-exercise induced asthma: http://www.australiancyclist.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=2278
'Rail trails-back to the future': http://www.australiancyclist.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=2167
Monday, 24 September 2007
If any readers have a favourite ride or rides, please consider joining bikely.com and putting them up for others to try out.
Saturday, 22 September 2007
Eight riders started, and all eight completed, returning to the Oxygen by midday.
The ride was conducted at a respectable pace in beautiful weather but with some strong headwinds in the latter part of the ride.
This ride covers some very picturesque countryside.
One red car full of mouthy 'youf' managed to profer loud 'advice' to us as we left town down Ruthven Street, their number plate was noted and the Dept of Transport violation form is being lodged.
Some individual BUG members have adopted a zero-tolerance attitude towards abuse, hurled bottles and poorer than usual driving and intend to report this unpleasant habit more frequently than has been the practice in the past.
We will try to interest the Toowoomba Police in appointing a BUG liason officer so we can work with them in making our roads safer, and more pleasant, for everyone.
Will keep readers posted on the progress of that initiative.
The ride was a great success and a good time was had by all.
Next ride, third Sunday of October.
Anyone wanting to know more about the BUG Social Ride, please email email@example.com and you name will be forwarded to Margaret, the Ride Coordinator, who will make sure you are sent an email about it.
Monday, 17 September 2007
The Queensland Department of Transport is encouraging all road users to report all dangerous incidents and has provided a reporting form to assist us make our roads safer at the url listed below:
The Toowoomba BUG believes in the 3Rs where all road users "... share the same road, have the same rights and the same responsibilities" and from this, it follows that cyclists should not be run down, abused, have missiles thrown at them, or be treated as second class road users.
Keep a pen and paper handy next time you are in the saddle and, should you be subjected to a dangerous or undesirable situation, use the official Qld Department of Transport forms to report it to the Toowoomba Police, keeping a second copy for your own records.
In the last week the Toowoomba BUG has read of Mr. Adam Roberts (Toowoomba Chronicle, 14 September 2007, p.3) being forced from the road and injured, as well as a cyclist being both verbally abused and an attempt made to force him off the road by a semi-trailer driver and a young USQ student who was crashed into and badly hurt at the top of the range, by a car driver.
These sort of incidents are far too common in Toowoomba and cyclists need to take some control of the situation. The first step is to report bad driving, whether you are on your bike or not.
Thursday, 13 September 2007
Meeting at the Oxygen Café: 10.15 a.m.
As discussed at the last meeting, people thought it most efficient to meet up after the Toowoomba BUG ride, on Sunday 16 September.
The ride starts at 7.30a.m. on Sunday, starting from Oxygen Café, Little Street, and goes out to the west of Toowoomba (Wellcamp and Showgrounds), and will be about 27km.
It is estimated that the ride should get back to Oxygen Café at around 9.30 am to 10am.
I suggest that a start time of 10.15a.m. for the meeting, but this will depend on the time people arrive back from the ride, getting refreshments etc.
I have not booked the Dr. Price Rooms because we need to fill out forms with three signatures, collect keys etc., for what might be a short meeting. So I suggest just moving over to a corner in Oxygen when people have had their coffees etc .
Main items that need discussing are:
- listing contacts to whom we should send material on Ride to Work Day (17 October). I attach a draft list, but we need more names. For my part I am happy to send out notice of Ride to Work to various locations next week – any other assistance greatly appreciated. The more posters etc. out the better.
- Any press publicity we should/can be doing about the day at a Toowoomba level. The ABC is an official sponsor nationally. Actions at Uni and Tor Street DPI/DNR offer possibilities for prompting other people to action.
- Update on local Toowoomba blog site for Ride to Work etc, from Hugh.
Will try to send a set of brief notes for last meeting tomorrow. My apologies for not being at the meeting, will be away on the weekend.
Friday, 7 September 2007
National Ride to Work Day, Wednesday 17 October 2007
Be part of Australia’s biggest active workplace event on 17 October 2007. Thousands of regular and first-time riders from all states and territories will join the inaugural National Ride to Work Day.
Over 60 000 Australians are expected to participate on the day, with breakfast events in most city centres, over 70 regional breakfasts and thousands of workplace breakfasts around Australia. ABC Local Radio is the official radio partner in city and regional areas.
This is your opportunity to have a real impact on global warming and reap the health benefits of getting active. Research has shown that 34% of first-time riders participating in last year’s national pilot event were still riding five months later. Ride to Work Day really works!
For information, inspiration, free kits and loads of giveaways and prizes see www.ride2work.com.au
Back in the 1950s, nearly everyone rode bicycles to work.
As Australia became a wealthier nation, the poor old bike was abandoned as people found their lives enhanced by the Kingswood.
These days, annual bike sales outstrip car sales here and people are, once again, but for quite different reasons, rediscovering the joys of cycling.
The Toowoomba Bicycle Users Group is advocating Toowoomba cyclists should once again take-to-the-saddle on 17 October 2007, and join the National Ride to Work Day along with these happy tandemists of that bygone era.