Sunday, 30 September 2007

Magpie swooping information

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:

Flinders University magpie injury information:

Bicycle Queensland article:

Bird Observation and Conservation Australia:

An illustrated tale 'Magpie Attack:

Friday, 28 September 2007

USQ supports October 17 Ride to Work Day

Toowoomba cycling has just received a massive boost with USQ becoming an official sponsor of the October 17 Ride-to-Work Day.

"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.

Post-ride coffee at the Oxygen Cafe

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 to make sure you are added to the social ride list.

Carnival of Flowers Cycle Roundabout

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

Sharing our roads: the Amy Gillett Foundation

Read more about road safety from the web pages of the Amy Gillett Foundation.
(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:

View the Amy Gillett Foundation TV advertisement here:

Amy Gillett Scholarships:

Some useful articles from Australian Cyclist

(copy and paste these urls into your browser)

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':

'Knee pain-part 1' :

'Knee pain-part 2':

'Getting comfortable'-women:

'The 28 day cycle' -women:

'What the world needs now'- obesity, transport, climate change:

'Breathe easy'-exercise induced asthma:

'Rail trails-back to the future':

Monday, 24 September 2007

Toowoomba bike rides via the web

Here is the url for a range of local Toowoomba bike rides, well worth a visit:

If any readers have a favourite ride or rides, please consider joining and putting them up for others to try out.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Social ride Sunday 23 September

The second September social ride left from the Oxygen Cafe at 7.30 am on 23 September for a 57km spin via Ramsey and Cambooya.

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 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

Reporting traffic incidents

Toowoomba is well known for its poor driving reputation, and local cyclists know better than most just how life threatening this can be.

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

Sunday 16 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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.



4639 6130

Friday, 7 September 2007

National Ride to Work Day: 17 October 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

National Ride to Work Day

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.