Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Lost October social riders?

Social riders triumph again

They glided, they ambled, they chatted and at times strained. When they had breath they tried hard not to tell Peter of South Africa’s win in the Rugby Union World Cup before he had a chance to watch the replay.

The October Toowoomba Social BUG ride chequered-flag saw 17 people whisper their way into the Oxygen CafĂ©, 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

Share the road information

Campaign background
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:


A Canadian tale

Canada: A cyclist’s crash course

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/

Watch this YouTube video: how to create a city for people, not cars

This is the link to the Wheels of Justice web page.

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

NSW plan to reduce speed limit

"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:


Tuesday, 23 October 2007

RACQ magazine stories worth reading

The latest edition of the RACQ Road Ahead magazine has two stories of particular interest to cyclists in Toowoomba.

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/

The Police Bike Shop

A bike helmet with a front and rear light built in is now sold in the USA.

This would be a good idea for Australia too.

Visit The Police Bike Shop here:

Monday, 22 October 2007

Vital information from the Queensland Transport

Queensland Cycle Strategy

Queensland values cycling for the important contribution it makes to the development of a sustainable and effective transport system. Cycling is not just a transport issue. It has significant benefits for health, the environment and tourism as well as having positive local impacts in connecting communities.

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:

Cyclists and the Department of Main Roads

Read this snippet below, visit the site and see if you can find Toowoomba mentioned anywhere.

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.

Find this page at: http://www.mainroads.qld.gov.au/web/publicCR.nsf/DOCINDEX/Cyclists?OpenDocument

Friday, 19 October 2007

Toowoomba DPI and the Ride To Work Day: new BUG beckons

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, 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

A bag for keeping working clothes tidy

See this ad' (cutnpaste the url into your browser)

The Garment Bag for Biking to Work

Our 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.


USQ Ride To Work Group Photo

This group represents about half the number of riders who registered with USQ for the Ride to Work Day.
This photograph was supplied by USQ Marketing Department. We thank USQ.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Ride to Work photos

Ride to Work Day Wednesday 17 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

BUG social ride

The next ride is on Sunday 21 October.

Meet at 7.30 a.m. at the Oxygen Cafe.

About 30 kms on the Prince Henry Heights circuit, finishing back at the Oxygen Cafe.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Interesting links

This link will take you to an introduction to a Greenspeed recumbent tandem trip in Africa.

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

YouTube videos worth visiting

Cut and paste urls into your browser.

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

See her here: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MBkG41Zq998

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

South Bank - Gold Coast Sunday 7 October

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.

Road safety a real issue

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

Flash spokes for everyone

Have a look at this web page:

These are the flashiest spokes ever!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Brisbane City Council understands cyclists

"The 'missing link' in Brisbane's bicycle network was finally opened this morning, completing a 37 kilometre car-free zone for riders and pedestrians around the inner-city.

"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.