Saturday, 10 May 2008

Toowoomba's 'Heritage Treasures' launch

The TBUG never sleeps.

On Sunday 11 May, while others were bringing cups of tea and breakfast in bed to their mother, TBUG supporters were busy getting a number of bicycles ready for the launch of the new Toowoomba Regional Council booklet, Toowoomba's Heritage Treasures 2008.

Deep within the booklet, on page 13, picture D3, the reader will observe the last remnants of the old Toowoomba Foundry bike sheds, sadly with three motorbikes parked there and no bicycles in sight at all.

This fine piece of industrial archeology was nominated by James McDonald, TBUG supporter.

James was also asked if he could supply a few old bikes for the launch, which was held at Platform 9 at 10.00 am. See the two pictures above.

The launch went well, and Sue Englart, the source of the idea, gave a great speech as did Joe Ramia and Bob Goodwin, the MC.

The Toowoomba Chronicle has also agreed to run a story on the bike sheds.

A number of bikes were taken to the bike sheds and the Chronicle photographer worked his magic.

Although a mere remnant of what was there during the foundry's best days, this little corner of a past cycling history is worth keeping.

When the site is redeveloped, it would be good to see this little shed returned to its former glory, with the now gone 'lower hooks' replaced and the 'front from back' dividing bar, to prevent the bikes hanging too far forward, welded back into place too.

TBUG meeting with TRC

The TBUG is to meet with senior officers of the new Toowoomba Regional Council in May.

Having raised concerns with the TRC about the Clifford Gardens roundabout we have now been invited to meet with TRC.

Subject to time limits we hope to raise the following issues:

1) Clifford Gardens roundabout and similar traffic danger points

2) The new TRC edict that stopped the TBUG social rides being advertised in the Saturday council advertisement in the Toowoomba Chronicle

3) An update to the old TCC Cycle Strategy

4) The formation of the Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) as agreed to by the previous council

5) The creation of a Nelson Street to Highfields cycle path in partnership with Queensland Transport and the Main Roads Department

TBUG will keep you all informed of the outcomes via email and this blog site.

More bikes sold than cars-again

By Australian Cyclist : 01-Mar-2008

Cycling has become the fourth most popular physical activity, with more than 1.6 million Australian adults cycling in 2006, an increase of 17% from 2001. Census figures also show many Australians have also rediscovered the bicycle as a commuter. "Cycling trips to work grew at an average of 22% across Australian capital cities, with Melbourne soaring 42% between 2001 and 2006," added Fishman. The heaviest growth in cycling has occurred in inner-city areas with better bicycle infrastructure.

*Over 50% of car trips in Australian cities are under 5km and 30% are less than 3km.
*The majority of children's car trips to school are less than 3km.
*Transport is responsible for 34% of household greenhouse gas emissions.
*Medibank Private research shows physical activity for just 30 minutes a day could save the Australian health-care system $1.5 billion a year.
*Annual government road spending: $7.5 billion. Cycling infrastructure: $100 million.
*Australians currently riding to work save $72 million annually in traffic congestion.

Full story here:

Grey-Nomads-on-Bikes here at last

Go away

By Australian Cyclist : 01-Mar-2008

Midget Solo Bushtrekka
What we'd really love is enough time off to go test the Midget Solo Bushtrekka, but until then we pretty impressed that the compact, collapsible and lightweight campertrailer for bicycles that has been eight years in the making has finally made it onto the market.

Available from January this year and retailing for $1199, the Bushtrekka weighs in at just under 20kg in its compact form and can apparently be easily towed behind a bicycle. In less than two minutes it also offers an off the ground, sleep-ready bed.

Full story here:

Bicycle turning signals here at last

As featured on BBC Radio 2 and UK Sunday morning TV show, "Something For The Weekend", Bicygnals indicator lights are the very first and only product of their kind. Offering not only reasonably priced, ultra bright front and rear bicycle lights for night time riding, but ALSO front and rear indicating, wirelessly at the push of a single button at the handlebars.

Designed in London, by Gavin Thompson Design, with modern ergonomic lines, the lights detach easily from their bracket, and clip together for easy storage in their own carry bag. There are no wires. No fuss. Installation takes about 5 minutes, and all the tools and batteries needed to get started come with the box.

Bicygnals indicator lights allow the cyclist to signal turns to oncoming and rear traffic, as well as other cyclists, well in advance of a turn, without either riding dangerously with one arm in busy traffic, or fear of an arm signal being missed in the dark.

Bicygnals lights are that rarest of thing in a product - Great Design meets Great Concept meets Modern Technology. The kind of clever simplicity in a product that makes you say, "Now why didn't I think of that?"

Bicygnals indicator lights come with a host of features; flashing or continuous modes, indicator lights only (front or rear lights disabled - so you can use them in the daytime or low light without draining the battery), and a warning when batteries are running low.

See the web page here:

See here for an Australian discount:

Friday, 9 May 2008

Spokes vision for cycling in Christchurch

Toowoomba seems to have a sister city in New Zealand if you have a read of this:

Spokes is developing a vision or "manifesto" for cycling in Christchurch. These "Top 10 initiatives" are what we would like to see happen to make Christchurch a cycling friendly city. We are inviting feedback from Spokes members and other interested parties. It is proposed that the final statement incorporating feedback will be adopted at the Spokes AGM on Tuesday 20 May.



Spokes considers that the following measures are necessary to improve the quality of the existing cycling environment in Christchurch, and to achieve sustainable growth in the number of city cyclists in the medium and long term. These measures apply to facilities, areas and programmes administered by the Christchurch City Council, adjoining Districts, the Canterbury Regional Council, and State Highways administered by Transit NZ, as well as other cycling facilities and initiatives within the greater Christchurch area.

The proposed measures are not listed in order of priority as we consider that an integrated approach incorporating all these actions and outcomes is needed to improve the current conditions for cycling in Christchurch, and to increase participation on the future. In combination the measures provide a vision for cycling that will form the basis for Spokes cycling advocacy. Spokes will identify particular priorities within these measures from time to time.

1) Encourage more cycle-friendly land use and development planning

Planning, urban design and growth management and infrastructure provision that support walking, cycling and public transport use and encourages people to live near where they work, shop, and play.

2) Lower urban speed limits and traffic calming

30 km/h speed limits in downtown streets and selected residential roads, part-time school speeds and physical changes to the road environment in key locations to reduce the speed and volume of motor traffic.

3) Make the central city more cycle-friendly

Improve the central city environment for cycling, including through traffic calming and speed and parking restrictions, safe through-routes and traffic-free corridors and linkages. Develop convenient cycle parking facilities and a CBD "bike station" for cycle commuters.

4) Audit and maintain the existing cycle network

An ongoing programme to monitor existing components of the cycle network, and maintain or enhance its condition.

5) Continue cycling network improvements

Continue to improve and expand the city's overall cycle network, in particular by addressing pinch points, improving intersections, removing car parking that is an impediment to safe cycling, completing "missing links", and expanding "bikes on buses" facilities.

6) Provide more off road and separated cycle corridors

Develop convenient cycle routes and linkages that are segregated from traffic, including: physically separated lanes in or adjoining road corridors, railway rights of way, parks, waterway margins, and quiet streets; using land purchases and under-passes/over-bridges to provide linkages where necessary.

7) Identify and promote model cycle routes that will increase cycling participation

Identify key cycle routes (both on and off road) that are suitable for development as model cycle ways for increasing cycling participation, ensure these are of a good standard, and promote them through a variety of methods, including signage and marking, maps, householders and other advertising, and school and work visits.

8) Strongly promote sustainable travel plans

Travel management programmes for schools, major businesses, other large organisations, unions and employer associations, to encourage greater use of walking, cycling and public.

9) Promote road user education and improve enforcement

An ongoing programme to highlight key road user behaviour/ safety messages to the respective groups and to enforce traffic regulations and bylaws that affect cycling safety and convenience.

10) Expand the number of city cycling events and promotions

A greater range of initiatives supporting cycling, such as bike rides, social marketing, cycle tours, training sessions, school promotions and public events.

Visit 'Spokes' here:

The Otesha Project (Australia): Cycling for Sustainability

The Otesha Project (Australia): Cycling for Sustainability

Find out about this group here:

Join a cycling tour

Are you interested in finding a unique way to approach youth and engage them on sustainability issues?

Each tour will have teams of 15 - 20 amazing, motivated, and funky riders setting off in November and January tours. This year our tours will travel around Victoria and New South Wales performing plays and providing workshops on sustainability and social justice issues! WOOT WOOT! Guess what? You could be that very person! Oh yes you can...

Give me the low down

Riders on the sustainable storm will live and work in a mobile community working together to not only "be the change you want to see in the world", but also inspiring and encouraging youth in Australia to make positive changes.

Tour members will all work together to create workshops about sustainable and social justice issues they want to create awareness on, as well work together to help coordinate presentations and places to sleep in various communities. During this time you will connect with communities you travel through, learn about the challenges they face, suggest possible solutions, and hear solutions they are implementing. Throughout your entire journey you will inspire people across Australia to empower positive change in their lives and local communities What's better than that?

See more here: