Friday, 21 November 2008

Cycle for health

Cycling cuts millions off nation's waist line, bottom line

This story is from the Bicycle Queensland web site here:

Membership of BQ is a good investment and you can join here:

A report launched by Dr Rob Moodie, Professor of Global Health at the University of Melbourne's Nossal Institute, has found cycling currently saves an estimated $227.2 million per year in health costs in Australia. The report Cycling: Getting Australia Moving has placed a dollar value on cycling participation.

Dr Moodie said "this report demonstrates the considerable benefit offered to individuals and governments by cycling. Addressing the barriers preventing more Australians from cycling will deliver substantial savings to both government and the community".

As well as uncovering the economic benefits of cycling, the report examined the barriers currently preventing more Australians from getting out on two wheels.

Editor of the report and policy advisor with the Cycling Promotion Fund Elliot Fishman said "Safety concerns, a lack of skill/knowledge and limited bicycle friendly infrastructure and urban design were all found to impact negatively on cycling participation."

The report identifies a strong economic basis for investment in bicycle friendly programs and infrastructure. "Cycling is not just good fun, it's a good investment - delivering returns in health, climate change, congestion and petrol price relief," Fishman said. See the Cycling Promotion Fund's website for more, including PDFs of the full report and an executive summary.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Toowoomba Regional Council: not the way to sign the roads

Cyclists have noticed the rise in bicycle signage around town over the last few months, and while it shows someone is thinking about bikes, that doesn't mean the right course of action is being taken.

The TBUG is concerned that the yellow bike sign is being used by TRC to create a defacto bike lane.

This is not what anyone wants.

We can have a Bicycle Awareness Zone (BAZ), which is what the yellow sign is for, or a bike lane, with a white bike sign and proper lane markings.

But, it must be remembered that the Department of Transport does not support the BAZ and will not fund any.

The photographs above show the yellow road markings in the gutter, which is not where they belong, and positioned to the left of the carriageway, as if to tell cyclists and motorists that that is 'our place' and 'keep out of the way' of 'the real traffic', which of course is the motorised variety.

Not on TRC.

In the Noosa shire these would be scrubbed off the road under the direction of their council employed Bicycle Officer.

TBUG is raising this and related issues with TRC and will keep cyclists posted.

Riding to work is ‘wheelie’ fun

The Toowoomba DPI won the 2008 Queensland Ride to Work workplace prize.

Well done DPI, and a challenge to other Toowoomba workplaces for 2009.

Here is the story from the Bike Victoria site:

Toowoomba staff are seeing the benefits of riding their bikes to commute to work. Feeling healthy, saving money and reducing carbon, were just three great reasons to participate.

DPI&F joined in with other departments such as NRW, EPA, Sport and Rec, Health, and Transport.

Twenty-five staff gathered at the Leslie Research Centre to support National Ride to Work Day, with a total of 16 riders registering and making their commute to work as part of their day.

The lunch time event was jointly run by DPI&F’s Bicycle Users Group and Leslie Research Centre Social Club, with Rabobank kindly donating spot prizes. Awards were presented by DPI&F Bicycle User Group’s Shirley Jones, and won by first time rider Donna Hocroft for “Best Effort”, and the “Best Helmet Hair” award was graciously accepted by Douglas Lush who travelled the greatest distance.

It was estimated that over 30,000 riders registered for National ride to Work Day 2008, with over 200 workplaces in Queensland alone. PIB and Leslie Research Centre were joined this year by Hermitage Research Station. Toowoomba’s workplace coordinator Matt Davis said, “We have gained a core set of riders from last year’s event that now regularly ride to work, and we have formed a workplace Bicycle User Group here in Toowoomba. With ongoing support from DPI&F’s Health and Wellness program, we hope to gain more workplaces across the state next year”.

See the previous post for photos of the winners here:

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Travelling by bike

Here are a few bike travel stories worth a look at, either to inspire travels or to see what others get up to.

This one is a small selection of UK tandem traveling tales:

This is a story from a recumbent rider, but not 'just' a recumbent, a leather sofa forms the basis of this 'bike'. An amusing tale of serious cycling:

And this is an account, found in The Australian, of the bike hire system in Seville, Spain.

I am standing on a footpath in Seville, studying a street map, when a shrill bell jerks me away from the printed tangle of spaghetti purporting to be streets.

I glance up to see a glaring young woman astride a red-and-white bicycle heading straight for me. I leap out of her way just in time to land in the path of a neatly suited businessman shrilling the bell of an identical bike heading in the opposite direction.

I try being indignant (always a first resort) but my partner, who has somehow avoided this onslaught of vicious cyclists, points out I have been standing on a clearly painted bike path. Indeed, the 2m-wide footpath is painted green and has stick-figure bike riders stencilled on it at regular intervals.

I suggest we walk, avoiding green footpaths, to the nearest bar to have cerverzas and tapas and to discuss the issue. We are staying here for a month; we must accommodate these cyclists.

Read the whole story here:,25197,24636510-5002031,00.html

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Pannier bags and saddlebags

Racing bikes need no saddle bags or panniers, and are fairly well serviced with small innertube sized bags that slot under the seat but what about commuters, shoppers and tourers?

Well, even these sections of the bike luggage market are well catered for with many good quality and reasonably priced bags widely available but what about the eccentric who wants a canvas a leather bag?

There are not many, maybe only a handful, of canvas bag manufacturers in Australia, and we've put in all those we can find in this list but there are some very interesting small, and not so small, firms overseas.

Here is a list of all we could find in a concentrated search of the Internet. One Australian bag maker is known only via the magazine Australian Cyclist and we've included their phone number, the only means of communication with them.

Please send in any additions, especially Australian saddlebag and pannier manufacturers, to the TBUG email: (cutnpaste into your email program).

Canvas saddlebags and panniers:

Doug Thompson and Silke Smaglinski: High-tech pack canvas with reinforced double floors and a long list of special features. (02) 6247 7117

Toowoomba bike sharing project

Sorry, too advanced for here but have a look at this little story.

BARCELONA, Spain — In increasingly green-conscious Europe, there are said to be only two kinds of mayors: those who have a bicycle-sharing program and those who want one.

Over the last several years, the programs have sprung up and taken off in dozens of cities, on a scale no one had thought possible and in places where bicycling had never been popular.

For more go here:

TBUG social rides

The last Sunday ride saw 22 riders turn out for a near perfect but slightly windy 29 km ride.

The next ride is on Sunday 16 November and will leave from the usual spot outside the Oxygen Cafe in Ruthven Street and Little Street at 7.00 am.

The ride will be approx 50 km, passing Wellcamp School, Bunkers Hill School and back through Wyreema.

Noel will be 'channeling' Margaret with the directions.

For a 50km ride you need a water, suncream, be puncture-ready, a mobile is always good, and an energy snack, so either bring a bar or fruit or buy something at the Wyreema Store where the group will have a short break.

Bike skills training course run by I-Ride

I-RIDE will be hosting another Skills class on Saturday 29 November
TIME - 8.00am - 10.00am
COST - $10.00 per person
WHERE - Tait St (Jahnke Transport yard)...head out Taylor St, turn left into Boundary Rd, 2nd Street on the right, just pass the TWBA Hockey Grounds.

Each rider must bring their bicycle, bike helmet, shoes, water, sunscreen, snack food and Peter has asked that you visit I-Ride shop on Ruthven Street to 'book in' so they know how many people to cater for.

What will you learn? How to ride in a group, cornering, braking, safety tips, bike handling skills and other vital matters.

Plenty of time for questions too...last time 33 riders from 8yrs to 60yrs turned and had a great morning.

There were quite a few TBUG riders who attended the last session and the consensus was that it was worth going to, especially if you have trouble working out how to use clipless pedals, cycle while looking behind, or feel a bit 'unstable' generally.

Please do not forget to book-in with your name on the list.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Cycling to work good for you

Two wheels better than four

By: Julie Hatfield 'Weekend Australian' story 8 November 2008.

Riding to work can be safer than you think and there are lots of reasons to do it.

Fancy cutting your stress levels, getting fit and saving on fuel costs all at the same time?

Julie Hatfield believes the more people ride, the more motorists will become aware of cyclists and the safer it will be.

Then maybe it's time to discover the pleasure of riding a bike and join the 1.68 million-plus Australians who cycle to work.

Local and international research presented at a cycling safety seminar in Sydney in September has revealed that as cycling participation increases, a cyclist is far less likely to have a collision with a motor vehicle or suffer injury or death. The reduction in accidents is not just because there are fewer cars on the road, but also because motorists seem to change their behaviour and drive more safely when they see more cyclists.

Studies in many countries have shown the number of motorists colliding with walkers or cyclists doesn't increase proportionally with the number of people walking or riding. For example, a community that doubles its cycling numbers would expect a one-third drop in the per-cyclist frequency of a collision with a motor vehicle.

Read the whole story from The Australian here:,25197,24613432-5010800,00.html

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Bike parts for sale

Bicygnals front and rear set of taffic signals.

Please note that at least two BUG members have these same signals and think they are 'a good deal'. It might not be a good idea to rely on these, especially in Toowoomba, but they are a real boon, especially at night. There is nothing as clear as a hand signal, but these can assist in delivering the message.

See the web page here:

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.

Contact: Anne 4690 2636
Reason for sale: I bought myself some indicator lights for my bike – unfortunately they are not suitable for drop handlebar road bikes. They would be perfect for commuter bikes, especially in busy traffic.
Price: $70 or near offer.

DPI Toowoomba Ride to Work Event

Just as cyclists gathered at the Toowoomba Art Gallery Gardens for the first ever public Ride to Work breakfast in Toowoomba, so the DPI cyclists also gathered at their DPI lair in western Toowoomba.

Here are two photographs, showing a few of the lunchtime participants and the two Rabo Bank winners.

Congratulations to the Toowoomba DPI... just remember, there is a Toowoomba BUG Perpetual Trophy up for grabs in 2009, but you'll have to beat the 2008 Pacific Seeds record to be a winner.