Saturday, 17 October 2009

Toowoomba Bicycle Users Group challenges Main Roads to do better

Toowoomba Bicycle Users Group (TBUG) politely disagrees with Main Roads District director, Mr. Murray Peacock, and his appraisal that the upgrade of the southern end of Ruthven Street has been well designed for cyclists, as implied in the story in Saturday's Toowoomba Chronicle (17 October).
Read the story here:
http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2009/10/17/road-upgrade-puts-seal-improvements-all-use/

TBUG coordinator, Mr. David Allworth, said “For increased safety, we need to see the provision of ‘hook turn’ markings at Nelson Street, to allow cyclists to safely make right-hand turns across this major multi-lane road.”

“Further, there needs to be transition marking treatments completed near the entrance to Burstow’s, and removal of reflectors from inside the bike-lane, which decreases the useable width from the promised 1500mm,” Mr. Allworth said.

“The cycle lane work to-date on Ruthven Street represents an 'opportunity lost' to create best practice cycling facilities,” Mr Allworth said.

"TBUG happily recognises that there have been some significant improvements around Nelson St, which was a very dangerous area for cycling,” Mr Allworth said.

“We are pleased to see the new traffic lights installed at the Nelson-Ruthven Street intersection and a defined bike-lane, although it needs some significant adjustments.”

But overall, TBUG believes MRD has failed to meet Government policy aims for the provision of bicycle lanes, signage and road markings here in the Toowoomba region.

"We were assured in writing, by MRD, that bicycle lanes were to be installed from James to Perth-Long Streets. All that appeared were sub-standard Bicycle Advisory Zone (BAZ) signs, pushed up into the gutter, instead of the well-defined and legally recognised bike-lanes", Mr. Allworth said.

“The left-turn lane at the Settlers Inn, which has BAZ signs advising cyclists to position themselves in the kerb-side section, is at odds with the road rules which would prohibit cyclists from going straight ahead, down Ruthven Street, into the city, and represents a significant threat to cyclists and a source of annoyance and confusion to motorists”, Mr. Allworth said.

"The bicycle lanes around Ruthven-Alderley Street are down to 900mm, well below the policy standard for the 60kmh speed limit in force in this area.

"The bicycle lanes in Nelson Street are of different widths, with the lane going east from Ruthven Street far too narrow and practically unusable, and there is no 'hook turn' road marking, as was suggested by a MRD cycle advisor,” Mr. Allworth said.

"TBUG believes the 70 kph speed limit from Burstow’s funeral parlour to Nelson Street is too fast for this part of Toowoomba, and will encourage drivers to ignore the red light at Nelson Street as they accelerate towards the traffic lights,” Mr Allworth said.

"TBUG believes this section of road should be marked at 60 kph, until after the Nelson-Ruthven Street junction, if the Department is the least bit serious in its attachment to the well regarded 'Slow down, stupid' anti-speeding campaign", Mr Allworth said.

"TBUG has raised all these issues with MRD, and the Department is well aware that TBUG regards the provision of cycling facilities on this new work as being sub-optimal, and barely in-line with the well written and progressive cycling policies the Department has, and should be capable of applying, without having user groups constantly policing their work", Mr. Allworth said.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Bicycle Queensland membership

Bicycle Queensland helped TBUG with the recent Ride to Work Day Breakfast by allowing TBUG access to the BQ Public Liability insurance policy, without which we could not have been given the use of the Art Gallery Gardens.

BQ also organised the recent nine day Cycle Queensland event that left Toowoomba for a spin around the Downs, before returning to Toowoomba for the finish.

The 1000 riders and BQ camp workers and volunteers pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Downs economy during this time.

Last weekend, BQ organised the Brisbane to Gold Coast charity ride, with 10,000 riders taking part. Many Toowoomba riders enjoyed the experience of riding with so many other like-minded cyclists in promoting cycling, and helping to improve vital health research through their charity donations.

If you are not already a member of Bicycle Queensland, please consider joining-up:

What about joining Bicycle Queensland?

If you aren’t already a member, have you considered joining Bicycle Queensland? Can you afford not to be?

Members get insurance cover, including personal accident and third-party insurance in case you're ever involved in an accident while riding your bike. Members also receive Queensland Cyclist newsletter and Australian Cyclist magazine (both six issues per year) and get discounts on BQ's fantastic events.

Our growing membership means a stronger voice for cycling in our dealings with government. Join 10,000 fellow cyclists and help make Queensland a better place to ride.

Just $70 for 12 months or $90 for a household (conditions apply).


See www.bq.org.au/membership for more details.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Ride to Work Day Breakfast 2009










Wednesday 14 October 2009, Toowoomba's second Ride to Work Day Community Breakfast, was certainly bigger than last year, and arguably better too.

Toowoomba BUG is fortunate to be supported by so many willing sponsors, who ensure there are prizes to reward effort, and food to eat while applauding the winners.

Last year, Pacific Seeds won the 'Workplace Challenge Wheel' but decided to give others a go in 2009.

The winners came from DEEDI DERM TEAM (the old DPI&F that people may be more familiar with). Well done DEEDI.

It is said that the DEEDI people had been seen drawing disc ploughs through their experimental fields, behind their bikes, as they trained hard to be as fit as possible, just for this event, while saving the taxpayer money on tractors and diesel. Such devotion deserves reward.

The 2009 Wheel was presented by Sergeant Col O'Shea from Toowoomba Traffic Branch. Col is well known to Toowoomba cyclists, and more than a few motorists too. Many thanks to Col, and his colleagues, for their work as police officers, making Toowoomba roads safer for all road users, particularly for Col coming in on his time off to support us all.

Congratulations also go to Glen Fox, winner of the ‘male best effort’, by riding the longest distance from Murphy’s Creek Road. Glen also won ‘best commuter story’ and was awarded the ABC Local Radio’s TREK bike prize. Well done, Glen.

Margaret Stewart, well known to TBUG riders, won the 'female best effort' with her morning jaunt in from Hermitage Road. Well done, Margaret.

The Downs Christian College won the School's Prize, donated by Bruce of Toowoomba Rabobank. Thanks to the school and students for participating and for Bruce for supplying the School Prize, as well as top-up bottles and caps for the winners of the Wheel.

ABC Local Radio set up a live broadcast at the Breakfast site, with David interviewing riders and winners. Feedback from ABC listeners not at the Breakfast, and who do not cycle, suggest that the show was well received by locals as they drove their cars to work. Thanks go to the ABC.

Michael, from Oxygen Cafe, brewed and served coffee with alacrity. Barbara, and her staff from Bakers Delight, donated and served delicious breakfast rolls, Woolworths and manager Brad donated cereals and milk, Arthur from Boost Juice donated juice and Elizabeth from Healthy Habits gave the bananas.

Queensland Government were generous with Michelle from Travel Smart donating a prize pack and Sonya from Transport paying for various items, including an impressive Ride to Work banner.

Toowoomba Regional Council gave a lot of support, including a banner, supplying the gallery site, all of the furniture on the day, advertising the event and much more, more than ably coordinated by Candice.

Bicycle Queensland generously extended their Public Liability insurance to TBUG for the event, allowing us all to meet there and enjoy the event.

Bikeline set up a stall and ran a draw for a TREK bike too. TBUG will post the winner as soon as we know who the lucky person was, but Bikeline will be contacting them with the news first.

Many TBUG riders tried out their new TBUG shirts at this event.

DEEDI and USQ riders left the TBUG Breakfast to enjoy another breakfast at USQ, and a lunchtime event at DEEDI.

Planning for 2010 starts soon.

For serious bike tourers

There is nothing worse than spending good money on rubbish equipment. Robert Beckman certainly believes his bike equipment is 'the best', but he has some serious reasons to claim that too.

Anyway, he is having a sale on panniers and racks at the moment, so it might be worth taking a peep at what others say about racks and panniers here:
http://www.bicycletouring101.com/FrontAndRearRacks.htm

And visiting the Beckman site here:http://www.coinet.com/~beckman/

Here is what Robert (from the USA) sent to TBUG the other day:

ROBERT BECKMAN DESIGNS


OCTOBER SALE!


It has been rare that I have sold my products at discounted prices. But this month there will be very significant savings on many of my panniers and on my RBD touring bicycles. It's a great opportunity to purchase the best quality and performance at moderate prices. I'm going to turn back the clock nearly 25 years and I'll be offering all pairs of my Discovery Series Panniers for $200 less than their current price, which means that some will be available at their original price way back in the 1980's when they were introduced. I'll be knocking $1000.00 off of the purchase of any complete bicycle for the month of October. This is also a good time to mention my new four-point rack adapters that I have recently designed to greatly upgrade the performance of many low-priced racks (just about all racks from Blackburn and Trek up to Surly and Tubus) to greatly increase pannier stability.


Here's a look at what's on sale and a brief overview the products:


DISCOVERY SERIES PANNIERS- Still “head and shoulders above any other pannier” (Adventure Cyclist Magazine). RBD Discovery Series Panniers represent unparalleled design, detailing , quality and performance. Available to fit Gordon, Nitto, and Jandd racks using my ultra-stable dual- and single-strap, four-point mounting systems. Also available to fit my RBD racks using the unique RBD Pivotloc four-point system.


PARADIGM PANNIERS SALE PRICE $235.00

WANDERLUST PANNIERS $285.00

EXPEDITION PANNIERS $285.00

NON-MODUALR TANDEM PANNERS $350.00

HORIZON PANNIERS $425.00

NORTHERN LIGHTS PANNIERS $525.00

MODULAR 2700 PANNIERS $650.00

MODULAR 3600 TANDEM PANNIERS $675.00


EL PANNIERS- These panniers, compared with all other panniers on the market, represent absolute top-of-the-line performance and quality, with much better stability than any others. They have been rated as “the Rolls Royce of bicycle packs,” “the best on all counts” and “in a class of their own.” It is only other RBD pannier models that come close in design and detailing. EL panniers are a now available to fit almost all racks with ultra-stable four-point mounting using the RBD four-point adapter system or with the RBD dual-strap system for low-mount front racks.


EL 1600 PANNIERS SALE PRICE $225.00

EL 2100 PANNIERS $245.00

EL 2600 PANNIERS $270.00

EL 3400 TANDEM PANNIERS $325.00

EL 3400 MODULAR TANDEM PANNIERS $425.00


HUMMINGBIRD PANNIERS- In my world view, Hummingbird panniers are the pinnacle of performance in traditionally designed panniers (panniers that have rear stiffening plates and conventional mounting systems). They are ultra-lightweight panniers with design features similar to my Discovery panniers. These panniers are available only on a purely custom basis and currently I don't have any set sale prices, but I'll entertain offers. They're very lightweight without sacrificing performance.


SIGNATURE PANNIERS- These panniers represent the culmination of my 35 years as a traditional pannier designer. All of my panniers are far more highly detailed in their design than other panniers on the market, but these panniers spare no detail and are quite a bit more elaborate than even my own models of panniers. They're kind of a greatest-hits package of my pannier designs from the last three decades. I don't ever plan to discount these packs. As a custom builder, if I were charging the same hourly rate to build these models of panniers as custom TIG-welded bike frame builders are for their wares, I'd be charging several thousands of dollars per pair to make these panniers. They are very elaborate in all respects and function beautifully. These panniers are very light, long and narrow, incorporating tandem stiffening plates, but not ultra-lightweight. My favorite traditional panniers.


INTEGRA ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT RACK/PANNIER SYSTEMS- To me, these systems are quite revolutionary in their design and performance. Of all of my own stuff, these systems interest me far more, functionally, than my other designs. I started building very lightweight panniers back in the mid 1980's, but these systems are light years beyond just lightweight panniers. Their unique design utilizing a tubular aluminum pannier framework allows the incorporation of very strong and rigid ultra-lightweight racks, as well, that are highly integrated with the pannier design. In the Integra Systems I created rack and pannier combinations that weigh as little as 1.5 pounds and are far more stable and advanced in their design than any other rack/pannier system available. Of all of the panniers and racks that I build, these are the most time-consuming and hand-made relative to their design, and they are in their own dimension functionally. For anyone that is looking for serious efficiency, this is the stuff to get. And like all of my other gear, it's beautifully crafted. For the sale, $300 off.


INTEGRA RACK/PANNIER SYSTEMS SALE PRICE $795.00


ULTIMA ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT RACK/PANNIER SYSTEMS- After working with my Integra racks and pannier frameworks for a few years, I decided to pare them down even more and develop a three-point mounting design that's simpler and even lighter than the Integra systems. Design- and detail-rich systems at extraordinarily low weights ( 10 ounce Chrome Moly tubing racks).


ULTIMA RACK/PANNIER SYSTEMS SALE PRICE $695.00


2009 RBD GUIDE TO EFFICIENT AND ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT BICYCLE TOURING- I've come to the realization in recent years that I probably approach touring in a far more thorough manner than most folks. I believe that most bicycle tourists carry way too much stuff. My Guide is a look into learning about the choices that can be made in selecting and altering gear in the pursuit of greatly reducing weight to generate a new, efficient way to travel on a bicycle. It's a 15 to 20 pound approach. There's also a half-dozen pages on my Integra and Ultima systems. 40 pages. $5.00

Victoria is ahead of us

This is an interesting insight into what life could be like here too.

http://www.victoriawalks.org.au/


And you really must watch this gem of a video of the street '15 of November'. This is what Toowoomba city centre should be like after all the reviews we have had on 'what to do with it?' have left our city centre dominated by cars and bad driving:

http://www.pigswillfly.com.au/?p=5668&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Email%20marketing%20software&utm_content=209469580&utm_campaign=20091012+_+dikhty&utm_term=InclusiveSafeWalkableNeighbourhoods

Cycle in Indonesia



Double-click on the picture to open it up. If any BUG supporter books a holiday please let us know how it went with a brief story.

Women demand action on safer roads (UK)

Here is an idea for Toowoomba women to consider organising.

Perhaps our Council and State Government could do with an approach directly from the women cyclists here to galvanise them into a more coherent approach to our local cycling conditions and local cycle education?

The TBUG would be happy to assist.

Add your name to our Motion for Women petition urging local and national governments to stop dragging their heels and to make it safer for more people, especially women, to cycle. Every name will count when we present our petition to Government in December. Add your name now, then please ask all the women in your life who deserve to be given the opportunity to cycle safely, to do the same.

We, the undersigned, want to be able to choose to cycle for many more of our daily journeys. To do this we need to feel safe when we cycle.

We demand that governments prioritise the creation of environments that encourage and support cycling, specifically this must include cycle paths separated from traffic, as a way of enabling many more women to travel by bike.


See more here:
http://www.bikebelles.org.uk/index.php/sign_our_petition/?dm_i=6EB,1X13,N1CT3,64O0,1

And here is an interesting piece on the role of women in cycling-past, and the impact cycling has had on women to today.

http://www.bikebelles.org.uk/index.php/whats_new/news/cycling_and_the_suffragettes


The 'Gude Cause' procession is named after a slogan from one of the original protest banners and hopes to attract hundreds of men and women who will march to pay tribute to the women in Scotland who campaigned to obtain women's right to vote. As part of the procession, which will be split into past, present and future, will be a cycling contingent, organised by the CTC Lothians.

So what historical impact has the bicycle had on women's rights?

Susan B. Anthony, one of America's most influential suffragettes, stated that in her opinion the bicycle had done 'more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world'.

As the cycling craze kicked off in America in the 1890's, women began to realise that this new mode of travel allowed them a taste of a different life outside the boundaries of the home. They could broaden their horizons by travelling further than they had ever done before and do so independently of their husbands. The women's activist movements were already in full swing by this time, and the bicycle helped women to assert themselves and their independence.

The rise of the bicycle amongst women also led to a revolution in clothing. The long, restrictive dresses and skirts of the day were eschewed in favour of bloomers, much to the disgust of traditionalists, who viewed them as 'sinful' and an 'abomination'.

One of the first champions of bloomers was Annie 'Londonderry' Kopchovsky, an extraordinary woman who is hailed as 'the world's first international female sports star'. On June 25, 1894, Annie set off on a round the world tour on a bike, dressed in a man's cycle suit. The challenge started as a bet from a friend who set the challenge that not only did she have to complete the task in 15 months, but she had to earn $5000 on the way.

Leaving behind three small children and a husband, she attacked the challenge with relish and achieved both, to collect a $10,000 dollar prize at the end of her travels, declaring, 'I am a 'new woman', if that term means that I believe I can do anything that any man can do'.

There are many reasons why today, that out of the 2% of trips that are made by bike, only one quarter of these are made by women, reasons which differ greatly from the ones which Annie Londonderry faced.

The 'door opening lane'

Here is a short video on the problems encountered with those who insist the bike lane is really a 'car door opening lane':

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TQ7aID1jHs&feature=player_embedded

Smart Measures (UK)

To achieve Cycling England’s aim of ‘more people cycling, more safely, more often’, physical improvements in 'Infrastructure for Cyclists' should be coupled with a programme of ’smart’ measures and political support.

This portfolio deals with ‘Smart Measures’ that combine incentives, information, training and promotion, and are closely tailored to the needs of a specific target market. Cycling England is also providing support to elected members keen to promote cycling through the political system within their area.

The general principles of a smart programme to encourage cycling are introduced in the Overview section:
http://www.dft.gov.uk/cyclingengland/encouraging-cycling/smart-measures-portfolio/

Bike lane perspectives: a UK view

The following links about bike lanes are from the UK, and some caution must be used when converting the UK experience to Australia, and here in Toowoomba.

However, there is considerable food for thought even with that qualification.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-big-question-do-dedicated-lanes-make-cycling-less-safe-and-should-roads-be-redesigned-1785239.html


and:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/green-living-blog/2009/sep/11/bike-lanes


and:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6828100.ece


and: http://www.its.leeds.ac.uk/notices/news.php?id=

UK Cycle Touring Club media release:
http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopModules/Articles/ArticlesView.aspx?TabID=0&ItemID=290&mid=13641

The 'abstract' of the paper can be found, and bought, from here:
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V5S-4X00MMP-1&_user=10&_coverDate=08%2F11%2F2009&_rdoc=8&_fmt=high&_orig=browse&_srch=doc-info(%23toc%235794%239999%23999999999%2399999%23FLA%23display%23Articles)&_cdi=5794&_sort=d&_docanchor=&_ct=40&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=fd88eacc8bc749813d03ee366dcc8ab0

A new phrase for the cycling langauge



This shot gave rise to a new phrase being coined to describe 'more than two recumbents' gathered together in a public space.

The riders are Brian, from Sydney, and Rob and Hugh from Toowoomba BUG.

Brian has supplied a number of photo's on the Cycle Queensland flickr site:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/cyclequeensland/

The phrase?

A 'race of recumbents', although some cruel wag did suggest 'a redundancy of recumbents', but the only three qualified to vote went with the former.

Cambooya BUG ride



This shot was from the Cambooya ride a couple of weeks ago. A great day, just the right amount of sun, no sign of the headwind that sometimes makes itself known, and no road rage reported.

The group split into a long (20 riders) and a short (six riders) ride at the turn off to Ramsay, and both groups returned safely to the Oxygen.

This was a 57 km ride for those who were 'in training' for the Brisbane to Gold Coast the following week.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Chicago Police have a great program

Toowoomba could use a video just like this, with Sgt. Col O'Shea and his colleagues delivering a very similar message on our local TV stations, local radio stations and in our driving schools, bike shops and shopping centres.

This amazing video, via Chicago Bicycle Advocate, was produced for the Chicago Police Department to educate drivers, cyclists and officers on traffic laws pertaining to bikes.

Considering the consistent disregard and hostility projected by New York's Finest, that such videos exist (San Francisco has one too) is remarkable enough. But here, interspersed with horror stories from civilian cyclists, we have actual police officers -- close to a dozen are listed in the credits -- instructing their colleagues not just to enforce the law, but to treat bike riders with respect as rightful users of the road.

After a primer on how to fill out cyclist-involved crash reports, for example, the narrating officer gives advice on cyclist interviews. Given that a cyclist may be suffering from shock after a crash, he says: "You may need to follow up the next day, or talk with them after a trip to the emergency room." Imagine.

Does anyone know of other U.S. cities with similar police training materials? Will New Yorkers ever see the day when an NYPD officer publicly says something like, "The public counts on us to keep the roads safe, and to protect those who are at the greatest risk"?


Please watch the video here:
http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/09/10/chicago-police-say-it-loud-bikes-belong/

Developing a cutting-edge human-powered vehicle

By Julian Edgar

This is Part 1 in the third series we’ve done on building alternative, pedal-powered road vehicles. So why do we keep covering these vehicles? Here are the reasons:

*

Vehicles of this type are amongst the most innovative that you’ll find on public roads. The construction and suspension designs are cutting edge for ultra light-weight, good-handling and extraordinarily comfortable vehicles. I choose to use human power to propel them, but exactly the same underlying philosophies apply even if the power-plant is electric, diesel or petrol.

*

A human-powered vehicle (HPV) is able to be used on public roads without the legal difficulties that apply for every other innovative vehicle design. You might have a concept for a car powered by a steam turbine, or one that uses a petrol engine but has the wheels arranged in a diamond-shaped wheelbase pattern. But no matter how good it is, getting it legally registered on the road is likely to prove both expensive and difficult.

*

This type of vehicle can be easily home constructed. You don’t need large facilities; you don’t need expensive gear like metal shears or metal benders. In fact, if you get someone else to do the welding, a vehicle like this can be constructed with just hand tools. If you buy an oxy-acetylene welding set-up, you can do everything yourself.

*

Finally, I find the design and construction of such a vehicle a fascinating exercise, fearsomely complex and challenging. No-one, no matter how experienced in engineering, finds designing a vehicle of this type easy. As just one example, a rear suspension assembly (one that might need to support a dynamic maximum of 150kg) may have a required mass – including spring, damper, arm and pivot points - of less than 2kg. To put this another way, it has to be able to support a load 75 times its own weight. Think about that for a few seconds…

Read the article here:
http://autospeed.com/cms/A_111091/article.html

Bike Centre is a welcome (and affordable) resource for campus cyclists

Another story from Canada that shows just how behind we are when it comes to regarding bicycles as a safe, swift, cheap and planet saving option for many people, particularly 'under-budget' university students.

Read about the University of Wellington, Canada:

In 2000, the university's State of the Environment Report noted that 17% of students cycled to class. Since then, it seems likely that the numbers of bikes on campus have grown, as more people opt for cleaner, cheaper ways to get around.

Indeed, a key element of the Campus Master Plan is a "comprehensive pedestrian and bicycle trail network that seamlessly links South, North and West Campus, and improves connections beyond the edges of the University into the Waterloo Region."


Read more here:
http://alumni.uwaterloo.ca/alumni/e-newsletter/2009/aug/bike_repairs.html

The secret life of motorcars: why we need less not more

DIRTY FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE

John Whitelegg - Why buying a new car to "help the environment" is really a myth.

A new report from the respected Environment and Forecasting Institute in Heidelberg, Germany puts the car right back at the centre of the transport debate and raises fundamental questions about a society increasingly adapting itself to the car. The German analysts take a medium-sized car and assume that it is driven for 13,000 km a year for 10 years. They then compute its financial, environmental and health impacts "from cradle to grave".

Long before the car has got to the showroom, they find it has produced significant amounts of damage to air, water and land ecosystems. Each car produced in Germany (where environmental standards are among the world's highest), produces 25,000 kg of waste and 422 million cubic metres of polluted air in the extraction of raw materials alone, say the Heidelberg researchers.


Read the sad truth here:
http://www.coolcollegecars.com/philosophy.html

Two world bike travellers

The first site is of the author, Steve Lord.

I am Stephen Lord, the author of Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook, formerly known as Adventure Cycling Handbook, and can be reached using the contact form.

Born and raised in Britain, I have loved cycling and the outdoors since childhood. I have lived for half my adult life overseas, in Japan and the USA and have toured in the USA, Japan and Europe including a couple of long rides, once across Europe to Athens and down the Pacific coast of North America. I can’t say I’ve “been there, seen it, done that” for every biking destination, but I hope I have time left for many more bike trips. I also enjoy kayak touring and long-distance walking. I like trips which combine the outdoors with great food and culture. Germany is one of my favourite bike touring destinations for those reasons and I hope to go there again soon. I also want to ride the Via de la Plata in Spain, having walked 500km of it a few years ago. I enjoy reading bike travel stories and looking at bikers’ websites. I have been a member of Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree ‘on your bike’ for three years, posting as Hebairt, (a name which came from a cat) and several other branches. I also enjoy participating in and reading the views of the largely North American Phred group of bike tourers, many of whom have contributed to www.bicycletouring101.com, a huge collaborative project which is fast becoming the best starting point on the web for bike tourers.


http://www.adventurecycle-touringhandbook.com/index.php

and his blog site:
http://www.cyclingnomads.org/steevo/home/

The second is of Astrid Domingo Molyneux, who is still on her two year solo ride-around-the-world.

I hope you will join me on my 2-year cycle trip round the world.

I am taking a break from work, setting off in May 2008, from my home near Bristol, UK, travelling towards the rising sun. I shall be solo, unsupported and self-funded.

The trip will give me the opportunity to raise awareness of, and, hopefully, money for, a couple of specific charities, The Leprosy Mission and the Deaf Studies Trust.

Do take a look at the rest of the site: at my proposed route (it will be interesting to see how the actual one evolves); at my journal - a fortnightly-by-fortnightly (or thereabouts) update of musings and happenings; at my photos (oh, look, another set of rolling hills); at my charity page (an attempt at making my trip not entirely introspective and self-centred).

And, if you feel like contacting me, well, then, do. :-)


http://www.cyclingfullcircle.com/1.html

New road rules and 'hook turns'

New rules:
http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/Home/General_information/Rules_and_regulations/Road/

Bicycles:
http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/Home/General_information/Rules_and_regulations/Road/Cycling_rules/Road_rules_bicycles

Hook turns:
http://www.mainroads.qld.gov.au/~/media/files/driving-in-queensland/road-users/cyclists/hook_turn_storage_boxes.pdf

But what is a 'hook turn'?

You need to learn how to do these handy little moves at intersections, particularly along the new work on Ruthven Street where no facility has been created for cyclists who wish to turn right anywhere from James to Nelson Streets, when riding from the city, or back the other way from Nelson Street to James Street.

Particularly at Ruthven and Nelson Street, a section of road that is, in TBUGs opinion, too fast at 70 kph and requires cyclists to cross two lanes of fast-moving traffic to turn right, and west, down Nelson Street, towards the USQ.

Hook turn storage boxes: a first for cyclists on Queensland Main Roads:
http://www.mainroads.qld.gov.au/Driving-in-Queensland/Road-users/Cyclists.aspx

"With Main Roads commitment to improving safety and achieving a high standard of cycling facilities, new on road "hook turn storage boxes" were recently installed at the Mulgrave Road – Severin Street intersection in Cairns. These were the first in the state to be installed on our road network and Main Roads will continue to promote their installation on future intersection upgrades where possible".



Cyclists are legally able to make a right turn at intersections by keeping to the left of the road, unless a "no hook turn by bicycles" sign is displayed. The way to do a hook turn depends on whether or not the intersection is controlled by traffic lights.

If the intersection does not have traffic lights:


* Keeping to the far left side of the road, move forward through the intersection.
* After moving directly across the intersection and keeping to the left side, pause and give way to drivers moving through the intersection.
* When the road is clear, then move forward across the road.

If the intersection is controlled by traffic lights:


* Move forward through the intersection from the bicycle lane on a 'green' light. Stop in the box in the opposite corner — turn right (in the direction of the marked arrow). If there is no linemarking for hook turns, cyclists should stop where they are clear of traffic.
* When the light turns green, move forward through the intersection into the bicycle lane ahead.

Where possible, future intersection upgrades will include linemarking to reinforce the hook turn movement; however, cyclists can perform this movement at intersections without this linemarking.

What is a hook turn storage box?

It is an area linemarked on the road within a multi-laned signalised intersection showing a cyclist where to position themselves to do a "hook turn".

What about motorists?


When stopped at traffic lights where "hook turn" storage boxes have been installed cyclists will be positioned in front of queued traffic. When the light turns green motorists will need to be aware of cyclists in front of them when moving through the intersection.

Watch a short video here:

http://www.mainroads.qld.gov.au/~/media/files/driving-in-queensland/road-users/cyclists/short-film-of-hook-turn-procedure_150807-mp4.ashx



TBUG attended a meeting with the Main Roads people in Toowoomba some weeks ago and requested hook turn boxes be installed at Ruthven and Nelson Streets.

So far, the Department has shown no willingness to discuss this with us, or to mark the road as their policy suggests they might have been well advised to on such a fast section of highway.

Riding in Brisbane?

Maybe this would be a handy pre-planning tool if you are thinking of cycling in Brisbane?

Brisbane's Bikeway Experience is an interactive CD ROM that showcases some of Brisbane’s most popular recreational bike rides, commuter routes and tips about riding.

Produced by Council’s Active Transport Unit, the CD ROM encourages Brisbane’s residents to enjoy the city’s network of bicycle and shared paths.

Brisbane's Bikeway Experience explores a variety of routes, from beginner to advanced, that cover large parts of greater Brisbane.

The eight featured “great rides around Brisbane” include:

* Riverwalk East
* Bulimba Creek
* Moreton Bay northside
* Moreton Bay southside
* the River Ride printscreen-example-river
* Kedron Brook
* Brisbane to Dayboro
* Wynnum/Manly

Other features of the CD ROM are:

* interactive virtual tours of key locations along rides
* 360 degree panoramic views and video sequences
* information for key stops, including proximity to public transport, drinking water, views, facilities, natural areas
* printable maps and route directions

If you are new to cycling, you will like the section on how to change a tyre, including a video demonstration.

The Brisbane’s Bikeway Experience CD ROM can be purchased at Council Customer Service Centres for $8.00 or through Bicycle Queensland.


See here:
http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/BCC:BASE::pc=PC_2142

Airline baggage limits web site

Going to Europe, USA, South America, NZ, anywhere really?

Then check out the baggage limits first and fly with an airline that supports you taking a bike with you:
http://luggagelimits.com/

Out there and back: Kate rides the wide-brown-land

Out There and Back is Kate’s personal chronicle of the GRACE Expedition. At the same time it raises awareness of the importance of education for sustainable development, underpinned by the author’s beliefs and fuelled by her experiences cycling across Russia. This detailed, often graphic, account of an amazing journey into the heart of Australia is told with style, humour and insight. A highlight is Kate’s description of the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route (CSR) by a woman. The CSR, the world’s longest, most arduous stock route, bisects four deserts and approximately one thousand sand dunes.

Cycling without the aid of a support vehicle (for all but the CSR), and alone for the second half of the expedition, Kate develops a close connection with and respect for the Australian people and landscapes, skilfully weaving in information about early explorers, pioneers and colourful characters who shaped the outback. She gives impressions of her visits to Indigenous communities and glimpses of life on cattle stations and in remote outposts and country towns.


See here for a story about G.R.A.C.E., a ride by Kate Leeming as she rode 25,000 kilometres around the nation:
http://www.gracexpedition.org/

Ride your bike on holiday

Summer approaches fast, and the family wants to go away for a holiday, which means you have to give up your riding for a while.

But wait, there might be a solution.

This web page lets you find out if there is a ride where you are going.

And if there is not one, then just suggest a change of holiday venue to where there is one.

Check this out:
http://www.bunchridefinder.com.au/

Need a bit more oomph! for the hills?

Non-circular chainrings have been available in cycling since the 1890’s. More recently, Shimano’s Biopace disaster has spoiled the market for oval chainrings. The Harmonic (1994) has been re-launched in 2004 under the brand name O.symetric with some important successes in professional cycling. In 2005, the Q-Ring (Rotor) entered the cycling scene. However, non-circular chainwheels have not yet conquered the cycling world. There are many reasons for this: the conservative world of cycling, the suffocating market domination of an important manufacturer (and sponsor) of circular chainrings, the difficult bio-dynamics not understood by the users and last but not least, it is not easy to measure and to prove the advantages of non-circular versus circular. Any reasonable non-circular chainwheel has about 50% chance of being better than the circular shape. The only question is: what is the optimum shape and how large can the difference be? The objective of this paper is to compare different chainring designs. Relying on a mathematical model a biomechanical comparison is made between circular and non-circular chainrings. The results of the study indicate clearly that (Criterion 1) for equal crank power for both, circular and non-circular, the peak joint power loads can be influenced favourably by using non-circular designs. For equal joint moments (Criterion 2) for both, circular and non-circular designs, the model calculates differences in total crank power and differences in peak joint power loads. The results of both criteria are mostly concurrent. The analysis also indicates that shape as well as ovality, but also orientation of the crank relative to the chainring are important parameters for optimum design. It is found that some non-circular shapes are clearly better than other designs. The mathematical model can also be used as a tool for design optimization. Besides the commercial available non-circular chainrings, also some ‘academic’ non-circular profiles are investigated.

See the paper on this here:
http://www.noncircularchainring.be/

Respect The Red: a Bicycle Victoria campaign

Running red lights is a major source of anti-bike rider sentiment. If we are to win respect in the community and support for better conditions for bike riders, we must 'respect the red'.

After all, we ride the same roads, are bound by the same rules and have the same responsibilities, as all other road users.

Of course, it would help if motor vehicle drivers in Toowoomba were not quite so prone to colour blindness too.

See BV here: http://www.bv.com.au/bikes-&-riding/90572/

1 September 2009. Respect the RED, a joint promotion between Bicycle Victoria and the Victoria Police, had its first outing today.

Respect the RED is aimed at reducing the incidence of collisions at signal controlled intersections.

Police data shows that there is a worrying rise in crashes at certain busy intersections, particularly in the CBD, where one of the road users has run a red light.

Many of these incidents involve both bikes riders and pedestrians.

Recent blitzes by the Police have revealed that the majority of offenders are pedestrians. However, too many bike riders are still ignoring the law and putting life and limb at risk.

Police will continue to mount these blitzes periodically in order to ensure that riders are fully aware of their responsibilities.

The blitzes are three day events. Day one is a warning day where Police maximize their visibility and issue warnings to offenders. Days two and three are when serious enforcement is enacted.

On today's warning day Bicycle Victoria members joined Police to observe and hand out our Respect the RED bookmark.

Most riders encountered were appreciative of the warnings. Puzzlingly, several hot-heads were resentful of the warning, and argued themselves into a fine.

Police found plenty to do, repeatedly booking cars and motorbikes for using the bike lane.

Bicycle Victoria appreciates the invitation by the Police to develop the Respect the RED campaign and to work with them on warning days in this and future blitzes.

Cycle Queensland: September marathon Downs event


Here is the story from the Toowoomba Chronicle, as 1000 riders left Toowoomba TAFE for a great ride around the block. Well, nine days of pedal work around the Darling Downs.

http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2009/09/07/cyclists-pedal-out-to-tour-scenic-downs/

The photograph above shows the Toowoomba BUG crew who went this year. The morning was cold, with the frost just melting on the bikes.

There are more photos available, with many thanks to Brian from Sydney and all others who have uploaded their gems, here:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/cyclequeensland/

Recumbent bike from Fremantle to Sydney

“Well, that's done.” were Peter Heal's words as he stepped casually off his recumbent bicycle last night at Bondi Beach, having just completed a 4014 km ride from Fremantle, WA, in 282 hours (11 days, 18 hours) and a few minutes.

There were no champagne corks popping as Peter freewheeled down Campbell Pde to the finish. The low-key welcoming committee consisted of Audax Club stalwart Malcolm Rogers and his wife Marja, with me tailing along behind after meeting Peter at Centennial Park. However, many Audax Club members had been with him in spirit for his whole ride, following his progress via a SPOT satellite positioning device linking to Google maps on the Web.

The quietly spoken 50-something from the ACT had started his day's ride shortly after midnight at Cowra in central-western NSW and had ridden up Victoria Pass (“10km of hell”) and over the Blue Mountains before tackling Sydney's traffic to reach his goal.


Read more here:
http://www.sydneycyclist.com/profiles/blogs/new-freo-to-bondi-cycling

Forget Toowoomba's buses: human transport pods are here


This is THE way to travel in our city. Have a look at how pedals can save public transport, if only we had some imaginative planners in Queensland.

Our proposal to get you safely and quickly from one point in the city to another would be to elevate you onto a network of interconnected monorails where you never have to stop at traffic lights. The ideal vehicle for such a system already exists. Fully faired recumbent cycles, because of their low aerodynamic resistance, are breaking all bicycle speed records and currently reaching speeds of 90 kph (56 mph) in sprints. Suspending these comfortable and highly efficient machines from monorail tracks has the added advantage of taking away the rolling resistance of pneumatic tyres. Trains of Shweebs can further reduce the aero drag – ten people travelling at 40 kph will each have a lot less work to do than a single rider at the same speed. A single rider requires only a fraction of the energy to achieve the same speed as a normal cyclist – thanks to the significant reductions in both aero drag and tire friction. The vehicle is completely weatherproof, you can’t derail or fall out while on the cellphone or blackberry!

Read more here:
http://www.greencarmagazine.net/2009/09/human-powered-intercity-monorail-transit-system-proposal-and-working-model/#more-869

AirZound bike horn

By popular demand the details of the amazing AirZound bicycle airhorn are here again.

World's loudest bike horn!

* Very loud! 115dB at max volume
* Recharge with any bike pump or compressor
* No batteries or cartridges required
* Quick release clamp
* Volume control
* Yields over 30 blasts or 80 gentle honks per charge
* Super lightweight - under 100g
* No danger of overpresurization
* 5-100 psi (1-7 BAR) operating range
* Narrow profile - fits all bikes
* Air reservoir can be fitted in bottle cage or anywhere on frame

Colour: Grey body with Red fixing plastic mechanism

Where to get one?

Try here:http://www.deanwoods.com.au/store/prod1237.htm

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

14 October 2009: Ride To Work Day Breakfast






The pictures above show the first-ever Toowoomba Community Ride to Work Day Breakfast, held in 2008 at the Art Gallery Gardens on the corner of Ruthven and Little Streets.

Pacific Seeds won the 'Workplace Challenge Wheel' for sending the largest contingent for a workplace cycling team, and the prize was presented by Mr. Steve Hart for Queensland Transport, a major sponsor of the Queensland and Toowoomba R2W Breakfast.

This year the 'Workplace Challenge Wheel' is up again to be won by a Toowoomba workplace.

Will it be your workplace? Will Pacific Seeds carry it off again?

Gather a team together, register at Bike Victoria- the national organiser of the event- and make sure you are all at the Art Gallery Garden between 6.30 a.m. and 7.00 a.m. on 14 October 2009.

Presentations start at 7.00 a.m., while cyclists eat a healthy breakfast provided by our sponsors.

The event is being organised by Toowoomba Bicycle Users Group (TBUG) and is supported by a large number of local, state and national sponsors, without whom we could not deliver this event.

The last picture above is the 2009 R2W poster.

Place your cursor over the picture and double-click. The poster will open and all the details are there for you.

Start: 6.30 a.m.

Presentations: 7.00 a.m.

2009 Workplace Challenge Wheel to be won

Other prizes to be won.

Breakfast for those who come along.

Please register with Bike Victoria first (so they know how many cyclists there are around Australia):
http://www.bv.com.au/ride-to-work/43447/

Background to the event:
http://www.bv.com.au/ride-to-work/

Are you a business owner or a senior manager? Become a Cycle Ambassador for the event: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=_2fBqCIPVrbH2lUM0BGDw4Tg_3d_3d


Remember, please let TBUG know you are coming for breakfast by emailing us here:
toowoombabug@gmail.com

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Cycle Queensland event

A preliminary report on the biggest cycle event to hit Toowoomba since the bike was created.

Photos will be available shortly.

However, in a nutshell, the 9 day ride was a staggering event, not only as a rider-participant but also in seeing the enormous task BQ undertook in staging it.

Ben Wilson and all the BQ staff and volunteers, plus the ancillary people, like ambo's and radio people, not to mention Sam's dunnies and showers or the food creators, need to be acknowledged for running such a seamless and well organised event.

Sergeant Col O'Shea was our motorcycle protector-enforcer throughout the trip, and has won many friends within the cycling world from well beyond Toowoomba for presenting the human face of policing, with his wisdom in handling such a massive string of riders (worse than a BUG ride even) stretching over many miles for up to 6 hours at a stretch.

Applause must be given to all those who assisted, some, like John, riding and then volunteering too.

Without planning it at all, we managed to meet up with the following TBUG riders: Andrew, Peter, Chris, Noel, Helen, Rob, Hugh, Stewart, Brian, John and gained a new recruit with Louis as well as adding two 'add-on' South Australian accomplices, Di and Olivia.

Toowoomba dominated the recumbent division with two, Hugh on his GT3 and Rob on his brand new Anura. We were joined by Brian from Sydney, now also an official 'TBUG Accomplce', with another GT3 similar to Hugh's. A 'Race of Recumbents' was formed.

I was also hailed by new TBUG rider, Brent, as we eased towards Cambooya for the final smoko break. Brent joined up at the halfway mark having completed a ride with TBUG on the Sunday of the 'Barn' ride.

Not a bad effort to have so many TBUG supporters in the CQ ride, and so we discussed 'the next ride' in 2010, which will be from Yeppoon to Bundaberg, with the view of promoting it as a TBUG activity for those who can come along.

The possibility of transporting our bikes by truck from Toowoomba to Yeppoon and then back from Bundie, while maybe catching the QR flyer to Rockie was mooted, thus avoiding all that bike boxing and damage on the one hand and avoiding the excessive cost of flying on the other.

More later, and with photos.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Toowoomba BUG cyclists

If you’re interested in:

Experiencing Indonesia as it ‘really’ is by cycling in lush tropical upland valleys, sleeping in traditional Torajan villages, learning some Indonesian language and rafting white water rapids, all whilst enjoying the company of people from different countries and different backgrounds as you eat local village food, infected by the joy and happiness of the locals who will befriend you along the way... then you need to consider 'Cycle Toroja'.


Main features:

Experienced and fluent Indonesian speaking Australian leader
13 days
1–13 February 2010
*525 km mountainous cycle in 6 days
*White water rafting and trekking
*Floating villages, silk weaving
*Swimming most days
*Indonesian language instruction
*Organized cultural talks

Makassar – Tana Toraja – Makassar

US$ 1,699 (all in after arrival in Makassar)

More information:
http://www.cycleindonesia.com.au/ (Click on Toraja)

A wooden recumbent


How's this? A wooden recumbent trike:
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fblog.borisbeaulant.com%2F

Teaching kids (and adults) to ride video

An interesting little video to watch if you are wondering how to teach your child to ride:http://www.ibike.org/education/teaching-kids.htm

Our city and our future

Bike riders may want to submit some thoughts to Toowoomba Regional Council about the city they want in the future, or the day after tomorrow for that matter.

If so, go here and send them a detailed review of how council can improve cycling and pay attention to the environmental needs of our world.

http://www.toowoombarc.qld.gov.au/index.php?option=com_docman&Itemid=482

Sunday, 30 August 2009

(Previous) Preston Peak ride





These shots of a cold Preston Peak ride were supplied by Andrew.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

TBUG shirts design and size chart





Readers: we are trying to get a bigger shot of the shirt posted here, but the detail is still there to be seen- long sleeves, in unisex and 'female' fit, 3/4 'invisible' zip, 3 pockets to rear, highly visible, and the purple is a reflection of our Toowoomba colours.

Readers would be aware that TBUG has been trying to organise a shirt for the BUG rides.

While we had received a number of expressions of interest there were not enough to fill the initial order with our first shirt makers, so we had a further look into the industry.

We found Pinnacle Shirts, and a very helpful Rob who owns the business.

We now have an approved shirt design and are taking the next step, collecting orders for it, and deposit monies.

When you are looking at the design, please remember that we are actually ordering long-sleeved shirts, not the design model on display with short sleeves.

We can, however, order either a 'female fit' or a unisex fit, as the chart below shows.

So, the process is this:

Check the chart size and be clear about what you want.

Send TBUG an email with your name, address, contact phone number and size and 'fit' clearly marked, as well as the number of shirts you want if it is more than one per size: toowoombabug@gmail.com

Then you need to get your money to the TBUG.

Once Rob has the shirt order he will issue us with an invoice and his bank account details. We will email these details to each rider with a shirt order and you will have to deposit the money direct into the Pinnacle account.

TBUG has no bank account, so the only alternative is to hand your cash or cheque over to Hugh, who will then pay Rob.

Either way, Pinnacle wants the money before it can ship our shirts.

Pinnacle Size Chart

Cycle Jersey and Wind Vest

To fit measurements (not garment measurements):

Unisex sizes:
Size: 4XS = Chest 70, 3XS = 75, 2XS = 80, XS = 85, S = 90, M = 95, L = 100, XL = 105, 2XL = 110, 3XL = 115, 4XL = 120
Note: These sizes are a guide only.


Ladies sizes:

Size: 8, Chest 80 Hips 87

Size 10, Chest 85 Hips 92

Size 12, Chest 90 Hips 97

Size 14, Chest 95 Hips 102

Size 16, Chest 100 Hips 107

Size 18, Chest 105 Hips 112

Please note that the polyester cycle jerseys are a close fitting garment as preferred by most cyclists and the actual chest size will measure just 5-7cm larger than the ‘to fit’ size above.

As an example, the approximate ‘actual chest size’ of some sizes are:
M/14 – 101cm
L/16 – 106cm
XL/18 – 110cm

As a guide for hip measurements, the jerseys are elasticated at the bottom, and will stretch to approximately the same size as the chest (i.e. the bottom of a medium/size 14 jersey will fit up to 102cm hip).

Wind vests are designed to be worn over the top of a cycle jersey of the same size.

Cycling, education and school students

Here is an interesting document a researcher has put together on cycling and educating school students. An interesting resource if there are any school teachers, principals or P&C members reading this blog:
http://www.irmrc.unsw.edu.au/documents/JHatfield.pdf

Any readers with other useful research on this topic, please send any and all links to the TBUG.

This is the sort of information we need as the Active Transport Reference Group takes off later in September.

Cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are

If the UK can organise this, surely we in Toowoomba can manage it too?

Cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are.


That's the message of the UK Cycle Touring Club (CTC), which explains that when more people cycle, more often, the safer it is for each individual cyclist.

Possible reasons for the "Safety in numbers" effect are:

* Drivers are more aware of cyclists
* Drivers are more likely to be cyclists themselves
* There is greater political will to improve cycling conditions

CTC want to halve the risk of cycling by doubling their numbers.

The UK Government has already adopted a target to halve the risks of cycling in its draft Road Safety Strategy, A Safer Way.

This is exactly what CTC proposed in their "New Vision for Cycling".

However, apart from some welcome proposals to introduce more 20mph (approx 30 kph) zones and limits, the draft Strategy says little about how they will achieve this target.

CTC believe the best way is to double the levels of cycling. This will benefit the streets, the health of UK citizens, communities and the environment, as well as improving safety for all road users.

How will this be achieved?

By tackling the fears which prevent people from cycling more:

* Improving driver behaviour
* Making the road environment more welcoming for cyclists
* Funding schemes that promote cycling positively and improve confidence

See here for the CTC 'Safety in Numbers document:

http://www.ctc.org.uk/resources/Campaigns/CTC_Safety_in_Numbers.pdf

Unicycle madness

This story came from the USA but shows a clear Australian link between universities and uni cycles. Is it student poverty that forces Australian uni' students to economise with only one wheel?

ONE WHEEL, ONE SPEED
Bike Bits heard recently from Gideon Erkenswick, who wrote
this:

"There is an amazing cycling expedition in progress by an
Indian citizen and graduate student in Australia, named Sid Rajan.

He is attempting to ride his unicycle, self-supported, across the
southern coast of Australia from Perth to Sydney (about 6000km).

He is doing it in part for himself, to complete his Master's thesis, and
to raise money for NGOs that support children in need of healthcare
and education.

When complete, Rajan will be the first person ever to
ride a unicycle from the West Coast to the East Coast."

Rajan has already completed the Perth to Adelaide leg, and plans to begin the
Adelaide to Sydney stretch in November.

Click here to visit his website:
http://www.3oceansunicycletour.com

At this link you can view a video of him:
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/D9pOb7xMQhI-16bBZwC6fQ

And to read about more of this unicycle-adventure madness, check out
"One-Track Minds" here:
http://blog.adventurecycling.org/2009/08/one-track-minds.html

Overseas security for bags

Even if you are not taking your bike overseas, the question of what goes into your luggage when you are not looking, or what comes out of it for that matter, is always an issue.

Particularly of you are carrying a boogie-board!

And, so we hear, all bags going into the USA get opened, whatever you use as a lock.

In response to this, S&S sell these natty US approved luggage locks.

S&S are the people who invented the clever mechanism for breaking bikes in two, or three, or four, making it as easy as a blink-of-an-eye to pack a tandem into a suitcase: http://www.sandsmachine.com/pack_t1.htm

The luggage locks are probably worth investing in even if you are only going to Tasmania, which is, after all 'overseas' too.
http://www.sandsmachine.com/ac_locks.htm

UK and European bike maps and information

This is a good resource for cycling information in the UK and Europe.

Of course, all books are available via Amazon these days but it is still worth checking out these smaller businesses who specialise in cycling.

Rannerdale can be found here:
http://www.rannerdale.webeden.co.uk/#

But maybe one of the best places to start is at the UKs Cycle Touring Club here:
http://www.ctc.org.uk/

See also:
http://www.cycletourer.co.uk/index.shtml

Bike riders do do the wrong thing too

BICYCLE riders in Maryborough are more of a problem than skateboarders, says Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Alan Wetton.

Mr Wetton said bike riders had been causing problems in the Heritage City for the past few years but the issue had become worse in the last six months.

His comments came after Maryborough MP Chris Foley highlighted the actions of a “minority of rogue skateboarders” who had been seen “playing chicken” with cars and had threatened drivers.

Bike riders had also been spotted running red traffic lights and Mr Wetton said he had been hit by a bike rider travelling too fast around a blind corner.

http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/story/2009/08/12/bicycle-bullies-ones-to-watch-maryborough-cbd/

Driver hits cyclists: wrist slap from Courts


This story shows just how much toleration extends to car drivers who ignore the rules. The only defence missing seems to have been that the driver was drunk as well as 'late for work'.

Author: Peter Hardwick from The Chronicle

LATE for work and frustrated at being held-up by slow moving traffic, Michael John Green had tried to speed past the vehicles in front only to leave a group of cyclists sprawled on Bridge Street, Toowoomba Magistrates Court heard.

Green, 36, had pulled in behind three cars travelling slowly on Bridge Street about 6am, June 10, the court heard.

Late for work, he had pulled out to overtake the three cars only to discover a group of cyclists leading the traffic approaching the West Street intersection, prosecutor Sergeant Greg Lewis said.

Trying to speed around the cyclists, Green’s car clipped one cyclist sending about six sprawling.

He had then driven off through a red light and sped through Newtown backstreets followed by an off-duty policeman who had seen the incident.


Read the whole story here:
http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2009/08/12/hit-run-driver-late-work/

Friday, 7 August 2009

Next TBUG ride - TBUG shirt update

The next ride is on 16 August 2009. Usual start at 7.30 a.m. at the Art Gallery Gardens. Destination, a 'yet to be determined' but about 50kms.

Don't forget the usual: pump, spare tube/repair kit, tools, water, suncream, phone, money, helmet, two abreast maximum, no speeding over the road limit.

The last ride was about 45 kms and attracted 23 riders. The TBUG shirt was discussed, viewed and handled and 16 people decided they would like to wear one.

Not quite enough for the minimum order, so back to the drawing board. We are in contact with another manufacturer who has marginally lower prices but significantly smaller minimum order numbers. We await a sample shirt and hope to bring it to the next ride.

The Scody shirt has been reduced to entice us from about $121 to about $106 but the minimum order remains at 25.

The alternative shirt could be in the $96 region, but with a minimum order that will accommodate the current expressions of interest, about 15-18 shirts.

We did but see him passing through

From the Toowoomba Chronicle
Mr Collins began his 160,000 km expedition from a relatives farm in Goulburn, New South Wales.

He will cycle, for the most part on his own, around Australia to raise money and awareness for Oxfam Australia’s indigenous programs and their close the gap campaign.

It was after speaking to his cousin and doing some research that Mr Collins decided to try and help indigenous Australians.

“I found out just how real poverty is in Australia,” Mr Collins said.


Read about this intrepid cyclist as he passed through Toowoomba:
http://www.thechronicle.com.au/story/2009/07/15/solo-cyclist-saddles-indigenous-aussies/

Lands End to John O'Groats

This ride, known as LEJOG going from Lands End to oop norf, is also called JOGLE when going from oop norf, or John O'Groats, to Lands End. Either way, it is a few miles.

This is a newspaper account of a half completed ride, abandoned due to wonky knees, but still an interesting tale and some good introduction sections from the riders:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/active/5940583/James-Cracknell-Lands-End-to-John-OGroats-cycle-record-aim-with-Rebecca-Romero.html

And next year you can join in a ride from Scotland to Cornwall, the JOGLE version of LEJOG. This is just like our Cycle Queensland event, but a bit longer over the same nine days.

If anyone decides to go, do contact the TBUG and we'll post an interview with you to make sure there is no backing out:
http://www.rideacrossbritain.com/Default.aspx

Road users congestion tax

There will come a time when planners will realise that building more and 'better' roads just costs money with diminishing returns.

Hey presto!, the congestion tax comes to life.

This is an interesting paper that is worth a read, and then a letter to your local MLA, MHR and Senator, if not the Henry Tax Enquiry:
http://www.treasury.gov.au/documents/1574/PDF/01_Urban_congestion.pdf

West Australia: ahead of Qld and Toowoomba

The WA citizens are ahead of us. Not only the local cycling citizens but also the government at state and local levels.

Bike West: http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/cycling/1515.asp

Perth planning to lift cycling by 11.5% This is a "Must Read" doco: http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/cycling_bike_ahead.pdf

A real Hazard Reporting system that TRC, QT and MRD need to look at: http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/cycling/2345.asp

End of journey/trip facilities in WA Govt buildings:
http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/cycling_end_of_trip.pdf

Members of parliament and mayors can cycle in WA:
http://www.dpi.wa.gov.au/cycling/19459.asp

Isn't this a familiar scene?

Ah yes, the car obsessed maniacs who exist to drive cars badly. But everyone needs a purpose in life, so is it fair to be cruel?

This RTA video is very good, and depicts a rather sad but all too frequently encountered scene.

You really will have to watch it, and if cyclists and the responsible 'other' road users adopted the sign universally it would be quite an effective example of road-user solidarity.

Judge for yourself and watch this little beauty:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvC6RryUn0Y

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Two useful bike 'bits'

There are a number of bike indicators on the market these days. This one is from the UK, and looks as if it might work (for a change).

Not just an indicator, but a mirror too, and a front and rear light.

Check it out:
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/cid/SRQ5UZNU273Y3NSGICOQL28KFDUXL12K/product-Winkku-Winkku-Safety-Bar-End-Mirror-with-Lights-and-Indicator-20137.htm

This bike bit comes from the USA and may be useful for mountain bikers as well as the tandemists amongst us who need some quite small inner cogs due to the sometimes lost chains that go down where they don't belong.

Even if it had to be posted here, this device would not break the bank, for a change:
http://www.gvtc.com/~ngear/orders.html

A few video links to visit

This is a London safety video that shows how to ride with 'lorries', better known here as trucks. It's worth watching, although the Toowoomba situation hardly compares. The essential awareness of how a truck operates is just as valid though:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11687.aspx?lid=switcher

Theses are a mixed bag of bike related videos:

RTA 'Slow down' TV ad':
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9VWF1DXQ8s&feature=related

UK road safety inattention kills:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsJs4AYa8sU&feature=related

USA 1950: safety:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QEKTZyQmwk

USA 1960:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqpNqoumVcA&feature=related

USA 1948:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPh3zJ6lmn8&feature=related

Going fast (80mph) by pedal power:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5V2FgwN_re4&feature=related

Jet bike- is this person mad?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6qeDkwnDPQ&feature=related

This fellow is returning home after cycling around the world in about three days (what kept him?):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCxwyeoStLY&feature=related

School bans cycling to school

This short video is amusing, or it would be if it was not quite so sad.

Not an Australian school, we are pleased to report, but a UK one. Having sold off all their sports fields, with children not aware what a vegetable is any more while refusing to eat Jamie Oliver school dinners, the ban on cycling to school should really come as no shock.

You will have to tolerate the advertisement for superannuation before the real story comes on.

Watch and laugh/cry at the superiority of the British, well, the English anyway:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/8149987.stm

Bike gadgets

Front wheel dynamo

Need a front wheel bike dynamo? Look no further than PedalPower+.

This front wheel dynamo can charge your batteries as you pedal along on the next TBUG world tour of the Darling Downs, or even beyond.

Products and prices here:
http://www.pedalpower.com.au/index_files/Page1734.htm

From the web site:
http://www.pedalpower.com.au/index_files/Page437.htm

PedalPower+ is an innovation that allows bike riders to recharge their mobile phones, GPS and other small devices in a safe and regulated process from a bicycle hub or bottle dynamo.

In the ‘old’ days, a bicycle dynamo was only used for one thing, bicycle lighting, which was the only electronic application that a rider needed. If you needed a telephone, you found a public phone box, if you needed to find your way you looked at a map

While the application for lighting still exists today, far more is needed, modern riders use mobile phones, GPS and need to have easy electronic answers to recharging, small devices that require 5v up to 600mA, DC input to recharge them. Appliances like GPS, mobile phones, AA and AAA batteries, digital cameras, MP3, iPod and iPhone, to name a few.

At PedalPower+ we provide the solution. Our range of products gives you a complete system by generating energy while on your bike, using that energy to recharge your device while riding, collecting and storing all or part of the energy and using the collected energy to charge devices while not riding. How easy.

By using our patented, small, modern technology, we have solved several major issues that enable a bicycle dynamo to be used to recharge small electronic devices safely. Issues such as creating DC output, current regulation, stability, efficiency and reliability.

Our patented technology is used in two ways, firstly by incorporating our patented technology inside our hub dynamo, making it the world’s first DC Output Bicycle Hub Dynamo, effectively making the charging process exactly the same as from a mains wall charger giving up to DC 5v 600mA. This allows direct charging of any small device requiring 5v and up to 600mA, to recharge its internal batteries without using a special regulating cable from an AC dynamo

Secondly by being incorporated into our PP+ Universal Hub Dynamo Cable. This allows our standard AC hub dynamo or third party AC hub dynamos, rated at 6v3w or 2.4w to be safely used as the source of energy. Perfectly suited to AC dynamo hubs from Sram, Shimano, Schmidt, Suntour, Novatec and other manufacturers, great to use as a simple retrofit for those riders who already have hub generators.

Today’s society’s demands for green, environmentally friendly, health promoting products, combined with the needs and wishes of modern bike riders, are perfectly answered with the PedalPower+ system. The whole range completes a clean, green and free solution to the energy requirements of the rider, whether that rider is a commuter, trekker, long distance rider or holiday maker. PedalPower+ encompasses all.

American bike e-newspaper

It's another world, cycling in the USA. What an amazing place it must be compared to how cycling is treated heer in Toowoomba, and Australia.

The pace of change, even acceptance of a sort, does seem to be accelerating here, if somewhat glacially, and we are only 20 million compared to nearly 300 million, but still...

Have a read and see how our cousins are dealing with 'the bike':
http://www.bicyclepaper.com/articles/2009/07/prepping_for_the_big_tour

Australian bespoke bike builder



Velosmith is an Australian handmade bike builder. We found this on the web, so have not seen any or met anyone with one, but they certainly look and sound like quality.

Worth a look if you are about to buy an expensive bike anyway, so at least you can spec it to your needs: http://www.velosmith.com.au/index.html

Velosmith tourers are hand-built for a lifetime of cycling. The combination of steel tubing and careful component choice ensures that your Velosmith bicycle is made for the long haul.

All frame tubes (except seat and head tubes, which are rust proofed) are sealed, no moisture can get in so no rust to shorten the life of your frame. Components such as a Rohloff hub gears provide tens of thousands of virtually maintenance and adjustment free kilometres. Rohloff chains too have a reputation for being the best quality available today.

Tim has two bikes riding through South America here:
http://andesbybike.blogspot.com/

And another pair riding the Australian wide-brown-rim here:
http://www.2tyred.org/2tyred.org.htm

The photo is from the Velosmith site

Copenhagen

This is an interesting web site: http://www.copenhagenize.com/

It's a bike blog but it's full of interesting stories and worth a bookmark for revisiting every now and then.

Tandem braking article

This article about braking on tandems is interesting in itself, particularly if you ride a tandem, but Thorn, a UK bike building company, is well worth a look at for rugged solos and tandems they build.

And for the keen tandemists, Thorn are the world's supplier of 48 spoke Rohloff hubs, which they do sell to Australia, as with their bikes, if you ask nicely and send a few dollars over too.

Take a look at this article and at the Thorn site:

Tandem braking: http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/tandembraking.html

Thorn home page: http://www.thorncycles.co.uk/index.html

A new school bus

For Queensland Transport, or the larger family, comes a new Dutch bike for carrying 'a few' children around.

This should be the next P&C fund raiser objective at every Queensland school. Parents can take it in turns to garage the bike and pick up their fares.

Take a peek at the latest transport revolution:
http://workcycles.com/workbike/bicycles/bakfiets.nl/bakfiets.nl-cargobike-extra-long.html

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

TBUG shirt design?



Place mouse on shirt and click to see a bigger picture.


See previous link for details:
http://toowoombabug.blogspot.com/2009/07/talking-point.html

Two cycle from Oxford to Sydney

Here is the first episode of a fourteen part Youtube series that records the travels, thoughts, trials and tribulations of a young couple who cycled from the UK to Australia.

Not a bad effort, for a pair who really did not cycle much beforehand.

There, but for the size of the task, go many other people.

Watch this one, and then see if you want to watch the rest.

It is compelling viewing, and each episode is only about 7 minutes long.

The postscript episode catches up with the pair, living in NSW seven years after stopping their ride at the Opera House, with two children and one more on the way, still living simply, still with their well travelled bikes, and still trying to keep their 'footprint' down.

Well worth episode one anyway:
http://www.mefeedia.com/entry/episode01-bike2oz-oxford-to-amsterdam/14657497

More trips by bike than car-Amsterdam not Toowoomba

Amsterdam: More Trips by Bike than by Car
The bicycle is the means of transport used most often in Amsterdam. Between 2005 and 2007 people in the city used their bikes on average 0.87 times a day, compared to 0.84 for their cars. This is the first time that bicycle use exceeds car use.

In 2006 the inhabitants of Amsterdam engaged in some 2 million trips a day, an 8% reduction compared to 1990. This is due to the number of trips per person per day falling from 3.6 to 3.1%. The number of transfers has fallen in the old city within the ring road in particular.

The number of trips by car, compared to 1990, has fallen in all districts (-14%), whereas the number of trips by bicycle has only risen within the ring road (+36%). The bike is used most often in the town centre (41% versus an average of 28%) and the car least often (10% versus an average of 28%). This can be attributed to the restrictive parking policies enacted here since the 1990s.

‘Dienst Infrastructuur en Beheer’, the infrastructure department of the city registered approximately 235,000 car movements in both directions at the city centre in 1990; by 2006 this had fallen to 172,000, a decrease of over a quarter. Over the same period the number of daily movements by bicycle rose from 86,000 to over 140,000 (+60%).

Published @ 23-06-2009
See the whole web page:
http://www.bike-eu.com/

Mini electronic bike horn

Who knows how good this is?

But it might be worth a try:
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Mini-Electronic-Bicycle-Bike-Cycling-Loud-Horn-NEW_W0QQitemZ400055490911QQcmdZViewItemQQptZAU_Sport_Cycling_Accessories?hash=item5d252a595f&_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116