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:

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 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:

And visiting the Beckman site here:

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



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.









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 2100 PANNIERS $245.00

EL 2600 PANNIERS $270.00



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.


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).


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.

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:

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:,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.

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':

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:

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.




UK Cycle Touring Club media release:

The 'abstract' of the paper can be found, and bought, from here:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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


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:

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, a huge collaborative project which is fast becoming the best starting point on the web for bike tourers.

and his blog site:

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. :-)

New road rules and 'hook turns'

New rules:


Hook turns:

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:

"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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.

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:

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:

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:

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: