Sunday, April 15, 2007

Busting the Myths of Sustainable Push-Bike Culture (I’m not talking sports)

Are there any excuses left for people to not be a part of Sustainable Push-Bike Culture?
It is dangerous to ride a bike. True, and almost as dangerous as driving a car… The frightening fast cars passing you is just like the fear of flying (unjustified). Is driving a 1 tonne vehicle at 17meters a second (60km/hr) is safe ? The health benefits from cycling continually show in many studies to outway the risk of injury.
More difficult for cyclists to crash and kill other people “accidently”
When cyclists back out of drive ways they don’t run over toddlers (4WD problem)
Annual Road toll is horrific (1500), but exhaust emissions is 20000. If the government was serious about reducing road toll they would make helmets compulsory for motorists.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic now. 80% less kids ride/walk to school. More cycling as kids leads to safer driving cars when adults.
Combining transport and exercise is perfect for today’s busy lifestyles
Roads are paid from all tax payers to be used by everyone, like parks and footpaths.
Obeying traffic rules is in our favour: Compulsory to ride safely, predictably & in straight lines (don’t weave around parked cars). Allow cars to pass safely in next lane.
Dangerous to ride in gutter, close to car doors, or in “bike pictures lanes” near car doors. This just further encourages cars to squeeze dangerously past you.
There will never be a separated bike path to your front door, connected to everywhere you want to go. Cycling skills can be learned to stop getting annoyed by cars.
Exercise and sweat keeps you fit and your body and skin clean
Long loved & Pre-loved bikes save on pollution caused from the production of new bicycles overseas. They isolate you from the all consuming multinational greed cycle. Less chance of these bikes getting stolen aswell.
No new roads, no new cars, a just transition to a sustainable future!
No climate changing fossil fuels, but remember there is no such thing as a green car
Peace and Sustainability not wars for oil, or oil spills, or peak oil chaos
Effective communities not Urban Sprawl. Car infrustructure uses up 40% of cities land area
Cycling fun not stressful road rage or social isolation
Drunk driving/Smoking is socially unacceptable now, after 30 years, When will cars be?
We love appropriate use of cars: ambulances, fire trucks etc. But car congestion blocks them.
Footpaths are exactly that for feet. So walk your bike or ride at walking pace. Do not ride as fast as a jogger, this is dumb and dangerous. We don’t want pedestrians hating us too!
Bags on bikes (panniers), baskets, kiddy trailers are very handy when shopping, etc.
Travelling by bike is faster than you think. Proper bike setup and gears make a difference!

So why are you not riding a bike? When you answer with your usual excuse you have been using, read above to find your myth busted. If your only excuse is “I’m too lazy” then I wish you well with your Car Carnage & Consumeristic Climate Changing Chaos Culture!

BikeFun at STOMP Festival (

Stomp is an annual, free one day festival celebrating cultural diversity and unity,social justice, the environment and the arts.Saturday May 19, Civic Park Newcastle, 9am to 9pm

The STOMP Festival Bike-Train
Become awakened to healthy, safe, and sustainable transport in 2007 with STOMP!!
Start your STOMP Festival day off on the right pedal by hopping on board the STOMP Festival Bike-Train. This year, the Cultural STOMP is reclaiming some of the people’s roads: with a safe & environmentally friendly way to get to the festival. Join the colourfully decorated, mass bicycle ride as we make our way from Wallsend, picking you up along the way at several of the designated STOMP Festival Bike-Train stations or come out to our starting point for an extended fun bike ride. The STOMP Festival Bike-Train is a free ride and roadside/cyclewayside assistance will also be free during the ride. We will be “stopping at all stations” and going at a pace so anyone can keep up with us. Bring a safe bicycle and a helmet to participate. Although not compulsory, cyclist riding insurance cover can be got from Bicycle NSW.
Ride Times: Wallsend Plaza 8am, Cameron St Jesmond Mall 8:20am, Rankin Drive Uni 8:30am, Waratah shopping centre 9am, Clyde St to Tighes Hill Tafe 9:20am, Hamilton Train Station 9:40am, Parry St, King St to Civic Park, 10am!

Need a safe bicycle to join the STOMP Festival Bike-Train?
The Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre is extending its “100 free bikes for students” program to include STOMP Festival Bike-Train participants. The Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre’s “Push bike co-op” takes pre-loved bikes & parts that are then restored by volunteers. This saves useful push-bikes from landfill and saves on the pollution caused from the production of new bicycles. If you want a bike, the Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre can help you recycle one, for free! If you want your STOMP Festival bicycle checked for safety, also for free, also drop into the Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre.

Stop getting annoyed by cars & practice riding in a Festival like ride?
For practice riding in a “Festival” style mass bicycle ride, come to:
Critical Mass, 1st Friday of Every Month, Civic Park, meet at 5:30pm, ride at 6pm.
The Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre runs Bike skills workshops to stop getting annoyed by cars. Web:

The STOMP Festival Bike Corral
This is where lotsa FREE STOMP bike fun happens!
Start point (every hour) for All Day Bike Ride
Bike Library Pickup point ($20 deposit applies)
Bring your bike to get fixed / checked
Bike fixing workshops, learn how to fix your bike
Bike skills workshops to stop getting annoyed by cars
Bike information (WNBR, Critical Mass, NBEC, EPBLC, Sustainable Bike Culture, etc.)
Workshop to set up your community Bike co-op
Biketivism Films (World Naked Bike Ride and Bike activism). Screenings TBA.

The STOMP Festival Bike Library
STOMP is the launching pad for the Newcastle Community Bike Library. Pick out a bike by leaving a deposit of $20, if you like your bike so much just keep it and it’s yours to keep. To take advantage of this offer, bring your bicycle helmet to the Festival even if you don’t bring your bike. Volunteers needed pre-festival to help fix these bikes.

The STOMP Festival All Day Bike Ride
Starting from 10am when the STOMP Festival Bike-Train arrives, a continual all day group Festival bike ride will begin. Starting at the Bike Corral at the top of every hour, go in a group ride, being your opportunity and to ride in safety and style. Help bring life back to the car dominated streets of our fabulous city and visit some wonderful sites. Then come back to Civic Park for more Festival fun. Where each ride goes to, and the duration, will be up to participants: Leave your ride suggestion on the ride sheet at the Bike Corral or just vote at the start of each ride.