Monday, June 18, 2012

TIPS THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE, make you happy, events and more :

*** Summary ***
1. Newcastle Traffic Skills to save your life:
The RTA handbook is confusing people about bike lanes and causing road rage.
Never ride close to parked cars, especially when bike pictures on roads are trying to make you, or when pressured by society. You will crash into an opening door eventually. The RTA and NSW Road Rules 153, 144 & 247 advise to ride the safe way (usually 1.5m away from parked cars) You only have to ride in a "bike lane" when it is signposted, which is almost none in Newcastle . Don't get confused with "bike lanes" that have bike pictures on the road, lines, or green paint (you don't have to ride in these because they usually don't have a signpost)
2. (With
Work with Government to improve bicycle facilities & promote safe bike use. Rides, insurance, newsletters, discounts, legal advice, etc.
3. Global bike ride to celebrate cycling Show your support for a safe active transport network. 6pm, Civic Park, 1st Friday, monthly.
4.  For peace, sustainability.
Borrow bikes, help fix, order, or buy 2nd hand or bikes. Trade in bikes/parts or bring cash.
FREE for members:
- Help fix/check/maintain bikes
- Traffic skills workshops (stop cars annoying you)
- Donate bikes/parts or get  bikes/parts.
- Promote, encourage bikes, and create a bike community.

Main problem with Australian transport system:
1. People walking on footpaths feel safe with gutter separation from cars
2. Car drivers feel safe in there metal boxes even though they are just as safe as cyclists
3. Cyclists, and mobility scooter users do not feel safe with fast dangerous cars passing them too closely.
We will not be discriminated against anymore! Why do we have to live in fear by just trying to get from A to B. This is similar to slavery and living in fear and discrimination. Even when slavery was legal some good people were not for it and knew it was wrong. So today we are looking to good people to end the discrimination, fear, and injustice for cyclists and mobility scooter users.

OUR MISSION : For happy and healthy sustainable communities by promoting safe active transport culture (combine walk, cycling, bus, train with appropriate higher density infilling of cities to stop urban sprawl and car addiction). Focus on people, not on cars spewing out toxic exhaust emissions (asthma and cancer causing), creating danger, obesity (sedentary travel) and climate change chaos consumer culture. Safe, efficient, equitable, socially just transport for all (pedestrians, children, disabled, blind, wheelchaired, cyclists, 3 wheeled mobility electric/assist devices, motorists, etc.), not just the rich, greedy and selfish. Since the 90’s car culture has stopped generations of kids that have lost their mobility of walking/cycling places. Save about $14b p.a. in Australia on health costs due to inactivity. This money is needed for more doctors and police not more highways. (ref cycling promotion fund 2011)

A 2nd hand pushbike has virtually no pollution and the incidental exercise from riding it for transport makes people happy and healthy. Set up a local community bike help place in your suburb and become the *star* of your community. Ideally every suburb has one so everyone can walk their bike to get fixed. Laugh at the motorists passing you while you ride your pushbike. They waste time by not combining transport and excercise. You are happy and healthy while motorists get unhealthy, stressed and have road rage.

SAFETY ALERT: New cheap bikes from Big-Stores and "internet" (not bike shops) usually need all nuts tightened or they soon go dangerously loose (bearing locknuts, handlebars, cranks, etc).  Low quality steel painted wheels using v-brakes cause the brake pads to wear out very quickly, especially when they put brake pads for alloy wheels onto these steel wheels. So if you went on a long ride you could easily have no brakes left at the end.  These don't meet AS1927 bicycle quality standard and for these reasons these bad bikes should be banned!  (And NBEC refuses to issue these types of bikes anymore). Recently some Uni students kept complaining and taking back their new unsafe bikes and they got a full refund.  All Australians should do this to stop them selling unsafe bikes.

Most Australians don't cycle because of safety concerns (recent survey). Solution:
1. Help pressure the authorities for a safe separated cycle network, via the petition below.
2. Learn safer traffic skills below and on a Critical Mass bike ride.

If you have any bikes, parts, or broken/rusted bikes that you have tried to sell or give away, we will take them as your last resort. Drop them in to The Bike Love Corral and we can sort the trash from treasure amd most bikes donated will get ridden again within a month. However we recommend trying to get rid of your bike locally to you. Bike for sale sign on your front fence, free ads under $200 in the Newcastle Herald ( OR free web ads on gumtree. Offer on freecycle (see below) or donate to local charity.

Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre: NBEC was founded by Barry Marsh in 1996 as an environmental group to promote active transport and to rid our city of cars.
To advocate, empower people, provide events and programs for a transition to a sustainable, equitable future. Transition from a deadly car dominated Newcastle to a safe pedestrian dominated region. Provide free access to a safe, health improving, clean transitional mode of transport : push-bikes.

Why have this website? Most of the info can be found on other bike websites (Newcastle Cycleways Movement, Save Our Rail, Transition Newcastle, Climate Action Newcastle etc). But very important info has been collected and it should be considered the " Newcastle ethical sustainable active transport web portal". With info and links
Join the email list for more news and info about push-bike culture

A Scone Lawyer who believes the research of wearing a helmet is more dangerous than not wearing one (due to near misses becoming hits, not designed to protect from car crashes, collision brain wobble, etc) means she and the rest of people in NSW no longer need to wear bicycle helmets as long as you go to court and file a Section 10.
*** Critical Mass bike ride - 1st Friday every month, Show your support for a safe active sustainable transport (combining walking, cycling and public transport) network. ***
Global bike ride to celebrate cycling, and learn safe traffic skills and safe cycling routes in the mean time. Don't break the law by cycling where some bike pictures "tell" you to cycle. Learn the road (safety) rules.

A social ride that should go from Civic Park along a cycleway (separated from cars) around town and the beaches, and end at a dinner spot. But there isn’t any cycleways that go to these places so we will have to be outstanding law abiding citizens and follow the road rules by riding safely on roads and/or shared paths.
Unsponsored and unaffiliated, Critical Mass is an intentional community
in motion, one that brings life back to the car dominated streets of our
fabulous city. Critical Mass is Pollution Free Traffic, Safety in Numbers,
Party on Wheels. Ride daily; celebrate monthly! Critical Mass.
We won’t hog the road like smart-alecs. We want co-operation and safety from all road users. Don't pre-judge Critical Mass Newcastle because all CMs are different.

When: 6pm, 1st Friday of every Month
Place: Civic Park, opposite Town Hall, King St Newcastle NSW Australia
Bring: your bike, helmet and lights (it may be dark when you are going home).
Web :
Facebook group:
Join the email list :

Critical Mass of bikes is a term when you get enough bikes on the road to make a presence over the domination of cars.
Critical Mass is a Global bike ride to Celebrate Cycling & its virtues[1] AND to assert our right to ride on roads, and not in the car door opening death “lanes”. Each city in the world takes on a different feel, some are courteous, some are dress-up decorated, some have a fringe element that confronts motorists. Before you make a judgement of Newcastle Critical Mass you need to come for the ride,. This is the only monthly safe, sustainable bike ride in Newcastle : We don't encourage cycling in the car door opening death lane. It's not very sustainable to ride in car door opening death lane for too long, eventually you will get hit by an opening door.

*** Safe Cycling tips AND Solving all your Cycling complaints (from The Bike Love Corral)***
There is a solution to all the common cycling complaints, and we'd love to solve each, one at a time. Safety, sweaty, hot/cold, knees hurting, etc.
Learn to solve problems so you can be happy!:
If you get annoyed with cars or car doors opening in front of you and are not enjoying your ride, then you ain't riding correctly, or safely
Don't ride too close to parked cars:
• You may collide with a car door opening OR You may swerve to avoid a car door and get hit by traffic coming up behind you.
• Always allow room to avoid an opening door. Don't bother slowing or looking for people in cars (unseen kids open doors all the time)
Use designated bike lanes unless impractical or unsafe.
• Road rules require cyclists to use signposted bike lanes when provided.
• Bike pictures painted on the road accompanied with a “bike lane” signpost are intended to designate a bike lane but poor design or bad parking may mean that it is safer, and legal, not to ride in these lanes.
• Many bike pictures painted on Newcastle ’s roads are unsignposted and Road Rules 153, 144 & 247 advise not to ride in them because they are not proper bike lanes. Bike pictures on the road positioned where a parked car door opens is a very dangerous place to ride because of crashing into opening doors. These archaic lanes have to go, and hopefully this is only a temporary Newcastle strategy.
Be predictable.
• Travel in a relatively straight line – position yourself to avoid parked cars or other obstacles well in advance so that you don't weave in and out or swerve at the last moment.
Maintain the safest lane position.
• If the road is wide enough, keep left to allow motor vehicles to pass you safely.
• If the road is not wide enough to allow motor vehicles to pass you safely, either stop and pull over to allow vehicles to pass or, when no vehicles are approaching from behind, signal, then occupy the centre of the lane to prevent vehicles from attempting to pass you.
• At roundabouts – keep left and give way to vehicles that want to cross in front of you to exit, or occupy the lane and negotiate the roundabout in the same way a motor vehicle would.
• Inexperienced cyclists often “hug the curb” and wonder why cars pass so close. Experienced cyclists let traffic pass when they can but occupy the lane when needed for safety. Occupying the lane by a single rider, or two riders abreast, is legal but preventing drivers from passing can cause aggravation, so be considerate and move left to let motorists pass as soon as it is safe to do so.
Maintaining your bike for safer cycling ***
Bikes not maintained well cause many crashes to cyclists. If you are not sure you can check your bike for safety then get the Bike Love Corral to give it a free safety check!

• Wheels and seat on tight, handlebars steering correctly and brakes work.
• When not riding keep your bike covered, inside or in a shed to stop rust.
• When riding try not to hit potholes, or drop off gutters to save denting wheels
• Keep tyres inflated hard to PSI written on side of tyre (30% lower for old tyres), check for tyre wear
• Quick release levers are levered over into the "closed" position. Just don't screw these up. This stops front wheels coming loose.
• Oil the chain with a little vegetable oil. Oil cables with synthetic oil. Never use WD40 as it wears out your bike (and it is toxic)
• Fix any wobbles in wheels, pedals, cranks, steering before they get worse
• Choose correct gears for longer lasting parts. (Eg. Match slow gears front and back, match high speed gears, etc.)
• Seat and Handlebar heights so the safety limit marks are hidden in the frame.   If your knees hurt, put your seat up higher.
• bell or horn is working.
• if riding in poor light – a clean reflector and flashing or steady red light at the rear of the bike and a flashing or steady white light at the front.
• Make sure nothing can catch in the front wheel, especially items falling out of a front basket, or being carried , such as a beach towel.

Be seen.
• Wear bright coloured clothes or a high visibility vest with reflective strips.
• Flags and wide mounted reflectors can help motorists see you.
• Rear reflectors/lights are seen first by approaching motorists. But the reflectors on pedals at night are what first tell motorists they are approaching a cyclist.
Personal protection.
• Wearing an approved helmet is required by law and may offer some protection in some accidents.
• Glasses can protect your eyes from wind, rain, dirt and bugs. Tinted glasses can protect your eyes from glare.
Heads up.
• If you don't need to ride in a racing position, consider setting up your bike so you can ride in a more upright position making it easier see the road ahead or look over your shoulder.
Manage poor road conditions.
• Watch out for grates, potholes, stones and kerbs that can stop you in your tracks.
• Ridges, grooves or cracks in the road surface can cause “tram-lining” forcing your front wheel to track along the fault in the road.
• Oil, water or sand can cause sliding.
• Painted surfaces can be exceptionally slippery.
• In wet weather conditions regularly "touch" your brakes to help keep them dry and working well when needed.
Plan your ride. The shortest route may not be the best.
• Choose a route with safe cycle paths where possible.
• Avoid roads with fast moving motor vehicles, inadequate space for bikes and poor road surfaces.
Use a hook turn to turn right at a busy intersection.
• A hook turn avoids sitting in the centre lane while waiting to turn right and avoids having to turn right in front of oncoming traffic.
• To perform a hook turn, pull over to the left when entering the intersection, joining traffic approaching from the side street. Proceed through the intersection (to the street that was to your right) when safe to do so.
Avoid blind spots.
• You may not be visible in the rear view mirrors of a motor vehicle ahead of you so be prepared for it to turn in front of you to park or turn left.
• A motor vehicle immediately behind you can probably see you. But a second vehicle immediately behind it may not be able to see you. As the first vehicle passes you the second vehicle may approach without realising you are there. Make sure you have adequate room to move left as the second vehicle approaches.
• Vehicles entering from side streets may be unable to see you because they are looking for larger vehicles or if a vehicle is passing you.
Ride defensively.
• Being in the right is little comfort if you are hit by a car.
• Assume that you are invisible until a driver's action show that they have seen you.
• Assume that a motor vehicle will not give you adequate space or recognise your right of way until the vehicle shows that it is taking action to avoid you.
• Always have a Plan B – go slow enough to stop in an emergency or make sure you leave space to steer out of trouble.
• Defensive riding becomes second nature once you practice it for a while.
Give way to pedestrians.
• Cyclists must follow the same road rules as motorists. There are a small number of exceptions and some additional rules for cyclists.
• It is illegal for cyclists to ride on footpaths unless younger than 12 or accompanying a child younger than 12.
• If you must travel along a footpath, dismount and walk your bike.
• On shared cycle paths use your bell to warn pedestrians when approaching and slow down when passing. Show pedestrians the same courtesy we would like car drivers to show cyclists. Shared path courtesy is also on-road courtesy
• Walk to the left of centre line (like cyclists do on roads)
• Cyclists overtaking people should change lanes and give 1m room (like cars should overtake cyclists on roads)
Practise emergency braking and steering.
• Take note of which brake is for the front and back wheels. In Australia the left hand should operate the rear brake.
• Learn the limits of braking. Applying the rear wheel brake too hard may cause it to lock and skid. Some fish-tailing may occur but the bike will still be controllable. Applying the front brake too hard could cause the rider to go over the handle bars. Keep your weight low and to the back to minimise this chance. Locking the front wheel can be catastrophic as steering is lost and the front wheel will often skid out from under you. The front tyre's tread pattern helps with braking and water dispersion. Look for the direction arrow on the sidewall or the tread has an arrow formation pointing forward when looking down at it when you are riding your bike.
• Careful application of both brakes, without skidding, provides greatest stopping power.
• Find a safe place to practice braking hard while steering straight, left or right.
Learn from experienced cyclists.
• Ride with a buddy or join a Critical Mass group ride – talk about and practice safe cycling techniques.

Build respect and tolerance.
• Cyclists and motor vehicles are often forced to share roads that weren't designed to be shared. Responding to an aggressive motorist with aggression is likely to make them more aggressive to all cyclists – so just let it go. Avoid conflict and save your energy for campaigning for better cycling infrastructure.

Learning to cycling for 2 yr olds to 90 yr olds.
•    Society has progressed away from training wheels!  Best way for all types of people to learn how to ride a bike is to get on grass and lower the seat so you can scoot with your feet on the ground (take the pedals off if necessary).  Learn how to stop the bike with the handbrake/s.  Start confidence of being in control and knowing you can stop with handbrakes and put feet down at any time.  Then scoot along with your feet and use your brakes.  Then lift up your feet for 2 seconds to learn balance/steering.  Then lift up feet and roll for longer times until you can balance and steer.  Then start pedalling.  This way coincides with the 2010 start of the popularity of balance bikes for 3-5 yr olds.  The pedalling is learnt last, which is the exact opposite with training wheels on bikes.  With training wheels you don't learn the balance or steering (leaning) at all.  And then the removal of training wheels needs more learning.  But there are lots of ways to learn how to ride a bike.  The method described here will cater for all types of people with the least amount of crashed/frights.
*** Top 10  solutions to reasons people do not ride a bike ***
Compiled by James Davies and Daniel Endicott.

1. DANGER (feeling of being vulnerable without a metal cage surrounding you).
Build up your confidence on quiet back streets where cars are not as intimidating. Learn road/traffic skills and you will soon be confident on more busy roads. :AustCycle is the national leader in providing cycle training to people of all ages and skill levels throughout the Australian community. Whether for fitness, fun or transport, AustCycle can give you the skills and confidence to get on your bike and ride more.

2. DANGER (myths of more deaths cycling compared to walking or driving).
Only motorbikes are the deadly form of transport from NSW death stats. Walking, driving, cycling have almost identical death rates for time spent travelling. Federal Office of Road Safety : Fatality per million hours :
Pushbike : 0.4 Pedestrian : 0.8 Motorist 0.5
ALSO more deaths are caused by cars and their toxic exhaust emissions. So think about your ethical contribution to air pollution killing people.

Here is a review of a recent paper showing that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the injury risk and the air pollution risk.
The benefits are 7 times greater than risks for those under 40, and 10 times greater for those over 40 years.

3. TIME (Pushbikes are too slow).
But most (over 50%) city trips are under 5km. When parking is taking into account and not having to squeeze exercise into your busy day, cycling is usually quicker. Also the time you waste at work paying for your car and petrol can mean if you ditch the car for a sustainable bike lifestyle you can retire 25 years early. Travel times for bikes are grossly unknown to most people. With a correct bike setup or faster bike you will be surprised how faster you can be compared to distant memories of highschool cycling on a bike too slow and too small for you. Also top speed means little when comparing trip times in the city. So 60km/hr car will not always beat a 25km/hr bike. You will be suprised how easy riding a bike for half an hour is. And you will probably go 5 or 10km in half an hour.

4. WEATHER (Too hot, cold, wet, windy, etc)
Wearing correct layers of clothes and rain proof jackets, easily removed or added solves most problems. For heat remember to drink lots of water. After
your ride the cool breeze is gone so you will heat up after finishing your bike ride. Then you will cool down again which means later you will think it is cooler relative to after just hopping off the bike. Thinking it is cooler on a hot day is a good thing.

5. LOOKING GOOD (HELMET HAIR & SWEAT (when weather is too hot)
Prevent the sweat by buying electric assist push-bike. Or have a wash or wipe down after your ride. Set the social scene! :The Wheeler, a quarterly, seasonal publication embracing the increasingly vibrant cycling scene
Fashion your hair for a helmet or take a brush with you. If your not riding because you don't want to look stupid wearing a helmet then think about this - Cars are every day blocking or slowing down emergency vehicles causing them to reach their destination too late sometimes which could mean someone dies that would of been saved. If you drive a car you are partly responsible for this. Hollywood culture of perfect hair is also a part of consumeristic culture which brings unhappiness and destruction to the world. Check out
Freedom Cyclist v Helmet Laws ('ad-free' advocacy)

6. BIKE BROKEN or NEED a bike or POOR
Your local community bike help place can help you get a safe bike. Set one up in your suburb and become the star of your community. Otherwise go to local bike shop. Avoid getting very cheap bikes with gears and steel painted wheels from department stores. The brakes wear out very quickly on these low quality bikes and if you went on a long ride you could easily have little brakes left at the end of the ride, for this reason these lowest quality unsafe bikes should be banned!

Get electric assist. Or combine public transport with walking or cycling. Get bike trailers.

Just because the majority of adults in Newcastle may drive a car doesn't make it right to do so. Remember the majority used to be in favour of slavory, and they don't gat it right all the time
But you don't have to drive a car everywhere. Try a bike for some trips. Try walking to close by places. Try some public transport sometimes. Just because you always drive a car does not give you the right to block or slow down emergency vehicles, or create road rage, or emit toxic exhaust emmissions, contributing to killing people.

Get a lock and or insurance for your bike. Or get a cheap second hand bike that you will not mind as much if it gets stolen. Keep your bike inside overnight to stop theieves stealing your bike on noisy, windy nights.

What a load of nonsense. Except for a very few morbid obese people or people with specific difficulties you are fit enough. You do not have to be super fit with a fast bike wearing lycra and going as fast as you can. Wear what you are comfortable with and take a steady pace. You will be suprised how easy riding a bike for half an hour is. And you will probably go 5 or 10km in half an hour.

Most people pedal too slowly, and don't have correct seat height.
Once your balance is good on a bike (and you can hop on and off easily), you should aim for the following:
1. While riding leg extension to pedals is almost straight with only a slight bend in the knee. If you have a big bend in the knee at the maximum extension point, then you are damaging your knees, you tire easily, etc. Most people when stopped can touch the ground with tippee-toes when seated. I, myself prefer to not to be able to touch the ground, to achieve maximum pedalling power (so I have to hop off the bike every time I stop). So have the seat as high as you can comfortably able to stop the bike without falling off it. But you should learn better bike skills of stopping and hopping off the bike aswell. When you overextend the seat height you will rock side to side while riding to reach each pedal, this is too high, so lower it.

2. Leg rotation speed should be 80-100 times a minute. This mainly has to do with gear selection. If you are in too high a gear you are pedalling slowly and if you exert too much force you will again do damage to your body. A faster pedalling gear is easy to pedal and will not make you wear out as fast. Pedalling too slowly can also damage your bike.
But you can ride slowly, slow leg rotation, as long as you aren't exerting too much force on your legs. If your body doesn't ache, and your bike is working correctly, well done!
Sites that provide a huge amount of useful info for dispelling the usual anti-bike/public transport pro-car lobby.

*** Bike Love Corral : Goto***
*** More  references/ reasons why we need a Safe, Non-discriminatory, Happy, Healthy, Sustainable active transport network

For too long the approach to Sustainable Lifestyle by govs has failed. Our community deserves a Healthy Sustainable Lifestyle and we will except nothing less. Healthy sustainable cities by promoting safe active transport culture (combine walk, cycling, bus, train with appropriate higher density infilling of cities to stop urban sprawl and car addiction). Cities focused on people, not on cars spewing out toxic exhaust emissions (asthma and cancer causing), creating danger, obesity (sedentary travel) and climate change. Safe, efficient, equitable, ethical, socially just transport for all (pedestrians, children, disabled, blind, wheelchaired, cyclists, motorists, etc.), not discriminatory. Since the 90’s car culture has stopped generations of kids that have lost their mobility of walking/cycling places. Curtin uni has done a study that show the infrastructure costs for a new suburb are $684,000 per dwelling (Curtin_Sustainability_Paper_0209). Putting this money to infilling the city, will also make Newcastle a safe cycling tourist attraction, which will bring many visitors and to town.
The entire approach to road safety must be turned aroud to a strategy of Road Danger Reduction.
The current small changes proposed will see our Community get more obese. The Gov's have an obligation to create a safe city for people not cars. We must plan for a "Safe Active Travel 30 for 30" concept. Safe Active Travel 30 for 30 means by 2030 we should have 30km/hr local speed limits and trips : 30% public transport, 30% active transport (walk, cycle) and 40% the rest. We must aim for high targets and for the long term because we have lost so much ground in the last few decades of urban sprawling car culture. So the local speed limit needs to be 40km/hr across the whole NCC area NOW! Then lobby RTA for 30km/hr for world's best safe practice in Europe. At the moment 40 and 50 zones and school zones are quite confusing so to make it simpler and safer, a 40 limit is much better. We must match funding for the targets so 30% public transport, 30% active transport (walk, cycle) and 40% the rest means the money is split this way. Even though NCC has little say in state public transport, they need to fund active transport modes of combining walk/cycle with public transport. Otherwise spending money on the way travel share is, means more roads and more cars. Need heaps more pedestrian crossings across all main roads so even cyclists can walk their bike across a road, also gives peds/cylists priority. Block off more local roads to make cycling more convenient. Block off Hunter St to cars, let them go down King St. Every bike/pedestrian route must feel safe for 90% of 10 year olds to travel by themselves. Safe routes to schools must be a priority to get kids healthy and stop them costing our country $billions of health costs later.
Need to stop driving most kids to school. Need to stop the car culture of mothers accidentally killing their own toddlers (like on 27th Sept 2011 in Australia) while backing their car out of their driveway. Wever Governments and authorities continue to bow to the car lobby and let car culture thrive, more road death will occur when they could help Newcastle to be the safest, nicest, friendliest (no road rage, etc) city in Australia.

Remove all pictures of bikes causing road rage, crashes confusion on the roads NOW! Stop the wasteful money on narrow bike lanes (These rely on cars being parked touching the gutter and people checking before opening their door. But too many bigger SUVs, trucks and people not checking before opening doors mean this is not a safe option to entice the 30% of people . Sure it may entice 5% but this target is laughable, we need proper sustainable 30% target). They are not a success if we double cycling because of them. We need to get all people walking/cycling, even the ones who are very scared to walk/cycle because of the cars. Bikes and pedestrians should be separated, because similar conflict arises when numbers are large. We don't want safe cycleways clogged with walkers, and people find it more convenient to drive a car. Must make walk/cycle/public transport more quicker than cars for all short trips.

Increasing walk/cycle/public transport means reducing car trip for the same amount of trips. This is a fact . Lets not try and keep motorists happy with how they are going. Many motorists must be kicked out of their cars for most of their trips and only then will they realise the light on the other side, and the
Happy and Healthy Sustainable Lifestyle is now for them. The car culture and advertising is a hard thing to fight, but we must!

Cycle routes on their own don't create mode transfer from cars. All roads must be safe for walking and cycling and the use of private motor vehicles must be strongly discouraged. Planners must look to walking and cycling as the primary modes of transport for everyone. Public transport must be seen as the secondary modes, for longer distances. Cars must be seen as the last resort. All council policies must be audited for their transport implications. Everyone must have the choice not to own a motor vehicle.

With the increase in car dooring accidents as a result of cyclists riding too close to parked cars and in the drivers blind spot we should consider not supporting bicycle shoulder lane markings in parking lanes and rather place the bicycle symbols at the right of the edge line and encourage cyclists to utilise the parking shoulder lane when its safe to do so as a courtesy to other road users. There are a lot of crashes from motorists not seeing the cyclist until the last second and they clip the cyclist when passing them. This is due to motorists travelling too close to the car in front and the cyclist being squeezed out of sight. The 1st motorist sees the cyclist and squeezes past him without changing lanes. The motorist following the first car thinks all is OK (nothing is ahead to dodge) until a cyclist appears too close on the left. The engineering solution to the clipping a cyclist when squeezing past them is to either cause the 1st motorist to change lanes (which signals to the following car that something is ahead) or to have proper 1m clearance zones between cyclists and traffic lanes.

Dedicated Bicycle Lanes should be constructed in accordance with World’s best standards (E.g. Dutch):

  • clearance to pass the open door of a parked car in the adjacent parking lane without leaving the bicycle lane. A 1 metre separation is desirable.

  • lane widths that are adequate to carry the anticipated bicycle traffic, that continue through intersections

  • a safety separation strip between the cycle lanes and traffic lanes on any road with a posted speed limit above 70km/h to provide a buffer between moving traffic and the cycle lane.
  • a safety separation strip between the cycle lanes and traffic lanes on any road to provide a buffer between moving traffic and the cycle lane. This should be at least 1 metre, because “1m matters” (Amy Gillett campaign)

(Unfortunately the relevant sections of the RTA/RMS NSW Bicycle Guidelines, the AustRoads guidelines of 2012 ( do not meet appropriate safety standards for 13 year old children to feel safe in “marked bike lanes” that put them in positions of hitting car doors, or cars passing them on their right too close)

Many motorists will believe wherever the bike symbol is placed, that is the place where cyclists MUST ride their bike over the symbol painted on the road. It is confused as a bike lane. So all the problems associated with “Road Shoulder Lanes” below exist, even without edge lines. The bike symbols are very confusing, most motorists don’t think it’s a bike route marking, they think it’s a bike placement marking (where you should ride your bike). Bike route signs are not confusing. Bike symbols create confusion and road rage.

Bicycle symbols in shoulder lanes can even be counterproductive as they give cyclists the impression that it’s a safe space to ride and motorists the impression that it’s a bicycle lane and cyclists should not be in the traffic lane. And they can give an impression of safe passing distances (of motorists passing cyclists) well less then 1 metre.
 Each and every day roughly 500,000 citizens choose the bicycle in Greater Copenhagen.  highlights who they are, why they do and how it was made possible.
Forty years ago Copenhagen was just as car-clogged as anywhere else but now 37% of commuters crossing the city boundary ride bicycles each day. That number rises to 55% in the city proper. Copenhagenizing is possible anywhere.

*** Stop cars annoying you with more cycling hints ***
Many people get scared off riding a bike on the road because cars are passing them too fast and too close. We are getting the same situation on shared walking/cycling paths aswell (were people are getting scared by cyclists passing them too closely and to fast).
Q:What has caused this?
A: The council & RTA in Newcastle has put in the worst bike picture "lanes" on the roads that don't even meet the safety standards. This is only so they can claim they have cycling facilities and tick a box in a report (even though if they left the bike pictures off the roads the roads would be safer). Narrow bike picture "lanes" situated between parked cars & the left traffic lane is a recipe for disaster. If riding in them & a person opens their car door you will crash into them. And cars are passing you too close & too fast for comfort. Even though for adults cycling with safety skills is less crashes then driving in cars.
Unfortunately a lot of research, different lane position riding and cycling experience is required to bust the myth that riding a bike as far left as possible is wrong. Please read the explantions below to expand your mind!
Please never ride in the car door lane....
Even when Bicycle Victoria continue to publish crap about riding slowly, or checking for rear brake lights etc. I only heard/saw my 1st one last month and it was sickening. And one of my friends just got doored, lucky to be alive. Many Councils are incouraging car door death riding by placing bike pictures in the car door zone. They look like bike lanes and motorists and cyclists think they should ride there.
Yes I admit motorists get angry when you take the lane, but they don't know the dangers of car-door-death riding. Why don't I just make motorists happy, and ride in car door lane? Answer is I don't want to die. I'd rather be safe and ride in the traffic lane, and then other cars travel at safe speeds behind me. Win - Win situation for everyone!
Well done Steve Fernie (Herald 10/3 Short Takes) for researching the RTA road users's handbook for bike lane clarification. Sorry that you wasted your time and didn't research the full "Road Rules", not the summarised handbook. As Steve wrote on page 125 of the handbook there is a picture of a bike on the road and it says "When a bicycle lane is marked on the road, cyclists must use it" Yes Steve you are correct, BUT only as you researched on page 123 "Signs at the start and end of these lanes indicate their purpose". Again I repeat that most in Newcastle DO NOT have these signposts, and are squeezed in dangerously with parked cars and they are not proper bike lanes. The Newcastle Bike Ecology Centre has been trying for over 7 years to get the RTA to simply insert the word signposted into their description: "When a *signposted * bicycle lane is marked on the
road, cyclists must use it" . But one word is too hard for the RTA and it seems they do not care if there is confusion on the roads and further road rage. Maybe a new candidate for the State seat of Newcastle will bring change for this?
The more easier explanaiton of the road rule is from RTA website :
"153 Bicycle lanes
A bicycle lane is a marked lane, or the part of a marked lane:
(a) beginning at a bicycle lane sign applying to the lane
247 Riding in a bicycle lane on a road
(1) The rider of a bicycle riding on a length of road with a bicycle lane designed for bicycles travelling in the same direction as the rider must ride in the bicycle lane unless it is impracticable to do so.
Note. Rule 153 defines a bicycle lane and deals with the use of bicycle lanes by other vehicles."
So the marked picture on the road means nothing without the SIGNPOST. Becasuse it's not wide enough to be a safe bike lane without a signpost. Then I hear people say "It doesn't matter if your right, you can't argue when you are dead". This from non-cyclists saying the safest place to ride is in the gutter or the car door opening lane. I agree near the gutter is usually safest, but the car door opening lane is playing Russian Roulette with a car door crashing into you. Even if the motorist opening the door is at fault. It is much safer to ride 1.5m from parked cars to avoid car doors and the cars overtaking you can see you more clearly and it is much safer.
more info in Autumn 2010 newsletter......
Glass punctures are a thing of the past for me. Putting an old worn out tyre (with the metal beading cut from it) inside the back tyre of my bike means I get no more glass punctures, and can keep riding until the back tyre is very bald. The inner protection tyre works best if it is a smooth tyre, with no knobbles on it. I would recommend only putting on a rear wheel, as it is the most puncture prone wheel. The NBEC has some old tyres suitable. Many "racing" cyclists continually complain about glass where they ride, "causing" them to ride out in the traffic. But motorists get angry with the cyclists not using
the road shoulder, and the cyclists get angry with the motorists being angry with them. This angry cycle of whingers continues until they find something else to whinge about. I plead for happy people to solve problems and stop whinging.

*** Newcastle Cycleways Movement Inc.(NCM) meeting, rides ***
NCM works with Government bodies for better bicycle designs in the Greater
Newcastle Area. Its aims are to promote the safe responsible use of bicycles for transport, leisure and fitness.
Meetings will be held at The Adamstown Club (formerly Adamstown RSL) 282 Brunker Road , Adamstown. Meetings are 7pm – 9pm on the 2nd Tue of every month in the Function room 1.  Wiki website: influence your Council, through its Management Plan, Traffic Committee and Budget.

*** Other Newcastle Free/Cheap sustainable stuff  ***
Kumera Soup Kitchen : register.xlsx

*** Conclusion ***
[1] Biketivism (Push-bike Activism) promotes:
- Health and Clean air not Sedentary obesity and toxic exhaust fumes
- Carbon free not climate changing chaos
- Peace not wars for oil/consumerism or animal Road Kill
- Sustainability not GFCs and peak oil crisis
- Safe First Class TRAFFIC not car culture carnage and road rage
- Effective communities not Urban car sprawl.
- Ethical transport not multinational greed and Bangladesh building collapses
- Preserve the environment not highways, roads,land clearing, dams,mines
For local Enviro, sustainable, climate friendly organisations / events check out the links: