BISA Pedal Update

Pedal Update

Issue 123, February - March 1998

Australia Day Honour

Margaret Day, BISA stalwart, long-time committee member and BFA representative was honoured in the 1998 Australia Day honours list.

Margaret received a medal (OAM) for services to the promotion of bicycle transportation and cycling as recreation through BISA and the BFA.

Strategic Planning

Two planning sessions are scheduled for March.

Tasks will include

Each session will go from 6-9pm and will be managed by an experienced facilitator. There will be light refreshments. Childminding will be available if booked ahead of time. The venue is to be confirmed. Phone a committee member to register your interest and get more details.

The road ahead

Here are some headline activities BISA is involved with currently

Share the road!

"If only they'd do something about drivers!

Heard that one before? Well 1998 is the year that something will be done about drivers. Transport SA has a $300,000 budget to run a media campaign which will endeavour to make cycling safer by urging drivers and cyclists to "Share the Road". The campaign will cover television, radio and print media. "Share the Road" will commence in February, with a major television commercial, which is currently being shot. The first 6 month phase is aimed at having motorists see cyclists as people who are entitled to use the road - the focus is the people. The second six month phase will foreground road rules and appropriate behavours. It sounds promising. More details next month.


got it? VelOZity - an Australasian Cycling Conference 1999.

The end of '97 saw a burst of activity as South Australia bid - successfully as it turned out - to host an Australasian cycling conference in March 1999. Congratulations to the bid team of Howard Holmes and Associates and BikeSouth.

The last national conference was Ausbike 92 in Melbourne. Then there was the international VeloAustralis, in Perth, in 1996. We look forward to a great event right here in 1999. The Conference will precede Womadelaide. The conference dates are February, 17, 18, 19, of 1999. So, start saving, inviting friends and family to Adelaide and thinking about possible contributions.

BISA turns 25

BISA turns 25 in 1999, and we hope to celebrate our anniversary as a part of the Australiasian Conference. We are beginning to plan now.

At our January meeting we agreed to run a Strategic Planning activity and cover a range of planning issues, including our contribution to the Conference. BISA now have more work than we can cope with, and so we need to set priorities and over-view the way we organise ourselves. Our planning events, indeed all our meetings, are open to any member, so I would encourage you to attend. Help us plan BISA's future and set BISA's priorities, even if you are unable to commit further time and energy.

RAA rattled to its axles!

Congratulations to Terry Leach who scored 54% of the vote in the recent RAA elections. Terry precipitated the election - the first in 23 years. However, this time around he was unsuccessful in gaining a place on the RAA Board. Terry's performance is particularly creditable given the unhelpful design features of the ballot paper, and the ballot counting system. Given Terry's proven popularity among a majority of the RAA membership who voted, we expect that he will gain a place on the board when the next casual vacancy arises. Thank you to all those BISA members who took the time to vote for Terry. Next time...

Who said

"Each year around 700,000 people buy bicycles, a figure comparable to the number of cars purchased, yet many bikes remain in garages while the car is over-used. Small lifestyle changes can deliver enormous benefits to the air we breathe. By choosing to cycle or walk for short journeys, people can help reduce congestion and air pollution and improve their fitness. ... Congestion on Sydney roads costs around $2.2 billion in lost productivity."

No - this isn't a cycling lobbyist speaking but Dr. Anna Gollner of the NRMA, quoted in OfficeCare News. I wonder when we will hear RAA spokespeople responding to the complexity of transport issues in similar fashion? The RAA President's Message in SA Motor calls for more money for more roads, and tax breaks for cars. This is hardly calculated to minimise the car's impact on the environment!

And why do we need a Share the Road campaign, a major regional conference on cycling, better and more focused BISA advocacy, and new directions for the RAA?

The 8,628,806 passenger vehicles on (Australian) roads accounted for 78.8% of all motor vehicles. Australia has one registered passenger car for every 2 people, which is equal first in the world with the USA. We are the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita from transport in the world, behind only Canada and the US. 90% of people who drive to work or study do so alone. (Australian Energy News, Dec. 97, p15)

That's just a few reasons for starters...

Peter Lumb, President

Annual General Meeting

Elect your committee for the coming year (why not nominate yourself??)

Guest Speaker, Coffee, Tea and Cake

Display of ways to cycle with children

Nomination forms, financial statements, and a full agenda will appear in the next issue of Pedal Update.

If you have a child cycling contraption you'd like to display please call Paul Anderson on 8346 7534 a/h

VelOZity Adelaide 1999

The Australasian Cycling Conference, VelOZity, will be held in Adelaide, 17-19 February, 1999. It will bring bring together people from Australia, New Zealand, Pacific nations and Papua New Guinea to jointly plan our cycling futures.

VelOZity organisers plan to deliver a conference that will;

To bring together the full range of people with an interest in cycling and sustainable communities, a series of associated events will accompany the conference. VelOZity associated events include cultural activities, training workshope, tours and world wide participation via the internet.

The Womad World Music Festival

Womad bi-annually attracts 65,000 people to three days of performances and workshops with world class musicians. Womad will follow on from VelOZity, offering delegates very generous weekend ticket reductions. A strong cycling presence is planned for Womad which is co-promoting VelOZity.

Cycling Expo

An Expo of local, national and international cycling products and activities will be open to conference participants and the general public. Planned for Victoria Square, this will create a public and media focus on cycling by an opportunity to view the latest and greatest in cycling.

Velodrome events

International Olympic teams will be training for the 2000 Olympics at the `Superdrome'. VelOZity delegates will be given the opportunity to watch the champions in action and `try out' on the Olympic training track.

Launch of the newly revised road engineering guidelines for cycling, Austroads, part 14 is planned for VelOZity, along with a range of workshops for health, engineering, safety, planning and research professionals and the many other people that contribute to the advancement of cycling and sustainable communities.

BISA VelOZity contact is Peter Lumb with Margaret Day representing the BFA. Both are on the VelOZity Advisory group. Talk to them, or contact the organisers, Lindsay Holmes and Peter Solly about your involvement in VelOZity. Let us know the topics you believe should be covered by the conference and send us names of speakers that you believe will contribute to the conference.

Transport SA is underwriting VelOZity and the National Bicycle Council is supporting it in each state. With your support, this promises to be the cycling event of the century.

Visit the VelOZity website at Talk to your non South Australian friends and contacts about VelOZity. Encourage them to plan their participation in VelOZity and Womadelaide.

Lindsay Holmes

PO Box 2617 Kent Town, SA 5071
Phone (08) 8363 5959, Fax (08) 8362 1776

Bus Bike Racks Trial Continues

TransAdelaide recently completed a 2 week trial of a bike rack on a bus from Morphettville depot. A range of users participated and gave TransAdelaide feedback on all aspects of its use. The rack is fitted to the front of the bus and accommodates two bikes which are loaded and unloaded by the cyclist. Similar racks are widely used in the United States.

TransAdelaide will use the results of this latest trial to make modifications necessary to suit local conditions and to address the integration of the bike rack into regular service. At present there is no indication as to when this process will be completed.

Rosalie Day

Parking? What parking

I regularly cycle to my local shopping centre. When I arrive, I lean my bike wherever I can - against a wall, a window or a verandah post. My shopping center has a dedicated bicycle parking area. It consists of about six concrete blocks with wheel slots, and a sign which says
Retailers have recently begun to use the bicycle parking areas to store large numbers of plastic crates, and it is also the usual place for employees to smoke.

Three years ago I began discussions with the shopping centre management regarding the inadequate provision for cyclists. My approaches were ignored at first and several property managers have come and gone. However, the issue is now on the agenda and I hope that bicycle parking rails will be installed during 1998.

One obstacle which impeded progress was the unwillingness of the local council to allow the shopping centre to reduce the number of car parking spaces in order to create bicycle parking areas.

So, if you want to be able to cycle to the shops and lock your bike conveniently and securely, start lobbying both your local council and shopping centre management.

Fortunately, there are some useful precedents around Adelaide. Mitcham Shopping Centre has bicycle parking rails near several entrances and Burnside Village has several parking rails. Westfield Marion, which has just undergone a major expansion, is committed to the installation of 120 new bicycle parking spaces. A number of shopping streets including Jetty Road, Glenelg, The Parade, Norwood, Semaphore Road, Semaphore, and Murray Street, Gawler, are well supplied with parking rails, indicating a level of commitment to cyclists on the part of the councils in these areas.

Let's hear from other BISA members about bicycle parking facilities or the lack of them in your area.

Rosalie Day

More Action on 40km/h

The City of Unley is heading towards 40km/h Local Area Speed Limits throughout the City.

An application for a 40km/h speed limit in Goodwood, the area bounded by Goodwood Road, the City to Glenelg tram line, King William Road and including Mitchell Street was submitted to Transport SA in December 1997. We are awaiting their favourable consideration of the application.

The proposed implementation date, subject to the Minister's approval, will be in late March 1998.

Your support, comments or concerns regarding 40km/h speed limits in Unley are always welcome. Should you wish to discuss these issues, please to not hesitate to contact Heather Barclay, Technical Officer - Transportations, The Corporation of the City of Unley, by telephoning 8372-5194 at the Council Offices.

Heather Barclay

Critical Mass: the good, the bad and the ugly

In response to Ken Macdonald's article in Pedal Update, October-November 1997

Adelaide has become part of a Critical Mass all over the world. For most of us it is a fun ride, relaxing among many other cyclists in the middle of the city, catching up with old friends. But like everywhere in the world ther have been some ugly scenes.

Like Ken I was shocked at some scenes in the first ride. As Ken wrote, the organisers to care to prevent aggression and suggested that everybody form their own opinion by taking part in a ride. I cannot agree more, but would like to extend the discussion with the experience of several Critical Mass rides.

Regular cyclists know the scenario. Sometimies you are riding perfectly legally and minding your own business when a car driver starts abusing you for no apparent reason. Or you do something which is legal for bikes but not cars and they give you a long lecture on road rules. No point in explaining they don't know the rules because the won't listen and are in the majority. Occasionally you explode too, especially when they have just threatened your life. And I have been told some drivers explode out of fear from almost having run you over - wherever the blame.

So if you have a large bunch of cyclists in between a large bunch of motorists in rush hour the probability of aggression increases dramatically. (I am not saying aggression is good, I believe we should avoid it or turn it into something positive.) Critical Mass might provoke a few cyclists to break the rules, but I would argue that they are likely to break the rules on an everyday basis anyway.

Critical Mass is not an organised rally, as Ken suggested, merely a somewhat organised coincidence. There are people working behind the scenes to promote Critical Mass but we are not organisers as such. Everybody is free to hand out leaflets, remind the hotheads to behave, and be part of the "circus". I do not have a solution for aggressive behaviour but can describe my experiences.

The later Critical Masses were much more peaceful. We adjust lane numbers to the number of cyclists. The speed is faster and there are no more long stretches, thus delaying traffic only to arouse curiosity and not to cause annoyance. Better weather and organisation allows us to hand out lots of leaflets to drivers and pedestrians. Cars and busses which inadvertently enter the Critical Mass are let through. People are loudly reminded not to purposely run red light or scare pedestrians. I don't deny that it still happens but the more people in the ride the more overwhelming the atmosphere of happiness and peace, not aggression and clownlike behaviour.

Join in 6pm, last Friday of every month, Victoria Square Fountain.

Tania Lenz

Letter Power

As members of a cycling advocacy organisation it is very important that each member supports the aims of BISA: improvement of the cycling environment, the safety and welfare of all cyclists and the promotion of bicycles for transport.

If each member of BISA was to write just one letter in support of cycling each year the effect would be enormous and politicians and others would be forced to give us more support.

One very effective way of doing this is to write letters to elected Members of State and Federal Parliaments, to Mayors and Councillors of Local Government, to organisatons such as BikeSouth and very importantly to the editors of newspapers.

A letter is much more powerful than a telephone call. A telephone call usually only impacts on the recipient and can be quickly forgotten or ignored. A letter is more permanent. Ideas can be expressed more clearly and logically, with sketches and diagrams where this is appropriate.

Written communication can be passed on from person to person within an organisation, and the message never becomes distorted or attenuated. Most organisations file correspondence and have procedures to reply. And although some government departments can be slow, a reply usually is received. It is handy to keep a copy of all correspondence and replies so that these can be used for follow up in the future.

Letters are often used by politicians to help them gauge community support for particular projects. I believe one letter has far more power than 100 signatures on a petition. If those 100 signatories to a petition were each to write a letter the impact would be enormous.

Letters to editors of newspapers and magazines are an excellent way of communicating an idea to the broader community. To be published they must be kept short and to the point. Sometimes letters appear which are opposed to cycling. It is very important to reply to these promoting the benefits of cycling.

Getting motivated to write at letter is generally the hardest thing. The first letter is often the most difficult. With practice letter writing skills improve enormously. Just jot down the facts, sort them into a logical order and write one or two sentences about each one, and before you know it you will have a letter of two or three paragraphs, which in many cases is all that is needed. If you have access to a computer but hand written letters are just as powerful as typed ones.

Multiple copies of the same letter can be sent to different recipients. A useful method is to send copies of your letter to BISA, BikeSouth or others where appropriate. When the recipient receives a letter copied to others they may be more inclined to take action.

Letters should be written in a friendly tone, addressing the issue of concern. It serves no useful purpose to abuse someone, but only gets them off side.

Letters of thanks to people who have assisted in providing facilities are often welcomed by the recipient. Everyone appreciates a pat on the back occasionally especially when most letters received are complaints. This approach also helps the writer establish rapport for future issues.

Malcolm Healey

Mountain Bikes, DEHAA!

The Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs has developed draft guidelines for the use and control of bicycles within National Parks and Wildlife Parks and reserves.

They are based on the recognition of bicycling as an acceptabel recreational pursuit in reserves, roads, tracks and other designated areas. The guidelines aim to reduce conflict with other users and limit adverse environmental effects.

The guidelines permit cycling on public roads, management tracks, some walking tracks and tracks specifically developed. Cycling may be permitted in other areas with the written permission of a District ranger.

However the tracks must be designated by signposting or maps (a case of no signs or maps, no cycling). Cycling is not permitted where conflict may occur in sensitive areas or off a formal track without approval.

The guidelines appear to be positive and encouraging to mountain bikers however as with most policy documents it may well remain in document form only. It requires commitment to amend existing management plans and to make budgetary provisions for signs and maps.

If strategies like these follow the adoption of policy guidelines and there is a willingness to do what is necessary to enable cycling in these locations the outlook is good.

Experience has shown that policy statements often don't materialise. Although this document is welcomed interested parties still have much lobbying ahead to ensure that strategies are developed, funding is assured and commitment to implement is genuine.

A functioning state Cycling Council would do much to assist this process.

Comments on the draft guidelines are required by 27 February to
Dr Sue Barker
Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs
Level 7
91-97 Grenfell Street
phone 8204 9167

Bill Hickling

Planes and Bikes

I periodically have short periods where I travel frequently by train. As I am a keen cyclist for pleasure and transport I take my full size non-folding mountain bike with me as luggage on the plane. This sometimes creates a difficult situation unless some planning and allowance for delays is made. Dealing with airlines can be as bureaucratic as with a fully fledged government department but it should be noted that the rules are often there for your safety. I generally travel with the same airline because of some fringe benefits but I believe that the following applies generally. A check should be made with the commuter airlines regarding transport of bikes as it may not be possible on all planes.

For those who have not travelled by plane with your bike, it may be a surprise to find that you can take a full size bike in the luggage compartment for often little cost. This applies to domestic and international flights. The bike is included in the total weight of the luggage and sometimes there is an additional charge for excess weight (to transport a bike as unaccompanied freight between capital cities in Australia can cost more than $100 return depending on the destination). However, the days of having your bike bounced across the tarmac on the luggage trolley with the pedals entwined in the spokes of another bike are gone but there are still some traps to avoid.

The ariline requires your bike to be packed in a freight box which you purchase for $10 as a flat pack which you fold and tape. If you are careful, the box can be re-used several times at least, unless there is some mishap. One very friendly luggage handlre told me that used boxes could be obtained by request as those left at the collection point were stored prior to scrapping and they often had a supply.

At some ariports the procedure for depositing your bike with the luggage handlers is complicated. If you do not know the procedure at your airport of departure, then it is worthwhile to make a pre-trip visit or to arrive very early. An extra hour can soon be taken up if things go awry. To get the bike in the box, it is necessary to remove the front wheel and sometimes the handle bars and a pedal. (Warning, it is useful to reduce the air pressure in the tyres to prevent the reduced atmospheric air pressure during the flight causing damage to the tyres.) It is then important to tape all the loose items together as sometimes the box does not travel upright. Sometimes I have received my bike upside down and had loose wheels caught on pedals. The boxes are generally slid across bitument or cocrete floors and I have had a chain ring with missing teeth where they have punctured the bottom of the box when I had removed the rear wheel as wll.

The source of the bike box at each airport can vary, as well as the point where the $10 is transferred. It may be necessary to pay at one location, and then collect the box at another location after handing over the receipt. After the bike is packed, the baggage identification sticker is applied and the bike can be left at the oversize luggage point which is generally closer to the luggage retrieval caroucels rather than the check-in desk. If you think you can avoid the time at the airport to pack the bike by pre-packing at home, most sedan cars that I know of will not carry a large bike box in the boot or in the passenger compartment.

In general, except for a single occasion, I have not had anything but minor damage done to the bike but there is always some risk. For your own security, you should check with each airline to ascertain what level of insurance you have if there is any damage. I have sometimes been requested to sign a waiver which limits any claim for damage.

The airline staff should only be acting on instruction in accordance with their work practices but it is worth whicle acknowledging the pressure they are under at times, and not to make their role more difficult by transferring your frustrations to them. Conversely, I think it is a useful exercise to make use of the opportunity to pay the airline a compliment when it is deserved. It acknowledges to the airline that we as cyclists can tell the difference between good and bad service and are prepared to comment positively. Twelve months ago on a trip into Brisbane, I arrived without my bike after thinking another family member had deposited the bike to the correct place at the airport. Regardless of where the blame rested, Qantas promptly located the bike in Adelaide, flew it to Brisbane on the next flight, and delivered it to me at my lodgings by taxi. On another occasion, while waiting to collect my luggage, I was approached by a member of the Qantas staff who inquired if my bike had travelled well and if there had been any damage. These incidents promted me to contact Qantas (you can use email) to compliment them on the good things that have happened.

Regardless of the difficulties of transporting you bike on the plane, it is a thrill to be able to use your personal cycle when you are away from home. Based on my experience, there is often at least one bike carried on a flight. It would be very disappointing if this service was withdrawn.

Graham Brown

NSW Big Ride

This year's Big NSW Ride is relatively flat, running beside the Murray River, from Barham to Albury. The maximum daily distance is 76km, and there is a rest day in Moama, just across the river from Echuca. Your tent etc and major luggage will be carried in a truck to the next camp site, which includes a food tent, shower and toilet trucks, bicycle shop etc and various entertainments. Breakfast, lunch and evening meal are provided, with a vegetarian option. A bicycle mechanic and sweep vehicle will be en route if you happen to need assistance.

I've been on four previous Big NSW Rides, and can vouch for their excellence in every respect; a very enjoyable holiday. The price is $445 for members of BFA affiliated bodies, and that means BISA members too, non-members are $460 and children over 6 are $395. Children under 6 are free. There will be a bus from Adelaide to the start of the ride, leaving Adelaide at 01.30 on 25th April (8 hour drive) and returning back after the ride.

For more information call Bicycle NSW on 02 9283 5200 or visit the Big Ride website.

Kath Cooper

Car owners "hypocritical" about improving the environment

was the headline of a Sydney Morning Herald article written by motoring editor Phil Scott and published on Friday, January 23, 1998.

The article reports findings from the third annual survey of Australia's motoring, prepared by ANOP Research Services for the Australian Automobile Association.

The entire article from the SMH site

Harry Owen

Walk against Want

Community Aid Abroad will once again be holding Walk Against Want on Sunday 29 March. Cyclists are welcome. There will be two routes available especially for cyclists to ride on the day, taking in the scenic surrounds of the Torrens Linear Park.

The Walk starts from Rymill Park, Adelaide, at 9.00am, until 12 noon, with a multicultural food and music festival afterwards.

For further information call Community Aid Abroad on 8223 3405 or freecall 1800 034 034.

If you have any suggestions for adding to or improving this page please send email to