Issue 133, October–November 1999

BISA’s mission: To promote cycling for transport and to represent all cyclists at the local, state, and national levels by working collaboratively with other interest groups and governments.


Geoff Findlay

Right: Geoff Findlay speaks at the 25th Anniversary Dinner.


Pedal Update

Peter Carter, Editor

There was so much good, and timely, material for this issue that it simply had to expand to fit: 16 pages. A couple of items continue the 25 year celebrations, beginning with Peter’s piece, an edited version of his words at the dinner.

Roundabouts are still with us, with a reply by the Minister to Malcolm Healey, and Terry Leach shares some concerns about the Britannia roundabout. Despite the Minister’s explanation, I’m still not happy about two-lane roundabouts.

Several important events in the near future: the RAA election, with Terry Leach standing again, and VeloFest (aka Bike Week) in the first week of November. A time to celebrate cycling.


BISA’s life members

Recognition for countless contributions

Peter Lumb


Margaret Day

Margaret Day is already the founding and only member of Australia’s most elite cycling club. This is a one-person club. Margaret has an Order of Australia in recognition of her work for promoting cycling as recreation and cycling as transport. This is worthy national recognition indeed.

At BISA’s Twenty Fifth Anniversary Dinner we welcomed Margaret into an already established club of only four. Existing members are Hans Penning, John Mellor, Bill Gehling, and Shirley Allen. Margaret joined our esteemed BISA life members in their work for cycling in 1985.

Margaret has worked with her husband Graham attending community events where cycling is promoted. She has also contributed thousands of hours to meetings where cycling issues are discussed and where pro-cycling decisions have been made. In addition BISA’s large membership has been significantly due to Margaret’s endeavours as well as her diligent record keeping. The day your dues are overdue, Margaret is after you! Margaret is also the founder of the Bicycle Friday club and Margaret for many years was BISA’s treasurer.

Without Margaret BISA would be a far less vibrant, cashed up and credible and persuasive organisation.

Although they don’t ride a tandem Margaret and Graham are a team. Both contribute enormous work and diligence for cycling through BISA. Riding, meetings, events, selling, promoting, advocating, reminding, staying informed through conferences, offering hospitality to cyclists, peddling lairy T shirts to all and sundry, contributing to Australian Cyclist magazine, representing SA and BISA at the BFA, writing letters to ministers, lobbying politicians and so on.

All this and Margaret is active as a mother and grand-mother as well. Margaret continues to lead a very busy life promoting a more wholesome environment for us all to enjoy and share.

Graham Day

Graham has always been a busy man. He too has children and grandchildren who take up time. He has recently retired from a busy dental practice.

Graham has also worked with BISA since 1985. I say ‘with’ BISA rather than ‘for’ BISA because the big picture for BISA is improved freedom of choice and greater equity. BISA advocates for safer mobility, and a better environment, as well as promoting cycling for better physical and mental health. Graham has worked consistently with BISA as a team player as we represent cyclists’ interests at local and state government levels.

Graham has been a BISA secretary. Graham has represented cyclists at countless meetings. BISA has often required Graham to be car dependent. He has packed his car boot with bicycle paraphernalia on probably thousands of occasions so that cycling and BISA would be represented at fetes, environment fairs, leisure days and countless other community events. Graham too provides hospitality to cyclists and has a great depth of knowledge about all things known to cyclists. We recognise the generous financial contributions as well as time contributions that the Days have contributed to cycling through BISA. We have indeed been enriched.

‘Persistent’, ‘hard-working’, ‘reliable’, ‘well-informed’, ‘able to advocate in consultations’ are key words and phrases, which describe Graham’s contribution to building a better world through cycling.

No plaque from BISA for this former dentist, just flowers to honour Graham as a life member of BISA. And flowers to Margaret too.

To Margaret and Graham!

Jon Ivar

And another outstanding contributor: Jon Ivar Skullerud

Jon Ivar is also a distinctive and distinguished person. He is a respected, and very hard working research scientist and Adelaide University has been privileged indeed to have him. But apart from the mysteries of physics Jon Ivar has confronted other challenges in Adelaide.

Jon Ivar is an unsung cycling hero. He rides with Critical Mass! Jon Ivar is a quiet and gentle man, but he confronts people with the lack of privilege on the roads that cyclists suffer. He constantly confronts the assumptions of car dominance.

Jon Ivar has also constructed the BISA Web site. This is quite a different confrontation. How this happens is virtually a mystery to me. And the Web site continues to grow and to look exceedingly smart. One of the pleasures of being BISA’s President is to watch this site grow while I simply look on. It now takes about a week to get around the site. Today I had the pleasure of recommending the site to a well-known public servant. It is a site which furthers BISA’s mission and about which we can all be proud.

Jon Ivar is convivial company over a bowl of pasta. He retains a calm good humour in every situation I’ve seen him in (but I haven’t seen him lead Critical Mass down King William road on a winter’s Friday peak hour).

Jon Ivar contributes to debates with a fine sense of proportion. He has given evidence to a parliamentary committee on rural road safety. He’s an active lobbyist at consultations and with Local Government. When it appears BISA cannot get involved through lack of a person, Jon Ivar will jump in. We’ll miss Jon Ivar. SA cyclists will miss him. He has been an exemplary, active non-citizen citizen—an exemplary citizen for the world’s commons!

Working with Webs is ephemeral in a way—virtual. BISA chose to give Jon Ivar a very solid and tangible South Australian gift of a locally crafted plate, so that we will not be forgotten. A toast to Jon Ivar!


Celebration of 25 years of BISA

Eric Chaney

President, Cycling for Pleasure Group

The committee and members of Cycling for Pleasure Inc. congratulates BISA on a very successful 25 years as an independent lobbyist for cylcists in South Australia. Every commuting and recreational cyclist has benefited from your efforts to raise the profile of cycling.

In our 23 years of existence we have maintained a friedly, co-operative and we believe mutually beneficial association with BISA. We treasure our club’s indpendence and have appreciated BISA for it ability to recognise, support and encourage this.

BISA has been very successful as a lobbyist and advisor to our Government and Local Authorities. Much of BISA’s success is clearly attributable to the enthusiasm of your volunteer crusaders who give so much for us cyclists of SA. Thank you to all your committee members and volunteers both past and present for all your unstitnting, countless hours of unpaid efforts.

Let the next 25 years for BISA or whatever other name it may fall under, continue to be independent, successful and productive in ‘promoting cycling for transport and respresenting cycling’ in the same common-sense (albeit fervent) manner.


The Early History of BISA

Hans Penning

On 22 September 1973 the Town and Country Planning Association organised a bike rally. In January 1974 there was a meeting of interested persons, but nothing further eventuated. Sensing that there was a vacuum there I decided to call a meeting to start a formal lobby group. At that meeting on 25 November 1974 the Cyclist Protection Committee, a rather loosely organised group, was launched without paid membership.

As time went on demands for a properly constituted and incorporated body grew resulting in the formation of the Cyclist Protection Association on 7 June 1976 with an annual fee of $2. In 1975, 1976 and 1977 rallies were held in the autumn. The first one attracted 800 cyclists, but numbers declined in 1976 and 1977 and the idea was abandoned, the initial euphoria being extinguished because conditions on the road kept growing more dangerous. Within the CPA the number of activists also declined until the mid 1980s. The issues we dealt with were not much different from today including 40km/h, however today they are more likely to be acted upon in a coordinated fashion. In the 1970s the government was not interested and if it did anything, it did so in a haphazard way. There were interdepartmental committees in succession: Bicycle Planning Committee, Bicycle Track Committee and the State Bicycle Committee. Because there was no overall plan in Adelaide, the metropolitan councils did not know what to do and most money went to country areas.

The first attempt at an overall approach was when we convinced the government in 1981 to commission a bike plan for metropolitan Adelaide at a cost of $200,000. The completed Adelaide Bike Plan was, despite our efforts, unsatisfactory. It was never implemented because of a declining interest by the South Australian government in cycling issues in the 1980s. This decline was not reversed until the 1990s.

The launching of the Bicycle Federation of Australia during the June long weekend of 1979 was due to the initiative of our President Darrell Penhale.

In 1982, the CPA was also active behind the scenes in the formation of the SA Touring Cyclists Association (later Bicycle SA).

Early interests included the Glenelg Adelaide Cycleway, the Linear Park and O’Bahn, the Tea Tree Gully Bikeway System, the Emerson Crossing, Adelaide Parklands and the design of bike rails.


Safety vests?

Heather Wardle

A cyclist’s pet hazards of cycling will vary, influenced by route and conditions. High on the list may be motorised vehicles in general, cyclist-unfriendly drivers, and road design that offers no protection from vehicles and drivers. My fourth hate as I commute to the city is the vehicle that overtakes within millimetres of my bike. Is your cycling route besieged by such drivers?

I realise that BISA tries to educate with the ‘Give cyclists a metre’ T-shirt. However, it is not convenient apparel over a long-sleeved top or rain jacket. Has BISA investigated the feasibility of producing a safety vest, fluorescent with reflective trim, with that famous wording? Would cyclists buy such a product?


RAA election

Terry Leach

Once again, Terry Leach, BISA Vice President, is standing for election to the Board of the RAA, calling for more sustainable—and bicycle friendly—transport policies. Terry narrowly missed out on election last year, coming in fifth in a contest for four positions. While eight people nominated, Terry received 80% of the votes of the fourth placed director. He was particularly heartened by this result considering that the four directors seeking re-election invested a significant fraction of their directors’ fees in advertising, something Terry was not in a position to do. However, this is the year, he believes, that he will be successful.

Terry is grateful to all those people who voted for him last year, and particularly those who encouraged others to vote for him. He only needs to improve by 20% this year to be successful. Your support is crucial, particularly in talking to family, friends and colleagues about the election.

Also on the scene this year is another safe and sustainable transport advocate with expertise in public safety. Elizabeth King, Chief Executive Officer of Injury Prevention SA Inc., has also nominated for the Board of the RAA. Among her other credentials is involvement in WalkSafe SA and being a founding member of the Safe Streets Coalition.

Elizabeth and Terry are urging people to vote for them as a team. Together, they will bring community input to the RAA Board, complementing its current strong commercial focus.

Policies that they will pursue if elected include:

Enclosed is a flyer providing further information about our campaign. Please feel free to pass it (and any other copies you care to make) on to family, friends and colleagues.

Also, Terry and Elizabeth are targeting Unley as a key area for their campaign, as the RAA policy on 40 km/h is against the wishes of most of the members in that area. If you are able to assist with letterboxing that area, please contact Terry on telephone 8380 5497.


Identifying negligent drivers

Christopher Swan

As a solicitor, I occasionally act for victims of accidents whose injuries have been caused by the negligence of drivers who do not stop, or who having stopped for a time, leave the scene without identifying themselves. I recently had the experience of being forced to brake and swerve to avoid a turning car which caused me to fall to the road and suffer an injury to my knee. As the unidentified Magna drove off, I proceeded to pick myself up from the roadway and with the assistance of a friendly cyclist, hobbled to the gutter with my bike. The anger I felt towards the driver for having driven off far exceeded the pain to my knee or the damage to my bike’s handlebars. The Motor Vehicles Act provides for claims to be made against the ‘Nominal Defendant’ where death or bodily injury is caused by a motor vehicle, the identity of which has not been ascertained after due inquiry and search.

Notice of Claim

The Motor Vehicles Act provides a claimant must, as soon as reasonably practicable after it becomes apparent that the identity of the vehicle is not readily ascertainable, give the Nominal Defendant notice in writing of the claim and a short statement of the grounds on which it is made. The claim can be made by a letter to the Nominal Defendant. The Nominal Defendant is currently Janette Reynolds who has her office in the SGIC Building, 211 Victoria Square, Adelaide. The notice should state where and when the accident happened and briefly state how the unidentified vehicle caused the claimant injury.

Due Inquiry and Search

A claimant should seek not only to locate the driver of the offending vehicle but also witnesses who can corroborate the circumstances of the accident and provide an independent of what happened. Any form of advertising which has the result of bringing witnesses forward should be considered. An advertisement in The Advertiser should be considered. Consideration should also be given to local or special interest publications. An advertisement in Pedal Update may for example result in another cyclist coming forward who saw your accident. Another inquiry that is often used is speaking to nearby residents or shop keepers. If a claimant has been seriously injured, Officers of the Police Major Crash Unit will conduct an investigation and your solicitor should liaise with that Unit.

Bike Damage

The Motor Vehicles Act only provides for personal injury compensation. If inquiry and search does result in the offender being located, a claim can be brought against him for both personal injury and property damage to the victim’s bike.


The Britannia Roundabout

Terry Leach

I attended a one day workshop regarding this troublesome intersection, hosted by consultants on behalf of Transport SA. The purpose of the day was to develop criteria to assess options for the improvement of the intersection. While some transport advocates would see that the intersection is fine the way it is, limiting the number of cars, the State Government is determined to upgrade. BISA is keen to see that the upgrade adequately provides for bicycles, pedestrians and public transport.

Criteria developed for bicycles took the form of a hierarchy of preferred treatments. First preference was for on-road bicycle lanes, followed by sharing a dedicated bus lane, followed by a wide kerb-side lane. BISA feels strongly that an on-road solution is required, as experience shows that most commuting cyclists choose to use the roads. However, BISA would welcome an off-road alternative for recreation use and those cyclists who prefer a lower stress route. Such a track needs to be in addition to the on-road facility.

Criteria were also developed for public transport and pedestrians, with recognition that priority for public transport over cars was required when developing options. Our next involvement with the project will be in November when BISA is invited back to assess the options that are being developed against the criteria we developed.

From discussions with Transport SA representatives, it is clear that part of the agenda is to allow B-double trucks to use Fullarton Road as an alternative to Portrush Road, which is being upgraded to allow passage of these monsters. BISA would prefer to see the pressure eased on Portrush Road by a greater use of rail freight, as this is a safer alternative with less impact on the environment. Terry Leach and Elizabeth King will make this a focus of their RAA campaign.


Leisure Day in the Park

Terry Leach

This event is being held over the weekend of 30­31 October in Elder Park. It incorporates the launch of VeloFest (Bike Week) and the City of Adelaide Sprint Regatta on the Torrens Lake.

BISA will be operating a free bicycle parking corral, which is being funded by Transport SA. BISA will have an information display in conjunction with the corral, which is prominently located at the junction of paths by the lake, just West of the King William Street bridge.

If you are able to assist with the corral and/or the information display, please contact Terry Leach on telephone 8380 5497. People who work on the corral will be paid $14/hour, and preference will be given to BISA members who are also willing to help promote BISA to the public.

This event attracts hundreds of recreational, leisure, sporting, outdoor, environmental, fitness, tourism, arts and cultural groups. Saturday night also includes a free family concert presented by 5ADFM. This event attracts tens of thousand of people and the only people who won’t have a problem parking are bike riders. If it’s too far from home, the Adelaide Railway Station is adjacent, and bikes travel free on the trains. We look forward to seeing you at the corral, in one role or another.


Multilane Roundabouts...

Malcolm Healey

In June I wrote to the Federal and State Ministers express ing my concern about the new multilane roundabout rule. State Minister of Transport, Hon Diana Laidlaw, MLC has replied.

The Minister Responds

Dear Malcolm,
Thank you for your e-mail of 30 June 1999 regarding the cycling provisions contained in the Australian Road Rules (ARR).

I appreciate receiving your feedback in relation to this matter—and advice has been sought from Transport SA regarding the development of the ARR and the provisions to which you refer. As a result, Transport SA has provided me with the following information.

The ARR relating to roundabouts actually give greater rights to cyclists than currently exist. Rule 111 permits a cyclist on a multi-lane roundabout to make a right turn from either the left or right lanes. Under current law, a cyclist may only make a right turn from the right lane. As can be seen from the enclosed diagram, it can be potentially dangerous for a cyclist to turn from the left lane when crossing the path of other vehicles. Consequently, Rule 119 requires cyclists in the left lane to give way to vehicles leaving the roundabout. The rule does not require cyclists to:

Roundabout diagram

As shown in the diagram, the rule is limited to two situations. In position "A" on the diagram, all vehicles must give way to a vehicle already on the roundabout. This is the same as the current law in South Australia. In position "B" on the diagram, the cyclist only has to give way when turning right from the left lane. There is no obligation to give way if using the right lane or if on a single lane roundabout.

The obligation in rules 46 and 48 to indicate for five seconds only applies when leaving a stationary position at the side of the road—it does not apply when a motorist is merely changing direction. Further, Rule 46(5) provides that the obligation to give a "left change of direction" signal does not apply to the drivers of vehicles not fitted with indication lights (such as bicycles). You will be aware that drivers pulling away from the kerb often do not see cyclists coming from behind. Consequently, the requirement for all vehicles to give a right indication for five seconds when leaving the kerb will give cyclists early warning of the movements of vehicles ahead and so will significantly promote greater safety on our roads. Transport SA does not anticipate that this rule will adversely affect cyclists, as, unlike motorists, cyclists do not often park their vehicles at the side of the road. Cyclists typically mount their bicycles on private property or beside the footpath.

With regard to Rule 75, implementation of the rule will not have any adverse impacts on cyclists. The rule requires drivers entering a road-related area (such as a footpath) to give way to pedestrians and vehicles (such as bicycles) on the road-related area. The rule seeks to protect pedestrians and cyclists on a footpath from any vehicle crossing the footpath.

You may be interested to know that in 1995, the ARR drafting group discussed the issues you raise as part of significant consultation with the public and stakeholder groups. The ARR drafting group received some 460 submissions on the ARR, including a number from the Bicycle Federation of Australia (BFA) and other cycling groups. In 1996, the BFA participated in meetings of the ARR drafting group, at which it lobbied on a variety of matters and succeeded in having a number of rules modified.

Since 1996, the rules have been redrafted although the policy underpinning the rules has not changed. In February 1999, Transport Ministers from all jurisdictions approved the ARR by majority vote. The Ministers also approved the establishment of a maintenance strategy to enable jurisdictions to continue to work together to further improve the ARR. Representatives from each jurisdiction have formed a maintenance group and I have forwarded your comments—in particular, your suggestion that a 40 km/h speed zone apply within 50 metres of a roundabout—to that group for consideration.

The ARR will provide for more consistent road laws around Australia. The rules eliminate the great majority of current differences in road laws, thus making driving easier and safer. They are expressed in plain English and make use of diagrams and examples that make the law easily understood. The ARR are a major advance and a great start for traffic law for the next century. It will be of great benefit to all Australians including people on holidays, interstate transport drivers, cyclists, and people moving interstate.

For your interest, Transport SA has made the Rules available on its Internet site at the following address:

I trust that on reviewing the rules, you will see that they contain a number of advantages for cyclists. For example, the rules permit cyclists under 12 years old to ride on footpaths and Rule 141 will permit cyclists to overtake to the left of all vehicles. Under current law, footpath cycling is illegal and a cyclist can only overtake to the left of vehicles that are stopped at traffic lights. In addition, the rules clarify the position with regard to bicycle lights. Rule 259 provides that a cyclist riding at night must display a "flashing or steady white" front light and a "flashing or steady red" rear light.

I appreciate receiving your comments in relation to this matter.

Yours sincerely,
Diana Laidlaw, MLC
Minister for Transport and Urban Planning


Ride To Work Day

Terry Leach

Our annual event is on Wednesday 3 November, where we encourage motorists to try our healthy and sustainable alternative. We are again being assisted by Life. Be in it with event management. We are also fortunate to have the services of five UniSA students assisting us as part of their studies.

Victoria Square is again the focus of the event, with a free breakfast on offer. We are also providing free delivery of breakfast goodies to anyone organising a breakfast for 10 or more riders. Last year this was very successful, with 200 riders throughout the suburbs matching the 200 who joined us in Victoria Square.

For Ride To Work Day to be a greater success, we need your grass-roots activism in your workplace or campus, encouraging car drivers to do something for themselves and the environment. Pedal Update and Australian Cyclist provide a wealth of material regarding the health, safety, pollution and sustainability issues surrounding transport choices. The Bikedirect maps are a valuable tool in helping people find a low stress route to work.

We also need your help on the day and beforehand. Tasks include putting up signs, distributing leaflets, delivering breakfast provisions, setting up and cleaning up in Victoria Square. If you are able to assist, please call Terry Leach on 8380 5497 or 0414 980 448.


News and Notes

Politicians on bicycles in Belgium

Margaret Day

On 2 September, Vera Dura, the Flemish Minister for Environment and Agriculture, announced that the Flemish Government will buy a bicycle for every Minister for the short journeys within Brussells. The local advocacy group, Fietserbond, which is part of the European Cyclists’ Federation, applauds this initiative as example is the strongest sign which can be given.

"We now know the Ministers will be on time for appointments as the average speed of cars in Brussels is just 12 km/h. The Ministers will also be more healthy," said the Fietserbond representative. "This is the first Government on the bicycle. It is a good example for the rest of the world to follow."

Environment Expo ’99

Margaret Day

Free entry and free bicycle parking will be available to the public for the second Environment Expo to be held from Friday 22 to Sunday 24 Oct, from 10am to 5pm. The venue is Urrbrae Education Centre, 505 Fullarton Rd, Netherby. This is easily reached by bicycle or public transport on Circle Line or STA bus route 17.

This community event aims to develop awareness of factors affecting our environment from a personal, state, national and global perspective. What could be more environmentally friendly than a bicycle? Thanks to BISA members Rod Munro, Richard Rowland and Greg Martin for their offers to help distribute information at the BISA site. Others with questions or who can give three hours time to help are asked to contact me on 8271 5824.

Ride Bikes for BISA

Kath Cooper

Celebrate BISA’s 25th anniversary by doing what BISA is all about: enjoying riding our bikes. Join the celebration ride on Sunday 17 October, leaving from the car park of the Stirling office of the Adelaide Hills Council, Mt Barker Road, Stirling, at 9.30 am. The ride will cover 50km via Uraidla, Lenswood, Balhannah for lunch (bakery and café available, or bring your own), Hahndorf, Mylor and Aldgate. The course is hilly by nature, so prepare your low gears and leg muscles.

We will be joined by members of the Cycling for Pleasure Group, Stirling BUG, and other council area residents. The Adelaide Hills Council will be supporting us with a light breakfast, incorporating triticale bread baked by Stirling Cakes, available from 9am, so come early for a pre-ride chat and feed. BYO cup for hot drinks, water bottle(s) and snacks for the ride, and basic repair/tool kit including appropriate pump and inner-tube. Cyclists should be experienced and able to cycle 50km with hills, and have a reasonably maintained bike. Cyclists participate at their own risk.

There is no entry fee, but cyclists will need to pre-register by contacting ride leader, Kath Cooper, 8339 3049. Join us for a lovely day out cycling in the scenic Adelaide Hills.


Seen on the packaging of a helmet-mounted mirror: ‘Remember: objects in the mirror are actually behind you.’


Dear Minister

Marcus Micheaux

I am writing to you in reference to the passage of bicycles upon multilane carriageways. Particular reference is to the Road Traffic Act, 1961, Section 54 (1)(a)(i).

This section would indicate that the passing of another vehice travelling in the same direction must be done completely in the outer lane(s), A pedal-cycle is a vehicle under Section 5(1), yet cars invariably pass close within the left lane. I believe that cars do so believing that this is legal, confusing Section 54 (1)(b) as applying to bicycle and automobile interaction on multilane roads.

Under Section 99 a cyclist must not travel less than two metres from the rear of another vehicle, yet there is no law stating the clearance that needs to be given to a cyclist. The ‘Give cyclists a metre’ campaign was not even a legal requirement.

I implore that an amendment be made to the law to protect cyclists, and that motorised vehicles re required to pass cyclists fully in the other lane, and never be allowed to be less than two metres distant from cyclists. Perhaps all left lanes could be declared ‘bicycle lanes’ by amending section 5 (1) such that a bike lane is such when a cyclist travels on the inner lane of a road.

Please note that 90% of collisions within the CBD in the last three years involved cars striking cyclists from the rear in daylight conditions.