BISA logo Pedal Update

Issue 134, December 1999–January 2000

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.

Terry Ryan



Two images of Ride to Work Day. Above: Terry Ryan, manager of Transport SA BikeSouth addresses the Victoria Square meeting. Right: Enjoying breakfast.


Pedal Update

Peter Carter, Editor

Back to normal size this time, and I’ve had to cram things in: one item I’ve had to trim severely, and I’ve left out a couple of small things.

Nevertheless, lots of interesting news and reading. Opinions seem to vary on the success of VeloFest, but Ride To Work Day had good numbers, as Terry Leach reports on page 6, and the members running the bike corral at the Circle the City for Asthma ride were kept busy.

Kath Cooper reports on the 25th Anniversary Ride, and on what she saw on a recent visit to WA, while from Italy comes news of a car free day in some of its cities. Might be worth a try here some time...


Peter Lumb

BISA Supports the RAA!

Peter Lumb

In this article I suggest that BISA should support the RAA (a little bit). BISA has not praised RAA policy in recent years. In fact such praise may be a minor historical event, possibly as unlikely as a South Australian cyclist winning the Victorian Formula One Grand Prix. (Picture shows Peter speaking at Ride to Work Day.)

One reason why many of us cycle is because we have a regard for ‘the environment’. Mass motor vehicle ownership and cheap and convenient car use compromises a sustainable urban environment, as well as compromising a sustainable global environment. Can we have our car and the environment too?

The RAA has environmental concerns and a range of previous RAA environment policies has now been bundled into one collection and can be read at

Abolishing fuel taxes

One issue in this policy document in particular is worthy of consideration. RAA advocates the abolition of the current fuel tax on petrol and diesel fuel and their replacement with a ‘road user charge’ plus the consumption tax at the same rate as applied to other goods and services in the economy. The ‘road user charge’ would finance roads and road safety and would also include payment to meet the environmental costs associated with road use. The RAA is seems, favours tying the revenue source to related expenditures.

Here is the reason why BISA members, and others who care for the environment and seek to take action to have Australia play its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, should analyse this aspect of the RAA’s environment policy, and perhaps give it qualified support.

Fixed costs

At present some costs associated with car use are fixed. These costs are incurred whether the car is moving or not. In addition, when compared with other OECD countries, Australia continues to have very cheap car fuel costs. Given that we pay fixed costs anyway, then motorists can feel that with fuel so cheap, they may as well use the car often and with little discretion.

If some fixed costs were changed to ‘road user charges’ costs, or costs which were poured in with the petrol, diesel or gas, then the costs of moving the car, rather than simply owning the car, could be more obvious. (It depends on how much and which kinds of costs get poured in). If fixed costs were reduced and poured in at the bowser along with other charges then discretionary use (including many on those most dirty, cold engine trips of up to 3 km) would be likely to be more carefully considered. People would be more likely to walk or ride to buy the Sunday paper if fuel were more expensive. They may even catch a bus to work!

Doubling the price of fuel would be quite reasonable if the bulk of insurance, licence and emergency service funding came out of annual fees and went into the petrol pump.

However, the RAA is also in favour of ‘the road user charge’ funding ‘roads, road safety and environmental costs associated with road use.’

I assume this to mean all costs associated with road building and road maintenance. Road safety I assume to be all costs associated with road safety education in schools and the media, all policing costs, all court costs now borne by the public associated with cars and safety, the 25% of the State’s hospital budget associated with motor vehicle injury and injury deaths, ambulance costs associated with road casualties, costs of road safety research, costs of road safety promotion, Medicare costs (once insurance claims are settled) now borne by the tax payer and associated with road injury, and so on.

Environmental costs

Then the RAA would add to the road user charge the environmental costs. I assume such costs would include the costs of noise pollution. For example, home owners whose property values are low because of traffic noise on arterial roads could be compensated. Ugly car parks could get a make over in order to improve the aesthetics (well, maybe that’s a lost cause anyway!).

Rather than LGAs collecting a levy from households to clean up the Torrens, car users could directly contribute to the clean up through a proportion of the funds collected through the fuel pump cleaning up the damage from motor oils and brake linings. Is it cars that foul the Torrens mostly, or houses? The road user charge could provide money for programs which would alleviate ozone layer depletion and car-produced greenhouse gases.

Damage done to buildings because of motor vehicles’ contributions to air pollution, and injury to people due to air pollution through asthma and heart disease should be included in the road user charge.

Those suffering long-term pain and psychological damage caused by motor vehicles could be supported by a car use charge, rather than a levy paid by taxpayers, whether they use a car or not.


Apart from the reduction in noise, and air pollution, as well as a reduction in many health and injury costs, if there was a ‘road user charge’ which increased the cost of moving cars about, congestion would decrease. Those short and more discretionary trips would be more often undertaken on foot, bicycle and public transport. We may even see cars used efficiently instead of containing on average 1.1 people — such a waste of space on almost all car journeys!

And if congestion was to be contained in Australian cities, business would have an advantage over international competitors.

This benefit would be compounded were the ‘road user charge’ to include an extra charge so that walking, cycling and public transport was made more convenient, attractive and safe. So, if on the one hand moving your car becomes more expensive, then attractive alternatives need to be provided. The RAA’s ‘road user charge’ gives us an opportunity to debate the true costs of private car use in Australia. It gives us a chance to foreground the real costs and an opportunity to move towards a society which has a more socially appropriate and environmentally sustainable mobility mix.

Pedal Update welcomes articles which contribute to the debate about the costs of car use in Australia so that were ‘road user charges’ to be introduced, the real costs of motoring would be included. Socially and environmentally sustainable alternatives have to become more attractive!


RAA Election Results

Terry Leach

I again stood for the Board of the RAA, and was joined in my campaign by Elizabeth King, a member of the pedestrian advocacy group Walksafe. While I was unsuccessful, Elizabeth was elected to the Board.

All of the four successful candidates received votes in the range of 14.0–15.0%. The unsuccessful director seeking re-election received 13.5% support, with myself further back on about 11.7%. But I’m is not despondent about the result, chalking this one up as a victory. We now have a safe and sustainable transport advocate on the Board in Elizabeth King, while I saw an improvement in my vote.

I would like to thank the many BISA members who not only voted for me, but encouraged others to do so. In particular, I am very grateful to the twenty BISA members in Unley (plus some of their friends and partners) who distributed 10 000 leaflets in the Unley area. This local government area was selected because of the resentment felt by many residents towards the RAA because of their opposition to the very popular 40km/h speed limit in that city.

The continued growth in my support has encouraged me to try again, and I will also be looking for another good female candidate to nominate. It is clear that there is a desire for gender equity in the representation on the Board, which makes it easier for a female challenger to get elected. This, combined with the very strong support received for retiring female directors seeking re-election may bring the male directors within reach. More on this next year!


Terry Leach

Ride To Work Day

Terry Leach

Our annual event to encourage motorists to try cycling to work was held on 3 November 1999. The weather couldn’t have been kinder to the 150 cyclists who gathered in Victoria Square for a free breakfast. Another 250 gathered at work place breakfasts spread over 16 sites around the suburbs.

In total, 578 riders registered their participation, a 45% increase on last year. Even more pleasing was the radio exposure. As BISA co-ordinator for the event, I was interviewed on the morning news program on all commercial radio stations, 5AN, Radio National and 5UV. In addition, I was interviewed for the breakfast program on 5UV and 5AN. Finally, 5AN’s roving reporter Tim Nunan attended the breakfast and interviewed a number of riders in a light hearted fashion.

While publicity for cycling and BISA is an important part of the day, the main objective is to change some people’s mode of transport from motoring to cycling. In this we succeeded, and one of the things I enjoy about the breakfast in Victoria Square is getting to meet more cyclists. It was very heartening to meet a few who had been influenced by our campaign to try cycling to work for the first time on Ride To Work Day.

Congratulations are also due to the following winners in our prize draw for registered participants:

$500 Trak Cycles voucher: Julie Pope
CatEye Computer: Harley Johnstone
CatEye Halogen Headlight: Rina Cohen
Bicycle Helmet: Rebecca Ireland
BISA memberships: Vern Lienert, Susan Gould, Andrew McCulloch, Francis Goble, Chris White

We are very grateful to the people who made this event possible. The City of Adelaide was a very generous cash sponsor. Sanitarium, Crusta Fruit Juices, Trak Cycles, Australian Bananas and the Apple & Pear Growers Association all provided much needed in-kind support.

It also takes a lot of hard work to manage such an event, and Life. Be in it again did a wonderful job in this regard. We also received a valuable contribution from four University of SA students. Victoria, Damien, Luke and Matthew helped with the event as a project toward their Bachelor of Applied Science (Recreation Planning and Management). They helped promote the event by contacting major employers and handing out information at bicycle cordon points around Adelaide. They also helped set up on the day, turning up bright and cheery at 6:00am. No ivory tower academia for these guys!

Finally, we thank those BISA members who organised work place breakfasts, helped in Victoria Square and promoted the event among their colleagues. Here’s hoping for a successful event next year with continued growth.


Circle the City for Asthma

BISA operated the bike corral at the Circle the City for Asthma on 31 October. Two pictures...

Issuing tickets Parked bikes


25th Anniversary Bike Ride

Kath Cooper

BISA and Cycling for Pleasure Group members celebrated BISA’s 25th anniversary with a bike ride on 17 October. Cyclists gathered at the Stirling Office of the Adelaide Hills Council (picture below) where Jackie Crampton, Bicycle Coordinator for the council, put on a free pre-ride breakfast. As ride leader, I had organised for a local bakery, Stirling Cakes, to bake up a batch of triticale bread, which was enjoyed by everyone, before, during and after the ride.

Bicycles present included touring and mountain bikes, Bike Fridays, a semi-recumbent tandem and a child carrying trailer. The weather stayed fine for a route via Crafers, Balhannah and Mylor, with some sustaining refreshment stops along the way.

Thanks are due to the Adelaide Hills Council for its support.



Making Tracks around Albany

Kath Cooper

Give Way sign

The beautiful Western Australian regional city of Albany is a cyclist’s delight. There is a well designed network of bike paths and cycling facilities (signage, parking). Routes include those suitable for commuting to work or school, and those to the scenic attractions. The highlight of a day cycling around Albany was cycling the paths out to Middleton Beach and towards Frenchmans Bay. It’s worth going beyond the bike path, on road, to visit the old whaling station and blow holes, etc. The views from the bike path are stunning, with vistas over the intense blue waters of the bay, with its many islands, and surrounding native bush containing many different flowering plants. The paths are also used by pedestrians and a healthy population of blue tongue lizards which add to the excitement of negotiating the route. Motorists exiting car parks adjacent to the bike path are required to give way to cyclists (photograph, located at Agriculture WA office carpark). You get plenty of practise negotiating roundabouts in Albany.

The smaller coastal town of Esperance also has a network of bike paths, used well by those in the know. These facilities encourage cycling to school and the bike racks at the local schools were packed to overflowing.


Cycling at Holdfast Bay

Amanda Allen

The City of Holdfast Bay recently appointed a Bicycle Co-ordinator to actively raise the profile of and encourage cycling on all fronts within the local community. Amanda Allen has been working towards achieving this goal through various encouragement, education and developmental projects.

A major step has been the recent ‘in principle’ support of Council for a cycle path along the infamous South Esplanade forsehore between Moseley Square and The Broadway. This has been an on-going issue since the closure of the path to cyclists back in 1991. Safety issues are of major concern to all path users and Council will follow strict community consultation procedures in developing the designs for new South Esplanade Cycle Path.

The Glenelg North Recreational Path is the first portion of the Coastal Way project to be established in the Holdfast Bay Council area, completion is expected for this section by late December 1999. A very positive step for cyclists and pedestrians alike!

Also on the go is the Glenelg Hertiage Cycle Loop, a unique initiative in South Australia. The loop will take in approximately 12 km of cycle ways through out the Glenelg area incorporating major heritage sites on the tour. A brochure with commentary for tourists should be available before Christmas with a major launch and promotional push in the new year.

A thriving BUG has been established in the City of Holdfast Bay, members are proactive and contribute greatly to the various projects underway in the council area. Meetings are the first Tuesday of each month at 6.30 pm at the Council Chambers at 24 Jetty Road, Brighton.

Recently held amongst local primary schools was the Bicycle Essay and Poster competition. Aimed at creating increased community awareness about cycling and its many benefits, students have submitted works that reflect the themes of transport, health, safety and the environment. Students have proven highly creative in expressing their support for cycling and in conveying the health message ‘Be Healthy and Ride your Bike’ as depicted in the Most Outstanding winning poster by Emily Nottle, aged 10, from St Leonards Primary School.

The cycling cause is alive and well in Holdfast Bay!


No cars or motorbikes in 92 Italian cities

La Repubblica

Rome, 21 September 1999: Get out cars, motorbikes, and scooters: tomorrow, 22 September, from 7 am to 9 pm, in 92 Italian cities no traffic or smog. Cars and motorbikes will be banned in 43 centres, while the remaining centres will ban cars alone.

It’s the day in Europe for saying no to pollution. The name of the initiative, promoted by the European Union and supported by the Ministry for the Environment and environmental groups (from WWF to the Environmental League), is ‘In town without my car.’ In total, 14 million Italians will be involved, and the centre of 100 towns and cities, covering an area of 7,000 ha, will be turned over to pedestrians, cyclists and environmentalists.

Among the initiatives, free buses in 16 urban centres: Torino, Rome Vercelli, Pisa, Sondrio, Udine, Ravenna, Bolzano, Lucca, Pavia, Gorizia, Trento, Caserta, only in the historic town centre, and in Firenze, only on the electric trams. And then, multiple occupant taxis, motorbike taxis, car pooling, bicycle ways.

Also, unusual initiatives in other parts of Italy, (horse drawn) carriages on the roads of Calenzare, while in Salerno, children will be able to ride ponies in the town centre. In Brussels, the president of the European Union, Romano Prodi, a passionate cyclist, along with some other commisioners, will ride to work by bicycle.

Support for the anti-smog actions is extremely widespread, despite contentious arguments, and two right-wing city councils (Milano and Bologna, while others have said yes) have only agreed to partially participate, sparking protests and complaints from environmentalists. Last Sunday in Milian, there was a partial ban on cars and motorbikes, and Wednesday, the WWF, Environmental League and left wing groups will take to the streets in protest.


Out of the ordinary

Phillip Levi

At the Edlee Antique Bicycle Co I manufacture four models of penny-farthing bikes, two touring and two racing models. I am one of five commercial builders of these bikes in the world and according to ‘The Wheelmen’ (USA) I am rated first among these manufacturers. Most of my bikes are exported to the US.

XLR8 bicycle

Racing the penny-farthing is my real love as this is where I test and improve on design and speed with my ‘Racer-XLR8’ model weighing 10.5 kg, winner of Australian, New Zealand, US and World Championship races. This bike is built using Chrome Moly steels and Velocity Deep V race rims. You can view this bike with others on my Web site:

I have a successful Edlee Race Team of riders who live in WA but it has become my desire to give some local riders with a competitive spirit a chance to be added to my Team. You can be guaranteed one of the most exciting rides you have ever had in your life on one of these race machines as you experience what racing was like in years long ago. So don’t be surprised if you ‘get hooked’ after your first ride. I provide the world’s fastest Edlee XLR8 bikes for my Team to ride: all you have to do is sit in the saddle and give it your best.

Our Club has been asked to participate again with a demonstration race at the ‘Tour Down-Under’ in January 2000 and this is your opportunity to give it a go for SA. The World Championship follows in February 2000, to be held in Tasmania in conjunction with our National titles.

If you are interested to take up this challenge and would like to learn to ride one of these bikes, please contact me by phone on 0419 913 911 or e-mail I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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