BISA logo Pedal Update

Issue 137, June–July 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.

Electric bike

On display at the AGM were electrically assisted bicycles. This one, a Forever, appeared courtesy of JT Cycles, Pulteney Street


Pedal Update

Peter Carter, Editor

A larger issue than usual, thanks to local and interstate contributors.

We begin with the first report from our new President, together with his report of the recent AGM. Terry also has a piece about the forthcoming discussions with Bicycle SA.

Harry Owen takes a critical look at the care and maintenance that has not been happening to the Southern Veloway, and also reports on a safety initiative. Malcolm Healey describes the latest on the Willunga to Marino trail, while Hans Penning reports on the locker situation at bus and rail stations. As Tony Hansen says, his BUG report is one with a difference: not so much about a BUG but a successful cycling business.

Although it will be too late to make bookings by the time you read this, we have news of the first KI Cycle Tour for many years. If you’re old enough, you do have time to book for the other tour described by Stan Jackson: an over 65s ride from Melbourne to Sydney.

Keep reading, and pedalling.


President’s Report

Terry Leach

As the new President of BISA, I am somewhat overwhelmed by the enormity of the task I have taken on. We are certainly going to have a busy and interesting year. But first, I would like to reflect a bit on the past.

BISA is financially sound and has a reputation for professionalism in cycling advocacy. This is due to the hard work of many people who have served on the BISA committee. Some of these people continue to serve on the committee, others now take a less active role. I am very proud to serve as BISA’s President, and I thank these people for their efforts on behalf of BISA.

Thank you to Peter Lumb for his leadership of BISA during his several years as President and Vice President. Peter is still a committee member and our representative on the State Cycling Committee. Peter has given me much good advice and guidance over the years, and I know that his door will remain open to me.

Graham Day and Malcolm Healey have retired as committee members, and we thank them for their service. I’m sure that they will continue to work for the betterment of cycling as continuing members of BISA. Earlier in the year we farewelled JonIvar Skullerud who has moved to Germany, working hard for environmental causes there, I’m sure.

Three months ago, I felt rather despondent about the fact that too few people were trying to do too much. I feel much happier today in welcoming four new people on to the BISA committee. Michael Southcott is our new Vice President, and Neil Murray is our new Secretary. This has allowed Clive Palfrey to reduce his workload, which is still significant as co-ordinator of our magazine distribution. We also welcome Rod Munro and Darren Myk as committee members. Rod and Darren have taken over organising Ride To Work Day along with Tony Hay and Peter Sampson. Andy Johnstone has taken over the maintenance of our Web site from Rod. I thank you all for your willingness to serve BISA and cycling advocacy in their various roles.

BISA has some significant issues to address in the next twelve months. We will be exploring the possibility of amalgamation with Bicycle SA, an issue I discuss in a separate article. We will provide input into the development of the next State Cycling Strategic Plan. There is also the possibility of a change of government next year. We need to ensure that whoever is Minister of Transport in a new government will be as successful an advocate for cycling as Diana Laidlaw. It becomes clear that we need to campaign to obtain justice for cyclists killed and injured by trucks, and this will take up a significant amount of our scarce resources. Also, the RAA has intensified its campaign against 40 km/h speed limits, so we must intensify our campaign of support in reaction.

No doubt, many more issues will come up over the course of the next twelve months. Your committee will be working extremely hard. To be as successful as possible though, BISA needs your involvement. While you may not be able to serve on the committee, there is still much you can do to support BISA’s work. Writing letters to editors and ringing up talk back radio shows in response to transport related articles, contacting your local MPs and government ministers are important ways you can help achieve BISA’s aims.

It is only with your involvement that BISA will achieve its mission. On your bike!


AGM 2000

Terry Leach

Peter Lumb welcomed members to our AGM on 27 April at the Box Factory. It was very pleasing to see such a good turnout. Next year there will be more name labels and chairs.

Electric bike

Three electrically assisted bicycles were on display at the meeting. Two were mountain bikes that had after-market modules, with motors that fitted to the left and rear of the rear hub. The third was a purpose built electrically assisted bicycle, designed specifically for urban commuting. Thank you to JT Cycles and the two BISA members for the loan of their bicycles. Suggestions for a theme for next year’s display would be welcome.

There was a motion from the floor:

Moved Terry Leach, seconded Bill Gehling: ‘That BISA institute discussions with Bicycle SA with a view to developing an amalgamation proposal’. Several people spoke to the motion. The motion was then put to the vote and was carried (29 for, 5 against).

The following people were elected unopposed:

President: Terry Leach
Vice President: Michael Southcott
Secretary: Neil Murray
Treasurer: Wendy Marchment
Committee Members: Peter Lumb, Margaret Day, Darren Myk, Rod Munro, Clive Palfrey, Hans Penning, Michael Sando

Dr Phil Harding, chair of the State Cycling Committee, addressed the meeting. Dr Harding is a specialist in diabetes, and informed the meeting about the impact of exercise in reducing the incidence of adult onset diabetes. He also outlined the process for review of the State Cycling Strategic Plan, which will be updated by the end of this year.

Terr, Peter, Wendy

The AGM. L–R: Terry Leach, Peter Lumb, and Wendy Marchment.
Terry is the new President, Peter the former President, and Wendy the Treasurer. (AGM pictures by Peter Carter)


Amalgamation discussions with Bicycle SA

Terry Leach

A decision was made at the Annual General Meeting in April to commence discussions with Bicycle SA to discuss the possibility of amalgamation. A BISA sub-committee is being formed, which will meet with Bicycle SA to explore this issue. Any proposal to amalgamate will be put to all members for consideration at a general meeting.

There are many issues to discuss and much information to gather. Questions that need to be answered include how many people we have with dual membership, which will tell us how many potential members we have in any amalgamated body. We need to do some financial modelling to determine likely subscription levels, with and without Australian Cyclist magazine included, and look at our volunteer delivery network. We would need to discuss the issue of the magazine and BFA membership with the BFA.

We also need to receive input from members regarding your views on how an amalgamated organisation would operate. How critical to you is BFA affiliation? Do BISA members believe the magazine must be an integral component of a membership package? What level of subscription are you willing to pay for the increased services available in an amalgamated organisation? What are the key services you require? How do we guarantee a continued focus on advocacy?

These issues and more will be explored over the next twelve months. I urge you to make the most of opportunities to contribute to the debate.


Library donation

Margaret Day

Lindsay Holmes has generously donated a copy of Ron Shepherd’s fine book, The Dancing Chain, just published, to the BISA Library. The book is reviewed on page 63 of the April Cyclist. Graham and I already have our personal copy, and it is an excellent and interesting book.


Ankle deep in mud

Harry Owen


Cyclists are still waiting for regular maintenance of access routes to the Veloway. The slip lane to the Sturt Creek underpass is never swept and is slowly filling with debris.


The Sturt Creek underpass itself is left ankle deep in mud every time it rains. I asked Terry Ryan of Transport SA’s BikeSouth who was responsible for maintenance of the Veloway and was passed on to Jeff Lane in Metro Region. He thought the contractor had fixed the defects and when I described the poblems he passed me on to his colleague, Len Condo. Len asked me what the problems were and then said he would talk to BikeSouth. I was then contacted by Peter Watts of BikeSouth and I met with him on the Veloway to point out the problems. Transport SA is supposed to be customer focussed so I have two questions. Who in Transport SA will actually take responsibility for quality of facilities for cyclists?

Why is it that Transport SA keep giving repeat construction business to Maunsells when that company keeps showing that it is unwilling or unable to provide appropriate facilities for cycling?


Cyclist safety monitoring project

Harry Owen

Airline safety is maintained both by exhaustive analysis of crashes and reporting of ‘near misses’. Crashes are just the exposed tip of the safety iceberg and the near miss data provides much more information on what can be done to prevent more crashes. The near miss data stream can expose the systematic problems that can give rise to disaster. The aviation near miss reporting methodology is to be applied to a ‘pilot’ cyclist safety project. Regular cyclists who use a constant route are asked to consider assisting this project. Participation will involve regular reporting of experiences whilst cycling for the duration of the study. Please register interest by e-mail to <>.


Newly Completed Section: Willunga to Marino Trail

Malcolm Healey

At last cyclists can ride off road from Noarlunga to McLaren Vale on the newly completed trail along the route of the old railway line! The trail has been sealed and at the time of writing only needs line making and ramps to the boardwalk under the Victor Harbor road at the Pedlars Creek Bridge. The new section follows Pedlars Creek through previously inaccessible countryside with vineyards to the sides of the trail. There are good views of the hills face as one travels east.

After passing under the Victor Harbor road the trail swings up to join the main road leading into McLaren Vale. It is still necessary to ride along this road for about a kilometre until the Almond Train is reached. A gravel trail about 500m in length extends from the Almond Train to link with the existing section of the trail from McLaren Vale and Willunga. The gravel surface is generally good, although care is needed in one spot where the gravel is too deep.

The gradient of the trail between Noarlunga and Willunga is very gentle. Most cyclists should experience no difficulties. The return trip distance from Noarlunga to Willunga is 35km and takes about 2.5 hours riding time to complete.

To access the northern end of the trail, travel along Seaford Road from South Road in a Westerly direction for 700m. Turn left into Shearer Drive and then right into Farrow Court. Ride to the end of Farrow Court and follow the gravel path south-west for about 100 metres to connect with the sealed section of the trail. The trail is suitable for children although they would need supervision crossing roads and in the section leading into McLaren Vale.

I would like to congratulate the Onkaparinga Council for their commitment to the provision of this trail.


Tourism boost expected with Kangaroo Island SeaLink Cycle Tour

Media release

South Australian tourism and transport operator, KI SeaLink, is expecting a mini tourism boost to the Island with the resurrection of a once major sporting event on KI.

The KI SeaLink Cycle Tour gets under way on Saturday June 10 for three days. The event had been staged from 1968 to 1980, when it ceased through lack of sponsorship.

Now, after 20 years, the event is being revived and is expected to attract up to 100 competitors, all vying for total prize money of $9,000.

The racegoers, all competitive cyclists from around South Australia, will compete over nearly 300 kilometres of sealed road.

KI SeaLink Chief Executive, Jeff Ellison, says the prestigious Cycle Tour is being resurrected as part of an overall strategy to breathe new life into historical events on the Island and raise the profile of existing ones.

‘It provides an additional focus for visitors to the Island and adds to the sporting activities which tourists can enjoy, whether as spectators or participants,’ says Mr. Ellison.

‘Given the success of the Tour Down Under earlier this year, and the increasing number of people visiting Kangaroo Island, it seemed logical to bring the KI Cycle Tour back to life.’ ‘Visitors can already enjoy the annual KI Cup Carnival, Yacht Regatta, Parndana Easter Fair and various other adventure activities.’

‘The cycling tour adds a new dimension to what people can do and provides a competitive spirit which makes a visit to the Island all the more memorable.’


Bicycle lockers at stations

Hans Penning

In January 1995 a study Bicycle Dual Mode Transport in Adelaide (Hemmings, Yates, Favier & Johnson) was produced by The Mawson Graduate Centre for Environmental Studies, University of Adelaide. The report was subsequently adopted by the then Dept of Transport and lockers were then installed at several railway stations with funding from Bike South; a few stations including those on the O’Bahn had had lockers installed previously. However the recommendations of the report regarding management and promotion were never implemented.

BISA became aware of the low occupancy rate and neglect of the lockers and decided at its November 1998 meeting to form a subcommittee to investigate the causes and to recommend ways to remedy this unsatisfactory condition. A report by Hans Penning and Peter Good Bicycle Lockers at Rail & Bus Stations in Adelaide was finalised in July 1999. It was found that in addition to other factors that all lockers were painted military green, were without identification, that they were not being maintained and that no consistent management plan was in place.

After investigating interstate situations it was noted that the Brisbane scheme appeared the most effective with 1400 lockers with a 75% occupancy rate and a large waiting list; all without promotion. No rental is charged, just a $50 refundable deposit for the key. In essence the Brisbane model has been adopted by the SA Government. Meetings, including on site, are continuing between BISA, BikeSouth, TransAdelaide and the Passneger Transport Board to guide the implementation of the report.

The lockers at the O’Bahn stations were relocated so as to be more visible to passengers boarding city bound buses. The lockers were painted blue (the same as other PTB structures) and provided with rental information. The occupancy rate of the O’Bahn lockers is now 50%. The lockers at railway stations are presently being renovated and some moved to more effective locations.

In addition Adelaide railway station has been provided with a bicycle enclosure which is under 24 hour surveillance. It is well patronised and expansion is being considered.

So far only existing lockers have been upgraded. Once occupancy rates prove satisfactory BISA will push to have more lockers installed at other railway stations and bus interchanges such as Arndale, Marion, and West Lakes.

Any destination in the metropolitan area can then be reached by bicycle by using BikeDirect routes, or if too far, in conjunction with the public transport system. The commuter can park a bike at the point of access to the PT system or have a bike parked at the point of exit from the PT system, or at both points.


abc Over 65s Ride Melbourne–Sydney 2000

A fun ride with a message

Stan Jackson

Sixty five plus and looking for a challenging ride that will really promote biking and much else besides? The 18 day, 1300km abc ride from Melbourne to Sydney via Canberra, starting November 18 in Melbourne, might be just what you want.

abc stands for active, balanced and caring, and sums up what the ride will be about—inspiring Australians to keep active, body and mind, whatever their age. And to run their lives in balance with Nature and the community.

Cycling will benefit through the clear example of over 65s with abundant health and energy from lifestyles which include cycling. It will benefit also because the ride is sure to attract a lot of publicity and there will be many opportunities to press cycling’s case for better facilities with officialdom.

The media will be attracted by the unique nature of the ride—never before a lengthy over 65s ride (one rider is approaching 90) and never before a bike ride with a considerable Japanese contingent. In Japan the abc concept of active, balanced and caring lifestyles is spreading widely and, as a result, about 14 Japanese over 65s of both sexes will be joining the ride.

All can speak English, some very well, and the ride will be a great opportunity for any Aussie bikers interested in Japan to make valuable personal contacts.

We plan a low cost, camping/YH, easy paced ride, with 80km the average daily distance. The ride will follow a scenic relatively quiet route north from Melbourne along the Maroondah highway to Bonnie Doon. Then through Beechworth and east up the Murray Valley to Khancoban and up to Thredbo, Cooma and along to Canberra.

After Canberra and pressure on the Commonwealth government to do more for cycling, we’ll ride on to Goulburn and Sydney via Kangaroo Valley. In Sydney the ride is sure to attract media attention. The presence of the Japanese will give us a great opportunity to contrast the hundreds of thousands who cycle slowly and safely, without helmets, on their city footpaths and bike lanes every day with our pitiful few; and to ask for State government action to remedy the position.

The ride will end in Sydney on December 5, two and half weeks of wonderful biking (with three rest days) that any over 65 biker with reasonable energy will be able to handle. And by doing so, make a very worthwhile contribution to getting better cycling for everybody.

Send me a note by post or fax, mentioning age, bike experience and anything else you consider relevant, as early as possible if you would like to join this very special ride. We might consider allowing some riders to ride Melbourne–Canberra only, or Canberra–Sydney only, although preference will be given to those able to do the full ride.

For more information, contact Stan Jackson
52 Osborne Road, Lane Cove, NSW 2066
Ph (02) 9438 2953 Fax (02) 9418 8277



The man behind the ride

Stan Jackson

Stan Jackson

I’m the bloke who organised and led the International Friendship Ride (IFR), the official Bicentenary bike ride from UK to Australia in 1987/88, as you may remember. I remain very interested in promoting the principles behind the IFR—keeping active for self development and in balance with health, the environment and the community and trying to move beyond balance to become really caring.

I have made a number of long distance bike rides since 1988, partly for adventure and challenge, but also to promote lifestyles with these basic features—I call them abc lifestyles. Quite a number of Australians already have such lifestyles—although most have not heard of abc.

At 86, I am in the process of organising an abc over 65s ride from Melbourne to Sydney to start in November this year. In Japan, where I am well known, the concept of abc is spreading and about fourteen Japanese over 65s will be coming to Melbourne in November to take part in the ride.

Clearly, we should have at least a balancing number of Australians taking part in this unique ride, a ride which is certain to attract a lot of attention, and which will give many opportunities for promoting cycling. Already I have been informed by the Commonwealth Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Bronwyn Bishop, that she wishes to meet the riders in Melbourne. And there will be other official interest, I’m sure, because of the Japanese participation.

Enclosed is a summary of the plans for the ride, including the proposed itinerary. I am hopeful that you will give consideration to making the ride known to your members but, in any case, feel that you should know what is being planned.

To repeat, I believe very strongly that this ride has the potential to do quite a lot for cycling. I earnestly hope you will support it. lncidentally, I hope to lead the ride.


BUG Report with a Difference

Tony Hansen

This is not the report you may expect to hear.

For readers who are unaware, your Flinders Medical Centre/Brighton BUG co-ordinator wears multiple hats. The most time-consuming and challenging of these is managing ‘Rolling On...’, a bicycle tour and hire business in South Australia.

Having cycled locally, and through various overseas locations, I thought that perhaps a business dedicated to small group cycle tours would be a nice concept—but one that would be difficult to sell due to the lack of promotion of South Australia as a cycling destination. There had been other operators who had not been overly successful, and this may have been partially responsible for their demise.

As local cyclists we are aware of the plusses of living in an environment that offers numerous options for one day and extended tours. Try convincing tourism authorities of these facts and the enthuiasm is rather more guarded—tending toward non-existent (although this may have changed for the better recently with the advent of the Tour Down Under).

Being a persistent individual, I did not let this attitude—nor other operators’ failures—stop me from ‘giving it a go’. Was I living in a state of suspended disbelief? Well, perhaps not—and here’s why:

Reason One: The fact that the State Government had commissioned a cycling strategy, and that cycle tourism was a component of this. Add to that the construction of the Riesling Trail and increased interest in the Mawson Trail, and perhaps a more solid basis for cycle tourism in South Australia was emerging.

Reason Two: The fact that the timing of the ‘birth’ of Rolling On was coincident with massive uptake of the Internet as a means of communication and marketing. I could see that there was a ready-made, albeit crowded, distribution network which may be of great assistance in letting the world know that you could ride a bike through exciting areas of South Australia, facilitated by back-up service with local knowledge and bikes for hire.

After a bit more research, I decided to take the plunge and actually commit $$ to the idea. Without going into detail, this was one of the steepest learning curves I had ever encountered. There is a whole industry out there ready to take advantage of the naivety of the small business person in start-up mode. I saw through most of the cons, but fell for a couple. These were minor mistakes in the overall scheme of things, and were valuable learning experiences—in the glaring light of hindsight.

My first international clients were two American couples who had heard of Kangaroo Island and were reasonably adventurous. They insisted they wanted to cycle around KI and stay in B and Bs. As it turned out, they were going in a clockwise direction, with one week on a Queensland resort island, around one week with yours truly, and another week in the Red Centre—then back home to Texas. None of them had previously been in the country, and they were suitably impressed with KI’s wildlife and beaches. Strangely enough, the thing that impressed one lady the most were the pelicans.

The first time I took a tour for an interstate company that specialises in pandering to clients who desire five star gourmet food-and-wine experience was an eye-opener. These people were definitely not grass-roots cyclists. From what I could ascertain, they were so busy with their executive lifestyles (most of them had their laptops on the tour) they just wanted a new experience in a region they knew little about, in comfortable surroundings—eating and drinking (they called it tasting) with the odd cycling interruption. Anyhow, judging by some of the gratuities I received, they liked what I did.

In June last year, Rolling On was awarded the 1999 Yellow Pages People’s Choice Tourism Award. This may not sound like much, however given that there were around 800 nominations for tourism businesses ranging from house boats to the Hilton, perhaps it can be viewed as an achievement.

Of course, the examples quoted thus far may sound like running this little cycle tour business is great fun—you get paid to do what you enjoy and you win awards in the process ! Well, anyone who runs a small business knows that its 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration—managing Rolling On... is no different.

I’d definitely be better off financially with a secure salary. Despite all the reasons and circumstances that would dissuade others from doing so, it seems some individuals can’t live with themselves until they have tried or achieved certain things. Rolling On is in its third year and appears to be gaining momentum. I haven’t given up yet.

[Top | BISA Home Page]