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Bike meets car

By Rollersk8r 2 August 2011 72

So there I was, cycling to work via the Northbourne Ave bike lane, feeling pumped up by this slightly warmer weather…

Then, as I approached the old NRMA building I had to make one of the decisions I have to make several times in any trip – has the car waiting to turn left into the driveway seen me or not?  Today they hadn’t.  They turned at the worst possible moment, I got collected and fell hard.  Slight damage to the bike, grazes to my hands, elbows and knees – but could have been a lot worse.  Driver and passenger hopped out and were very apologetic, offered to pay for the damage to the bike etc.

Before I’m swamped with comments saying I got what every cyclist deserves etc – I do accept my share of responsibility.  I don’t expect for the bike damage to be paid for because I accept that using bike lanes comes with increased risk, which I’ve made the decision to take.  Can’t say how I’d feel if I was badly hurt – but for now I think it was going to happen sooner or later and I’ll have to re-evaluate whether I keep using the bike lanes or snake through the suburbs on the path.  I have been cycling to work for 13 years, including using the Northbourne bike lanes ever since they opened, and this is the first incident I’ve had.  So I’ll take those odds.

Bring on the warmer weather and happy cycling!

What’s Your opinion?


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Bike meets car
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Chip 10:12 am 05 Aug 11

A lot of workers in Netherlands own 3 bikes. A good one that they leave at home unless they are out riding on the weekend plus two “beaters”. Beater 1 they ride from their village or suburban home to the nearest fast train. They lock it up there, outside, it doesn’t matter if it gets wet and it aint worth pinching. Then they take train to Amsterdam or wherever and get on Beater 2 and ride to work. Reverse in evening. There are hundreds of bikes parked at outer stations, thousands in central Amsterdam station.

We can do the same in Canberra. eg it is possible to plan two bus routes that cover all north Canberra, Belconnen and Gungahlin in such a way that no house is more than 2km from a bus stop and bus stops are more than a km apart so buses are quick. Don’t run these buses thru interchanges – just loop through civic and Barton. People mostly would have a short, generally downhill ride in the morning, tether Beater 1, fast bus to Beater 2 then short ride to work.

The bus stops just need some nearby open space for bike parking and some stops can accommodate car park and ride, eg at AIS.

Don’t run buses to a timetable in peak hours, just run them often – every 10 to 15 mins. Hourly on timetable at other times. Get the buses needed by reducing meandering suburban buses during peak hours to move to a culture of walking or riding or driving or taxi to a fast transit route. Return the buses to the old suburban routes for off peak periods.

Don’t send ACTION executives to europe on a fact finding trip – just sit down here with a map and some common sense.

Innovation 9:17 am 05 Aug 11

Watson said :

[

Even I can quite easily overtake an electric bicycle and I’m always one of the slowest riders on the path!!!

And the bike and ride thing… It would be a good idea for longer distances. But for anything under 15kms (haven’t experimented with longer distances), I am always way faster on the bicycle than taking the bus – even if I ride to the bus stop instead of walking. And as I said, I’m a very slow rider…

I’m surprised about your experiences of the speed of electric bikes. Various websites (industry, commercial and user forums) quote unassisted cruising speeds of well over 20km/h. May be the presumably few bikes that you see are older models or perhaps you are just faster than you think.

As I typed before, I’m not surprised that bike and ride is not proving to be viable and I doubt that it will be until Action improves its services. However, I was speculating on “drive and cycle” which I think is under utilised.

BicycleCanberra 10:57 pm 04 Aug 11

Watson said :

And the bike and ride thing… It would be a good idea for longer distances. But for anything under 15kms (haven’t experimented with longer distances), I am always way faster on the bicycle than taking the bus – even if I ride to the bus stop instead of walking. And as I said, I’m a very slow rider…[/quote>

Sounds like a challenge,happy to suggest that a bike park and ride from Woden , would be faster than riding all the way.Also using one of the Xpresso bus routes would be faster.

The Dutch model would work fine here even if we started building newer suburbs based of the priority for pedestrians and bicycles.

Many of us used to cycle to school in the 1970’s and we matched the dutch in that area also. But now has dropped like many other Australian cities.


Woden Valley High 1969

Watson 11:58 am 04 Aug 11

Innovation said :

I agree that the dutch model for cycling is not as viable in a low populated and as wide an area as Canberra. I presume too that the bike and ride options aren’t as successful as many would like because of the distances already required by many to get to a bus stop (that is viable, regularly serviced and on a direct route) and the combined travelling times of cycle and bus trips.

I am surprised that I haven’t noticed an increase in other options such as drive and cycle, where people drive part way until the car is no longer necessary or viable and then cycle the remainder of their trip. A good example are the people that park in the Parliamentary triangle and then spend time walking to the bus stop, waiting for a bus and then pay for a bus trip to the city. I would have thought that even a fold up scooter in the boot would be as quick and certainly cheaper.

I’m also surprised that there isn’t an increased take up of electric bicycles especially given all the hoopla about much more expensive electric cars. 200W electric bicycles don’t need rego or a license and are capable of more than 25km/h for 40 to 50km. This would be sufficient for most individual’s daily trips especially if combined with car travel.

Even I can quite easily overtake an electric bicycle and I’m always one of the slowest riders on the path!!!

And the bike and ride thing… It would be a good idea for longer distances. But for anything under 15kms (haven’t experimented with longer distances), I am always way faster on the bicycle than taking the bus – even if I ride to the bus stop instead of walking. And as I said, I’m a very slow rider…

Innovation 11:03 am 04 Aug 11

I agree that the dutch model for cycling is not as viable in a low populated and as wide an area as Canberra. I presume too that the bike and ride options aren’t as successful as many would like because of the distances already required by many to get to a bus stop (that is viable, regularly serviced and on a direct route) and the combined travelling times of cycle and bus trips.

I am surprised that I haven’t noticed an increase in other options such as drive and cycle, where people drive part way until the car is no longer necessary or viable and then cycle the remainder of their trip. A good example are the people that park in the Parliamentary triangle and then spend time walking to the bus stop, waiting for a bus and then pay for a bus trip to the city. I would have thought that even a fold up scooter in the boot would be as quick and certainly cheaper.

I’m also surprised that there isn’t an increased take up of electric bicycles especially given all the hoopla about much more expensive electric cars. 200W electric bicycles don’t need rego or a license and are capable of more than 25km/h for 40 to 50km. This would be sufficient for most individual’s daily trips especially if combined with car travel.

Postalgeek 10:58 am 04 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

luther_bendross said :

Those Dutch videos were very interesting.

Try this approach on for size: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/video-mayor-drives-over-merc-in-tank-to-clear-bike-lanes-2837507.html

Never thought it would be possible, Al, but you’ve just made Canberra look boring for me.

Gungahlin Al 9:17 am 04 Aug 11

luther_bendross said :

Those Dutch videos were very interesting.

Try this approach on for size: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/video-mayor-drives-over-merc-in-tank-to-clear-bike-lanes-2837507.html

Aeek 12:46 am 04 Aug 11

OpenYourMind said :

Sadly, if you ride a bike, motorcycle, or even drive a smaller car, the reality is that other drivers sometimes won’t see you. We all have to ride/drive accordingly.

I briefly did a thought experiment where I didn’t see red 4WDs; I didn’t, but I quickly aborted the experiment. It’s not so much that they(NOT red 4WDs!) are hard to see, it’s more that they aren’t a threat.

Watson 9:46 pm 03 Aug 11

luther_bendross said :

Might I say, it’s good to see an RA thread consisting of mostly positive, constructive comments. OP, I hope you’re OK, I for one think you did the right thing given there was no malice.

Those Dutch videos were very interesting. The observation I have is that the majority of riders there were very casual commuters. The majority of riders I see around Canberra (that I see) are in go-fast mode, be they lycra-clad or not. Given the freay-deaky Dutch have been at this game for a while, I think the Canberran (and all Australian for that matter) attitudes to road sharing from all camps has a long way to go.

They are slow indeed. And therefor can afford to ride in their office clothes and don’t need to shower when they arrive. It would surprise me if there are many people there who ride 10 kms one way to work of school though. Lots of people there would regard 20kms as a day trip! The average trip is probably more like 3kms. But teenagers tend to ride the bike everywhere, so they might ride their 6kms to school and back, but then add another 10kms to go out on a Friday night.

My first commute in Canberra was 18 kms each way. Totally crazy, I thought back then, but I didn’t have a licence (as I didn’t need it in Europe).

Look, it would be fabulous if we got a decent bike path network and we have the space for it in Canberra. But it’s just never going to happen… If there were more people – especially kids – riding already, we’d have more of a chance of more investment, but without that, no one is going to care enough about it to make significant changes. I think kids riding to school was a massive driver in countries like Holland to make bike paths safer. The ‘won’t somebody think about the children’ angle is a real vote winner.

luther_bendross 6:36 pm 03 Aug 11

Might I say, it’s good to see an RA thread consisting of mostly positive, constructive comments. OP, I hope you’re OK, I for one think you did the right thing given there was no malice.

Those Dutch videos were very interesting. The observation I have is that the majority of riders there were very casual commuters. The majority of riders I see around Canberra (that I see) are in go-fast mode, be they lycra-clad or not. Given the freay-deaky Dutch have been at this game for a while, I think the Canberran (and all Australian for that matter) attitudes to road sharing from all camps has a long way to go.

alaninoz 5:48 pm 03 Aug 11

BicycleCanberra said :

Building good cycle infrastructure isn’t a luxury, considering the health benefits of the overall community.

It is a luxury if it doesn’t get used. Build it,and they will come? I’m generally for spending money on things that will improve the health of the overall community. How much effect would improved cycling infrastructure have on this?

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