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Less Canberrans are cycling, less often

By Leon Arundell 13 March 2012 78

The Pedal Power website still claims that “Our objective is ‘More Canberrans cycling, more often, for a better community,’ a year after Pedal Power members voted to reject that objective.

This is doubly embarrassing for Pedal Power, because the evidence indicates that less Canberrans are cycling, less often.

Figures from the ABS and the Australian Sports Commission show that only 18% of Canberrans cycled in 2009. This is the lowest figure since the turn of the millennium, and 1.2% below the 2006 figure.

At the turn of the millennium most of Canberra’s cyclists were children. Canberra’s on-road cycling facilities have increased adult cycling, but done nothing for children.

Our children are giving up cycling faster than our adults are returning to it.

And the average time Australian children spend cycling has fallen from over six hours per fortnight in 2000, to less than five in 2009.

What’s Your opinion?


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Less Canberrans are cycling, less often
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Blathnat 5:52 am 10 Aug 13

CatlikeTread said :

Perhaps not the children giving up but their parents. I was behind a neighbour today and the driver of the family car took both children (aged 7-9) to school in the car. Approximately 250 metres away from home an all on a quiet street with little traffic.

What hope do children have of a healthy lifestyle when this happens.

Actually, that could be entirely a legal issue. There’s some ridiculous law that states that children under a certain age (pretty sure it’s 10, but it might be 12) essentially have to be hand-delivered to the school. Some bollocks about liability and that the school is technically responsible for your child on their way to/from said school. My sister-in-law has even been cautioned on this by her children’s school, who told her (to paraphrase) that not picking her children up was negligent parenting and they could inform child services.

But on to cycling… Fewer Canberrans cycling can only be a good thing. No more lycra-clad weirdos riding 40km below the speed limit on a single-lane road. No more “green” zones to confuse everyone but the most studious person. Wider lanes on Northbourne Avenue (and maybe even going back to a speed limit of 70, which everyone does anyway). No more wasted tax dollars on infrastructure that only 1% of our population will ever use…

pink little birdie 9:22 pm 29 Jul 12

HenryBG said :

pink little birdie said :

Thanks 🙂

I’m lazy and want to do a combined bike skills and maintenace course. I can even supply a classful of people to do it.

Are you planning on making all your minions take up cycling?

My minions look forward to their end of term 2 and 3 cycle trip to McDonalds (Canoe in term 1 and 4) – They get soft serve.

A little bicycle safety for 8-11 year olds wouldn’t go astray and being cub scouts they would all get their level 1 cycling badge for it. 😀

Kath 9:57 pm 28 Jul 12

Postalgeek said :

Pedal Power runs maintenance courses.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/events/details.asp?IntContId=4281

+1
I’ve done their basic and intermediate courses, they were excellent. You need to join PP to attend, but you can easily save your membership fees in bike shop discounts over a year. Their magazine also has useful articles on bike maintenance, etc.

breda 1:04 am 28 Jul 12

Damien, his/her alter ego – also dressed in black, with no lights or reflectors – nearly died last night when my taxi came around a curve in Narrabundah to find this idiot in the middle of the road about 10m in front, with a car turning into the road from the other direction. My driver swerved, and we must have missed contact by about 10cm. As far as I am concerned, the cabbie was put in the position of train drivers who find someone on the tracks in front of them. It was a miracle that this moron was not wiped out.

damien haas 5:30 pm 27 Jul 12

I’d like to thank the cyclist dressed in black and unlit who while cycling along Lathlain St last night decided to suddenly become a pedestrian and turn onto a zebra crossing to cross the road, without stopping or even checking to see if a panel van was trundling into the zebra crossing.

carnardly 2:08 pm 27 Jul 12

“I don’t understand why people wouldn’t use the footpath, which IS wide enough to comfortably to support cyclists and pedestrians together. Or failing that, using one of the many bike paths that run through the inner-north.”

When I go north I usually go Northbourne Avenue on the road. Why am I not on the footpath or the other shared recreational paths? Because you can go considerably faster on the road. It also depends how I’m riding. A tootle with kiddies in tow, of course I’l use the shared pathes, but for me, no. If I’m on the footpath I need to slow and stop every 200 metres at each corner to wait for cross traffic turning into or out of Northbourne. There are also driveways with existing and entering cars. And there are all sort of other perfectly legitimate users.

If I’m on the road I go with the flow of traffic with no need to stop until the traffic lights turn orange or are red.

Grail 12:58 pm 27 Jul 12

DrKoresh said :

This is why riding on the road down Northbourne is an effing mental idea. Forgive me, I’m not trying to sound unsympathetic,I’ve suffered some nasty physical trauma myself and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
But you have to agree that the road isn’t wide enough to support a cycle lane and three lanes of traffic. We had to pass a cyclist on Nthbne. the other day and it’s not something you can safely do while staying in your lane.

I don’t understand why people wouldn’t use the footpath, which IS wide enough to comfortably to support cyclists and pedestrians together. Or failing that, using one of the many bike paths that run through the inner-north.

Northbourne is wide enough to handle three busses side by side and leave plenty of room for the cycle lane.

Your incompetence behind the wheel is not due to the “narrow” lanes on Northbourne, each of which makes Sydney roads look like goat tracks.

The footpath is not wide enough to handle absent-minded pedestrians who just walk where they want (usually a beeline from the door of the coffee shop to their car, parked illegally in the loading zone), especially during peak hour with all those suits in a hurry to get indoors before they freeze/boil/suffer caffeine withdrawal.

carnardly 11:28 am 27 Jul 12

If this is of interest or use to anyone…

FREE Adult Cycling Classes – 2012

Learn 2 Ride courses (x 4 sessions) – start: 6th August, Mondays 2012, adult learn to ride a bike course.

Cycling Skills & Road Safety course (x 8 sessions) – start: 7 August, Tuesdays 2012, learning safe cycling skills.

Health Directorate (ACT Health) in conjunction with Cycle Education is happy to offer a FREE Bicycle training courses.

For Women and Men (over 18 years) and not in current employment and are of any cycling skill level can come along – from absolute beginners to those already with some bike skills. Bike hire included on the day if needed.

BOOKINGS: For more information or to register contact, Sommer at Health Promotion Branch on 6205 7348 or sommer.sherwood@act.gov.auThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots.

HenryBG 8:12 am 27 Jul 12

pink little birdie said :

Thanks 🙂

I’m lazy and want to do a combined bike skills and maintenace course. I can even supply a classful of people to do it.

Are you planning on making all your minions take up cycling?

KB1971 7:10 am 27 Jul 12

cranky said :

Read an article recently (but unable to find it) where the revocation of helmet laws has had a beneficial effect on medical trauma.

America, I think.

Seems the clots riding without helmets were still coming undone at the same rate, but their injuries were now serious enough to require their life support to be turned off.

Gave those requiring transplants a whole new field of donors.

I would love to see that one. Any idea where it was published?

cranky 7:28 pm 26 Jul 12

Read an article recently (but unable to find it) where the revocation of helmet laws has had a beneficial effect on medical trauma.

America, I think.

Seems the clots riding without helmets were still coming undone at the same rate, but their injuries were now serious enough to require their life support to be turned off.

Gave those requiring transplants a whole new field of donors.

snoopydoc 5:19 pm 26 Jul 12

Diggety said :

I’ll ride when the ridiculous compulsory helmet laws are abolished.

Care to elaborate on the basis for characterising compulsory helmet laws as “ridiculous”?

Do you also think compulsory seatbelt laws are ridiculous?

pink little birdie 3:43 pm 26 Jul 12

Thanks 🙂

I’m lazy and want to do a combined bike skills and maintenace course. I can even supply a classful of people to do it.

Postalgeek 2:54 pm 26 Jul 12

pink little birdie said :

Are there any cycling and bike maintenance courses around Canberra? I would like to do one that possiblibly runs for 3 hours. Basic use of gears, chain and tyre maintenace would be enough.

I have never used a bike with gears and as I will be mainly riding to work (3.5km, not worth driving) I think a course will be benefitial.

Pedal Power runs maintenance courses.

http://www.pedalpower.org.au/events/details.asp?IntContId=4281

DrKoresh 2:18 pm 26 Jul 12

Jivrashia said :

Guilty as charged.

Call me a wimp but ever since my bicycle and I were cleaned up by a car on Northbourne during morning traffic I manage to find the smallest of excuse not to ride.

Even before one starts arguing about the rights of cyclists vs arrogant, rude, and disobedient cyclists, the general population is not educated enough to realise that there are cyclist sharing the road.

I’m sure the sight of me lying semi-conscious on Northbourne would have dissuaded some from riding, especially during peak-hour traffic that appears to make cyclists harder to see for drivers.

This is why riding on the road down Northbourne is an effing mental idea. Forgive me, I’m not trying to sound unsympathetic,I’ve suffered some nasty physical trauma myself and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
But you have to agree that the road isn’t wide enough to support a cycle lane and three lanes of traffic. We had to pass a cyclist on Nthbne. the other day and it’s not something you can safely do while staying in your lane. I don’t understand why people wouldn’t use the footpath, which IS wide enough to comfortably to support cyclists and pedestrians together. Or failing that, using one of the many bike paths that run through the inner-north.

carnardly 2:11 pm 26 Jul 12

Little Birdie – check the PP website and their latest newsletter. They have them pretty regularly.

pink little birdie 12:03 pm 26 Jul 12

Are there any cycling and bike maintenance courses around Canberra? I would like to do one that possiblibly runs for 3 hours. Basic use of gears, chain and tyre maintenace would be enough.

I have never used a bike with gears and as I will be mainly riding to work (3.5km, not worth driving) I think a course will be benefitial.

Aeek 8:59 pm 15 Mar 12

KB1971 said :

I tend to stick with the bike paths from Woden (the whole way actually as much as I can) as I find it more relaxing not having to deal with the cars.

Commuting Aranda – Woden, I find the path via Scrivener is constant low level stress that mounts up.
Major roads I find more variable, concentrate when the traffic peaks, relax in the gaps.

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