Archive for the ‘Bike advocacy’ Category

Pushy Women West – free bike training in Braybrook

bike tours melbourne

If you are a woman from Melbourne’s West who wants to learn to ride a bike (or to get a refresher course on bike riding) then sign up to The Squeaky Wheel’s newest program PUSHY WOMEN WEST!

PUSHY WOMEN WEST is a FREE bicycle training program delivered by women for women from the Braybrook Community Hub in March 2017.

You don’t need to own a bike – a bike and all safety gear is provided for the training. Once you complete the program you receive a free second-hand bicycle and safety gear from The Squeaky Wheel and Footscray Rotary Bike Shed.

An Information session will be run on Wednesday 22 February, 10am at Braybrook Community Hub. If you can’t make it but want to join just contact The Squeaky Wheel.

Learn to Ride sessions held on Wednesdays, 1, 8, 15 and 22 March, 10am – 12pm. Ideally you should commit to all sessions in order to get the most out of it, but drop in ladies are welcome too.

Note that you will not be able to bring children to the sessions but at the end of the program The Squeaky Wheel will support woment o receive a child seat from the Footscray Rotary Bike Shed.

PUSHY WOMEN WEST is brought to you by City of Maribyrnong and with the kind support of Footscray Rotary Bike Shed.

Cycling in Melbourne when you’re a woman

Cyclestyle cargobike

Today the age ran an article entitled ‘Cycling is still a mostly male affair in Melbourne‘.

As a female cyclist in Melbourne, I’m hardly surprised.

The article points out that the average Melbourne cyclist – male, aged 36-45 – rides 5-10km for commuting or transport. They are comfortable riding with general traffic on the roads.

The biggest problem with cycling in Melbourne when you’re a woman is that the city’s network of bike paths don’t connect to each other and don’t go to the places that as a general rule, women need to go.

Women, if they are parents, are often the primary caregiver. That means that the most often used route is to and from school, kindergarten, daycare. In my case, my bike route involves crossing two major roads (both truck routes) and in some cases it means mounting the pavement to avoid the traffic.

Women in general still take on the bulk of the house duties. That means I need a convenient route to the local shops and services and a place to park my bike at the other end. The safety of the route is even more paramount as I often have my children tagging along to these shops and services.

I am not riding 5-10km a day. The maximum radius of most of my day to day life is about 3-4km. It’s a distance that’s too short for driving (plus the hassle of finding somewhere to park) but too long to walk if I have young children or groceries to carry.

A bike is the perfect solution, if only I didn’t have to mix with heavy traffic and to follow bike lanes that end abruptly and force me to complete my journey on the road.

At the moment, my biggest bugbear is travelling from Footscray onto the dedicated bike path along Dynon Road. The bike path is smooth, off road and sheltered – and hardly anyone uses it because it stops abruptly at the intersection of Kensington Road. To reach Footscray (and the rest of Melbourne’s inner west) there is a footpath and bridge that is like a narrow and uneven obstacle course. You cannot have two bikes easily pass along it, let along a cargo bike. Technically I’m not even supposed to be riding on the pavement as it’s illegal in Victoria.

As such I am forced onto Dynon Road because it is wide and smooth – and also full of trucks going 60km/hr. It is an extremely scary experience with children in the cargo bike and there is no way I’d let them ride alone on the road there. However, it’s the most direct route from the northern end of Footscray into the CBD and as long as I grit my teeth and bear the 1km of terror I can then rest easy on the bike path. I am very confident riding on the roads thanks to years of experience, but I am in the minority.

When you don’t have bike paths that go to where women need to go and bike paths that aren’t built in a safe manner where they’re protected from traffic, women won’t use bikes as their preferred mode of transport. Easy as that.

What are your thoughts on why cycling is still mostly a male affair in Melbourne?

Wheelie Good Day North Melbourne – Sunday 1 May 2016

Wheelie Good Day is a community gathering and street party in Melrose Street North Melbourne and it’s on this Sunday 1 May 11am-4pm.

The day is all about educating and training families to ride a bike plus a full with a program of workshops, tours and fun!

We’ll be there with the Book Swap Bike, a Christiania cargo bike filled with secondhand children’s books and a pop up reading lawn. Families are invited to either bring a book to swap, to borrow a book to read together or to participate in colouring-in and/or craft activities.

Other fun activities include:
  • Face painting & bike decorating for KIDS
  • Bike doctors and skills course for KIDS
  • Pimp your bike workshop for TEENS
  • Bike skills course & tours of the local area for ADULTS
  • Long kick and handball competitions with North Melbourne Football Club
  • Knitting, knotting and weaving with a POM POM workshop
  • Hip Hop Street Show by Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance students!
  • Bike Tuneups from GOOD CYCLES
  • Fix a Flat with PONY BIKES
  • Bike Engraving from VIC POLICE
  • Street Mural suggestion workshop
  • CARGONE COURIERS Bike Boom Box
  • Delicious food & coffee from POCKET CAFE
  • ROLL UP Bicycle Valet Parking
  • $1 MAMMOTH ice cream, on a bike
  • BIKE n’ BLEND pedal powered Smoothies

See you there!

 

Wheelie Good Day

Sunday 1 May 2016 11am-4pm

Melrose Street, between Erskine and Canning Streets, North Melbourne

FREE event

World Bicycle Relief – the Buffalo Bike

Fullscreen capture 18052014 43743 PM.bmp

World Bicycle Relief is all about mobilising people through the power of bicycles.

Entrepreneurs, farmers, healthcare workers and students in rural Africa transport heavy loads long distances over rugged terrain to meet basic needs. Compared to walking, bicycles allow people to haul more goods over longer distances in less time – provided the bicycle is strong and durable. 

World Bicycle Relief has connected rural Africans with bicycle suppliers; the result is a robust bicycle engineered specifically for rural African terrain and load requirements.

The Buffalo bike is designed, tested and assembled in Africa with close attention to end-user feedback and rigorous quality control. Buffalo bicycles are compatible with locally available spare parts, ensuring that with proper maintenance they will last for years.

For more information click here.

We’ve been nominated for a Cycling Luminaries award – Velo City Global Adelaide 2014

award

We’re so excited that Cyclestyle has been nominated for a Cycling Luminaries Award!

The Cycling Luminaries Awards celebrate the leadership and visions from across Australia and the globe that creates the environment that gets people riding. CycleStyle has been short listed in the ‘Pimp my Bike – Cycle Chic’ category.

The winners will be selected by a panel consisting of 6 experts representing each of the award categories and presented at Velo-city Global,  the world’s leading international urban cycling planning conference, to be held in Adelaide from 27 – 30 May 2014.

We’re thrilled that not only we do we get to shop for our favourite bike gear from all around the world but that our work has been acknowledged to get more people, especially women, riding as an everyday mode of transport.

We look forward to meeting our customers, supporters and many inspirational speakers at Velo-city Globala four day event that will host a program of over 170 presenterssocial activitiescycling tours; offering delegates from around the world a chance to share the best practices for creating and sustaining cycling-friendly cities, where bicycles are valued as part of daily transport and recreation.

And who knows, maybe we’ll bring home a trophy!

Bike Buddies in Sydney

Bike Buddies Sydney

Bike Buddies is a website which matches aspiring bike riders with experienced riders (‘Angel Buddies’) in Sydney.

The volunteer Angel Buddies meet with aspiring riders and provide the guidance that a new rider needs to feel comfortable and confident. Together, they’ll go on a practice ride and the Angel Buddy will show the buddy the best route and give advice on riding in the city traffic. 

What a great idea – we hope that Bike Buddies will be able to expand nationally one day!

The Most Bike Friendly Cities in the World

This year the Copenhagen Index evaluated 150 cities for qualities including bicycle advocacy, gender split, and infrastructure. Here’s how the top 14 cities stacked up. 

As Copenhagenize says ‘The bicycle makes sense in cities. Investment in bicycle infrastructure is a modern and intelligent move for a city to make. Studies from Denmark tell us that for every kilometre cycled, society enjoys a net profit of 23 cents. For every kilometre driven by car we suffer a net loss of -16 cents. With rising urbanisation our cities need modern mobility solutions and the bicycle proves time and again that it can offer them.’

Copenhagen index

Get your bike ready for Ride to Work Day

Ride to Work Day is on Wednesday 16 October this year. Why not skip the crammed trams and trains and bike to work once in a while?

Before you go, make sure your cycle is safe and sound. Check out this infographic for a 10-point checklist that will get you ready to ride.

Ride to Work Day infographic

How many cars did you pass today?

The Bicycle Channel filmed one cyclist’s commute from Essendon to the Melbourne CBD. 

He added up the cars he overtook and subtracted the ones passing him – and in total beat 589 vehicles into the city! Think how much better it would be for all commuters, drivers especially, if there were more bikes around.

How many cars did YOU pass today? 

Bike train

Bike trains are a great way for kids and their parents to cycle to school in a safe and fun environment.

This bike train in Portland is huge! And notice how many Dads (and mums) are cycling on tandem bikes or with child seats on their bikes.

Dads on Wheels

Don’t forget that this Sunday 4 September is Fathers’ Day!

To get you in the mood, check out the inspiring collection of photos and stories of Dads on Wheels, a collaborative salute to dads who bike with their kids by Bikes and the City and Bike NOPA, both blogs out of San Francisco.

Everything’s Connected

The City of Sydney has produced a series called of videos ‘Everything’s Connected’.

Similar to the videos produced by Transport for London, these short vignettes tell stories from real-life Sydney bike riders. They express the joy and freedom of riding a bike around the city and watching them made us feel happy!

You can view and share them all from YouTube. Enjoy!

Freedom

Everyone deserves to be free!

via at Lisbon Cycle Chic

Our favourite posts – July

July marks the most prestigious bike race in the world, the Tour de France. While sprints and mountain climbs aren’t really our thing, we did find some fabulous cycle-chicness amongst the lycra.

Our favourite posts from July:

 

Stop Honking

Yes I know you’re behind me. Yes I know that you’re really anxious to get to the shops/work/home as soon as possible.

But hey the government decided to build a road which can only fit the width of a single car with no bike lane, so I’m gonna have to ride in front of you. And my little legs can’t keep up with the power of your engine.

So please, stop honking. Unless you’re just giving me a friendly hello tootle.

From My Orange Box

Moving Beyond the Automobile

Streetfilms have put together a 10 part video series called ‘Moving Beyond the Automobile‘ which talks about ‘smart and proven strategies to reduce traffic and improve street safety for all users’.

The whole series is informative and inspiring but if you’re short on time, the second film in the series is Bicycling. The mayors and transport planners it interviews across the US all bang the same drum – investing in bicycle infrastructure is good for cities and its citizens. The video goes for less than 4 minutes and is well worth your time.

Moving Beyond the Automobile: Biking from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

Going grocery shopping with a bike

When I tell people I don’t have a car and I get to most places by bike, one of the common questions I get asked is ‘but how do you do your grocery shopping?’.

OK, so I don’t have to shop for a huge family and I live pretty close to various shops and markets, so I definitely have it easier than some other people. But I think you’d be surprised at the amount of stuff you can bring home on a grocery shop using panniers and baskets. If you’re happy carrying a backpack or messenger bag (which I tend not to) then there’s even more capacity.

Cycling blog Change Your Life. Ride a Bike! illustrated the point perfectly.

These bags….

And this messenger bag…

Equalled this many groceries…

What can you carry on your bike?

Riding to school

Parents and schools, don’t forget that next week Wednesday 16 March is National Ride2School Day.

Did you ever ride to school? Remember what it was like – the freedom, the speed, the fun!

We think it’s a little sad these days that it’s more common that the school run is a traffic jam of cars, often big bulky 4WD, all jostling to find a car park. We’ve even heard of traffic management wardens being appointed to manage school traffic during peak hours. It sounds like an altogether stressful and unpleasant daily experience.

This is a great video featuring a group of Orlando high school kids who gather together to form a ‘bike bus’ to ride to school. Ignore the twee background music and listen to why they ride and the benefits they gain from riding to school. The themes are universal for many urban cyclists – riding in the morning is a quiet and peaceful way to start the day, it’s better than waiting for the bus, it’s a great way to meet up with friends.

Plus of course if more kids (and parents) considered the feasibility of riding of school, maybe, as one kid says in the video, it’d make going to school and the school run much more fun!

art

via @nitramluap

Cycling Dutch Style – tour and documentary

In May 2011 Paul van Bellen from Dutch city bike importers Gazelle Bicycles Australia will lead 30 Australian cycling thinkers over a 500km, 13 day tour in The Netherlands, the world’s most cycle friendly country.

Filmmakers Rowena Crowe and Paulo Alberton will follow and record van Bellen’s tour as his team studies innovations and attitudes in cycling. Rowena and Paulo will be detailing their trip at www.cyclingdutchstyle.com.au and developing a documentary about the journey at the end.

Rowena and Paul are currently raising money to enable them to participate on the tour and create content for both the website and documentary. You can contribute funds via their IndieGoGo site as well as help spread the word using social networks.

Here’s a video about with Paul introducing the reasons for the tour and what we can learn from the Dutch.

This is Amsterdam…and this is my bike

This great promotional video shows how the residents of Amsterdam, of all ages, sizes and professions, use their bikes to get around their home town. Mothers, businessmen, young couples – they all say ‘This is Amsterdam….and this is my bike.’

via foodieonabike