Full racks and funky bikes

October 26, 2016 at 14:07 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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trendy coloured singlespeed bicyclesSo here it is, the first of my series of positive cycling stories, to overcome the gloom of my last effort. Yes, for the next six weeks I am going to bring you upbeat and positive cycling news, views and pictures that I gather from my rides.

The first comes from the bike racks outside my local library and supermarket. I’ve increasingly noticed that they are full – in recent weeks I’ve had to attach my bike to nearby railings, as the rack is full. Now, it’s not a huge rack – only three stands. But when I moved to the neighbourhood, I often had it to myself. So it seems that more and more people are riding to our local shops, which is great news. Great news for them, as it’s fun and keeps you fit. Great news for the environment, as it means less pollution and greenhouse gases. And great news for local businesses, as evidence shows that people who ride bicycles to a shopping location spend more money in more stores than those who drive.

I was at the library this morning, and couldn’t help noticing these bikes locked up at the rack. Three colourful singlespeeds, artfully parked as if for a photoshoot. Even my daughter noticed them unprompted, and commented that she liked the red one best. Yay for colourful, fun, single-gear bicycles!

New Years Resolutions

January 30, 2012 at 09:27 | Posted in bicycles | 2 Comments
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I make the same New Years Resolution each year. I vow that I will somehow find more time to practise my trombone, ride my bike more, and eat fewer biscuits. I never succeed, but at least it means I still have something to aim for the following year; after all if I were to actually manage it in 2012, what would I do in 2013?

One resolution I don’t have to make, of course, is to ride to work more often, because I already ride to work all the time. However, it seems some people are considering it for 2012. I have heard a few people in the office talking about it; including a hilarious conversation between someone who gets the train from Paddington, vs someone who drives from Newtown. Both of them were bemoaning the time it took them to get to work (up to an astonishing 45 minutes!). The office, by the way, is in the CBD – probably ten minutes by bike to both locations. Heck, I could probably give one of them a lift home on the Radish faster than they manage it today.

But is all this talk turning into action? Well, it seems like it might be. The combination of the new CBD bike lanes (thanks Clover!) and the need to reverse the effects of seasonal over-indulgences seems to be working, and the bike rack in the basement car park has been full every day since early January. It’s great to see, and I hope they all keep it up.

Of course, it’s still really rather pitiful; there are about thirty spots to park bikes, and the building houses perhaps three thousand people. So that’s only about one percent of them arriving by bike. However it’s a start, and hopefully momentum will continue to grow.

Fingertips

December 7, 2011 at 20:38 | Posted in bicycles | 1 Comment
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I often take pictures or think of possible blog posts as I ride along, but often they turn out not to really be worth a whole article. So here are a few tidbits and odds and ends from the past few months that I thought about.

 

One of the problems with the City of Sydney’s excellent new bike lanes is the traffic lights at each junction. They just never seem to go green, as the sensors (designed for cars) just don’t work for bikes. The RTA (who owns them) blames the City of Sydney, which I think it a bit odd. They put them in, so surely they should take responsibility for making them work properly? Anyway, some very professional laminated A4 signs have gone up on some lamp posts to tell cyclists what to do – position your bike right on the centre of the sensor, where the dots are. Unfortunately, the centre of the sensor is in the middle of the lane, and most cyclists like to wait on the left, so they can rest their foot on the curb, as you can see from the picture. The upshot of all of this is the lights often fail to go green, meaning cyclists go through on red, to undoubted cries of ‘scofflaw!’.

 

 

The picture on the left is what people who drive to work have to endure. Trapped in their cars on a beautiful spring day. The picture on the right is what I enjoyed on my bike – the shadow of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge projected onto the water by the morning sun. Lovely.

 

 

This rather intriguing object was chained up outside a cafe in Sydney recently. It is a bike shape cut out from perspex. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be advertising NRMA home insurance. Personally I wouldn’t recommend the NRMA; they are very anti-bike, and famous for stunts like this one.

 

 

 

Burns Bay Road in Lane Cove used to have a horrible door-zone bike lane in it, but recently I rode along it and found it had been removed. Wonderful! It was truly much more pleasant to ride along; I could ride at a safe distance form the parked cars and uneven surface, and passing vehicles gave me space. Unfortunately it was only temporary, and it has now been reinstated, albeit about six inches wider. Sorry Lane Cove Council, it’s no better; that horrible lip in the road surface just where you might ride is a hazard; and indeed this type of bike facility has been implicated in at least one recent tragic fatality. To stay safe and clear of opening car doors you have to ride to the right of the line, but this frustrates passing motorists who pass too close to try and force you into the ‘bike lane’. Just take away these horrible things; honestly it’s more pleasant and safer without them.

 

I washed the Radish the other day, and took off the panniers and racks. I’n not sure how she feels about being pictured in the nude, but for your delight and delactation here she is.

 

 

 

 

These rather odd bike racks have sprung up in Balmain. I think the idea is that they turn a regular lamp post into a cool bike parking station. However, I can’t help feeling that there’s no real advantage compared to just locking your bike to the post.

 

 

 

PS There is a special prize for anyone who gets the reference in the title to this post…

New bike racks at work

September 9, 2010 at 20:30 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
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Today an email came around at work informing us that new bike racks had been installed in the basement car park, and encouraging us to use them (and more generally encouraging riding to work).

This is all very commendable; they have also recently cleaned and repainted the shower room (which previously had mildew on the walls and was filthy). There’s still only one shower (well, one male, one female) for the whole building, but hey. You can have some nice chats whilst queuing up in the morning…

I thought I should go down and check out the new bike racks. Currently I just take my bike up into the office and lean it up by the door. To be honest, I’m quite happy with that arrangement – it’s quick and convenient – but I know some people get a bit aggravated when there are perhaps six or seven bikes all piled up in the office.

The new bike rack is pictured above. Now, I’m all for encouraging anything that promotes cycling, and any new cycling facility is welcome, but, well, do you think I’m justified in being a little underwhelmed by this effort?

To put it in context, our building houses about 1,200 people (from a range of different companies), and there are already quite a number who cycle to work. There’s probably six just on my floor.

So they have installed a set of six rather lacklustre too-low-on-the-wall domestic-grade bike hooks in the corner of a public-access parking garage. Hmmm. It’s better than nothing, to be sure, but only a little bit…

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