Saturday, December 22, 2007

Janette Sadik-Khan

If only our RTA had a boss like Janette Sadik-Khan who was appointed to be the commissioner of New York's Department of Transport in April.

According to Sadik-Khan, New York streets should be brimming with activity, not cars. She wants to see broad sidewalks filled with people and elegant street furniture, public plazas with places to sit and chat, and bike lanes where children feel safe on their bikes. “Whether you’re cycling and you lock up to a fanciful bike rack,” she says, “or you’re a pedestrian and you come across a fabulous open space that makes you want to linger—that, I think, defines the quality of life in cities.”
Getting there means “we’re going to have to do some things a little differently,” she warns. “We’re going to have to get people out of their cars.” To that end, Sadik-Khan is rolling out pilot programs as fast as she can—new public plazas, wider sidewalks, a bike-rack design competition. Her mission, fundamentally, is to remake the real estate between buildings by, as she puts it, “reclaiming the street from cars.” In traffic-management circles, such a statement is practically heresy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Urban Cyclist Project


If you'd like to have your photo taken with your bike for the UCP write to me at SBARHQatYahoo.com.au

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Janice Turner - Radical superhero of the streets


Cyclists, meanwhile, are anarchists, irritating, irrelevant, ill-disciplined individualists. And while political fashion dictates that Ken must celebrate the proliferation of cyclists, you just know he’d love to put them down brutally, as Lenin and Trotsky did the Kronstadt sailors.
No doubt Ken will have his prejudices confirmed by the Department for Transport report that reveals the richest fifth of the population, predominantly white and middle-class, are the most likely to cycle. But it is not the expence of cycling that makes it the preserve of the privileged, but the arrogant sense of entitlement necessary to ride the urban mean streets.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The wonderful Mona Caron



Swiss-born and Car Free all of her life, the talented Mona Caron has been biking to her work as an illustrator and muralist in San Francisco since 1996. She does some fabulous bicycle activist art but her website is worth exploring for anyone who appreciates good art. I especially loved her illustrations for children and this picture titled Cafe

Most people will probably recognise her from her fabulous Critical Mass posters.
I recently spotted Mona at work in this photo on a Brazilian website Apocalipse Motorizado

You can buy prints of Mona's work here and you can hear Mona talking about her bike and her philosophy here.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Black Rider


My shirt a black flag

Dropping fast down Bedford Street

Floating on the wind

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sydney Bike Riders

Peak Oil - How Will You Ride the Slide?

Men who drive 4WDs


Click for larger image.
Via Freewheeler

Punctures


Why is it that punctures always seem to come in groups? I hadn't had any tyre trouble for months then last week I heard something scraping on the fender and stopped to have a look. I found this massive screw sticking out of my tyre.

Then tonight I was cruising down Bedford St and heard something going click click every time the wheel span around. It was a bloody thumb tack! Stupidly I pulled it out and then found myself pushing a heavily laden bike all the way home.
Both punctures happened near Newtown Square, could it be a saboteur? A deranged motorist? Or maybe it's the Demon SUV driver...

Friday, November 23, 2007

CRITICAL MASS HARBOUR BRIDGE RIDE


Spread the good news far & wide...


Yes, it's that time of the year again!!!


Friday 30th November 2007

Meeting 5:30pm for 6pm departure

Hyde Park Fountain


Join cyclists far and wide as hundreds and thousands converge for the ride over the Harbour Bridge... ON THE ROAD!!!

Critical Mass is an organised coincidence that occurs every last Friday of the month in cities worldwide whereby large numbers of cyclists happen to be cycling in the same direction at the same time, reclaiming city streets for a split second to realise the ideas of community and safe, fun, sustainable transportation.Critical Mass is open to all types of cyclists in various age groups, backgrounds and skill levels.

It is recommended that you wear your helmet and have working front and rear bike lights or else the coppers might hassle you and prevent you from participating in this fun, free event.

The ride commences at the Hyde Park Fountain at 6pm. There is usually a high police presence to "escort" cyclists. The ride ends at the Noodle Markets in Civic Park, North Sydney around 7pm.

There will be a large number of cyclists returning back to the city in order to make it to the Bicycle Film Festival being screened at Dendy Opera Quays, starting 7:30pm. If you would like to join us, it is advised you purchase your tickets IN ADVANCE as these screenings will probably sell out. More info at:www.bicyclefilmfestival.com

So come along, bring your portable sound system, dress yourself up and your bicycle up to celebrate non-motorised transportation in Sydney!

Whoo hoo!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

BESPOKE ART EXHIBITION


WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER
OPENING 6:00 PM

BESPOKE an art show inspired by the bicycle.

A gathering of the cycling tribes.

Celebrate the opening of an exhibition inspired by the bike.

Video installations, sculpture, paintings and graffiti with trial exhibitions.

All welcome to the opening party:

Wed Nov 28, 6pm onwardsBike parking available - bring a lock.
Mori Gallery168 Day Street, Sydney

Artists:

Evan Croker

Vivian Cooper Smith

Lucas Ihlein

Michael Gormly

Reg Mombassa

Nick Strike

Mickie Quick

Davey Mac

Jessica Gerron

Sarina Tomchin

Lyndal Campbell

Trevor Hoppen

Arlene Textaqueen

Michelle French

Jake Lloyd Jones

Jeff Hamilton

Adam Leddin

Kurt Pederson

John Domeney

Ian Frazer

Thursday, November 15, 2007

2007 Bicycle Film Festival

Don't Miss the Celluloid Cycling Celebrations

The International Bicycle Film Festival lands in Sydney on the last week of November this year with a gridlock-free program of films, art and gigs made by, for, and about cyclists.

'Don't miss' events include:

BESPOKE An art exhibition by established and emerging artists, designers and careercyclists. Where: Mori Gallery, Day St, Sydney
Free exhibition: Nov 23 - Dec 01 2007 (open 11-6pm, Wednesday to Saturday)
Come to the opening party: Wed Nov 28, 6pm

SYDNEY FILM SCREENINGS
Where: Dendy Opera Quays - East Circular Quay
When: Friday Nov 30, drinks at 7:00pm, sessions start 7:30pm + Saturday Dec1, sessions start 1:30 pm Free bike valet parking provided by Cumpler.
Book your tickets early on (02) 9247 3800.
Limited festival passes available. Last year individual film sessions soldout.

BIKES FOR TRANSPORT YEAH! PICNIC
Vego treats, bike blender cocktails, scavenger hunt and other bike hi-jinx provided by Cheeky Transport. Everyone welcome, as long as you ride. Where: Pyrmont Point Park Pirama Rd, PyrmontWhen: Sunday, Dec 2, 1pm till sundown

Monday, October 22, 2007

Green Way

I'm very excited! The other day I read in the paper about this old freight line that runs through the inner west. I know the line well because I ride over it every day in Summer Hill.

The line runs all the way from the Cooks River to the Anzac Bridge. Can you imagine what a fantastic bike path it would make? A safe, flat, off road path lined with trees that runs all the way into the city! Imagine! The path could be linked to what many say is the only really useful bike path in the city which is the one that runs along Cooks River. The Cooks River path is great but unless you're going to Botany or the airport it's not really that useful for commuting. If it linked to the CBD it would become hugely popular and could change the nature of the whole area.
The rail line is being shut down because the old flour mill you can see in the picture is being shut down and is going to be redeveloped into residential accommodation. Naturally the developers want to put in some sort of transport link for the people who will live there. Of course the focus is on light rail or something similar because cycling isn't seen as a valid form of transport in this town and anyway you can't make any money out of it.
If you don't live in Sydney you might be surprised at how horribly under resourced the cycling commuters are here. You might assume that a rich, modern international metropolis like Sydney would have at least a couple of decent bike routes into the centre of town but sadly that's not the case. In Sydney the "proper" way to get to work is to ride alone in a car, usually in the middle of a massive traffic jam. Cycling is still seen as something people do only for recreation. Those of us who drive bikes do it on the road, mixing it up with the cars and trucks. Sydney has a lot of hills too which tends to put people off. That's why old disused railway lines get me so excited, they are built with little or no gradient. No traffic and no hills means no excuses for lazy Sydney commuters not to get a little exercise twice a day.
Right at the tail of the article that I have linked above I found a reference to a man named Bruce Ashley and an organisation called Friends of the Greenway they are lobbying for a cycle path to be considered. Bruce is quoted as saying "There's huge demand for a cycle way from the Cooks River to the Anzac Bridge. That needs to be considered as a higher priority than just light rail." Bruce is SO right. I don't even mind sharing the space with light rail if necessary but the cycle path needs to be a top priority. Sydney is desperate for some decent bicycle infrastructure.
It took me a fair bit of googling to find the Friends of the Greenway but they sound like a great group and have already achieved a lot through community based grass roots action. You should check them out and give them your support.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cyclists in Newtown Square





















Took all these this morning between 9.30 and 10am. I missed about a dozen others.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jake's Bike Commuter Tips

  • Love your bike!
  • Get yourself a bike that's not so cheap that you have to keep fixing it all the time.

  • Get yourself a bike that's not so expensive that you can't leave it chained up outside the pub.

  • Where ever possible take your bike inside with you.

  • Add racks, panniers or a milk crate to your bike so that you can easily transport stuff. Milk crates are great because you can just throw your bag in and take off without strapping it down. Panniers are good too but they cost money.

  • Keep your bike inside at home so it doesn't get all rusty.

  • Invest in some steel pedals, they have less give in them than the usual plastic ones so every ounce of pushing power goes onto your chain.

  • Lube your chain every now and then.

  • If a motorist behind honks at you just smile and go a bit slower.

  • Buy some slick tires, they have better grip than the knobbly ones when you are riding on paved surfaces and you go faster!

  • Keep your tires pumped up nice and hard. If your bike feels a bit sluggish or harder to pedal you probably need to pump your tires.

  • Carry a plastic bag to put things in in case of rain.

  • Get yourself some flashing lights. Don't be stingy with the batteries.

  • Even if you have lights and a reflective vest, ride like you're invisible to motorists, they often don't look where they are going.

  • Ride free and assert yourself on the road but don't be reckless. If you do crash it will probably be your fault so choose not to.

  • If you meet a policeman while riding on the footpath, slow right down, smile and nod.

  • Don't ride fast on footpaths.

  • Don't wear headphones.

  • Try and pick a route that runs along a train line. Not only will it be flatter but if something goes wrong with your bike you can just jump on a train.

  • When you see another cyclist ring your bell or give them a wave.

  • Try to stay out of the door zone, ride about half a meter out from parked cars.

  • If the road is narrow, take the lane. It's much safer than letting cars try to squeeze past you.

  • Get yourself some bicycle gloves.

  • Mud guards are great when it rains, the full length metal ones are the best.

  • Don't get angry at motorists. They're not worth it. A tap on the window and a polite request for a little consideration is more than enough. That alone scares the pants off them when they are sitting there cocooned in their little cage.

  • Acknowledge the nice motorists, give them a wave and a smile.

  • When you see a cyclist in trouble stop and offer assistance.

  • Make sure your seat is properly positioned, you should be standing on your toes when you are sitting on the seat.

  • Keep some spare socks and undies at work in case you get really soaked.

  • Carry a water bottle and keep yourself hydrated.

  • Don't ride the same route every day.

  • Don't be scared of riding in the rain.

  • Don't be scared of riding in the dark.

  • Don't feel that you have to dress up in spandex tights to ride your bike, just wear your normal clothes.

  • In summer carry your work clothes on your bike and wear shorts and a T-shirt while you're riding. Have a quick splash in the sink on arrival and then change into your work gear.

  • Recruit more cyclists, every person not driving a car makes the road less dangerous. Every person cycling makes the road safer.

  • Let your friends and colleagues feel your muscular legs.

  • Go to Critical Mass and other community rides. Sydney Body Art Ride especially!

  • Form a relationship with a good bike shop. I like Cheeky Transport in Newtown.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

They Hate Freedom


They hate us because we are free.
They hate us because we question the beliefs they hold so fervently.
They hate us because they think we don't belong in their country.
Assuming that their way of life is the one true path, they deem us infidels, lesser beings who deserve to be destroyed.
They can't stand freedom. Having given it up themselves, it irks them to see anyone else have it and use it.
They create a whole value system based on the necessity to be like them and deprive ourselves as they do.
They don't really want to see anyone reduce their dependence on foreign oil. Real freedom is too much work. Slaving like a dog to pay car payments, insurance, upkeep and fuel costs is deemed freedom, worth the price of lives lost at home and abroad.

Putting forth one's own wholesome effort to get from place to place is subversive, annoying, despicable self-indulgence.