Sunday, March 31, 2013


REG: Cyclists have bled us white, the bastards. They don’t pay road tax, they run red lights. And what have they ever given us in return?
XERXES: Pneumatic tyres.
REG: What?
XERXES: Pneumatic tyres.
REG: Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that’s true. Yeah.
COMMANDO #3: And ball bearings.
REG: Yeah. All right. I’ll grant you pneumatic tyres and ball bearings are two things that the cyclists have done.
MATTHIAS: And the roads.
REG: Well, yeah. Obviously the roads. I mean, the roads go without saying, don’t they? But apart from pneumatic tyres, ball bearings, and the roads…
COMMANDO: Lightweight steel tubing.
XERXES: Chain driven differential gears.
COMMANDOS: Huh? Heh? Huh…
COMMANDO #2: Dust-free highways. Tractors. Automobile advertising.
REG: Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.
COMMANDO #1: And central Government administration of roads.
COMMANDOS: Oh, yes. Yeah…
FRANCIS: Cars and planes.
REG: Cars and planes?
FRANCIS: Yeah, America’s first car was built by the Duryea brothers: they were bicycle builders first. And powered flight, Reg, that was developed by the Wright Brothers: they owned a bike shop and built bikes.
REG: All right, but apart from the pneumatic tyre, ball bearings, differential gears, roads, motoring, car ads, and aviation, what have cyclists ever done for us?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bikewise beginners course

Are you new to bicycles or want to get back on the bike but lacking confidence on how to ride on shared paths or quiet roads? This course focuses on basic control skills as well as social interactions & etiquette on shared paths. Great for beginners or those rusty riders out there, you’ll learn how to enjoy your ride in a practical two-hour lesson taking place on the quiet network of paths around beautiful Bicentennial Park.

Please ensure your bike is in good working order, you have an Australian Standards certified helmet and you are wearing appropriate footwear.  Please note this is not a Learn to Ride class – you need to be able to ride at a basic level. Contact BikeWise if you are an absolute beginner for details on how to develop your skills.

Date: The second Saturday of each month (see timetable here)
Time:  9:45am for a 10am start
Where: Bicycle NSW Office at Sydney Olympic Park
Cost: $10 for members and $20 for non-members (cash only)
For general enquiries please contact us here.
For wet-weather enquiries on the day, please call 0420 264 938.

A transport behaviour change organisation concerned primarily with cycling; motivated by public health, community and environmental interests. The Bikewise dream is for people in our cities to enjoy the benefits of a culture where cycling is an easy, widespread and entirely normal transport option.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bike commuting better than gym

According to Australian epidemiologist Takemi Sugiyama, lead author of a recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “Commuting is a relevant health behaviour even for those who are sufficiently active in their leisure time.”
Analysing the research, The Health Behavior News Service notes, “It may be more realistic to accumulate physical activity through active transport than adding exercise to weekly leisure-time routines.”
The four-year study of 822 adults found that found that people commuting to work by car gained more weight on average, even if they engaged in regular exercise, than people who did not commute by car. The authors of the study recommend creating more opportunities for everyone to walk or bike to work.
An earlier study by researchers at the University of Sydney School of Public Health published in Obesity Reviews (the journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity) supports the thesis that leisure-time exercise alone is not enough to prevent obesity. Sixty to 90 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended to curb obesity, which is more time than most people can fit into their busy schedules. That’s why the study’s authors recommend “active transport” like biking and walking for commuting other common trips.

 Beyond fighting fat, biking and walking for transportation also boosts overall health. A 2007 paper in the European Journal of Epidemiology concludes “Commuting physical activity, independent of leisure time physical activity, was associated with a healthier level of most of the cardiovascular risk factors.”
The key advantage of travelling by bike over working out at a fitness centre is that most people find it easier to do. Instead of vying for scarce free time with many other fun and important things, exercise becomes something we do naturally as part of daily routine. As a study by Portland State University professor Jennifer Dill in the Journal of Public Health Policy shows, 60 percent of Portland cyclists ride for at least 150 minutes per week (the recommended exercise minimum for adults) and that “nearly all the bicycling was for utilitarian purposes, not exercise.”
She adds “a disproportionate share of the bicycling occurred on streets with bicycle lanes, separate paths, or bicycle boulevards”—confirming the importance of bike infrastructure improvements to public health.