December Newsletter 2010

December Newsletter 2010

 Introducing FixMyStreet

Plagued by parking in cycle lanes? Bothered by bottles? Potholes a problem? Let your council know via

Add a photo, and locate the issue on a map.

It's even available for the iPhone so you can use it on the move.

Please use the site and spread the word.


Increasing Utilitarian Cycling & Safety in Christchurch

Thanks to UoC student Tom Williams for this synopsis of his recent research on the perception of cyclist safety in Christchurch.

This research found that central Christchurch is an unattractive option for cyclists due to the high volume and sped of traffic passing through the city, the abundance of car parks and the behaviour of some motorists.

This research identified opportunities to improve cyclist safety in the central city through the creation of a cycle network consisting of off road cycle tracks, the reversal of the one way system and cycle lanes on traffic calmed roads.

Previous research has identified the main barrier preventing people from cycling is that cycling is perceived to be unsafe. The main way to improve this perception of safety is through the development of cycle specific infrastructure such as cycle lanes, off road cycle tracks and traffic calming (reducing speed and volume).


Probably not the kind of off road paths you were thinking of

Danny MacAskill is a talented Scottish cyclist. Learning some simpler versions of his art could prove valuable in avoiding an accident.

The two links take you to videos which push the limits of cycling.

Tree climbing on a bicylce? Of course!


But Best Get Used To It

In spite of repeated assurances from CCC that earthquake losses will be covered by insurance it seems there is no money for cycling.

ALL cycling projects have been cancelled save the South Motorway Extension. The word is they are merely being delayed for a few years. Kind of like the integrated connected cycle network which was promised in the 2004 Cycle Strategy.

Normally cancelling projects promised by the Long Term Council Community Plan would require consultation. You would have an opportunity to  voice your opinions, point out your safety concerns and perhaps even be heard. But the earthquake recovery act which is to speed things up exempts us from such democratic niceties.

Call, write and schedule an appointment with your Community Board and City Council representatives. It is only when we are too much effort to ignore that we just might get the safe streets we need.

Here is a link to get you started:

Please share your democratic experience with Spokes newsletter [at] spokes [dot] org [dot] nz


No More Bike Parking

CCC has removed the "bicycle cages" from their carparks. These had offered a higher level of security for those in need of downtown cycle parking.

CCC decided that there was a safety issue should someone become trapped or cornered in one of the cages.

Now, if only the safety issues facing cyclists on our city's roads warranted attention. Then again, they may simply ban cycling.


Frocks on Bikes Swings Into Spring

About a hundred people braved wind and threatening showers to enjoy a swing band, dancing, fashion, food and a rich offering of bicycles available from local shops.

The pleasure ride was, well, a pleasure well worth chancing the elements.

Keep up with Frock events via the link below.


Serene Cycling

Sunday Parkways, Bike Boulevards or Cyclovia it all comes down to a pleasant street for friends and families to safely cycle on.

Imagine a nice Sunday spent cruising down Colombo Street with the kids, other families out and about and no cars threatening life and limb.

The Santa Parade was a wonderful experience for those Spokes members who rode in it, but it was a special treat to enjoy such safe cycling.

Many of the world's cities have been offering week end street closures giving residents a chance to enjoy their community. We could even do it here in Christchurch.

What an opportunity for us all to experience the benefits of cycling and socializing. After New Years, when things get calmer, the downtown could be an oasis of civil behaviour with cafes and shops offering lingering opportunities for those moving at a somewhat slower pace.

Check out:


Bus Bike Workshop Link and Comments

In last month's letter we mentioned the bus bike workshop. There is now a link for those who want to know more.

Here are a few comments from bus drivers who braved our roads on a bike:

Respect of the person I cycled with for their knowledge and skills.

How difficult it is to negotiate in heavy traffic.

That on your bike you are at the mercy of the traffic.

Appreciation of each other.

Never thought about the "woosh" factor before.

The cyclists commented:

How to put bike on bus rack, visibility, blind spots, etc.

Sitting in the driver's seat of the bus and seeing what the mirrors see and the black spots.

Both groups agree on problems with parking cars in busy/cycle lanes.

One thing for cyclists to consider is that just because you can see their mirrors does NOT mean they can see you. If you can't clearly see their face; they cannot see you.


Fossil Fuel's Bike Rap

Watch the video for music and a peek at cycling in Barcelona. Then check out the websites.


Bicycle Electric Generator Made Easy

 Touted as suitable for anyone who can use simple tools the following link provides detailed instruction and parts list.,-Laptop,-or-Cell-/


Spread the Letter

Spokes does its best to bring you information you can use. Please tell others about us and encourage them to subscribe.

Simply send an email request with email address to be subscribed to editor [at] spokes [dot] org [dot] nz


Newsletter Comments or Submissions?

 Calendar events, feedback, articles or just a hello can be sent to newsletter [at] spokes [dot] org [dot] nz


Life is short: Break the rules; forgive quickly; kiss slowly; love truly, laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile with heart.


- See what's happening around town for cycling at
Cycling in Christchurch

Spokes Canterbury Newsletter

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