Spokes January 2011

Spokes January 2011



Go By Bike Day 2011 

The annual Bike Wise Go By Bike Day Breakfast will be held on Wednesday 16 February. In addition to last year's locations (at CPIT, Hospital and Victoria St run by other organisations) this year Spokes are hosting a site in Victoria Square, next to Queen Victoria's statue.  

We would like to hear from people willing and able to help with the event. Jobs (unpaid!) include setting up tables, gazebo etc, laying out food, through to serving and clearing away left overs, plus if enough people are available, directing cyclists to the site from nearby streets. 

The event runs from 7:00 to 9:00am if you would like to join us for all or part of the time. Contact Nigel - spokes_chch [at] can [dot] org [dot] nz or 377-2820. 


Hospital shortcut open again

If you commute from Riccarton into the central city, you might be aware of the little shortcut behind the hospital, which helps to avoid having to go through the busy Hospital Corner intersection. Trouble is, the shortcut was closed for months for some construction work behind the Women's Hospital, but now it's open again.

If you don't know about it, here's how you navigate your way through it. Ride in North Hagley Park on the path that runs parallel to Riccarton Avenue. When you hit the Nurses Hostel, stay on the path adjacent to the road. When you get to the first set of lights, turn left into the Hospital grounds and head for the carpark behind the Women's Hospital. For car drivers, it's a cul-de-sac, but on a bike, you can go through past all the back entrances. You come out at the bridge over the Avon that is located opposite Cashel Street.

The shortcut is a reasonable alternative to the unsealed path along the Avon River. Whilst that path might be preferred by riders with fat tyres, it's useless if you are on a road bike, and it ponds quite badly after rain. With the impending land swap between CCC and the District Health Board, all the land along the River will come under Council's control and who knows, maybe that path will get sealed by 2018 or some such. Until then, the back route through the Hospital grounds is a reasonable alternative to the Hospital Corner intersection, if Cashel Street or thereabouts is where you want to go. 


Southern Motorway and the Annex cycle lane underpass

Some of you may be inconvenienced by the closing of the Annex Rd. cycle underpass. This was to have been open by now but this monstrous project has bogged down a bit. Fulton Hogan are the main contractor for construction. For more detailed information on the construction works or any queries Fulton Hogan have set up an information line which is 0800 CSM INFO.  They have a fulltime Public relations Manager for any project enquiries: Abby Shaw 027 339 9866.


Spokes/Frocks on Bikes "float"  2010 Chch Santa Parade

Readers who attended the 2010 Chch Santa Parade will have seen our float, well float by. You can now see two versions of the video on YouTube as follows....

Shorter version - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgDHuAU1M9w

This is the shorter version (approx 9min), for public viewing, without most of the photos of participants.

Extended version - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5deCftXyD7Q

This is the longer version (approx 12min), primarily for viewing by participants, with their photos etc.

We had such a good time plans are progressing for another in 2011. Expressions of interest are welcome.


Ashley's French Loops Flash a Warning for Cyclists  

NZTA along with OPUS have installed special French made magnetic sensing loops in the approaches to the Ashley River Bridge. These loops trigger the active warning lights recently installed to alert motorists to cyclists on the bridge. The option of using a button to activate the lights was rejected as it forces cyclists to stop, or to risk a spill if they try to push the button while riding by.

Once your cycle crosses the diamond shaped cuts in the raised asphalt on either side of the bridge you will have 80 seconds to get across. At 20 km/h this will be just about right.

Cyclists will need to try and "take their lane" so as to encourage cars and trucks not to pass unsafely when crossing the bridge. No doubt we will all have some adjusting and learning to do.

Please let Spokes know how this is working for you and we will provide feedback to OPUS and NZTA. Tips on how to make it all better, either as is or with changes, greatly appreciated.


OK, Petrol is too bloody expensive!

But I can't carry enough on my bicycle? Sure you can, if you had a trailer. These locally made cycle trailers can free you from the petrol chains. Go to the link to see 400kg of stuff moved by bike, from 1.3m x1.5m double glazed windows, blocks of Oamaru stone, 5m lengths of aluminium to a pile of scrap metal. Find out how it was done at www.cycletrailers.co.nz\bigloads.pdf Be sure to check out their free trailer offer.


Accidents and Crashes

The news has been all too full of tragedies for cyclists. In too many instances people on bikes were struck while riding safely and responsibly. These were not accidents, they were crashes, avoidable tragedies resulting from distraction, poor driving practices, drink, speed and failing to drive to conditions.

The media made much of the poor young woman who recently killed 3 cyclists. She was a good person, just starting out, and is now so traumatised she may never drive again. Perhaps this will help other drivers consider what it means to them to negligently kill or harm others.

There has been less on the consequences for the cyclists and their families. Perhaps it is assumed that people are aware of what it has meant for them.

But there are other victims we never hear of, the hundreds of thousands who would like to cycle, but are afraid. They dare not choose to cycle, free themselves of the car, become healthier, save money, improve the quality of their lives. Children are relegated to inactivity and obesity. All of us suffer.

Central government continues to commit nearly all road transport spending, 99.994%, on roading for cars. With petrol heading past $2 a litre, the economy challenging and ever more people wanting to cycle, there is neither sense nor fairness to this madness.

Recently the Canterbury mayors and ECan commissioners wrote to central government to request that transport funding be applied to active transport, walking and cycling. One can hope that these bodies will apply more of their own funds and efforts to active transport and that central government just may hear the plea. You can help them, and help to prevent more crashes.

Write your local body representatives, MP and Minister of Transport Steven Joyce. Let them know you cycle and have many family and friends who worry about you and who would like to cycle. Insist that transportation funding be shifted away from petrol transport to active transport. Ask that ALL new roads and road maintenance projects be fully consulted upon and include world class cycle and pedestrian elements in every instance.

Keep reading the Spokes e-letter and recommend it to others. A simple email request to newsletter [at] spokes [dot] org [dot] nz is all it takes to subscribe.

Share positive cycling stories with family and friends. We all know the bad side; but why do you still do it? Because it is free choice, it does feel good.

Let's make it a happy new year for all by averting further crashes on our roads.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce s [dot] joyce [at] ministers [dot] govt [dot] nz

CCC Mayor, Councillors, Community Boards http://www.ccc.govt.nz/thecouncil/index.aspx

Environment Canterbury http://www.ecan.govt.nz/about-us/pages/contact.aspx


CCC Cycle Cuts

In last months e-letter we reported that CCC had cut all cycleway spending. This was based upon the best information available at the time. Thanks to CCC we now have an update. Some cycle projects and maintenance will be progressed, some not. Spokes hopes to get some clarity on the issue and will update again sometime in the new year.


Sharing the Road

Spokes has had some comment from cyclists concerning other cyclist's lack of road manners and the road safety consequences for us all that can result. Spokes thanks Ride Strong NZ for sharing this with us. The entire piece can be found at: http://www.ridestrong.org.nz/RS/blogs/about_ridestrong/pages/the-cyclist-s-code.aspx

Show Respect  Sharing the road or trails is a two way deal.  Follow the rules of the road or trail.  Don't run red lights.  Only ride two abreast when it is safe and considerate to do so.  If you're riding in a bunch, ensure the bunch isn't too big that it makes it difficult for motorists to pass safely.  Split into smaller bunches if necessary.  If on a long narrow windy road, where it is difficult for a motorist to pass safety, pull over and stop to let them through.

Reward good driving.  Give motorists a courteous wave for showing you respect!

Communicate Use hand signals to tell other road users what you intend to do.  Signal well in advance as a matter of law, courtesy and self-protection.

Be Predictable Ride in a consistent and predictable manner.  Avoid sudden movements such as swerving around obstacles, in and out of the flow of traffic or changes in direction that may take motorists by surprise. 

Scan For Hazards Be aware of your surroundings.  Be aware of what other road users are doing. Lookout for hazards on the road surface that may cause you to lose control.

Expect the Unexpected Ride defensively and anticipate hazards - particularly the actions of other road users that may not have seen you. 

Take Your Space If you're on a narrow road or lane, passing parked cars, negotiating an intersection or round-about, or travelling at the same speed as other traffic, you are likely to be safer taking your space in the traffic like a car.  Prior to taking a space in traffic, check to ensure you have room to do so and it is safe. 

Seeing Eye to Eye Make eye contact with drivers, particularly at intersections to give you certainty that you have been seen.

Take the Road Less Travelled If you can, use routes with less traffic, lower speeds, or cycle lanes. 

Leave Racing for Race Day Speed on a bike is exhilarating and thrilling, but there is a time and place.  Racing through traffic, particularly at intersections or if passing on the left of stationary or slow moving traffic will only get you to hospital faster!

Be Seen Make your presence known. Wear bright coloured clothing. At night, in poor light or inclement weather, use reflective gear and lights in the front, side and rear that make you visible from all directions.  Flashing lights are a must.  Ensure the batteries are strong and your lights are bright!

Be Prepared Look after yourself, your gear and your buddies.  Ride within your abilities and equip yourself adequately for the ride and conditions. 


Plywood Bicycle

Looking for something to do this holiday break? Would you like the coolest bike on the block? Check out this link http://www.instructables.com/id/Bent-Plywood-Bicycle/ for instructions and photos on how to make your own plywood bicycle. (Do write your local and central government representatives first, so you can have a safe place to ride it.)


Newsletter Comments or Submissions?

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


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