News — November–December 2002
There has been a welcome increasing coverage of child obesity in the media lately.childhood obesity in Australia had tripled in the past 10 years, with 19.5% of boys and 21.1% of girls now overweight or obese. CAMWEST thinks cycling could play a great role in addressing this very serious issue. Increased physical activity, together with a healthy diet, are the way to go. Incidental activity, such as cycling and walking, work well because they are integrated into children's everyday activities.
Rides Coming Up
RTA Cycle Sydney
See Bicycle NSW Site
Parramatta Ride to Work Day
The Ride to Work Day on Tue 24 Sep 2002, organised by CAMWEST in conjunction with Parramatta City Council and the RTA, went very well. It was widely advertised in the local newspapers ahead of the event, and numerous businesses were contacted to drum up support. Around 35 or so commuters arrived at Riverbank from a variety of locations to enjoy a splendid free breakfast of fruit, muffins, sandwiches and coffee. The Parramatta Cycling guide was launched by Chris Worthington on behalf of the Lord Mayor, Cr Paul Garrard. Chris spoke of all the good work that has been done in Parramatta for cycling, and the future initiatives, especially the promotion of cycling. Rolf Lunsmann, head of the Bicycles Unit at the RTA also attended and spoke about the potential of events such as Ride to Work in Parramatta. Keen interest was expressed in making this an annual event.
The event was well organised and special thanks are owed to Eva Martinez and Roshan Aryal of Parramatta City Council for their support and hard work in staging it. Watch this space for the next one!
Parramatta Cycling Guide Launched
Parramatta City Council has launched its Cycling Guide on the above mentioned Ride to Work day, by Cr Worthington. Council has done very well with this resource for the many Parramatta residents who enjoy cycling. It includes a detailed map with existing and future bike routes, both on and off-road. It also talks about cycling advantages, Council's vision for cycling, and some good cycling tips.
Get your free copy from Council's website, or
by calling 9806 5000.
Prospect Canal Cycleway Progress
The Prospect Canal Cycleway is progressing well, and is now open from Bayfield Rd to Greystanes Rd.
It's getting extensive recreational use from nearby residents both on weekends and in evenings thanks to daylight saving. It is still not linked to any industrial areas, but this is coming soon when the Parramatta-Liverpool transitway is completed next year.
The aqueduct has a nasty squeeze point at each end where the canal wall was cut to get across it. Additionally, we're concerned about hard to see grey metal post right in the middle of the squeeze point.
We'd like to see signage about shared path etiquette, such as not stopping or parking bikes on the path, calling when passing pedestrians etc.
New CAMWEST Email Address
Bay to Mountains Ride Report
Our Bay to Mountains ride, which was held on Saturday 19 October, went very well. The ride started at the picnic shelter at the west end of Killeen St, Auburn, used the Duck River and Parramatta Valley Cycleways, crossed the John Whitton bridge and progressed through Rookwood Cemetery and Regents Park to return to the picnic shelter for a free lunch. Only three riders indicated that they rode bicycles every day, and they all wanted cycling facilities to improve in Western Sydney.
Our heartfelt thanks to Auburn and Parramatta Councils for their financial support, and their respective Road Safety Officers, Milan Letunica and Stephan Henderson.
Download Ride Report (MS Word, 31Kb)
Read Bay to Mountains Ride Page (with some photos)
State Elections Coming Up
NSW State Elections are on Saturday 22 March 2003. Now is the time to let your local candidates know how much you care about bikes. Letter writing is a very powerful form of advocacy - it does make a difference. This is the time when the parties are setting their policies.
The Greens' recent success shows that the environment needs to be taken seriously. Particularly, better public transport and cycling infrastructure are sorely needed in Western Sydney.
Bike Cops for NSW
The November issue of the Australian Cyclist reports a significant commitment by NSW Police Minister to bike police units: "300 new, custom-spec mountain bikes... the largest police bike squad in the southern hemisphere".
We applaud this move, as we've often had the pleasure of bike officers accompany us on our rides. Bikes are very cost-efficient, fast, quiet, and highly visible. It brings officers closer to the community.
It'd be great to see Power Assisted Bikes being used more, as these allow officers to respond to emergency calls quickly while not being 'out of breath' when arriving at the scene. This could in turn move the limit of these bikes to 300W instead of the current 250W. Anything above 250W requires a motorcycle registration, yet unfortunately many Japanese and European models are just above that.
Future Dilemmas Released
The CSIRO's Sustainable Ecosystems has released its comprehensive Future Dilemmas report into the environmental issues facing Australia. The ABC's Four Corners did an excellent show on it, and you can read the transcript here.
CSIRO Media Release
Dilemmas Distilled (pdf file 4MB) - a summary and guide to the report.
Future Dilemmas: an Economists' Perspective (pdf file 1MB) - A critique by two economists.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place (pdf file 1.6MB) - A conference paper by the authors.
CAMWEST Rides to the Gong
CAMWEST members had a great time at this year's Sydney to the Gong ride. It was another great day and an experience of self satisfaction when you make the finish. Our president Danny attracted much attention as he rode past other riders riding his tandem solo. Come along next time!
Somerville's 2003 Bicycle Cartoon Calendar
Somerville, resident cartoonist for Australian Cyclist
magazine since 1991, is releasing a 2003 calendar of Bicycle
cartoons. The calendar covers 2003 and features a large
cartoon each month on bicycles or bike-related themes. Some
are whimsical and witty, others are more satirical but always
humorous. Relevant bike events are date-listed as well
as all the normal religious and secular special dates. Large,
modular, easy-to-write-stuff-on layout design for the months
are a feature. It's all in glorious crisp Black and White,
which keeps the price modest. RRP is $16.50 (gst incl)
with a wholesaler's discount of 40% ($9.90 gst incl).
If you are interested or have any further questions please contact Somerville on firstname.lastname@example.org.
NRMA Full Mobility
There's been some reactions to the NRMA's move towards supporting members' full range of mobility options, including cycling. Miranda Devine's column, Driving with the Enemy (SMH, 14/11/02) doesn't like it.
CAMWEST loves it. We don't know about Miranda Devine, but we actually enjoy driving, walking, and riding with a helpful, insightful friend who understands we're more than just a 'motorist', 'pedestrian', or 'walker'. Apart from driving our car, we walk, ride a bike, catch the train, and ride buses. We appreciate the NRMA expanding their services to these other areas of my mobility.
In Europe there are very popular car sharing co-operatives. You pay a monthly/yearly amount to become a member, and you can rent cars at short notice for very good rates. Cars can be picked up at major centres near public transport, or they could be delivered for a fee. You can rent a small car, 4WD or van, depending on your needs.
The NRMA seems like the type of company who could provide this type of service. They could provide this type of car rental while also providing public transport packages at a wholesale level and also making it easier to provide cycling facilities (discounts, advocacy, insurance). This is particularly important with predictions by many scientists of the peak of world oil production a major oil crisis in the next 5-10 years, and a permanent and sharp increase in prices after that. Read More.
Postcard from the Future
Here's an excellent example of a contra flow cycle lane. A one way street is changed to allow bikes to travel both ways - it make sense, and it's easy. You move the car parking lane and signage 2-3 metres, which leaves plenty of room for the bikes to move safely. We'd love to see this design used more in Parramatta's many one way streets.
Bike Lockers Available
There are a number of bike lockers available at
Parramatta, Blacktown, and Seven Hills stations and
Parramatta wharf. These lockers are a great deal from Bicycle
NSW. Save money on the car or bus, while getting fit!
The NRMA released a report on the true cost of cars. Apparently it's a lot more than we usually estimate!
In the Media Lately
warns of drastic curbs on the good life (SMH,
Warns of oil shortages from 2015 and natural gas shortages from 2030.
head issues warning over Iraq (ABC The World Today,
"The head of Britain's most powerful oil company, BP, has just issued a warning to the Bush administration not to carve up Iraqi oil interests for its own companies after any war there". It reflects "anxiety that the Bush administration really intends to use the occupation of Iraq to turn Iraq into an American oil supply enterprise".
mention the O-word (The Economist, 12/9/02)
"Sheikh Zaki Yamani, Saudi Arabia's oil minister during the shocks of the 1970s, gave warning last week that if America invades Iraq, Mr Hussein could attack Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and so send oil prices to $100 a barrel. "
Saudi Arabia and the US: Deadly Contradictions (ABC Background Briefing, 20/10/02)
Why Societies Collapse: Jared Diamond at Princeton University (ABC Background Briefing, 27/10/02)
Happy Christmas from CAMWEST!
CAMWEST wishes all Western Sydney cyclists a very happy and safe holiday season.
CAMWEST Needs You
We need more members to achieve better bike facilities in Western Sydney. There's a number of projects we'd like to get involved in. Join us and make a difference. We're especially looking for people in the Penrith area.
Write/Email to your State election candidates, and tell them how much you care about cycling. See our sample letter asking for better bike facilities (change it a bit with your own thoughts if you can).
CAMWEST's Action Corner is where we include one or two suggestions of something simple and concrete that you can do: write an email, letter, representation, turn up for a ride, etc. Join us in making a difference!
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