CAMWEST: Cyclists’ Action Movement West

News — September 2004

Feature: After Oil — a Postcard from a Future With Less Oil

Danny Hannan, long serving CAMWEST member, wonders what life will be like in a few years time, in a future with a lot less oil than now, after Peak Oil.

Read Article

More on Peak Oil

Rides and Events Coming Up

Come ride with us! Our rides are easy and friendly.

Date of ride: 12/9/04

Day of week: Sunday

Grade: Easy

Name of ride: Prospect loop

Distance: 25km

Contact: Mark Robson

Phone H:  9604 2110 
  or W:   9827 0738   

Group: CAMWEST

Starts at: East side of Guildford station 9am

Description of ride: Ride the Prospect canal cycleway to Prospect Reservoir then return along the Prospect Creek cycleway and rail trail to Guildford

 

Date of ride: 16/10/04

Day of week: Saturday

Grade: Easy

Name of ride: Parramatta Heritage Ride

Distance: 20km

Contact: Paul Bowyer

Phone: 0438 856 880

Group: CAMWEST

Starts at: Tudor Gates, George St entrance to Parramatta Park, 9am

Description of ride: A gentle ride around the historical sites of Parramatta on quiet streets with commentary.

 

Sunday 28/11/04 — RTA Cycle Sydney
Sydney's big one! Here's your chance to ride along a whole lane of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, from North Sydney to Parramatta Park. More info.

Tizzana Ride Report

Our most popular ride was held Sunday 22 August, 2004. Although we had fewer numbers than usual, a great time was had by all, with riders choosing from a selection of three ride lengths. Two riders did the long (90 km) circuit, and a few more than normal (5 or 6?) did the short ride. The rest tackled the medium (70 km) route.

The sweep vehicle was used to pick up one rider who had just about run out of steam near the top of the hill on West Portland Rd, and, after a quick energy fix and a few km in the car, dropped her off at the end of River Rd to enjoy the downhill run to the Sackville ferry with the rest of us stragglers. The lunch at the winery was a bit more relaxed with the smaller numbers.

After lunch 5 of us detoured down to Ebenezer Church, and made our way back to Wilberforce via Swallow Rock Reach Walking Track and a few backroads. It was a great day for cycling, but there did seem to be a headwind (or at least a cross-wind with some headwind component) wherever we were heading.

Thanks again to Michael (and his 'pillion' passenger, Greg) for doing the sweep.

More Info, Photos

Castle Hills Markets Ride — Wet but Fun

Six riders braved the drizzly conditions to ride from Blacktown to The Goumet Food Markets in Castle Hill on July 10th. The markets were quieter than normal, probably owing to the overcast and drizzle, but still worth going to. A fun adventure was had by all when a rider had a puncture and the spare tube she was carrying wouldn't fit in the rim because of the type of valve.

CAMWEST leads Advocacy Workshop

CAMWEST hosted a bicycle advocacy workshop for BUGs on Saturday 7th August, 9am -12.30pm, at Parramatta Heritage Centre, which was followed by lunch and a ride around Parramatta.

The workshop included CAMWEST Media Officer Marty Olmos on how to design eye catching cycling promotion information and Chris Reeves from Hornsby Council on how cycling facilities can be included in section 94 plans.

New Shared Paths

We have noticed a number of new shared off-road paths around the place, including:

Cycle Connect — More Bike Lockers

The Federal Government is chipping in for more bicycle lockers at train stations, under a grant program called Cycle Connect, announced by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage Dr David Kemp in mid July. The program will provide $2.4m over two years for secure bike lockers to
be installed at public transport hubs in major urban centres. The minister commented that:

“The Cycle Connect project will boost the number of secure bike lockers already provided in Sydney and is targeted at those commuters who would use public transport regularly. Secure bike lockers are a low-cost alternative for those who start each day fighting for a carpark or paying for their car to sit all day at their local bus or train station.”

“This project extends the 'catchment' areas of public transport networks by offering facilities for those who find it too far to walk to their local station but who are happy to cycle.

“One-third of car trips taken by Australians are less than three kilometres long and many trips could be taken on a bicycle if people were confident that their bike wouldn't be tampered with or stolen while they are at work.

“Substituting short car trips with bicycle rides is one way of keeping fit and healthy, while reducing congestion, greenhouse gas and pollution at the same time. For each three kilometres that are cycled rather than driven, we save about a kilogram of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Cycleways to Recovery?

We have been disappointed not to see more 'Roads to Recovery' funding from the Federal Government used by councils to improve cycleways. We understand that in WA, the City of Gosnells committed the whole of their funds,$2.3 million, to off road cycleways. In the case of Hawkesbury council, it received $2.9 million to 2005. CAMWEST requested 5% which equates to $145,000 for cycleways, but this was rejected.

News in Brief

CAMWEST has been in correspondence with Fairfield City Council about a number of concerns on the cycleway along Orphan School Creek. It seems a number of good things are happening. Fairfield Council agree in principle the path is inadequate and are wrestling with the conflicting issues of constructing new cycleways or diverting funding to fix up this old one. In the coming years Council will apply for funding to increase the width of the narrow parts of this route. It still remains a good ridable path with continuous off road cycleway from Georges Hall (Mirrumbeena) to Abbotsbury (Fairfield City Farm).

The Australian Bicycle Council's Draft Cycling Data and Indicators report entitled "Australia Cycling: Bicycle Ownership, Use and Demographics" is now available from:
http://www.abc.dotars.gov.au/Cycling_Data_Indicators.htm.

Postcard from the Future — Great Cycleway Design

Here in the future, the design of cycleways has become an artform, with engineers putting their creative skills into action (and even laughing at the bad old days when a stenciled bicycle on a road, most often invisible under a parked car, was standard practice). Above is a wonderful example of a shared path beside a road. Instead of having the path right up against the fences, there's a gap so that any cars reversing out of driveways have the opportunity to see cyclists, and the cyclists can see the cars. See Also Cycle Lane Design.

In the Media Lately

A million miracles a day occur on today's road (4.7.04, SMH HECKLER)
You take your life in your hands when you navigate a roundabout, laments Peter Say, who reckons a rethink is the right road to take.

High oil prices here to stay: IEA (29.8.04, ABC Inside Business)
ALAN KOHLER: Do you think that if more super-giant oil fields are not discovered soon and Saudi Arabia, in particular, invests that the world will have to get used to higher oil prices, around the $50 level, possibly even more? ANTOINE HALFF: Well, we're not there yet, but there's a widespread sense in the market that fundamentals have shifted, and we're now in an era of higher oil prices for the sustainable future. I think there's probably a lot to say for that theory.

2024 Dreaming- Beyond the Gridlock: An Impossible Dream? (21.8.04, ABC Science)
How will we travel in 2024? The cost of car crashes in this country alone amounts to $17 billion. It is estimated that the humble traffic jam costs America US$100 billion. And then there's the cost of wars to keep the oil flowing. How much longer can we afford to continue along these lines in future?

Motorway design must learn from past mistakes (24.8.04, SMH)

War x 4 (6.7.04, George Monbiot, in the Guardian)
Why roll anything up to 7.6 tons of metal (the Hummer H1) onto the road, when a bicycle will do just as well? Well, it’s partly because people are terrified of being mown down by 7.6 tonnes of metal.

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.

More Info

Action Corner!

With the Federal elections upon us, now is a great time to write to your MP and ask him/her to provide federal funds to improve cycle infrastructure. Cycling could make a positve impact on a number of issues of national signifcance, including health (childhood obesity just to mention one), pollution, greenhouse emissions, not to mention reducing our dependence on expensive imported oil.See our letter writing page.

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! More advocacy info

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