A ride with my local MP

A ride with my local MP

Postby find_bruce » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:39 pm

I sent off emails to the Minister for Roads and my local MP, John Sidoti. The response from the minister was as vague as you would expect.

I was however surprised when Mr Sidoti not only responded to my email, he rang me and suggested we go for a ride so he could understand my concerns as a cyclist. Apparently he doesn't yet own a bike, but is planning to buy one. I am thinking here is a great opportunity to have our voice heard. I don't want to make the ride too hard- he is a novice cycler but I would like to show him some of the challenges riders face.

So any suggestions on the ride. His electoral office is in Five Dock and the electorate runs from the Parramatta River in the north to Parramatta Road in the south; and from Homebush Bay Drive in the west to Iron Cove in the east.

I have a couple of ideas:

* a ride into parliament - down to iron cove bay, around the western shore & in to the city following alsongside Victoria Rd and in to parliament (I would include a bikely.com map but it seems not to be working) While Lilifield Rd would also work, the hill is going to be hard for a novice & frankly I prefer not to ride along there.

* a local ride - say iron cove bay, along renwick street drummoyne, past five dock bay, hen & chicken bay and back to five dock
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by BNA » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:45 pm

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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby DaveOZ » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:45 pm

Wow. Good on him for making the effort to contact you and find out the concerns of local cyclists.

Go easy on him, best not to scare him away. it would be great if he actually enjoys the ride and continues with his cycling.

Good luck with it and thanks.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby grimbo » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:49 pm

It depends a bit on what issues you raised and want to emphasise. Lilyfield road is actually a pretty typical road for commuters in the area. It has bike lanes, but is also pretty busy (buses, cars, hairy intersections). Have to agree, though, that the initial hill is probably a bit challenging for a novice rider. But then, I would find Victoria Rd pretty scary. If I had to commute on that, I just wouldn't.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby CommuRider » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:08 pm

Can somone lend him a bike? If you can, get his dimensions. He might buy a crappy BSO for this outing and that will not be a pleasant experience. Or ask an LBS to lend him a nice bike. Is Concord Bike Store in his electorate?
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby Old and Rusty » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:22 pm

How tall is he? Got a 61cm and a 58cm roadies here.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby trailgumby » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:44 pm

I think SOP and Rhodes are in his electorate? If so, a ride alongside the bike lanes through the Rhodes shopping precinct would be worthwhile.

The car door zone bike lanes through there and on down to the railway bridge underpass are scary. Despite my best intentions, I still find myself jammed in them by passing traffic on occasion, and have a near miss with some twit flinging open their door without looking about once a month.

If that could be arranged (minus the dooring of course), I would *really* appreciate it.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby goneriding » Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:37 pm

I'd take him up Lilyfield Rd and once the top is reached point out the old train line that runs through the cutting that is flatter, off road, and safer for his, caged and non-caged, constituants!

Also point out the dangers of the shared path with dogs, iPeds, etc as the reason for some staying on the road. The abrupt end of the shared path at Hen & Chicken Bay would be a good point out as the last connection to the Iron Cove bridge is missing.

As far as a bike is concerned you could always take him along to Bicycle Garage as I'm sure Jeremy (owner) would be happy to give him a loaner for a test ride and subsequently sell him a bike!

Make sure the ride ends up in Haberfield at Papa for coffee and cake!

@grimbo - I think you'd be surprised at Vic Road during peak hour. The first couple of times I rode on the road it was a bit intimidating but I really don't have any concerns these days. Courtesy and being clear on what you are going to do next go a long way to making a happy cage dweller!
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby grimbo » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:29 pm

@grimbo - I think you'd be surprised at Vic Road during peak hour. The first couple of times I rode on the road it was a bit intimidating but I really don't have any concerns these days. Courtesy and being clear on what you are going to do next go a long way to making a happy cage dweller!


You're probably right, GR - 3 years of commuting and weekend riding and I'm still cowardly.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby goneriding » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:45 pm

grimbo wrote:You're probably right, GR - 3 years of commuting and weekend riding and I'm still cowardly.


You've got about the same (a bit less) amount of commuting as I do. The shared path surface along Vic Rd is appaling and I've had some close calls at the 2 Service Stations and bus stops after Iron Cove. I much prefer the road especially now that the bus lane is there.

I started by merging onto the road just before the Funeral Parlour down from Darling St. From there it is a straight run and you can move at the same speed as the traffic. You can get back onto the footpath at the Rozelle turnoff just before White Bay as the bit near the White Bay bus stop can be a bit hairy. Then just take it from there. Now I use the road from the Balmain turnoff to the end of Vic Rd.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby sogood » Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:08 pm

find_bruce wrote:* a ride into parliament - down to iron cove bay, around the western shore & in to the city following alsongside Victoria Rd and in to parliament (I would include a bikely.com map but it seems not to be working) While Lilifield Rd would also work, the hill is going to be hard for a novice & frankly I prefer not to ride along there.

That'd "kill" him if he hasn't been a trained up rider. ;)

Depends on how much time he has, it would be good to demonstrate the good, the practical and the bad side of bike riding in his electorate. Then it'll be obvious to a clever politician what's worth pursuing politically.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby wombatK » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:34 pm

I think you need to show him both the best of the cycleway infrastructure, and the worst. So, maybe start him off parking somewhere near the southern end of Iron Cove Bridge, and ride across that. Then show him how the bestness evaporates when you have to take to Henley Marine Drive for a 1km or so, and risk the car door zone issues, before reaching some decent off-road cycleway again.

If his fitness is up for it, ride all the way around Henley Marine Drive and alongside Timbrell Park to Minnesota Road, then take him on the RTA cycleway route through to Sydney Olympic Park via Queen St. As a politician, he'd probably like to have greet & meet opportunities, so maybe head towards a gathering point like Lilies in the Park at Bicentennial Park for a coffee stop and some glad-handing.

A route like this should show him how good and family friendly cycleways can be made, and where it is failing in his electorate. If you do it on a Saturday or Sunday morning, it should also show him just how well these facilities are utilised by cyclists and walkers.

Lilyfield Road would certainly show him the worst of the obstacles that CBD bound commuters face - but if he's not very fit, getting up the hill West of James St could be too much of a struggle. And it's probably outside his electorate.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby Sydguy » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:56 pm

Excellent idea - and I have seen the guy around, he looks fit and has a lot of enthusiasm. There may be organised rides which you could both join.
Check out where the Baybug ride, the Saturday morning loo might not be ideal for showing best/worst but sometimes the Sunday rides roam a bit more and could be a good introduction.
Either way get him into the Spring Cycle, for a local pollie that has to be mandatory, it rolls right through his electorate I think!

You should pass on day/date so we can all get on our bikes and cycle past, beef up the numbers :D
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby JV911 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:07 am

John Sidoti is my MP too so i'll be watching this with interest

you should probably keep the feed back balanced i.e. point out the improvements that have been made but also the short-comings i.e. gipps st (pictured below) the disjointed paths, the increasing numbers of trailers used for advertising parked in bike lanes around by Nield Park & Barnwell Park. Even on the improved secions i.e. around the bay run riders face challeges like peds wandering aimlessly and dogs & children off their leash

also ask how BikePlan 2010 is progressing :roll:

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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby goneriding » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:19 am

JV911 wrote:John Sidoti is my MP too so i'll be watching this with interest

you should probably keep the feed back balanced i.e. point out the improvements that have been made but also the short-comings i.e. gipps st (not pictured below) the disjointed paths, the increasing numbers of trailers used for advertising parked in bike lanes around by Nield Park & Barnwell Park. Even on the improved secions i.e. around the bay run riders face challeges like peds wandering aimlessly and dogs & children off their leash


+1 to those advertising trailers. The one I really don't like is the red pizza oven trailer parked just after the roundabout on Crane St!

Re Gipps St, I avoid that and Queens Rd like the plague. Too dangerous! Crane, Patterson, Flavelle and Wellbank are much safer if you're heading to SOP.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby sogood » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:43 am

goneriding wrote:+1 to those advertising trailers. The one I really don't like is the red pizza oven trailer parked just after the roundabout on Crane St!

Are you guys getting those too? We got them in our area and some of them have been there for 6 months, taking up valuable street parking space and obstructing sight line of all road users. I've complained to the council and it would appear that they can't do much as they are no different to another registered roadworthy vehicle being parked at that location. Personally I think they should be banned as they are there for a specific commercial advertising purpose.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby fenn_paddler » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:30 pm

sogood wrote:Are you guys getting those too? We got them in our area and some of them have been there for 6 months, taking up valuable street parking space and obstructing sight line of all road users. I've complained to the council and it would appear that they can't do much as they are no different to another registered roadworthy vehicle being parked at that location. Personally I think they should be banned as they are there for a specific commercial advertising purpose.


Someone spray painted the phone numbers on a couple parked along Henley Marine Drv. Not advocating vandalism, but that's certainly one option if the council claims to be powerless on the matter.

And ++1 on the Crane St ones. An absolute menace. Hopefully this can be brought to the local member's attention. Still I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for action on this - Sidoti's mug adorned many a powerpole during the election, and that advertising certainly isn't legal.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby JV911 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:40 pm

goneriding wrote:+1 to those advertising trailers. The one I really don't like is the red pizza oven trailer parked just after the roundabout on Crane St!


i typed out a reply to this earlier, must have hit preview instead of reply :oops:

take 2:

there are 2 i really don't like opposite barnwell park gold course - one is so huge it takes up the whole lane and the other is ninja-black, which makes pre-dawn rides interesting! I've written to the council before about trailers and they can't (or won't) do anything as technically they are legally parked

someone has taken the matter into their own hands and spray painted over the contact phone numbers on the trailers around henly marine drive, next to neild park. personally i'd like to roll them into the bay :lol:
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby CommuRider » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:01 pm

JV911 wrote:Image


That is actually one of the better bike painted places. GIPPS ST/QUEENS RD FREAKING FIVE DOCK!!!!!!
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby CommuRider » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:02 pm

goneriding wrote:
Re Gipps St, I avoid that and Queens Rd like the plague. Too dangerous!


+1 ad infinitum!
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby goneriding » Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:42 pm

JV911 wrote:someone has taken the matter into their own hands and spray painted over the contact phone numbers on the trailers around henly marine drive, next to neild park. personally i'd like to roll them into the bay


I was down there this morning and was too busy checking to see if I was about to be run over rather than what they were advertising. I do like the spray paint idea though.

fenn_paddler wrote:Still I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for action on this...


That's the reason for taking him up Lilyfield from the Iron Cove side. You get very few opportunities to get one over an oxygen thief so each one needs to be embraced :twisted:
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby trailgumby » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:09 pm

sogood wrote:Are you guys getting those too? We got them in our area and some of them have been there for 6 months, taking up valuable street parking space and obstructing sight line of all road users. I've complained to the council and it would appear that they can't do much as they are no different to another registered roadworthy vehicle being parked at that location. Personally I think they should be banned as they are there for a specific commercial advertising purpose.


It would take only three or four guys together to bounce them onto their side, out of the way. That clears them off the cycle lane and provides Council with a justification to do something about these traffic hazard eyesores. Removal of the number plates and registration stickers, likewise.

Not that I would ever suggest such a course of action. :wink:
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby find_bruce » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:37 pm

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions - I keep trying to type a reply but before I do there are new messages.

Thanks for the kind offer old & rusty. I did suggest a loaner but it seems he is keen to get a bike so I will instead suggest some local shops. The only one I am aware of actually in the electorate is Concord Bike Store, with Bicycle Garage at lilifield and Cycleworld at Burwood being just outside. Anywhere else in the area I should suggest ?

After reading the comments I am thinking that if he picked up a bike from Concord, that a ride to Rhodes & back would be a blanaced sample of the best and worst without being too over the top. Maybe take him down to Gipps St, explain why I don't propose to ride on the bike lane there & then go back up to Crane St. He has 3 kids so showing him some family friendly paths is also a great idea.

I think an organised ride might be a bit much for a novice but I will talk to him about whether he wants a small group of riders to join us.

@Sydguy thanks for letting me know about Baybug - their Saturday route is similar to one of my usual weekend rides so maybe I should get up early & join it.

I agree with your points about the advertising trailers, but I don't think I will bring it up with Sidoti however because (1) as you say they are parked there legally - ask the beachside residents complaining about backpackers parking overnight & blocking their million dollar views & (2) he used them in his campaign - from memory one was parked on Lyons Rd West, on the western side of the William St roundabout.

But don't let me stop you from venting your anger about them.
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby JV911 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:59 pm

find_bruce wrote:Concord Bike Store


Concord Cycles is a local institution, having been there for 30 odd years

There is also ProBike vic rd drummoyne which has a better range
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby goneriding » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:44 pm

JV911 wrote:
find_bruce wrote:Concord Bike Store


Concord Cycles is a local institution, having been there for 30 odd years

There is also ProBike vic rd drummoyne which has a better range


It looks like ProBike isn't open anymore. Their website is there but the shop is definitely closed.

+1 to Concord Cycles. They never complain when I take my grime encrusted commuter in for a service!
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Re: A ride with my local MP

Postby JV911 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:43 pm

goneriding wrote:It looks like ProBike isn't open anymore. Their website is there but the shop is definitely closed.


really? that's a shame
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