A massive amount of anti-cycling sentiment in the comments.
148,000 cyclists demand better deal
THE state's growing army of cyclists is demanding a better deal, alarmed that authorities have failed to fund improvements to infrastructure.
A Federal Government survey shows cycling participation increased 43 per cent in South Australia last year and Bicycle SA chief executive Christian Haag said it was now more popular than swimming.
But 2007 figures from the Cycling Promotion Fund show SA spent only $2.20 per head on cycling infrastructure, behind Victoria with $3.70 per head, $4 in Queensland, $4.65 in WA and more than $10 in NSW.
"On one hand we have the Tour Down Under, which screams to the world SA is a great place to come visit, it's a cycle-friendly community," Mr Haag said. "What's not in balance is the funding (difference) that goes from promotion and encouragement for infrastructure."
The tour, and the January comeback of superstar Lance Armstrong, are just two of the factors that have sparked a significant increase in the profile and popularity of cycling in recent years.
Budget-conscious commuters, environmentally minded people wanting pollution-free transport and health professionals urging the public to exploit cycling's many health benefits are also fuelling the trend.
But Mr Haag said deficiencies in the state's bike infrastructure - mainly, a lack of a cohesive network of bike lanes - could be deterring more potential cyclists from getting on their bikes.
Bicycle SA, which represents the state's 148,000 cyclists, is calling for action on behalf of riders who are tired of bike lanes ending suddenly, forcing them to face traffic at busy intersections.
"What we see is that there was a large amount of bike infrastructure going down with the previous government and the current Government's maintained that strategy.
However, the funding levels of previous years are less than we'd have liked," Mr Haag said. "There's been no CPI increase, so there's a real-dollar-term decrease."
The Federal Government last week announced $5.7 million in funding for new bicycle infrastructure in SA.
Transport Minister Patrick Conlon's spokesman said the Government spent $95 million on cycling-related projects since 2002 with a further $3.9 million in 2009-2010.
In Queensland, Brisbane City Council is spending $100 million over four years on bicycle infrastructure. The WA government has committed $72 million and Victoria has invested $28.2 million in its bike and pedestrian network.