Adelaide is pioneering the resurgence of cycling in Australia, due in no small part to the outstanding success of hosting the Tour Down Under, a UCI WorldTour professional race.
So, now the new mayor has joined the Premier in trotting out grand statements. Adelaide is, no less, "pioneering the resurgence of cycling in Australia". Wow, I wonder when my home state is going to exhibit the effects of this new resurgence. Perhaps we haven't got the email yet.
And leading the world too...
His city aspires to be the best cycling city in the Southern Hemisphere, with its Mediterranean climate, wide flat roads and ever-expanding network of cycling lanes.
I think it will need substantially more than talking at conferences and pledging modest sums of money Mr Mayor.
The projects total $70,000 and are part of the State Bicycle Fund and State Black Spot programs for 2011/2012.
A bit of dual use path made of asphalt comes in at between $50,000 and $100,000 per km. So I trust that he is not going to blow the lot on a kilometer of path. I therefore assume that his commitment to making South Oz the Cycling Capital of the Southern Hemisphere" is about $70,000 worth of lines painted on the road. Or maybe some tickets to the opera for Lance and his friends.
I am not South Oz but I go there more than any other state and am planning to do so a whole lot more regulalrly when I retire in a couple of years. So of all the places in Australia other than my own home, South Oz is where I most want good stuff. Where I want to have some company when I am out and about.
So, is there anything real on the horizon? More than a (wow!) 50km Heritage Trail
More than a lines painted on the roads?
More than a UCI Pro Tour? (Partial tour, actually. There are no time trials 'cos no-one thinks it's worth the effort to bring the extra bikes).
More than a visit from Lance Armstrong? (Hmmm, I don't expect that balloon to be flown anymore.)
Or is this guy just following on from the vacuous grandstanding of the Premier?
Pollies keep talking grandly. The riding community now have to press and push and embarrass. Or at the very least tell them to stop patronizing the cycling community.
(I think it is also disrespectful of the real efforts and the runs on the board elsewhere in Oz. Melbourne which looks to outsiders to have a highly vibrant and active cycling community. Canberra with bike racks on most of it's bus fleet and constant praise from others. Clover Moore taking genuine political hits for cyclists, Mundabiddi Trail (1100kms!), ...)