Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

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Thoglette
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby Thoglette » Sun Sep 03, 2023 11:31 am

DavidS wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 5:54 am
The trouble with separated infrastructure is when it, inevitably, hits the point where it is no longer separated.
Which is where (enforced) 30kph speed limits and .eu road design rules kick in.

None of this is rocket science, indeed Paris used (90s) to be awful.

Plus actual, useful, ongoing advertising campaigning. And all the other low hanging fruit that costs a fraction of what we blow on new roads every year.
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g-boaf
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Sun Sep 03, 2023 1:23 pm

Thoglette wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 11:31 am
DavidS wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 5:54 am
The trouble with separated infrastructure is when it, inevitably, hits the point where it is no longer separated.
Which is where (enforced) 30kph speed limits and .eu road design rules kick in.

None of this is rocket science, indeed Paris used (90s) to be awful.

Plus actual, useful, ongoing advertising campaigning. And all the other low hanging fruit that costs a fraction of what we blow on new roads every year.
Whaddabout our 'enthusiast' drivers, some whom are even riders of bicycles who like to drive their vehicles in an inconsiderate manner...

Lower speed limits with combined speed/noise cameras would do a great job to calm down driver behaviour. Where I live a particular Mazda rotary EIN-...... likes to treat the road as his personal drag racing strip. It doesn't stop, endless (months and months it goes on). Problem is being outside at the right time with a good enough camera to get clear video of it... Even when it is idling at the lights it's like the thing is inside your house. You can't hear TV, it interrupts phone calls and sooner or later he'll cause an accident.

rkelsen
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby rkelsen » Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:39 pm

g-boaf wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 1:23 pm
Whaddabout our 'enthusiast' drivers...
Yeah, that comes back to the attitude bit I mentioned earlier.

Everyone knows you need a massive V8 in a 6 metre long, 2 metre high vehicle to travel 0.75 kilometres for milk and bread. 8) It's the 'Strayan way. If only it'd fit in the house, then we could drive from the bedroom to the kitchen.

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g-boaf
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:44 pm

rkelsen wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:39 pm
g-boaf wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 1:23 pm
Whaddabout our 'enthusiast' drivers...
Yeah, that comes back to the attitude bit I mentioned earlier.

Everyone knows you need a massive V8 in a 6 metre long, 2 metre high vehicle to travel 0.75 kilometres for milk and bread. 8) It's the 'Strayan way. If only it'd fit in the house, then we could drive from the bedroom to the kitchen.
Or an M3 with the exhaust mode set to loudest (same for AMG C63). Heck, one rider here even thinks it is cool to do so...

AdelaidePeter
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby AdelaidePeter » Sun Sep 03, 2023 10:43 pm

I am huge fan of separated infrastructure. It is not perfect, but the chances of being hit by a car so much lower than on the road.

grump
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby grump » Mon Sep 04, 2023 5:34 pm

I tend to be a fan of separate infrastructure but, yeah, there are limits. It can take space that people want for other things, can affect the appearance of an area. It costs to get right, and then to maintain, and non-cyclists don't like the cost all that much. Inevitably, there are places where the infrastructure can't go, and it becomes necessary to transition off the infrastructure.

There are idiots out there. Some are motorists, some are cyclists, some are pedestrians. Fortunately, they are a minority - albeit a dangerous one. The majority are reasonably careful and considerate.

Some drivers aggressively flout the rules, and enforcement is probably the only way to stop them.

I've recently had a couple of close calls with cyclists - both as a pedestrian and as a cyclist. One memorable example was riders two-abreast on a narrow track barreling around a blind corner. I do quite a bit of walking and hiking on local trails - I'd estimate about 2 in 3 cyclists I encounter don't bother to give any audible warning to pedestrians (or other cyclists) when approaching at speed from behind. I also regularly see cyclists at night, in dark gear, and no lights. On arterial roads, as well as on dedicated trails.

The most dangerous pedestrians tend to have headphones or ear buds on (and do not hear any audible warning), and their eyes on a phone or tablet while they are walking. Those people also seem to change direction without looking and without warning, which can be nasty if they walk into a moving bike or car. People who see such incidents tend to be a bit more reluctant to take up cycling, or even to be in a place where cyclists are in motion.

Addressing all these types of safety-related concerns needs education, and good behaviour, from everyone. And, where behaviour is bad, enforcement. If people take responsibility for their own safety, and also aim to be careful to look out for others around them, we'd all be a lot safer - and people might learn that cycling doesn't have to be so dangerous.

Beyond the safety related concerns, some people I know are hesitant to take up cycling because they perceive cyclists as strangely dressed (non-civilian clothes, lycra, clopping like a prize racehorse when they dismount, etc) and also perceive that riding a bike will come with pressure to dress strangely. Cyclists can address that by accepting that street clothing is okay, as long as the cyclist is comfortable and safe for the riding they do. Or even by riding, at appropriate times, dressed more like a civilian.

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elantra
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby elantra » Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:48 pm

bychosis wrote:
Sat Sep 02, 2023 7:09 am
If the local kids are anything to go by cycling is definitely in decline. The little terrors are all riding -scooters now. The only ones on bikes seem to be properly into MTB. Hardly any other types of bike out there.
I think this is the crux of it.
50 or 60 years ago it was every kid’s ambition to learn to ride a bike. It was (and still is) the freedom machine.
Parents would get stressed if their kids struggled to learn how to ride a bike, but they would also get stressed if the kids took to it like a duck to water and gained “too much” freedom !

As you say, these days there are so many other distractions for kid’s entertainment, including looking at stuff on the internet, but also various other types of mobility devices - usually powered, such as small motorbikes and e-scooters.

Back decades ago, not being able to ride a bike was something to be embarrassed about, like a form of virginity.

Obviously there are other things happening these days, such as Zwift and other indoor cycling, but generally the roads are less hospitable these days.

In the far north of NSW it is wonderful to see the diversity of people utilising the new Railtrail (Murwillumbah to Byron Bay Shire border)
It is especially beautiful to see family groups with one or both parents on bikes, training their offspring in the mastery of their humble kids bikes.
It can bring a tear to the eye, so to speak.
May we see more of it.
People are even using the new Railtrail to get to work in Murwillumbah. Kudos to that.

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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby AndrewCowley » Tue Sep 05, 2023 2:13 pm

g-boaf wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:44 pm
Or an M3 with the exhaust mode set to loudest (same for AMG C63). Heck, one rider here even thinks it is cool to do so...

Hello.

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MichaelB
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby MichaelB » Tue Sep 05, 2023 2:36 pm

g-boaf wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 1:23 pm
Thoglette wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 11:31 am
DavidS wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 5:54 am
The trouble with separated infrastructure is when it, inevitably, hits the point where it is no longer separated.
Which is where (enforced) 30kph speed limits and .eu road design rules kick in.

None of this is rocket science, indeed Paris used (90s) to be awful.

Plus actual, useful, ongoing advertising campaigning. And all the other low hanging fruit that costs a fraction of what we blow on new roads every year.
Whaddabout our 'enthusiast' drivers, some whom are even riders of bicycles who like to drive their vehicles in an inconsiderate manner...

Lower speed limits with combined speed/noise cameras would do a great job to calm down driver behaviour. Where I live a particular Mazda rotary EIN-...... likes to treat the road as his personal drag racing strip. It doesn't stop, endless (months and months it goes on). Problem is being outside at the right time with a good enough camera to get clear video of it... Even when it is idling at the lights it's like the thing is inside your house. You can't hear TV, it interrupts phone calls and sooner or later he'll cause an accident.
You need to set up some of those wildlife type cameras that start recording at the right time !!

That or a set of spikes ....

Mr Purple
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby Mr Purple » Wed Sep 06, 2023 12:10 pm

grump wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2023 5:34 pm
Beyond the safety related concerns, some people I know are hesitant to take up cycling because they perceive cyclists as strangely dressed (non-civilian clothes, lycra, clopping like a prize racehorse when they dismount, etc) and also perceive that riding a bike will come with pressure to dress strangely. Cyclists can address that by accepting that street clothing is okay, as long as the cyclist is comfortable and safe for the riding they do. Or even by riding, at appropriate times, dressed more like a civilian.
There are some, shall we say 'interesting' community perceptions of lycra.

I agree it is important that we recognise non-lycra wearing cyclists as legitimate cyclists and I definitely do so. However the reason we wear it is that if you're riding fast and/or long distances it's infinitely more comfortable to do so.

I've recently run up against several morons on the cesspool that is Facebook who are highly critical of any cyclist wearing lycra using 'their' infrastructure - in this case the BVRT. It's like the instant they see it they assume the individual wearing it is instantly at fault of something, and are going excessively fast and passing dangerously. I think in a way the lycra automatically brands us among some in the community of being something to be persecuted.

Yes, cyclists wearing lycra are going in general to be faster. However cyclists wearing lycra are also far more likely to have the experience and skill to pass pedestrians and other cyclists without causing an incident. I've run into this myself on several shared paths - I ding the bell twice, give a good 3m+ clearance, say 'thank you' when I pass and still get abused. It doesn't matter how politely or safely you pass some people, they'll just yell at anyone wearing they identify as a 'lycra' cyclist.

LateStarter
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby LateStarter » Wed Sep 06, 2023 12:37 pm

g-boaf wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 3:36 pm
Meanwhile, where I was in France there were stacks of people riding in all the cities where I was, either mountain bikes, some on road bikes, whatever kind of bike really. No particular special provisions for cycling - everyone just rides on the road without being bothered by traffic.
IMO this bit is KEY, there will never be cycling infrastructure on every street, there will always be a last/first km+ between a riders home and the start of the "cycling infrastructure" (even if the infrastructure is continuous which is very very unlikely.

Eliminating the dominance of motor vehicles (treating them like cigarettes) and treating the controllers of such as operators of dangerous life threatening implements, corralling them into a minimal "car lane" walled off from humans riding is the only way. Of course I am dreaming but I reckon "cycling infrastructure" is a dead end.

People will remain afreid of riding near motor vehicles while drivers can kill people and get a slap on the wrist because of the unfortunat "accident" (bull!)
Bill (Long Distance Dreamer)
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warthog1
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Wed Sep 06, 2023 12:47 pm

LateStarter wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2023 12:37 pm
g-boaf wrote:
Fri Sep 01, 2023 3:36 pm
Meanwhile, where I was in France there were stacks of people riding in all the cities where I was, either mountain bikes, some on road bikes, whatever kind of bike really. No particular special provisions for cycling - everyone just rides on the road without being bothered by traffic.
IMO this bit is KEY, there will never be cycling infrastructure on every street, there will always be a last/first km+ between a riders home and the start of the "cycling infrastructure" (even if the infrastructure is continuous which is very very unlikely.

Eliminating the dominance of motor vehicles (treating them like cigarettes) and treating the controllers of such as operators of dangerous life threatening implements, corralling them into a minimal "car lane" walled off from humans riding is the only way. Of course I am dreaming but I reckon "cycling infrastructure" is a dead end.

People will remain afreid of riding near motor vehicles while drivers can kill people and get a slap on the wrist because of the unfortunat "accident" (bull!)

Meanwhile look at the video put up earlier in the thread from the major city (Paris) in the country GB cites.

That is never going to happen until there are more people cycling and more people cycling will come with more infrastructure that lets them feel safe.

Councils may do a bit but state governments won't until they see a demand. They won't be doing something that is going to hurt them at the ballot box.
Currently "corralling them into a minimal car lane" will be seen as too risky electorally due to driving dominance.

Probably it will continue to be a piecemeal approach but we aren't getting any better until there's more riders and more riders aren't coming until there are spaces where they feel they can cycle safely.

As previously stated don't expect Police to change our ignorant, arrogant driving attitudes toward vulnerable road users. There is less of a Police presence on the road, automated cameras seems to be the new approach.
Some of the Police we are relying on to protect us also share the anticyclist sentiment we seek protection from.
I don't see behaviour change happening until there are more cyclists. So that those drivers who are aggressive and dangerous also know people who cycle or maybe do it themselves occasionally.
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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g-boaf
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby g-boaf » Wed Sep 06, 2023 6:28 pm

Worth noting I don’t ride in Paris. Biggest city is Nice in the south. Others are all smaller (but still decent) sized regional towns.

Nice has some dedicated cycling infrastructure. But people are okay on the normal roads.

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DavidS
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby DavidS » Thu Sep 07, 2023 6:26 am

Went on a ride today, in Rome with a guide.

2 things.

The traffic in Rome is insane, but, they don't try to run you over which is a change from Aus, and I do ride a lot on the roads.

First time I have ever ridden an eBike. It was one of those bikes with assisted peddling. You could dial it up from 1 to 5. The place I was with said try it on 2, I tried it and the bike just about went from under me as I am so used to powering the bike myself. Set it on 1, rode around on a hot day in heavy traffic, and it is so easy. EBikes really should be able to encourage cycling as a form of transport, it is so easy. Get to a hill, don't bother changing gears just dial up a little more assistance. Beats sitting in traffic any day.

Just on the lycra comments above, I never wear lycra shorts, I reckon they are a bit of a fashion crime :lol: but, hey, they're not a fashion statement, I can see they are very practical for cycling. I just wear shorts and a (lycra!) jersey. I don't get the prejudice, lycra is practical for long rides, might even help me on Around the Bay if I ever chose to try it, so what's the problem?

DS
Allegro T1, Auren Swift :)

rkelsen
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby rkelsen » Thu Sep 07, 2023 8:05 am

^ Rome would be interesting to cycle around. The attractions are further apart than other cities in Italy. Which ones did you get to?

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elantra
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby elantra » Fri Sep 08, 2023 8:31 am

warthog1 wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2023 12:47 pm


Meanwhile look at the video put up earlier in the thread from the major city (Paris) in the country GB cites.

That is never going to happen until there are more people cycling and more people cycling will come with more infrastructure that lets them feel safe.

Councils may do a bit but state governments won't until they see a demand. They won't be doing something that is going to hurt them at the ballot box.
Currently "corralling them into a minimal car lane" will be seen as too risky electorally due to driving dominance.

Probably it will continue to be a piecemeal approach but we aren't getting any better until there's more riders and more riders aren't coming until there are spaces where they feel they can cycle safely.

As previously stated don't expect Police to change our ignorant, arrogant driving attitudes toward vulnerable road users. There is less of a Police presence on the road, automated cameras seems to be the new approach.
Some of the Police we are relying on to protect us also share the anticyclist sentiment we seek protection from.
I don't see behaviour change happening until there are more cyclists. So that those drivers who are aggressive and dangerous also know people who cycle or maybe do it themselves occasionally.
Yes, and like through most of history it’s 2 steps forward and one step back, or is it one step forward and 2 steps back sometimes. Haha

The only good news that I can see is the emerging popularity of Railtrails and Gravel roads.

The new Railtrail up in my area (Murwillumbah to Mooball) has been a stunning success and is hugely popular with locals and people who come here from adjacent towns such as Gold Coast, Ballina, Byron Bay, Lismore, and even Brisbane.

We need more of this, and it’s a slow process to realise these plans due to the glacial pace of State and Local Government bureaucracy, and sometimes vested interests in opposing it etc.

I have also seen how popular the Railtrails are when I traveled to Europe in 2014.
Perhaps the “highlight” of my cycling career was being able to utilise much of the excellent Railtrail south of Lourdes in the French Pyrenees to access a stage of that year’s Tour de France.
It’s not rocket science, we need to get on board with repurposing abandoned infrastructure like obselete rail corridors into gravel Railtrails.

warthog1
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby warthog1 » Fri Sep 08, 2023 11:30 am

elantra wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2023 8:31 am


Yes, and like through most of history it’s 2 steps forward and one step back, or is it one step forward and 2 steps back sometimes. Haha

The only good news that I can see is the emerging popularity of Railtrails and Gravel roads.

The new Railtrail up in my area (Murwillumbah to Mooball) has been a stunning success and is hugely popular with locals and people who come here from adjacent towns such as Gold Coast, Ballina, Byron Bay, Lismore, and even Brisbane.

We need more of this, and it’s a slow process to realise these plans due to the glacial pace of State and Local Government bureaucracy, and sometimes vested interests in opposing it etc.

I have also seen how popular the Railtrails are when I traveled to Europe in 2014.
Perhaps the “highlight” of my cycling career was being able to utilise much of the excellent Railtrail south of Lourdes in the French Pyrenees to access a stage of that year’s Tour de France.
It’s not rocket science, we need to get on board with repurposing abandoned infrastructure like obselete rail corridors into gravel Railtrails.

We've got one decent rail trail here and I use it a lot.
Get out of town and it is open, smooth and fast.
No cars :D
You don't fully realise how negatively they affect your ride until they are no longer there.
We are empty nesters now who plan on doing a bit of touring soon. The gravel bike will be coming and I'll be hunting out rail trails.
Dogs are the best people :wink:

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DavidS
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby DavidS » Sat Sep 09, 2023 6:33 am

rkelsen wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2023 8:05 am
^ Rome would be interesting to cycle around. The attractions are further apart than other cities in Italy. Which ones did you get to?
I went on this tour: https://www.romastarbike.com/rome-bike- ... bike-tour/

The attractions we passed through or near were:


Colosseum
Arch of Constantine and Imperial Forum
Venice square
Trajan forum
Pantheon
Navona square
Campo dei Fiori
Trastevere
Circus Maximus
Capitoline Hill.

Good tour, you don't really get much time at each place but you can go back later. Also they had 3D visualisations of how the various places would have looked in ancient times, was nice but the first time I tried I almost fell over as I get vertigo, sat down for the rest of them!

The guide was finishing her PhD in Archaeology so she was very good.

DS
Allegro T1, Auren Swift :)

rkelsen
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Re: Fewer of us are cycling – here’s how we can reverse the decline

Postby rkelsen » Sat Sep 09, 2023 12:16 pm

DavidS wrote:
Sat Sep 09, 2023 6:33 am
Good tour, you don't really get much time at each place but you can go back later.
That's the main problem when you're in a country so rich in culture and history. There's never enough time! :lol:

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