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Ride2Work Day is next week! To celebrate, Newcastle City Council is holding a FREE breakfast in Wheeler Place. There will also be prizes, so do come along and meet fellow commuters, both experienced and beginners.
If you haven’t commuted by bike before, this is the ideal time to start as there will be more bike commuters on the roads and cycleways. Some more ideas about bike commuting here.
edit: the breakfast has now been postponed one week till Wednesday 22 October, same time and place.
This green bike lane does not work as well as it might do as it causes danger to cyclists when a car wants to turn left…
Green bike lanes are a great way to define the space designated for riders on the road. They give a sense of safety to cyclists riding in them. It’s partly due to knowing that this is a bike lane and also a feeling that cars can’t impinge upon that space. But is that sense of safety just an illusion? I have been stuck next to a turning truck in this lane and it can be dangerous if you assume you have right of way.
This two way lane in Kent Street Sydney works much better…
You can see that the concrete strip gives protection to cyclists from the white car door opening on the right. It also separates cyclists from the traffic. The curve allows the bike lane to flow around existing infrastructure such as telegraph poles.
Black roads add to the heat island effect of cities, while green, as it reflects more light, will partially reduce this effect, another good reason to keep the green lanes. But we have to remember that the green lane doesn’t make us invincible.
I was finally able to ride to the John Hunter Hospital via Richley Reserve last week, after the comments on an earlier post alerting me to this possibility. I was hoping that this would be easier than hauling my bike up a flight of stairs, and possibly a bit quicker.
It is certainly a more scenic route and riding through the bush, or pushing my bike up the hills, was easier and more pleasant than the stairs. In summer it would be even more so, due to shade from the sun.
The problems I encountered were that I got lost going in both directions. I took a different route each way, both times intending to take the shortest trip through the bush, according to the map. I had my iphone with me and using it could locate my position in the Reserve, but there seemed to be a variation between the paths marked on the map and the actual paths. It was not a huge problem however, I only had to backtrack twice, and if you head uphill you will eventually arrive at Lookout Drive and if you head downhill, you will arrive in New Lambton. There are some deadend tracks though, which is where I encountered the problems. On one such deadend I encountered this lizard, which I wouldn’t have seen had I been riding …
The paths are quite wide and well defined with smaller and more rugged side paths going off them. Riding was never a problem. The bush land setting is beautiful and the tall canopy of overhead trees gives a sheltered quality to the ride.
What amazes me at the Vintage Rides is the diversity of the bikes there and the innovative and skilful restorations of old bikes. As well as the old bikes that are simply given a new set of tyres and ridden as rusty, much loved and practical means of transport or as showcases for other art works. Today’s ride was certainly an event which showcased all of these.
This artist who decorates his bike with his creations.
This bike, a street find, with the upturned handlebars and bottletop bar-ends.
This bike, meticulously restored, handmade picnic box on the back and handlebars crafted from an old wooden curtain rod.
This handmade cargo bike, able to carry two children which has been ridden to Nelsons Bay and back, a round trip of around 160k’s.
This old and beautifully rusty bike ridden around for everyday transport.
And our MC with his leather helmet, goggles and waxed moustache!
It must have been the launch of the visionary Newcastle Bike Plan that brought out all the fabulous bikes today. The cafe racer above was there, I love the shiny black paint, cream tyres, leather trims and handlebars. Perfection! This is somewhat of the styling I was after with my Bennett restoration, but this one has really hit the mark with its handsome looks.
And this one on the left looked like a Vanmoof. This was the best photo I could get of it, but to see such a beautiful high tech bike in Newcastle!
This Achielle was a show stopper too. My photo does not do it justice, the light was too strong to capture its features properly. It is all matt black with brown tyres, a heavy duty rack at the front, leather grips and saddle and a double top tube. Understated elegance! It had two of the biggest locks I have ever seen on a bike, its owner is certainly taking no chances.
Fantastic to see bike connoisseurs emerging in Newcastle!