Cycling in Sydney Australia
Recently Bicycle Network (previously aka Bicycle Victoria) issued the following letter to its claimed 1000 members living in NSW. BNSW has approximately 12,000 members.
Is this a welcome development? What do you think? Are you prepared to join/switch?
I want to tell you about an exciting development at Bicycle Network involving NSW.
In the last 10 years there's been a massive increase in rider numbers across Australia. But we know there's millions more Australians who would start riding if they could be separated from cars, or ride on quiet streets. We know that to convince government to improve conditions, bike riders need to be represented at the federal level. We also know that representation can't be dependent on government funding.
NSW has the highest population of any state. It also has the lowest proportion of bike riders of any state. This is a reflection of the bike infrastructure and it's time we helped improve both recreational and transport bike facilities in NSW.
To do this we are:
- starting an exciting one day challenge ride from Sydney to Newcastle on 16 February 2014, introducing our signature events to NSW
- recruiting more members in NSW (we are currently at about 1000 and growing).
Naturally, where we can we'll continue to work with the local group, Bicycle NSW. But with the federal election fast approaching we need to get NSW moving.
We'd love your help. We'd really appreciate it if you could log onto www.bicyclenetwork.com.au and introduce us to your family and friends in NSW or register your interest in the Sydney to Newcastle Challenge.
Thank you for your continuing support of our organisation that gets more people cycling more often.
BV/Network = nothing more than a bully organisation, they say they work with other organisations but do not and try to undermine any organisation that gets in their way. They tried to leverage in at one point into the City of Sydney and the work that ikeSydney was doing, booted out very quickly.
Got an email from BN this weekend inviting me to become a member. Here is my reply:
Dear Bicycle Network Team in NSW,
Thank you for your invitation to become a Bicycle Network member.
I am unwilling to support your organisation at this time, for a number of reasons.
1) Your advocacy and policy do not appear to be informed by research and evidence.
2) You appear to be more focused on the needs/wants of sport cyclists than of people who use a bicycle for everyday transport (or would like to).
3) You support mandatory helmet laws when the weight of evidence indicates they not are effective in reducing injury rates or improving public health, and indeed may reduce safety due to lower participation and reduced ‘safety in numbers’. The evidence tells us that speed is a more important risk factor than helmet wearing, so why do you not advocate for a 15km/h speed limit for bicycles? Riders are more at risk riding helmeted at 30km/h on a main road, than riding unhelmeted at 10km/h on a bicycle path, yet you advocate for the latter to be illegal and punishable with a heavy fine. Your supporter base of sport cyclists does not need a law to get them to wear a helmet, they will wear one anyway. Stop placing unnecessary barriers in the way of people who just want to ride a bicycle at normal speed, and have much less need for safety equipment.
4) Your policy on minimum passing distance laws makes no sense. While there is no evidence (yet) that they improve safety, what possible justification could there be for an exception when there is a white line between the rider and the vehicle? Do you think saving drivers a few seconds is more important than rider safety?
5) I don’t know why you advocated for higher fines for bicycle offences in Victoria, when there was no evidence that this would improve safety (and nor has it).
6) Your organisation is doing more harm than good to cycling in Australia.
The Newcrest Orange Challenge looks like it was an event for competitive/sporting cyclists. I have no interest in this kind of event.
Re your offer of a free Bicycle Network jersey, I have no need for this. I am not a sport cyclist, I ride in ordinary clothes.
It’s been a big few months for the bike riding community and Bicycle Network.
Firstly, the support we received during the fight against the heavy-handed bike riding fines was incredible, the Government now knows we will not go down without a fight. Then, nearly 1,000 riders came out and experienced the inaugural Newcrest Orange Challenge with us on a perfect Autumn day.
We really couldn’t have done it without riders support, thank you. But riding conditions need to keep improving and a range of bike riding events made available for people in NSW. That’s why we really need your support. By becoming a member you can contribute to making this happen for years to come.
Sign up today and enter the promo code RIDEWITHUS when you checkout and you'll receive an extra four months membership free (that's 16 months of membership) and a Bicycle Network jersey.
As a Bicycle Network member you will get comprehensive rider insurance, a RideOn magazine subscription and riders rights and support.
Thanks again for your support we look forward to see you out riding soon.
The Bicycle Network Team in NSW!
reads like you might follow up by sending a steaming turd in a box