Just thought I'd post a quick message here about having returned to my family home in the little hamlet of Clarendon, about 20km from Ballarat, Victoria and 100km from Melbourne. While I really liked being in and cycling through Adelaide for 2 years, I've come here to pursue the next step in my interest into research in Urban and Regional Planning.

One interesting cycling fact that came to my attention is that the national road race championships are coming up in the little town on Buninyong just 10km down the road from our place on the 6-10 January. It's interesting how close this is to the TDU, perhaps it'll be used as a lead-up by some of the major riders. Apparently Buninyong is a popular location with the cyclists because of the good mix of terrain so close to a pleasant little town. The town is right at the base of Mt Buninyong, and while it's no Alp de Huez it's a good steep climb – well I bet it seems so especially by the 5th or 6th lap! Like the TDU there is a prelude ride that the public can join in, and now by trusty MTB is put back together after the trip I may well give this a go.

I was down in Melbourne for the day (took the good quality fast rail network we have in Vic now), and there definitely seem to be some positive signs for cycling in the inner city. There are more green-painted bike lanes around intersections, and as I've commented on the forums recently the “Copenhagen lane” down Swanston St there does seem to have been better designed than the trial one in Adelaide - although looking for a picture I see this blog post that questions that one too. I also liked that at a busy intersection near Fed Square, cyclists actually had their own light and seemed to get at least a few seconds head start on the cars when the lights changed – I reckon this could work very well in Adelaide too.

The other thing of interest was that a few of us had been talking about some organised bike maintenance get-togethers recently, and I ran into one of these at the CERES community/environmental park. CERES is a cool place, especially if you like colorful bohemian clothes and markets. It's very bike friendly, and on the way out I ran into a hive of activity of people fixing bikes, including a cute arbor constructed entirely of wheels ;) They were so busy my friend and I couldn't collar anyone for a chat about how it worked, but it seems worth following up on. The nice thing is it's right by a bike track along the Merri Creek, so a Saturday ride and repair session would be very convenient. Perhaps an idea for the “City Farm” proposal near the Linear Park Jeremy et al?

Anyway, signing off now as I'm back in Ballarat and meeting friends for dinner, then checking out the flick Avatar afterwards. We'll have to see if the aliens in the film are into cycling ;) I'll also have to take my camera with me next trip into Melbourne to take some snaps of cycling culture there.

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Comment by Gus on December 21, 2009 at 10:52
Thanks Patrick. I have been to a wedding at CERES but can't remember seeing any bicycle related activity. It is a unique place.

The quick update on a bike club here in Adelaide is there has been some preliminary talks with Format Collective for us to host a night as a part of their Renew Adelaide festival starting late Feb and running for two weeks. It is an event supported by the Adelaide Fringe. There is also a Bicycle Film Night being put on by the Ready Set Ride crew.

All things going well the bike club (for want of a better name) will continue to run on a regular basic - possibly fortnightly.

The CERES example is a good place to look at for ideas as is Cycle ReCycle in Sydney.

My idea is to not just limit the events to maintenance and bike building but also include some interesting speakers on a wide range of cycling related ideas.

More soon.

A
Comment by heather on December 22, 2009 at 14:34
Great that Melbourne in Australia now has a dedicated traffic light for cyclists, who then get a head start. Will Australia embrace this in other locations? I hear that this is the norm in The Netherlands.

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