Feb 092016
 

Newcastle Cycleways Movement is a group of cyclists committed to improving conditions for cycling in greater Newcastle. We are keen on cycling for transport, fitness, fun, and the environmental benefits that could result from reduced use of cars.

We are engaged in consultative processes with Newcastle City Council, Lake Macquarie City Council and NSW Roads and Maritime Services.

NCM over the years has played a key role in lobbying for the high quality regional cycleways such as the Fernleigh track and the Wallsend to Glendale cycleway, but now want to see a step change in provision of cycling infrastructure as NSW aims at the target of 5% of urban trips by bike in 2016.

NCM has links to Bicycle NSW, and NUBUG.

 Posted by at 11:24 pm
Feb 172016
 

Bicycle Network is urging bike riders from across New South Wales to unite and rally against the state government’s plan to introduce mandatory ID and dramatically increase fines for bike riders.

The public rally against the NSW government’s new and prohibitive cycling laws is set to be held in Martin Place between 7:30am – 8:30am, on Thursday 18 February – the first week of parliament for the new year.

See the bicycle network site for more information.

 Posted by at 11:22 pm
Nov 092015
 

Some of you may be aware that a group of our friends from the Geriatric Playgroup have been riding from Perth’s Kings Park to King Edward Park in Newcastle over the last two months, and are due to arrive home on Thursday 12 November at KE Park at about 1PM. A welcoming BBQ is planned, to which you are all cordially invited – cost $5 per head paid on the day. The actual meeting point will be at the H Buchanan monument in the park – I’m sure you won’t miss the gathering!

 

Our intrepid travellers have endured epic adventures and have executed their riding plan with consummate skill and dedication. They are to be commended and we look forward to welcoming them home. Some media attention is expected.

 

If you’re available on Thursday, please make the effort to attend the BBQ and welcome your fellow cyclists home in style. If you are interested in riding some or all of the final day’s route with them, please contact the secretary for further information.

 Posted by at 8:43 pm
Nov 092015
 

Our regular membership meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, 10 November, 7 PM at South Newcastle Rugby League Club, Llewellyn Street, Merewether. 

The guest speaker has been confirmed as Mr Glen Spicer, Director of EJE Architecture in Newcastle. Glen and his team have done a considerable amount of research and analysis of the various options around the CBD revitalisation project on behalf of The Property Council, and have come up with intriguing alternative scenarios to the four “talking points” put forward by Urban Growth in their community consultation to date. I’m sure the discussion will be of interest to many of our members, as these scenarios have great relevance to cycling to and within the CBD.

 Posted by at 8:39 pm
May 052015
 

AustCycle_SCS_LogoNCM has organised for Austcycle to deliver training for their Skills Instructor Course in Newcastle. This training will be delivered on Friday 15 May 2015. This will give you accreditation to deliver training to new cyclists with an Austcycle accredited provider. The cost and prerequisites are outlined on their site, linked below. The prerequisite for a coaching qual can easily be met with a free online questionnaire if you do not have the other quals listed. You also need to have a working with children check and a first aid certificate.
If you are interested in doing this course, please enrol online. If you have any questions you can message us on Facebook. If you complete your accreditation you will be able to deliver the training via NCM …
https://eventdesq.imgstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main&EventDesqID=13125&OrgID=8962

Aug 312014
 

The Cyclesafe Network was launched on September 1 at Throsby Creek near Source Cafe. Speakers included Sonia Hornery MP for Wallsend, professor Tim Roberts from the Tom Farrell institute, Deb Moore from the Heart Foundation, Karen Howard then chair of Hunter Medicare Local, Kyle Loades from the NRMA,  councillor Nuatali Nelmes, as well as Peter Lee and Ben Ewald from NCM.

We now want to build as much community support as possible before the March election, so if your community group would like to hear about the CycleSafe Network we would love to come and talk to your next meeting.

image

Launch, 1st September 2014

Launch, 1st September 2014

 

 Posted by at 3:14 pm
Aug 282014
 

NCM annual Presidents report.

Peter Lee                                                                                                                                            August 2014

It’s amazing to think that NCM is in her 37th year.  In that time NCM has always advocated for cycling infrastructure and as far as I’m aware has also provided social guided rides as well.  I am now pleased to present this, my second annual report focusing on NCM member activities in these two areas.

Social Rides There have been many people riding regularly under the NCM banner in various organised social rides.  The Saturday Social Saunter and the Cobweb Ride have rolled along with very little effort on behalf of the committee for which I am grateful.

However the thing that impresses me the most is the number of people I’m hearing about regularly going for group rides with friends, a sign of an improving cycling culture.

In July the second annual NCM Tweed Ride was very successful encouraging the committee to think about how these themed rides are organised, and promoted.  NCM has gained strong support and funding grants from Newcastle council’s place making program for these events and with their support we hope to be able to bring you more of these in the near future.  I would also like to thank Vicki Coughlin for her tremendous work pulling these together over the last two years.  If you have ideas for a themed ride please get in touch with the committee and make a suggestion.

Advocacy  In the area of advocacy this year brings to mind the phrase “2 steps forward one step backwards.”  Whilst there has been some significant progress in some areas there has been much frustrating lack of progress and possibly backwards steps in others.

Unfortunately the brilliant Hunter Street revitalisation and cycleways project, equal with the likes of the hugely successful experiments in New York etc, was shelved by local political pressure, and for reasons completely unnecessary.  This proposal was for temporary experimental work which could have been economically modified if ever another decision about Newcastle revitalisation was made.

The RMS Hunter Region Cycling Consultative forums had been meeting successfully for a few years and indeed we were the envy of other BUGS across NSW.  However we have not had one of these meetings this calendar year.  Whilst I have received encouraging news about these forums in the last few days we still do not have a date.

Whilst these and other setbacks have significantly tested my optimism I do still hold the opinion that the hardest years are behind us, and the future will be bright for cycling.

The growth of the cycling culture is still going strong globally and nationally.  The traditional cycling cities continue to see strong cycling culture, but the recent converts are demonstrating massive, rapid change.  Have a look at the video from New York about how they changed their streets.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LujWrkYsl64

In May I attended the VeloCity conference in Adelaide.  The number of international delegates who made it to Adelaide was a very strong sign, but the number of Australian planners and engineers was also very encouraging.

Locally progress has happened on two significant projects; Maud Street Crossing and Richmond Vale Rail Trail.  (RVRT)

Earlier this year Bernard Hocking working with Tim Owen’s office gathered the stake holders together including the Railway authority.  All agreed to the idea in principle and significant barriers were overcome.  NCM engaged an architect to draw up concept plans for the path, and now detailed planning is underway.

Another NCM member, David Atkinson, was instrumental in getting stake holders together for the RVRT.  This stake holders group has recently engaged a consultant to do an extensive feasibility study.  The support from NPWS for this project is significant and gratefully acknowledged.

The City of Newcastle (CoN) and  Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC) cycling advisory committees continued to meet albeit irregularly, and you (NCM) are being represented on these committees by Ben Ewald (Vice President) and Bernard Hocking in Newcastle and Michael Golden and myself (President) in Lake Macquarie.

In light of the changing culture of our advocacy role a few of the executive and selected “elders” of NCM participated in a visioning workshop for the future of NCM.  The fruits of this will be more evident in the coming months, but one important strategy discussed was raising our public profile.  This has started with broadly advertising the Tweed Ride sponsored by NCM, and a well-attended public talk on Cycling History in Australia.  We would like to hold more such public evenings and themed rides and welcome your suggestions for these events.

Our public profile is also being well boosted by our facebook page, maintained by Vicki Coughlin.  https://www.facebook.com/newcastlecyclewaysmovement

Vicki also has a delightful personal blog about bicycles in Newcastle creatively called http://bicyclesinnewcastle.com/  Whenever the frustrating side of advocacy gets me down I just flick over to her blog and always find some good news about, well, Bicycles in Newcastle.  Thanks Vicki.

Hunter Cycle Skills  Newcastle Cycleways attempted to get up and running a training provider to teach beginning bicycle riding, and commuting skills as well as basic maintenance courses.  After a promising start, unfortunately this program has fizzled out due to over stretched volunteers.  There is a strong need for this program in our region and Hunter Cycle Skills has the potential to provide an income for someone willing to take it up and make it work.  Please contact me if you would like to know more about this.

Volunteering  We need your help.  There are many areas where we can promote cycling in our region but we need more people to help out.  If you have a passion to promote cycling and can offer either some technical skills, or just plain hours at a stall please consider some of the tasks below.

  1. Bikes count personnel.  Once in a blue moon sit on a street corner and count the number of bicycles.  Sounds un-exciting but to council bean counters this data is invaluable.
  2. Bikefest, numerous roles; 25-26th October.
  3. Living smart festival 27th September.  Staff the Bike Valet parking combined NCM stall.  For a few hours or the whole day.
  4. Your idea; do you have an idea that you would like to promote to encourage cycling?  Can the NCM committee help?

Thank you  There have been many volunteers helping at times throughout the year and they have all contributed to the growing acceptability of cycling in our culture, and to all of you we say thank you.

However I have one very important thank you to close with.  Bernard Hocking has been absolutely instrumental in most of the biggest cycling improvements and events in our region in recent years; the Hannell Street crossing lights, Bikefest, Maud Street underpass as well as many other political negotiations behind the scene and our city will be all the better for it.  He has been a continuous source of wise counsel, (and sporadic frustration) for me.  His commitment to Bikefest and our cause is unwavering; however his ability to participate in Newcastle Cycleways activities will have to be wound down considerably due to his branching out in a commercial endeavor.  I respect a man who’s willing to put his money where his mouth is, so after many years of saying the city should invest in cycling Bernard is investing in his own bike shop.  We wish him well and much success for Metro Cycles, Bellevue Street, Newcastle West but our advocacy committee is poorer without him.

CycleSafe Network Launch  On Monday the 1st September we will be launching a major campaign called the CycleSafe Network with the support behind it from NRMA, Heart foundation, and the University of Newcastle.  This is a campaign for funding targeting the state government and those deciding about the proceeds from the sale of the Newcastle Port.  Cycling infrastructure has always been treated as a parks and playgrounds type of local government concern. The CycleSafe Network Campaign is about asking the State Government to consider Cycling Infrastructure as important Transport infrastructure, and fund it accordingly.

 Posted by at 6:53 pm