Tuesday 13 October 2009

On ya bike John Mackenzie and Val Schier

Wednesday is Ride To Work day. On a bike, that is.

Join the commuter revolution. Not internationally, but in Australia bikes have out-sold cars for the last eight years. If you ride your bike to work on national Ride to Work day, chances are you'll experience health, financial and environmental benefits and get to meet people you usual yell at when you're driving.

Former Mayor Kevin Byrne used to jump on a tandem with Mike 'locco' O'Loclhan to support the cause. It was a sight too behold.

After cycling in from Machans Beach, Cairns Regional Council Mayor Val Schier will host a free breakfast for riders on the Esplanade (from 6.30am on the lawn just south of the swimming lagoon). Even Mulgrave MP Curtis Pitt will cycle from Gordonvale.

A breakie will also greet riders from 7am at the Mossman administration building.

Richie Bates of the Cairns Cycling Club says it's not only about an alternative choice of transport.

"It's not only about recreation, health and fitness, but it's also about a transport solution," Bates says.

Richie Bates says in a city like Cairns, we're crying out other alternatives to motor vehicles coming into the city.

"Ride to Work day is a great way to contribute toward our traffic problems."


Anti-Bicycle Coalition (ABC) said...

Richie Bates really said "Ride to Work day is a great way to contribute toward our traffic problems."

Ain't that the truth.

Get these ignorant and ill-trained bicyclists off the highways, and footpaths. They all ignore traffic signals, slam into pedestrians, and in general act like they own the roads (for which they have contributed nothing).

Unknown said...

I'd like to see Val try to cycle from White Rock to the city. It's dangerous, and smelly if you choose to head down Ray Jones Drive.

We need a dedicated cycle pathway away from the main from traffic for people to cycle safely into the city. It will also encourage tourists to stay outside the CBD (cheaper motels).

Dutchie said...

ABC, doesn't that stand for Australian Bogan Coalition?

The anger these people display against cyclists must mean that they have been severely traumatised by bicycles during childhood, or just the mere thought of excercise and emission reduction is just too scary?

I cannot think of any other reasons to make such outrageous comments about cyclists and funding spent on bike paths.

But then again, I am a Mexican from The Netherlands...

And over there weird people such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents ride their bicycles to work.

And people have driving lessons at driver's facilities before hitting the roads - the hoons!

And during their driving lessons they are trained to look out for cyclists and look in their mirrors when turning, keep enough space between the kerb and the car for a bicycle to pass.

Crazy people those Dutchies!

Jude Johnston said...

As a car driver, I am always mindful of cyclists, as I am of children who could run out on the road in front of me. However, every day I am startled by cyclists who go around the roundabouts the wrong way, the cyclists who don't think that red lights apply to them, particularly the chap who cycles through the red light Severen and Scott St with an infant on the bike. Then there is the cyclist who is riding in the cycle lane on the left, who suddenly decides they want to turn right and with no warning pulls across in front of me. When I first learned to ride a bike, we were taught the road rules, I guess that doesn't happen any more.
On a positive note though, I am most impressed with the "bike bus" out at the Northern Beaches. A very healthy and safe alternative rather than being dropped off by mum or dad at the school gate.

Unknown said...

"Get these ignorant and ill-trained bicyclists off the highways. They all ignore traffic signals"

You could of course apply this statement to a large percentage of motorists in Cairns, who must be amongst the worst-educated, rudest and ignorant drivers in the Western world.

Drivers who do not know how to merge, change lanes, tackle a round-about properly, let other people change lanes and obey general road rues.

Doing u-turns,whenever and wherever, don't give way to pedestrians even if they are on zebra crossings,tail-gate and overtake whenever possible and display an irrational, aggressive attitude to bicyclists.

"and in general act like they own the roads (for which they have contributed nothing)".

A majority of bicycle riders pay tax or rego and are in fact contributing to the roads they ride on.

ABC, if you want to have a debate on this issue, you'll have to do a lot better than is. All you are establishing at the moment is that you are narrow-minded and backward thinking.

Maybe you should broaden your mind, travel a bit and see how things are done in other parts of the world, before publicly displaying your ignorance on the subject.

Richie said...

ABC is a great example of the insensitivity and arrogance of the worst motorists. I wonder what the seriously injured mum in CBH would think of his remarks? Her shocking injuries were the result of a motor vehicle impact while she was riding in a bike lane! Sadly this tragedy is not a one off, but rather the latest in a long line of vehicle/cyclist collisions that have occurred in the last year. Two of which were fatalities, including a hit and run. Mock and denigrate all you like ABC, you have just reminded us where the real problem is on our roads.

KitchenSlut said...

With all these dangerous cyclists flirting with death on our streets perhaps we should consider recent research from the US which indicates that for every death of a helmetless motorcyclist 0.33 lives are saved among people on organ transplant waiting lists. Consequently dangerous cyclists could actually be serving some useful purpose!

Perhaps we should make it compulsory for all those wayward cyclists to be signed up for organ donation? Or even make it part of traffic penalties! Anyone riding the wrong way around a roundabout could be fined one kidney! Perhaps this is a cause the Anti-Bicycle Coalition could take up? :-)

Anti-Bicycle Coalition (ABC) said... said...

I agree that No Queensland hillbillies are behind most cars in this town. Something that all the speed cameras in the world can't fix. Police are no where to be seen.

If they were, they'd be fixing the bad driving AND bicycling behaviour we all see.

As for the accident on the Cook Highway, I've seen nothing that exonerates the bicyclist from fault in this accident. Despite the wide bike lanes in this area, many bicyclists think that they can occupy a car traffic lane with impunity. Asserting fault in this incident is premature.

As for the "hit and run", it occurred in the dark on a road where a bicycle shouldn't be, especially one without lights. It's easy to envison a driver clipping such a bicyclist in the dark and not knowing.

Fact is, bicycles should be on separate bike paths and OFF the major highways.

Unknown said...

"Fact is, bicycles should be on separate bike paths and OFF the major highways."

I totally agree, but many people in this town obviously don't. You can hear them moaning on the McKenzie show and in the Cairns Post every day how the Council and the State Government are wasting all this money on bicycle paths.

And that includes YOU, ABC " they think they own the roads (for which they have contributed nothing)".

Richie said...

Nice to see you agree about the appalling driving and cycling going on in this town.
However, your attitude that cyclists don't belong is futile.
The fact is, bikes have outsold cars in Australia for the last 8 years and with vehicle rego and running costs spiralling many people are "going back" to the bicycle as a means of transport.
Ride to work today was the biggest turnout yet.
History has a funny way of repeating itself; it was not that long ago when most working men got to their job on a pushbike in this town. Now we see the trend emerging again, with cycling not just as a recreation, but as a transport necessity.
So please feel free to vent your anger, but do a better job of picking your targets.
The lack of education for road users and proper infrastructure is the real enemy here not “anyone and everyone on a bicycle’
By the way - the driver responsible for the tableland hit and run was charged and found guilty.



Factman said...

Richie ... did you realise that it was Factman that handed you a tee-shirt this morning ?

I believe that the Go-Kart track (just before where the accident happened), is a distraction to a lot of motorists.

It's easy to look over and lose concentration for a moment, that's all it takes, a moment.

The car, (in a 100kph zone), may have just veered enough to have caused this unfortunate accident.

Cycles and motor-vehicles sharing a 100kph zone just don't mix.

Far better a using separate bike track, especially when there is one.

KitchenSlut said...

Hmmmm Factman? Could you consequentially be suggesting that just like the Go Kart track that the Waterpark could also endanger traffic as well as being an eyesore regardless of any hydrological issues?

Factman said...

No way KS ... the wonderful water park will be shielded by the flood prevention bund wall. Did you forget?

Richie said...


I believe I did acknowledge you, but it seems like you are craving recognition, so here i go again - Thanks for the t shirt factman....

Paul said...

Factman believes that the "Go kart track is a distraction" and that "it's easy to look over and lose concentration for a moment"
What about using a mobile phone while driving Factman, can that be an unavoidable and excusable distraction?

meatboy said...


The Cook Highway driver has been charged.

PS. I have purposely kept this comment brief, as i am aware of you minimal attention span...

Quien Sabe said...


The convention facilities at the planned water park are to be 11-13 metres high and the towers for the chutes will top out at 27 metres, That's going to be some bund wall to hide that..

Factman said...

Master Bates ...

Thank you for saying thank you but don't thank me.
Who do you think paid for the free shirts, drink bottles, breakfast and coffee?
Them's who you need to thank ... ratepayers.

Richie the ratepayer said...


you are a cranky boy today!

Tariq said...

Anyone who knows Batesy can vouch for his work as a volunteer in the cycling community that has been going on in Cairns for years.
School cycling clinics, coaching, club administration and a reasoned and respected voice on road safety has all been part of his commitment. Keep talking him down Mr Sedentary!

Shirley said...

Misleading again Factman, CBUG made a major contribution to the running of RTW

The Headless Horseman said...

Cairns is one of the most bicycle-unfriendly places I have lived in. I refuse to ride my bike in this town. While Cairns is largely flat, the main problem is the attitude of motorists who are probably the worst in Queensland.
The recent smash at Mulgrave Rd/Newell St resulting in the death of two pedestrians was the result of poor driving habits endemic to this town. Cairns drivers just will not wait a couple of seconds for other cars to go by before turning into a street. They just have to duck out in front of an oncoming bus or car. How many times have vehicles jumped out in front of your at roundabouts just so they can beat you. Happens every day. With this attitude cyclists in this city are taking their lives into their own hands.
Cairns Regional Cairns and the local cycling organisations are doing their best to make this town cycle-friendly. If we can achieve this, then we can change the transport culture and encourage changes in our personal travelling habits. The more motorists take up cycling, the more considerate they will be towards cyclists when driving their cars. So we have a safer community with less greenhouse gases and less pollution and less congestion.

nocturnal congress said...

Well said Headless!! And if there are more cyclists, maybe we can get more pedestrians. Get some of those chubby little kids with their swamp elephant Mothers out there walking to school.

Unknown said...

Well said both Nocturnal and Headless

...and get rid of those insane traffic jams in front of schools morning and afternoon.

....and make it possible to walk in a shopping centre car park without getting run over.