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Advice Education Events Press releases

CEO Update

Dear members

As we move through the spring weather, I wanted to update you all on the work we have been doing to shape our riding agenda and the next phase of our work.

As Queensland’s point of connection for the future of riding, we have been working hard to reach out into regional areas, ensuring all riders, irrespective of where they live, have access to our member benefits and are represented in our advocacy voice. Since my last update, we have welcomed over 300 new members and congratulate Rob van Manen on his appointment as President. Rachel Nolan to Vice president, and Peter Thompson to Secretary at the recent Annual General Meeting. As we come out of a difficult two-year period, I wish to thank members for their ongoing support to Bicycle Queensland (BQ).

BQ continues to flex our advocacy muscle and now represent members on over 20 panels and steering groups across the state. BQ has been recently appointed a member of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Steering Committee. The first meeting was held in Esk and outlined the forward plan of capital works from TMR and the four Councils which the trail runs through; Ipswich, Somerset, Toowoomba and South Burnett. The Steering Committee will give guidance and feedback as the authorities implement the BVRT Strategic Plan. Our top priority in physical terms for the BVRT is a program of tree planting in the exposed sections between Esk and Moore. The trail becomes an unpleasantly hot place to be in summer, and we want to promote its use all year round!

In addition, BQ has a seat at the table at the Sunshine Coast Active Travel Advisory Committee, with the first meeting held in Caloundra. We support the ATAC model, which has been beneficial in Brisbane, with strong support from key political decision-makers, including the Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey. Minister Bailey was present at this initial meeting of the Sunshine Coast committee, which was very helpful.

A stern test of the committee’s mettle will be discussions on a proposed Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade. BQ members at Caloundra have asked for our help in opposing this project in its current form, which puts a four-lane road through a green zone. We will report back on how this goes, but BQ, Qld Walks, and the local active transport advocates from Caloundra have requested an on-site meeting to see if there are alternatives to removing mature shade trees for this project.

Sunday, 17th October saw the community take to the streets for our 16th Brisbane to Gold Coast Cycle Challenge. A big thank you to Downer group, our principal partner, who, without their support, the day would not be possible. We welcomed over 4,300 riders across a new course with 40km, 60km and 100km challenges offered. It was wonderful to connect with members, volunteers, and partners on what was a beautiful day to ride your bike. I’m proud to announce that our riders have raised over $100,000 for our event charity partner, Stronger For Longer.

Our education services continue to gain momentum and importantly sow the seeds for our ten-year strategy. These services have included the creation of content for new and experienced riders via blog posts, video series and online learning modules. Our impact in schools is growing with curriculum-aligned programs being delivered in pre-schools and primary schools across southeast Queensland. I am excited to announce the work we are undertaking with CARRS-Q to develop an Audio Visual (AV) curriculum which, when completed, provides a connection to secondary schools and workplaces.

I’m very proud of the work we have progressed in the Women’s advocacy space and the considerations we are taking to understand how we can support more women to ride for their health and wellbeing. Our HerRIDE campaigns are proving very popular and encourage members to save the date on 27th November for our HERride MTB day at Gap creek.

Until next time, happy and safe riding.

Rebecca Randazzo

Categories
Education

BQ go back to school for our Bicycle Skills and Road Safety School Programs

A big thank you to all the schools and communities that took part in Bicycle Queensland’s Bicycle Skills and Road Safety Program over the last few months. We would like to make a special mention of our supporting partners, KrushOz for supplying some excellent prizes on the day, and My Bike Shop in Mitchelton for handing out some discount vouchers and giving all the bikes a safety check prior to running our sessions at St Peter’s Chanel School.

As children become more mobile and explore urban traffic environments, embedding safe walking and cycling behaviours in children is vital in laying the foundations for safe independent mobility throughout life. BQ’s school and kindergarten programs engage students in the Australian Curriculum and Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guidelines designed road safety practices.

We’d like to thank Yeronga State School and St Peter’s Chanel School, The Gap, Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure Maudsland and Mermaid Water as well as Highfields Child Care Centre for their organisation and support. In these sessions we covered,

  • Helmet fitting
  • ABC bike safety
  • Controlled and emergency braking
  • Signalling
  • Understanding road signs
  • Stranger danger

It’s proven that the knowledge we teach students in our program build confidence and skills on and around the bike as well as preparing them for slow traffic environments. The more children who ride, scoot, or walk to school, the fewer cars there will be on the roads and the less traffic congestion there will be around schools. Students who actively travel arrive awake and alert—improving their concentration, recall, and ability to understand the material being taught.

“My 6-year-old daughter has been reminding us how to use the 2-finger rule to ensure our helmets are fit correctly” – Kate, Parent

“The information about road safety and route planning gave my son the confidence to ride to school for the first time.” – Jenny, Parent

“I really liked the emergency braking. It was heaps fun. I learned how to stop fast and avoid obstacles.” – Oliver, Student

“…the kids at the school benefited greatly and my 2 kids are constantly reminding me with the useful tips they learnt (for in the car and on the bike!).” Fiona, Parent

Towards the end of the year, we will visit a few more schools across South-East Queensland and look forward to the next round of Community Road Safety Grants opening so we can build on the success of 2021. Keep your eye on the Community Road Safety Grant webpage for more info or get in touch at info@bq.org.au to book in your school or community.

Categories
Education

Why it’s important to track your hearing health

New research suggests that a staggering one in two people know someone with a hearing loss, yet it can take years of struggle for many of us to do something about our hearing health.

John Swete Kelly, 65, had noticed a gradual deterioration in his hearing that constantly left him puzzled in group conversations and avoiding crowded venues, as “it was easier to disengage than engage”. As an avid cyclist, John found himself starting to miss other cyclists’ communications when out as a group.

John has seen major changes in his day-to-day life from his hearing aids. The aids are specially programmed to assist him while riding his road bike.

“Hearing loss or not, staying safe on the road is critical,” said John.

“My new hearing aids are specially programmed to automatically adjust depending on the environment I’m in. I also have a specific manual program added for my cycling, which I can activate via an app. This allows me to hear everything around me and has also helped with reducing wind noise.

I can now hear cues from other cyclists very clearly when I’m riding, whereas before I may not have known what was being said.”

Regular check-ups could save your hearing

Hear and Say Adult Hearing Rehabilitation Program Manager, Georgia Cambridge said that because a hearing loss could occur at any age and often progressed unnoticed, adding a regular hearing check to the to-do list was vital.

“Your hearing health impacts all aspects of life, particularly when you’re out on the road riding with friends or on your own,” said Georgia.

“It’s common not to notice a hearing loss until it begins affecting your lifestyle or interactions with others. In a sport like cycling it’s especially important to ensure you’re proactively staying on top of your hearing. It makes a world of difference knowing what options are available if an issue is identified.”

For John, his hearing aids have reopened a world of sounds that had started to slip away.

“It’s made a huge difference, allowing me to fully engage in conversation again. Rather than switching out of a conversation because I couldn’t hear the whole story, I’m fully immersed.

I would strongly recommend that people take the opportunity to get their hearing tested. Once you actually find out about what technology can enable now, it’s quite amazing.”

Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Education, Patrick Trowse, said that staying safe while cycling should be riders’ number one priority, and commended riders like John for keeping on top of their hearing health.

“There is a misunderstanding that people with hearing loss can’t cycle, but John is a perfect example of defying that. With the right gear and support, John can continue to ride a bike safely just like anyone else,” said Patrick.

Until the end of October 2020, Hear and Say are offering Bicycle Queensland members one free 30-minute hearing screen. To book your screen, please call Hear and Say on 07 3850 2111 and mention this offer. 

Categories
Education

Learning the Bike Basics

The impact of COVID-19 has seen more people cycling to improve mental and physical health. As we transition to a new normal, we encourage everyone incorporate cycling into your daily routine in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. This means

We are passionate about people cycling, however we want to make sure your ride is fun, easy and above all, safe. That’s why we’ve created a quick video series that covers the bike basics on safety, etiquette as well as what bike gear to wear and more. Watch all 5 in order below:

Bike Basics Part 1: Helmet Fitting
Bike Basics Part 2: ABC Bike Check
Bike Basics Part 3: What to Wear & How to Prepare
Bike Basics Part 4: Planning Your Ride
Bike Basics Part 5: Etiquette and Safety

For more educational resources like road rules and bike security, head to our education page here. Additionally, if you have any suggestions or want specific resources for your workplace or school, get in touch!

Categories
Advocacy Education

Kids go back to school – on their bikes!

It looks like cycling could be here to stay post-pandemic as we see bicycle numbers soar in local schools. Ferny Grove State School now needs a second bike rack, because their current rack has been full every day since students returned to school.
Ferny Grove State School’s overflowing bike rack.

Ferny Grove State School Principal, Brett Shackleton, said that more families are travelling to school together by bike. He adds that it’s now common to see a bottleneck at most gates in the school as keen cyclists try to get a good spot in the bike racks.  

“We’ve had to provide temporary bike racks just to make do in the interim,” Mr Shackleton said.

Riding to school is important, as 39% of Queenslanders are not getting enough exercise and screen time dominates the home school environment. The bicycle commute is a simple way for communities to get their 60 minutes of accumulated physical activity a day and combat screen fatigue.

Bicycle Queensland’s Director of Education, Patrick Trowse is thrilled so many kids are riding to school again.

“Commuting to school not only covers the daily exercise needs, but also gives students an opportunity for growth and development.

“As bike paths and racks fill up, it is time to push for improved conditions for cycling, so that even more families will consider riding to school,” Mr Trowse said.

Read the full media release here
Categories
Education

How I became an overnight cycling sensation!

Dear BQ,

It feel like it’s been a very long time since I’ve spoken to you, so I thought I would reach out to say hi and see how you are doing with all that’s going on. As we’re all stuck inside and working from home I thought your team could laugh at my expense! haha!

So as you’re aware I am a bit of a social butterfly, so being cooped up inside has been a bit challenging. Needless to say, it’s been a bit of a struggle to not go out for dinner, drinks or just catch up with friends in general. However, I am very lucky that I do live with two of my closest friends though – so that’s a plus. We’re keeping each other sane, at this stage. 

Now that my wings are clipped and I am working from home rather than my usual 30-minute drive home to wind down, I have turned to a walk along the New Farm/ Teneriffe boardwalk.  However, I weighed up the risk vs reward and as I live with nurses, the risk outweighed the reward so I have decided to turn to an indoor bike training and joining Zwift! 

Indoor training is all great in theory, although I am a cycling noob and have little to no experience (herein lies the problem). So itching to do some exercise or something a little more productive than binge-watching something on the idiot box, I jumped on the internet to see what I could find. Needless to say, there was nothing because I am pretty sure that like myself everyone has decided to become an overnight cycling sensation. The Tour de France better watch out because the COVIDiots are on their way (when the borders open of course!). 

So here I am, Sunday afternoon a bottle of wine deep and myself and my housemates have just completed a 1000 piece puzzle, what could go wrong? I jump online once again in search of what seemed to be an endangered species, an indoor trainer and it turns out I’m in luck, I found a second-hand trainer online. A beginner trainer you ask? No, don’t be silly I bought a secondhand Taxc Flux. 

Anxiously awaiting my new (second-hand trainer) I jump online and start learning about the Tacx Flux and Zwift in preparation for my upcoming Tour de COVID. Thursday rolls around and it finally arrives and let me tell you I am raring to go because after a few GP Lama YouTube videos I am (obviously) now an expert. Funny thing is though, while I was preparing for my Tour de COVID I forgot to check if my Reid Urban XO would fit on a Direct Drive Trainer. The thing is my Flux was coming with a cassette, so what did I have to worry about? But, as I am sure you are aware, cassettes and freewheels are completely different and can’t be interchanged. 

So here I am, my Tour de COVID should’ve started by now, but I have a bike that won’t fit my trainer. What do I do, I contact Garmin Chat at 11:00pm to discuss my options, turns out my options are bleak! It’s either a new trainer or a new bike. I’ve somehow become very attached to my Tacx Flux, so it looks like I’m off to buy a new bike. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. 

So in the words of Shania Twain, “I’m all fired up with no where to burn” calories. 

I hope you get as much of a laugh out of this as I did living it. In times like these, it’s best to look on the bright side of life. I may be a COVIDiot, but I still have my health, a loving family and a job. 

I hope the BQ team are well. 

Warmest regards, 

Joseph x

Categories
Advice Education

Riding solo for the first time

Supporting your physical and mental wellbeing is very important during the COVID-19 outbreak, equally as important is stopping the spread of the virus. Cycling has seen a boost recently with people having more time and looking for a great way to get some fresh air and has minimal risk of infection. We continue to support riders and recommend they follow all government rules and guidelines regarding exercising outdoors and self-isolation.

Our current recommendations state that you should ride SOLO or with members of your own household, please refer to our Coronavirus update for Cyclists for more details. For many seasoned cyclists, riding solo is a given and half the fun is getting some time to yourself, for many others riding solo is a new experience so we have put together some tips and tricks for those about to adventure out on their own, perhaps for the first time.

1. Planning

When planning it is important to consider a few key factors; how far, how long, which route and what if I need help. We recommend writing down the answers to these questions and passing it on to a friend or family member who can track your progress.

  1. How long do you plan to ride for? 30mins, 1 hour, more?
  2. Does this match the distance and speed that you can perform? Be reasonable with your estimates and give yourself a little extra time. Don’t plan a 30km ride and think it will only take an hour if your max speed is 20km/h.
  3. Are you taking the safest route possible?
    1. Are there dangerous intersections that you could avoid?
    2. Are the roads and paths in good condition?
    3. Have you gone this way before? If it’s your first time solo, we don’t recommend exploring new routes as it is easy to get disorientated and distracted, increasing your risk.
    4. Is this a popular route? Other riders are a sign that this route is safe and if things do go wrong there will be someone around to help out.
  4. Can you adjust your timing?
    1. Try and ride during daylight to reduces risks. If you do ride during low-light conditions or night-time remember to have your lights on.
    2. Go for more short rides, this will keep you closer to home (more rides = more cardio increases and more kudos 🤩)
  5. What are your plans if you breakdown or crash?
    1. Can a family member pick you up?
    2. Is this a popular route will someone find you?
    3. Does the route have phone coverage.

2. Preparation

Now you have planned your ride, it is time to get prepared, this is similar to getting ready for a group ride, just remember you need all your own supplies.

  1. Have you checked your bike?
    1. When was the last time was the bike serviced?
    2. Have you checked your brakes?
    3. Is the chain lubricated? Is there rust on the chain?
    4. Are the tyres inflated to the correct pressure?
    5. Are your lights charged?
    6. Do the gears change freely?
  2. Have you spares, water and food?
    1. Have you packed enough water and food for your distance?
    2. Do you have own supplies; tube, pump, levers etc?
    3. The $5 note can be used as an emergency tyre repair material. It’s light weight, foldable and waterproof, and you can use it on the inside of your tyre to seal a cut.
    4. Going bush or an unpopular route, consider carrying a whistle. It carries further then a voice/cry for help and is less exhausting.
  3. Personally
    1. Are you wearing bright kit? Can you be seen?
    2. Is your phone charged?
    3. Are you mentally ready for time by yourself?
    4. Can you fix a flat/other breakdown?

3. Tracking                             

Do you have a phone or GPS that can be tracked? There are many services that offer location tracking and reporting. We recommend letting people know your plan and how they can access your location. Below are a few of the main trackers but do some research into which option works best for you and your tracker, we recommend testing your solution on a short walk or ride to make sure the service is fit for your needs.

  1. Apple devices have find.my installed by default https://www.apple.com/au/icloud/find-my/
  2. Android devices can use google find me device https://www.google.com/android/find
  3. Strava Summit (premium) offers Beacon that shares real-time location data.
  4. Garmin LiveTrack to Track Activities https://www.garmin.com/en-US/blog/fitness/use-garmin-livetrack-track-activities-real-time/
  5. Everyone should download the triple zero emergency app https://emergencyapp.triplezero.gov.au/

4. Check-ins

Now you are set you have your route planned, your bike is ready, and your tracker knows where you are. Make sure you keep your tracker informed on your plans.

  1. Are you on a long ride? A good idea would to be to check in halfway. Not only does your tracker know that you’re ok, but they can double the time for your return.
  2. Have you broken down, get a flat, stopped for a break or a cheeky photo (make sure you tag us if you do), check in with your tracker, they will see that you stopped moving and may get concerned, it will also have added time to your ride.
  3. Coffee time? With many cafés shut or only serving takeaway maybe have a coffee at home, if you arrange with a friend before time you could video call over a coffee to talk about your solo rides.

5. Stay connected and ride well

We hope you enjoy you continue to enjoy riding your bicycle! #ridewell

Remember to share and tag us in your solo ride photos on socials; Facebook @bicycle.qld, Instagram @bicycle_qld, Twitter @bicycleqld, and join the BQ strava group. BQ is riding with you!