Riding a bike
Riding a bike is:
- environmentally friendly
- a cheap way to travel
- good for your health
- a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors and spend time with friends.
Many cities and towns have good facilities bike riders can use.
If you want to encourage more people to cycle in your local area, you can:
- organise a local event to celebrate Bike Week – for more information contact Bicycle Queensland*
- organise regular social rides with your friends and work colleagues
- form a bicycle user group in your area or at work – request your council to improve facilities
- encourage friends and family to ride more often – see which of your daily trips can be converted to bike trips
- adopt a commuter by encouraging a friend or colleague to ride to work with you
- approach your local media for some publicity about the benefits of riding bikes.
The section below, examples of initiatives, lists ways councils and workplaces have encouraged bike riding.
Developing a local bike map
Developing a local bike map is a great way to encourage people to ride bikes in your local area. Tourists also enjoy riding bikes and find maps that include local tourist attractions especially helpful. Here are a few simple steps to develop a local bike map.
Step 1. Collect a few examples of bike maps from other areas. These maps can provide ideas about what to include on your map and which format to use.
Step 2. Decide on the scale of the map: will it be for a site (such as a university or a recreation facility), a suburb, a whole town, or a region (such as cycle touring routes). Deciding on the scale will help determine which information will be included on the map.
Step 3. Acquire a base map of your local area/town and map what you want to include on it. Most councils have a geographical information system which will provide a base. Identify:
- major destinations such as schools, recreation facilities, community facilities, shops, tourists attractions, parkland, beaches, hospitals, colleges, churches, campgrounds, hotels, major employers in the region and anywhere bike riders might want to go
- street names and include enough detail so people can locate themselves easily
- existing and proposed bike routes and include on-road and off-road routes, bikeways and shared paths
- a legend, a scale and the north point
- the location of bike shops, service stations, bicycle parking facilities, end-of-trip facilities, public toilets and tourist information offices
- location of emergency call points, public access telephones and consider placing signs on bikeways pointing to the nearest location of call points, telephones and distance to each
- extra information such as safety tips, road rules, route information, a hotline for path maintenance reports and useful contacts.
Step 4. Consult local bike user groups for feedback on the map including presentation, format, usability, quality of routes and anything else which could be addressed.
Step 5. Decide on format, style, colours and production (such as will the map be available in print, on the internet or both).
Step 6. You can produce a sample map to evaluate its potential impact on the number of people riding bikes. A feedback form asking people whether they are likely to cycle more because of the map and how useful they found it can be included. Completed 'before and after' counts (of cyclists) on a particular bike route can help assess how effective the map is. Feedback received can affect the design of the map.
Step 7. Produce and distribute the map as required.
Examples of initiatives
Deception Bay helmet promotion
In Deception Bay, the Police Citizens Youth Club set up CHEEP – the Community Helmet Encouragement Education Program. The Community Helmet Encouragement Education Program provided a range of incentives to encourage bike riders to wear helmets throughout Deception Bay and Redcliffe. The aim of the Community Helmet Encouragement Education Program was to reward young cyclists for wearing helmets and obeying the road rules. Over 1000 people packed Redcliffe Skate Park for the culmination of the event where awards and prizes were handed out.
National cycle to work promotion
The New South Wales Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business has compiled a Cycle to Work brochure that outlines everything organisations need to consider if cycling to work is to be encouraged. Contact the New South Wales department on +61 2 6121 7234 or fax on +61 2 6276 7127 to obtain a copy.
Calliope Turtle Way – cycling and environmental education
Calliope Shire Council has created the course 'turtle way', an innovative way of encouraging more people to use the existing bikeway that links Boyne Island and Tannum Sands. The council has signposted the bikeway with six directional signs and six small plinths. Each of the six plinths fit together to form a pattern that tells 'the story of the turtle'. Children can learn about the natural environment and have fun outdoors while they make their way around the course. Contact the Calliope Shire Council Parks Section on +61 7 4975 8147 for more information about the turtle way course.
Mackay helmet promotion
The Child Safety Working Group of the Mackay/Whitsunday Safe Communities Project launched 'Operation Bikesafe'. Police noted the names of local students seen cycling safely and obeying the road rules. At school assembly, students were awarded certificates and gifts while their names went into a draw to win one of two new bikes at the end of the year. Contact the department's road safety advisor on +61 7 4951 8330 or the Queensland Health, Health Promotion Services Coordinator on +61 7 4968 3801 for more information.
The department has created a bike pool within the motor pool. Staff can borrow bikes to attend meetings, functions across town or for a lunch time ride.
Smogbusters Way to Work scheme
Smogbusters has developed a 'way to work' scheme designed to help workplaces reduce unnecessary car trips. The scheme involves assessing current modes of transport used by staff of an organisation and developing a Green Transport Plan in cooperation with staff and the organisation to help adjust commuting habits. Brisbane architects Bligh Voller Nield successfully participated in the scheme and reported a 14% increase in cycling at the end of the trial.
Supporting active transport in Childers
Isis Shire Council has built a network of pathways for cyclists and pedestrians.
The project originates from a community engagement trial, stemming from recommendations from the School Transport Safety Taskforce, which aimed to ensure whole communities take responsibility for school transport safety.
The shire council matched funding provided by the department, and developed and implemented a network of pedestrian and cycling pathways to link the Childers State School and St Joseph's school in the town.
The success of the project has resulted in people wanting more pathways throughout the town.
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