The week’s top bike news from around the world, brought to you every Wednesday.
Yesterday hundreds of volunteers were stationed at key intersections around Australia for the nation’s biggest bike count. While collecting and analysing the data will take several months, initial figures indicate that rider numbers are on the rise with a 17% increase in bike traffic at the bustling intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in Melbourne. Data from the annual count is used by councils to inform decisions about transport planning and bike infrastructure development.
The City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters in Adelaide’s inner east has voted to reduce traffic speeds from 50km/h to 40km/h on all back streets. Traffic management and road safety committee chairman Kevin Duke explained that lower speed limits make for friendlier streets: “What we want to do is create an amenity in the area where cars are not going as fast and people feel safe to use the streets—pedestrians, bike users, gopher users feel safe,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is create something that makes a better living community.” Council is now gathering support from the local community in order to effect the change.
With the NSW state election approaching on 28 March, Bicycle Network has launched its Vote Bike campaign and is asking NSW riders to urge candidates to deliver on three major initiatives: build bike infrastructure, stop excluding bikes and get kids active again.
Update: Vote Bike has had its first win, with The Greens announcing a $250 million Bicycle Infrastructure Fund.
After months of preparation, British paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey fell just shy of setting a new world hour record at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark on Saturday. She clocked up an impressive 45.502km on the track, setting a new British record and significantly improving on the previous second best distance. However, she was unable to best the 46.065km distance covered by long-standing record holder Leontien Van Moorsel in 2003.
While many major cities around the world are working to boost the number of bikes on their streets, Amsterdam has been overrun. With 57% of Amsterdammers riding daily, the city has run out of space for people to park and has now released plans for a subaquatic bike storage facility beneath the Ij that will have capacity to house 21,500 bikes and connect to the city’s central train station. Two floating bike islands with capacity for an additional 2,000 bike spaces each have also been proposed.
A recent study published in the journal Transport Reviews has found that while rider numbers are on the rise in the UK, riders are still predominantly young males. According to the study’s lead author, Dr Rachel Aldred from the University of Westminster, women and older adults are reluctant to ride on streets without infrastructure. “We know from the Netherlands and Denmark that women and older people will cycle, if the conditions are right,” she said. “But these results show that UK policy-makers cannot assume that if cycling grows it will inevitably become more diverse. This has not happened and so we should be targeting policy towards currently under-represented groups.”
New research from Korea has found that those who drink three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries than those who drink no coffee, and thus have a lower risk of heart disease. While researchers stop short of recommending coffee to prevent heart attacks, their findings add to a growing body of evidence that suggests coffee has perks beyond a morning pick-me-up.
Trails rider Rick Koekoek climbs the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ atop Montserrat in Catalonia in a dizzying challenge to viewers to “get outside your comfort zone” and “take control”.
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|Mount Buller, VIC
|Peaks Challenge Falls Creek
|Falls Creek, VIC
|National Ride2School Day
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