As residents of Brisbane we can all work together to take action to make cycling safer and to make Brisbane a ‘Cycling City’.
The vision of “We Heart Cycling” is that anyone in our city – regardless of their age, gender, physical abilities, cycling skills and road safety awareness – can cycle, not because they are highly experienced sports cyclist, but because cycling is a safe, fun, convenient and ‘normal’ mode of transport.
Cyclists, motorists, taxi drivers and pedestrians all stand to gain from a city that cycles. The issue of the aggressive conflicts between cyclists and motorists, the lack of safe infrastructure and the negative perceptions of bicycle riders can no longer be ignored.
“We Heart Cycling” invites everyone to be part of five tangible actions which can improve cycling in our city and which will benefit everyone who wants our roads and our city to be safer places to share. And that starts today
1. Culture & Clothes
We can all help to change the perception of cycling. The clothes you are wearing now are your cycling clothes. Whether that’s a skirt, jeans or a bowler hat, you don’t need to wear special clothes to ride a bicycle.
… If you’re sweating while riding a bicycle then you’re probably going too fast!
How? Wear your favourite dress, skirt or jeans next time you hop on your bike
2. Bottom-Up Self-Organising
We don’t have to wait for the Government or the Council to organise community events. There’s nothing stopping us organising karaoke in the park or a lunchtime bike ride. If we want, we can organise our own initiatives.
As an example Lazy Sunday Cycle is a grass-roots social-media initiative aimed at anyone and everyone who wants to ride a bicycle for fun. It was founded by two Brisbane creatives Amy Saunders and Rachel Smith. They had no money or resources, just a Facebook page and now more than 50 people take part in their bike rides on the first Sunday of each month.
How? You don’t have to ask permission to get involved in transforming your city – what would you do to make Brisbane a cycling city?
3. Dare to share
It’s time to start doing things a little bit differently.
We can share our resources as a community, like we did after the Brisbane floods in January 2011. There are so many opportunities for collaborative consumption – we could share our cycle parking facilities or share cycling success stories or share the enthusiasm to encourage other people to have a go at cycling.
How? Why not share your passion for cycling and be a cycle buddy for a day or arrange for your local bike shop to run a bicycle maintenance course at your workplace. Sharing your passion and knowledge could inspire ten others to consider cycling.
4. DIY Brisbane
Everyone is talking about DIY cities, open source, crowd sourced and peer produced cities. We can all participate in making Brisbane a New World City by getting involved in whatever way best suits our own personal circumstances.
As an example, several years ago AECOM created The No Excuse Zone map. Based on a series of test bicycle rides the map shows the distance a normal healthy person can cycle within 30 minutes of Brisbane’s CBD. The No Excuse Zone was developed to provoke discussion and to encourage city workers who live within the zone to have a go at cycling to work one day per week
How? Why not create your own No Excuse Zone for your local community and encourage others to cycle with you to school, work or the local coffee shop. If you’d like help getting started, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Riding a bike in Brisbane should not require bravery, yet that is often the perception amongst cyclists and non-cyclists. We have spent lots of time having conversations with people in Brisbane about why they don’t ride a bicycle. We have concluded that potential cyclists want bike paths that are completely separated from parked and moving cars. As agencies increasingly compete for the same funding, exciting opportunities are created to form marriages between government, businesses and society to plan and deliver cycle infrastructure in different ways.
How? Spread the word about traffic free bike paths you have near you. By advocating for new bikeways, you could have a say in shaping community infrastructure to suit you.
For more information check out Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-Heart-Cycling/401023656595008