Now we are in the second half of the year, it seems the next round of cycling conferences are all big ‘international’ events being held overseas.
The most recent of these events was the 2017 International Cycling Conference, which was held this week in Mannheim, Germany.
What happened at the International Cycling Conference 2017?
This is an annual 3-day event that brings together international researchers, planners, policy makers and practitioners working in cycling theory and practice.
This year, the Conference was focused on 10 central themes:
Attitudes, Behaviour and Choice
Health and Active Mobility
Designing Future Infrastructure
Policy and Strategies
Mobility Cultures and Education
Economic Benefits of Cycling
Digital and Data
Bike-Sharing, Electric Bikes and Intermodality
Although international in principle, the conference is predominately attended by European representatives. This is most likely due to their being in close geographic proximity to Germany – nip in, nip out.
Understandably, there were many Dutch speakers on the program, but also it was great to see as presenters coming from further a field like Taiwan, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Uganda and South Africa.
I was delighted to see 3 Australian presenters, Dr Jennifer Bohnam (Uni of Adelaide), Prof. Narelle Haworth (CARRS_Q Queensland) and Dr Marilyn Johnson (Monash Uni.) presenting a session entitled: Cyclist-related content in driver licensing processes.
I’m currently working on my PhD Confirmation paper which is due in 2 weeks. After confirmation, PhD researchers get a travel grant to attend an international event to present.
Seeing the ICC program (see below) is a great motivator for me to keep pushing on with my own cycling research. (Right now I am in the ‘zombie zone’ and really have to knuckle down and just grind, grind, grind).
The range, scope, depth and variety of the sessions this year was pretty impressive. It looked as if there really was something for everyone!
If you went to the ICC, what cycling issue or topic would you present?
Until such a time, it can’t hurt to keep the ICC Program, Speaker List and Brochure handy (below) as a tangible reminder of all the good work being done around the world where bicycles really are creating positive change!
But essentially it is because it is a micro-moon or mini-moon, which means it is the smallest full moon for the whole of 2017.
Tonight the moon will be about 30,000 miles (50,000 km) farther away from Earth than the new moon supermoon of May 25, 2017.
I went down to the waterfront at sunset to watch the moon rise – and it was stunning!
Tonight will certainly make for a spectacular night ride!
If you are not a regular night rider, or have not been for a full moon bike ride – I highly recommed it.
Not only is it lovely to ride at night by yourself or with others, but riding under full moonshine is very special and not something you get to regularly do – so if you have the chance try it!
Many bike groups and/or places and urban riders host regular or special event Full Moon Bike Rides (FMBR).
If you have not been on a FMBR before, I’ve listed a few below to share how much fun they can be.
So tonight get on your bike and get out riding under the full moon!
Brisbane’s Full Moon Bike Ride – Full Moon River Ride at Orleigh Park
Full Moon River Ride (Brisbane, QLD). Experience a unique perspective of our beautiful river city riding around Brisbane under the lights of the full moon. Starting at Orleigh Park in West End, this route is exclusively on bike paths around the Brisbane river through South Bank, the botanical gardens before returning via the Go-Between Bridge.
Date/Time & Venue: Friday, 9 June 2017, 6 – 8pm. Orleigh Park, 68 Hill End Terrace, West End, Brisbane, QLD.
Meeting point: Car park, corner Riverside Drive and Hill End Terrace. Cost: Free. Just be at the meeting point 15 minutes before the ride starts.
Requirements: Bike, helmet, water bottle, money for a coffee.
For more information contact Ross at Brisbane By Bicycle on 0413 253 366. Bookings: Not required.
Bikes and equipment can be hired for $15 per person per activity but this must be arranged in advance.
Elsewhere is Australia
LUNACY RIDE – Sacred Rides in Jindabyne, Kosciuszko (Nov – March) Guided Summer Full Moon MTB Ride. This FMBR is an organised (paid) ride and only happens in the Summer months and thier website boasts that it is .. something a bit different, why not try the BEST POSSIBLE mountain biking experience in the Snowys – (or anywhere else in Australia): Our extemely fun ‘Lunarcy Ride’ up the higest Mountain in Australia – in real Style.
During this ride you ascend Australia’s highest mountain, Mt. Kosciuszko, which for most riders is “a once-in-a-lifetime experience”. This group organises the bike ride and has a tour guided tour and support team. You leave at 5.30pm and ride up to have a drink at the top and see the sun set and the moon rise over Australia’s iconic mountain range. You then ride back down in full moon light. Awesome!
A few USA examples
Tosa Full Moon Bicycle Rides in Wauwatosa (Wisconsin USA). This ride is a social, slow paced ride which promotes a NO SWEAT pace. All are invited to ride (bring freinds and family) through urban Wauwatosa where ther are stops for drinks and nibbles.
Atlanata Moon Ride is not just as social ride, but a supercolourful fundraiser and live music event with best decorate bike and costume awards – they get up to 5,000 riders to their event. Imporessive!
New Zealand, Palmerston North
The Swamp Rads Bike Gang rove the trails and streets of Palmerston North – where they “rove the sweet Manawatu bicycle trails stopping at taverns, cafes, beaches and picnic benches. The rules: pedal power only, no lycra, no hierarchy”.
Global and/or start your own
International Awarewolf Full Moon Bike Rides. International Awarewolf Full Moon Bike Rides are now happened in San Diego CA, Dallas TX, Tempe AZ, Las Vegas NV, Bristol England, Johannesburg South Africa, Oslo Norway and a few other places. Awarewolf wants to have more cities around the world hosting similar AWLF inspired FMBRs to raise awareness for Safe Cycling Advocacy. Plus they have some cool statements, like: We are a pack, not a mass and Don’t be a negative example of a positive movement.
Get out riding tonight!!
Where ever you are, and however you can – be sure tonight to get on a bike tonight and check out the beautiful Strawberry full moon.
Here is where the series will be taking us this year –
I’m stoked the first round is in Rotorua. It was raining pretty hard for a while, so now the tracks are pretty muddy and slippery – a real physical challenge!
Great to see the full 7 rounds being held at Redwoods – much better than last times liaise over the other side – much better management and track link-up.
Nice to see the new (old) illegal track (now legal) as well as Dodds, and some of Whakarewarewa Forest’s best double black diamond runs being showcased for the event (see map and track overview at the end of this post).
It will be interesting to see what happens for this round – and for the season. Personally, I’m hoping Sam Hill is in superman form and give Riche Rude, Damien Oton and Jerome Clementz a serious run for their money. I’m also hoping that NZ local boys Wyn & Eddie Masters and Matt Walker strut their stuff and show ’em how to ride NZ style on home turf – it would be awesome to see Kiwis on the podium. In the Elite Women’s, Cecil Ravanel, Isabeau Courdurier and Anita Gehrig are set to battle it out with the rest of the field. What a top line-up. If practice was anything to go by – many agree it is going to be a very exciting round!
So strap yourself in for a great EWS series full of some awesome racing this season – let’s get it on!!
Source: Pinkbike. Follow Fabien Cousinié down the 7 stages.
Along with millions of other homes in 179 countries and in over 7,000 cities, from 8.30pm – 9.30pm tonight, those homes who have registered are turning off all the power for at least one hour in recognition of worldwide climate, resource and environmental issues.
How bicycles are part of Earth Hour 2017
I am very proud to see this Australian event take off internationally and to see how bicycles have been incorporated more and more into the event – here are just a few ways cycling is featuring this year around the world for Earth Hour 2017.
There are heaps of bicycle-themed events going on this year for Earth Hour. Here are some innovative examples:
I was interested to find that in 2014 there was a spin-off version of Earth Hour called ‘Bike Hour’ – a very bicycle-inspired initiative.
If you are interested – the short video below shows some of the highlights and impacts from Earth Hour 2016. If you are not already involved – and even if you are – perhaps you can host your own Earth Hour bicycle event! Good luck and have fun!!
Happy International Women’s Day – A quiet ride to celebrate.
I have just returned back from celebrating International Women’s Day 2017 (IWD). It is late now, just past midnight in fact, so technically it is the day after IWD. I’m late as I had spent the afternoon and evening going for a wonderful IWD ride. So before my IWD night officially ends, I thought I would put up a quick considerations to mark the occasion.
International Women’s Day Background
For those who don’t know,International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
International Women’s Day has a long history in the West dating back to 1909. In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly made the holiday globally recognized by inviting member states to declare March 8 a day for women’s rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment. Since then, the UN creates an annual theme for International Women’s Day. Today also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and the theme for this year is Be Bold For Change.
This day is important for many reasons, but with the World Economic Forum prediction that the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186, the struggles of many women in disadvantaged situations is more acute than ever.
Therefore, International Women’s Day (IWD) is an opportunity to raise positively contribute to
celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women because visibility and awareness help drive positive change for women
declare bold actions you’ll take as an individual or organization to help progress the gender agenda because purposeful action can accelerate gender parity across the world.
Two Awesome Historical Stories of Heroic Cycling Women
Another historical piece by fellow bike Blogger Nicola from Women Who Cycle offered some insightful comments when considering the impact and connections between bicycles and specifically American women (based on a Wisconsin stimulus).
IWD 2017 – Who, what and how?
IWD is not all about women – it is equally important that our brothers and the gorgeous men in our lives are also recognised! In fact some of the most staunch feminists I know are men.
There were celebrations and rides all over the world, although coverage of these reports varied in detail and depth for example Malaysia, India and the UK. There was also a massive march in New York City, which some friends of mine attended and said they saw a large cycling cohort represented – hooray!
Personally, I celebrated International Women’s Day 2017 in low-key style. This year I wanted to mark the day with simplicity, gratitude and in a way that acknowledged the ordinary and everyday.
Instead of going to a big event, I opted instead to take a solo ride along the coastline and have time to reflect. For me, this was a more honest and personal way to ruminate and commemorate on the processes of womens’ struggles.
As I rode, I thought about my life and the lives of others.
I thought about the current situation of fellow sisters throughout the world, the amazing progress the world has made and areas that still need improving. I thought about how I impact the world, and how I felt I was making a difference and where I though we needed more change.
I took time to stop and gave thanks.
I watched the bay and listened to the lapping of the waves. It was a stunning afternoon. The ocean breeze was cool and reassuring, the sunset spectacular and full of promise for the next day and I was very grateful to be alive and riding my bike.
What did you do to commemorate this day?
What ever it was – Happy International Women’s Day!
I’m very excited as 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the bicycle.
Happy Year of the Bike!
Bring on 2017!
According to Chinese Astrology, we are leaving the Year of the Monkey (2016) and entering the Year of the (Fire) Rooster (starting Feb 2017 for Chinese New Year). If you are not sure what ‘Year of the ..’ you were born – check here.
The New Year transition ALWAYS means big changes – but this transition ESPECIALLY is going to uncover some sudden upheavals, dramatic ends and new beginnings. Don’t be surprised if you see relationship break ups, new lovers coming together, people leaving their jobs or being promoted, other will be moving house, going away (interstate or overseas). Passionate pleas will be made, sudden conflicts aroused, cathartic outbursts unleashed, secrets revealed and many desires fulfilled (*sigh*). No doubt a few unexpected changes to content with during this particular New Year transition – perhaps you have already noticed or experienced it’s effects??
But once this has passed, 2017 is shaping up to be AMAZING!!!
Most importantly – I think it is awesome that the wee little future riders lucky enough to be born this year can claim to be a ‘bicycle’! All those born in 2017 will be ‘Year of the Bike’ – how cool is that!!
I wonder if this means we will see a significant increase in births by cycling parents trying to have their kids born this year so they can claim their child to be ‘Year of the Bike’. It would be an interesting sociological/public health study to investigate!
I also hope this means that a few of us get a massive kick start to the New Year. Also, all year there should be HEAPS of events, exhibitions, art, gatherings, conferences and shows paying homage to the humble bicycle. So keep your eyes open for upcoming events – or even better host your own!
If you see or know of a Year of the Bike event that you think Bicycles Create Change should feature, please let me know via the comments.
2017 – Happy New Year of the Bike!!
Back in the day
It is hard to believe that it all started 200 years ago in 1817, when in his German Mannheim laboratory, Baron Karl von Drais produced the first recognised velocipede – the original of what we today call the bicycle. When it was first launched, it was called the Laufmaschine (“running machine”) and was the brunt of much ridicule.
Over the years the basic (frame and wheel) design saw many evolutions of change and development until by the 1860’s the product was such that it was officially dubbed a ‘bicycle’ from then on. As you well know, improvements in bicycle designs continue today.
If you love bikes and are keen to test your knowledge of bicycle history – try this HISTORY OF THE BICYCLE EXCERCISE – which also has a downloadable worksheet (and answers). See how well you do and get some extra awesome histo-cultural background to wow your mates on group rides and at dinner parties when the topic of Year of the Bike comes up.
To see a quick rehash of the major stages and changes that bicycles have undertaken over the years – this 1-minute animation is spot on.
There are two versions of the NZ Tree of Bikes. Bother trees have the same structure, features and function.
For example, the first Auckland Tree of Bikes was a 7-meter high Bicycle ‘Christmas’ Tree that had a central steel structure that was adored by 120 up-cycled bicycles and an array of bike parts. The 120 bicycles that make up this tree were all donated by local Aucklanders and after the tree was exhibited over Christmas, the tree was dismantled and the all the bicycles were donated to local community groups like the Refugee Centre.
The Auckland Tree of Bikes was so popular and successful, that a similar, second tree was organised and installed in March 2016 by the Rotorua Lakes Council to coincide with Crankworx Rotorua. It was great to see local council getting behind the intiative and fully supporting the project by providing with a donation drop-off point, publicity and clearing the red tape to ensure that such a great project is endorsed, encouraged and prioritised. As with the Auckland Tree of Bikes, the local residents of Rotorua donated 150 bicycles and parts to create the 2016 Bike Tree public art instillation that featured prominently at the Crankworx Village Green.
Why can’t all local councils be as forward thinking as Rotorua?
Although a seemingly small project, the Rotorua Tree of Bikes is yet again another example of how NZ finds innovative, community-based initiatives that are interesting, promote cycling and increase positive community participation.
Why is it so hard for the rest of the world (and Brisbane in particular) not to see that investing in road and trail cycling is profitable, positive and socially beneficial? Rotorua is a fantastic example of this can be mutually advantageous for tourism and local businesses, as well as for bikers of all ages and stages.
So when you get here, I’ll either see you on the trails or under the Tree of Bikes!
In our house we have a strict no present policy. This is primarily for environmental and ethical considerations, but also because we are consciously and actively reducing our impact on the environment and our reliance of material possessions to more towards a more sustainable, thoughtful and minimal existence.
Within the confines of our house, this is easy to enforce and has been the rule for many years. My immediate family and friends know, appreciate and support our no gift position and reasoning. However, in cases when outside our immediate circle (like work) or when have to interact with other families (or other people’s kids), it can still be a little tricky. As much as I detest the mainstream practice of over packaged, wasteful, plastic commodification of expected entitlement that goes along with normative practices of Christmas gift giving, this idea can be quite hard for a four-year old to grasp.
I am fortunate to have years of practice in explaining my gifting approach in a way that can be heard – but not always understood or accepted. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that some people just won’t understand – or will think I’m crazy (..or lazy, forgot, a miser or whatever else). So be it.
I’m at the stage where I don’t care what other people think. But for others who are moving in a similar direction, it can still be difficult if your placed in situations where it might still be necessary/expected to give a present (work Chris Cringles). So for those who are in this kind of situation – and for any other bike crazy people who also want to support a more ethical and sustainable Christmas – here are my suggestions for alternative bikivism gift giving techniques.
Sponsor a Bike – For our UK friends – this organisation has programs starting from £10 a month to support a refugee to start cycling safely. Thi minimal cost includes: a bike, brand new lights, a lock and a helmet, unlimited repairs (if necessary), a road safety session – and you as the donor will receive one free bike service a year. There are also other upgrade options.
Bike Gifts is a South African organisation that aims to add to the South African economy, to support local entrepreneurs and produce new and exciting products. they source quality, local bespoke products
Check out Shared Earth for a range of fair trade, recycled gifts and home wares made from recycled bike chains. This organisation aims “to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged people in developing countries, benefiting local community projects and keeping alive traditional skills that would otherwise be lost”.
The Intrepid Foundation $25 Bicycle Helmet – The Green Gecko Project cares for former street children and their families by providing them with education, security, love and opportunity. This gift will provide four young people with a bicycle helmet for safe riding on the streets of Siem Reap, Cambodia. The best thing about this gift is that for every dollar you spend on this project – The Intrepid Foundation will match with all proceeds going to Green Gecko. Green Gecko also has some other fantastic projects.
The speed and responsiveness of the sensors and algorithms they have used are quite remarkable.
It is tempting to look into the legality of using one of these helmets in Australia.
I know you have to have a registered Australian Safety Approved helmet here. But let’s face it, in some respects Australia can be so far behind the times and considering this is a recognised international safety and protection device…. the larrikin bugger in me would love to use it and see what happens!
The company who is producing it Hovding, have them currently retailing for €299. They are up to their second model already and have won an European Patent Office Award (2016) patent. Models can come with stylish personalised covers. Sign me up!!
In my research about the positive contribution of the use of bicycles to children’s education in developing countries, I found CBB Cambodia. This is a Japanese NGO (non-governmental organisation) consisting of about 20 university students who support Cambodian children by providing bicycles. In spring and summer 2015, the CBB Cambodia devised and managed microfinance to provide Cambodian children with bicycles. A member of the organisation engaged in this project recorded her experience in the organisation’s blog.
The writer, Kumi Sakahashi, realised the influences of bicycles on Cambodian children’s dream job. This is because she encountered a Cambodian boy, Kea, who was about to drop education in his elementary school to support his parents. After CBB’s intervention, Kia did not have to leave school and went to a junior high school. It was because, in spring 2015, CBB Cambodia provided 33 people including Kea with a bicycle. This helped Kea to reduce his commuting time to the school and spend more time on housework and his study. This experience enabled Kea to raise his expectations from becoming a teacher to a doctor. Ms. Sakahashi heard this from Kea in summer 2015. She concludes the blog post by stating that the use of a bicycle enabled Kea to go further places where he saw many different people, resulting in a change of his dream job.
This blog post is significant because it shows the importance of bicycles in terms of widening children’s future possibilities. Ms. Sakahashi explains that without access to advanced education opportunities, children in Cambodia can only be a teacher or a farmer. Jobs requiring far more training such as being a doctor, require much greater opportunity. However, most children in Cambodia give up to go to a junior high school. This is because, according to a crowdfunding website that CBB Cambodia devised in 2014, although there is an elementary school per a village, there is only one junior high school per 3-4 villages, which makes it difficult for children to go. Ms. Sakahashi also argues that, however, with a bicycle, they might be able to continue their education and to aim to get their dream job because bicycles save the time. The children can save money as well as time by helping their parents work. Therefore, bicycles might play a significant role to help children get an education.
Sakahashi, K. (2015, September 4). A bicycle that expands children’s potential [Web log post].Retrieved from http://cbb-cambodia.org/a-bicycle-expands-possibilities-of-kids.
CBB Cambodia [NGO] (2014, November 28). 100 bicycles for children in Tomato who cannot go to their school. Retrieved from https://readyfor.jp/projects/cycle_beyond_the-borders.
Sachie Togashiki is our Guest Blogger, unveiling some of Japan’s bicycle culture for the fortnight from 11th April to 24th April.