Critical Mass occurs on the last Friday of every month.

This month, that will be Friday, June 27th.


Cycling stars in Sydney hit-run horror

May 9th, 2008

Daily Telegraph
LEO SCHLINK
May 08, 2008 02:30pm

Hit-run terror ... Kate Nichols after the 2005 crash and fellow Olympian Ben Kersten
Hit-run terror … Kate Nichols after the 2005 crash and fellow Olympian Ben Kersten

CHAMPION cyclist Ben Kersten says a random hit-and-run road rage attack could have killed several riders today.

Road cycling star Kate Nichols is having wrist X-rays after she and most of a pack of about 50 riders - including Olympic track hopeful Kersten - crashed in peak-hour traffic near Sydney airport.

Nichols was one of five national cyclists seriously injured when a young driver crashed into the Australian women’s road team in Germany in 2005, killing Nichols’ Adelaide-born team-mate Amy Gillett.

In today’s incident Nichols, 23, and her father Kevin, a 1984 Olympic gold medallist, were in a large group of riders heading south past Sydney airport on a training ride around 6.45am.

Nichols said the cyclists were going at a good clip, two abreast as they are required to, when a car pushed them towards the edge of the road.

Witnesses said the driver appeared agitated with being held up.

“The car came past us squishing us into our lane,” Nichols said.

“And then the guy went in front of us and slammed on his brakes. He was just a total moron.

“A heap (of us) came off, but everyone just had superficial wounds and we were all treated there.” 

Furious Kersten slams driver

Kersten described the incident involving the driver of a green Commodore sedan and up to 60 riders as a “f***ing disgrace”.

“This was one of the dirtiest examples of road rage I’ve ever seen,” he said.

“This guy deserves to go to jail and I hope he does go to jail.

“But he’s lucky he’s not going to jail for killing 10 innocent people.”

Kersten, bidding to ride in track sprint events in Beijing in August, said there was no excuse for - or forewarning of - the motorist’s actions.

“It was clear light, clear traffic, everyone was doing the right thing,” he said.

“Then this guy drives up behind us and starts going bananas.

“He then went up to the front of the group and, although I couldn’t see because I was in the middle of the bunch, people up the front said he started swerving in and out.

“All of a sudden, he either brakes severely in the left lane or pulled on his handbrake, and people started flying everywhere.

“It was totally unprovoked.”

Kersten said it was a miracle no one was killed.

“There was an older man from the Waratah Club who looked pretty bad,” Kersten said.

“He just got missed by a semi-trailer. The truck driver must have pretty good skills because he jack-knifed it to make sure he didn’t hit us.

“So many of us came down that we were spilling out of the left lane.

“When you fall you have no control of where you’re going to land.

“If the truck had been there five seconds earlier, he would have gone straight over the top of people.”

Only minor injuries

Kersten said had escaped with relatively minor injuries only three months before the Beijing Olympics.

“I came down in the middle of the group and ended up on my back with my feet pointing towards the back of the group,” he said.

“I spent the whole time kicking wheels off me.

“People had nowhere to go. I was 10m from the front and everyone was on the ground.

“I’ve got ring marks all over me and a lump on my head.

“I’m just lucky to have got out of it alive.”

It is understood an off-duty policeman was in a car following the group and the cyclists took the number plate of the car before it sped off.

Cycling Australia spokeswoman Gennie Sheer said police and ambulances were on the scene soon after.

“A lot of people had superficial cuts and grazes, and there’ll be a bit of checking for broken bones and the like, but at this stage it looks like we are very, very lucky that no one was seriously injured,”
Sheer said.

Ambulance officials said several people were treated at the scene but no one was taken to hospital.

UPDATE: Police are questioning a 34-year-old man from Claymore, but no arrests have been made.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Participate in the response debate.

Hump road sign slightly misleading

May 7th, 2008

(from news.com.au)

A ROAD sign depicting two people in a passionate embrace above the word “hump” has angered VicRoads.

The sign is believed to be the work of a mysterious artist in Langwarrin, south of Melbourne.

Motorists have reported seeing other fake road signs along Cranbourne-Frankston Rd, Langwarrin, according to the Frankston Leader.

VicRoads regional director Steve Brown said the stunt was illegal and unsafe.

Your Invitation to the 2008 Adelaide Ride of Silence

May 6th, 2008

Ride of SilenceOn Saturday May 24th at 9am, all of Adelaide’s bicycle riders have an opportunity to join together with others around Australia and around the world to raise awareness for safer roads - particularly for bicycle users. In Adelaide about 5 bike riders are killed each year with many more injured. In nearly all cases, the deaths and injuries involve collisions with motor
vehicles.

Your ride in 2008 will remind the community that bicycle riders are ordinary people who deserve the respect of other road users & have a right to safety on our roads! The Adelaide Ride of Silence will remind Government that cycling is here to stay & that bicycle users need slower traffic speeds, better facilities & more attention paid to their needs.

Adelaide Ride of Silence is for everyone. We’ll ride relatively slowly - at about 15-20km/h - over the 8km route. We’ll ride as silently as possible to commemorate bicycle riders killed or injured on our roads. At the same time many other communities across Australia will hold Rides of Silence - you’ll be part of a National event!

Where: Victoria Square, (immediately to the East of the tram stop)
When: Please arrive by 9am. Ride leaves at 9.30am SHARP.
Support: The ride will be escorted by SAPOL. There will be several volunteer Marshals at the assembly in Victoria Square and riding with the group.
The Route: Starts in Victoria Square (in a closed road lane), heading along King William Street South (in right-hand lane), turn right on to South Trc. (left lane), left onto Anzac Highway (left lane & bicycle lane). At Glenelg we’ll turn right at the lights on Adelphi Trc, then left through the car park on the left and straight onto the grassed area. We’ll have a short address to finalise the ride and then off for coffee or ice cream (or more riding)!

SAPOL will be providing a ‘controlled light’ escort.
Although we will ride as a group with ride marshalls leading and following up the rear, there is no registration & - as always - your safety is your responsibility!
If possible, please confirm your attendance at chair@bisa.asn.au or secretary@bisa.asn.au

More information: Bicycle SA

Adelaide: Cycling Death Capital of Australia

March 29th, 2008

(from Mark Parnell .org.au)

Mark ParnellAdelaide has more cycling deaths per head of population and SA spends the least per capita on cycling infrastructure than any other state in Australia, says Greens MLC Mark Parnell.

“This is a toxic mix. Cyclists lives are at risk because of a lack of State Government spending on basic infrastructure,” says Mark Parnell.

An analysis of Australian Transport Safety Bureau data shows Adelaide is the ‘cycling death capital of Australia’, with 7 deaths, or 4.41 per million South Australians, well above the national average. At the same time, Cycling Promotion Fund figures show SA spends only $2.20 per capita on basic cycling infrastructure, compared with $4.65 in Western Australia, and $10 in NSW.

“The Government should lower its collective head in shame. You can’t keep on under-spending year after year, and not expect some consequences in terms of safety for cyclists.

“While the Government celebrates cycling during the Tour Down Under, as soon as the spotlight fades, cycling is given little attention for the rest of the year. As a consequence our basic cycling infrastructure lags many other states.

“This data should be compulsory reading for Road Safety Minister Zollo and Treasurer Foley coming up to the June 5th budget. The Government must spend more to ensure the safety of cyclists is protected,” he said.

This bike’s rider is badly hurt. Do you know who he is?

March 26th, 2008

(from )
MICHAEL MILNES, POLICE REPORTER

February 26, 2008

A PICTURE of a bicycle involved in a serious accident is being published by AdelaideNow in the hope someone can identify the critically injured rider.


The cyclist is fighting for his life after apparently falling from his bike in the northern suburbs.The identity of the man is unknown, as are circumstances of the accident at the corner of Rossdale Ave and Sheffield Cr at Blair Athol about 8.30pm.Police have been door-knocking residents of the area in a bid to identify him, but have so far been unsuccessful.

Crash investigators attended the scene and marked where it appears that the man hit the kerb before falling from the bike.

The man was wearing a helmet, but the bike was not fitted with a headlight and there were no street lights in the area of the crash.

He is described as Caucasian and aged in his 50s and police are appealing for witnesses to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

It is thought the accident happened in Rosedale St, Blair Athol, about 8.30pm, but further details of how the man came to be critically hurt remain a mystery.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

Cycling’s most dangerous roads

February 27th, 2008

(from )
LAUREN NOVAK, TRANSPORT REPORTER

February 26, 2008

GREENHILL Rd is Adelaide’s most dangerous road for cyclists.

Latest Transport Department statistics provided to The Advertiser show the highest incidence of crashes involving cyclists occurred on the major road.

Between 2003 and 2007 there were 54 crashes on the thoroughfare stretching from Keswick, near the city, to Greenhill, in the Adelaide Hills.

Busy South Rd was second with 51 crashes. Third was Marion Rd with 44 crashes. Henley Beach Rd was the only road on the list to record a cyclist fatality.

In 2006, the worst three roads for cyclists were Marion Rd, followed by South Rd and Greenhill Rd, based on figures from 2000 to 2005.

Department director road safety Martin Small said there were no cycling safety funds specifically for the top three roads this financial year. He said the statistics would be considered in the next budget. Cycling safety funding was generally allocated in the context of the Safety in Numbers strategy developed by the Government in 2006.

Bicycle Institute of South Australia chairman Sam Powrie said SA had the lowest per capita spending on cycling safety in Australia and urged the Government to commit up to $8 million a year. He said establishing off-road cycling “boulevards” or “highways” was a solution to providing safer environments for cyclists.

RAA traffic and safety manager Rita Excell urged the Government to continue to improve cycling infrastructure on less congested routes parallel to main roads.

Road Safety Minister Carmel Zollo identified “dangerous behaviours” by cyclists, including riding more than two abreast, and weaving in and out of traffic.

Road tacks deliberately placed on Melbourne road

February 26th, 2008

(Victoria Police)

Police are concerned by a report of the deliberate use of road tacks in Mentone on Saturday.

A large number of tacks, similar to a drawing pin, were placed along Beach Road during an organised bike ride.

Police say it is lucky no-one was injured considering the tacks have the potential to cause a cyclist to lose control and swerve into the path of an oncoming vehicle or another rider, potentially causing serious injury or a fatality.

The act of placing tacks on the road is an offence and Senior Sergeant Hans Harms of the Kingston Traffic Management Unit warns anyone caught doing so will be dealt with accordingly.

“This stupid act does not assist anyone. I, along with other organisations such as the Amy Gillett Foundation, are trying to work together with bicycle riders to ensure all road users are safe including vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

“The person who decided to do such an act has more than likely assisted in creating a bigger problem, and must realise the danger he is putting the bike riders in.

“I can’t stress enough that it is hard to make progress and go forward to try and satisfy all road users, without people putting more stumbling blocks in our way”, Sen Sgt Harms said.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au on the Internet.

Constable Kate Lawson

World Naked Bike Ride coming soon

February 24th, 2008

Strip down and ride on for the environment this March. The next World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR) will commence at 2pm at the junction of Barton Terrace and Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide, on Saturday the 8th of March 2008.

The ride will be the first of 6 rides occurring in Australia on the same weekend, including Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Newcastle and Melbourne. Other cities across the world will also host rides as part of the southern hemisphere leg of WNBR’s global movement, including Lima (Peru), Golden Bay (New Zealand) Pretoria (South Africa) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).

The WNBR is an annual clothing-optional protest ride for naturism, environmentalism, peace and the rights of cyclists to use the road safely. It promotes environmental consciousness and practices at every level of society in attempt to save the planet.

The ride is not a race and goes at an easy recreational pace. The only competition is how creatively bizarre participants can get with decorating their bodies using paint, slogans and bits of costume.

Though the dress code for the ride is “Go as bare as you dare!”, nudity is not compulsory. It is not a ride promoting overtly sexual behaviour in public.

Many people still struggle to distinguish between concepts of non-sexual nudity and pornography. The WNBR encourages society’s need for a body-positive mentality, and protests against environmental damage caused by motorised vehicles.

Excessive burning of fossil fuels has instigated environmental damage in the forms of climate change, air pollution, acid rain and water pollution.

From the onset of pollution and cancer, to obesity – the burning of fossil fuels and car-addicted lifestyles are causing serious health problems, many of which are affecting humans on a widespread scale.

Violence stemming from wars fought over oil and road rage results in the deaths and injuries to innocent civilians from the former, and pedestrians and cyclists from the latter.

The WNBR is an active social movement for a peaceful and gentler world, which includes our roads.

“We face automobile traffic with our naked bodies as the best way of defending our dignity and exposing the unique dangers faced by cyclists and pedestrians plus all the negative effects of oil, cars, war, consumerism and non-renewable energy”, reads the WNBR mission statement.

The WNBR group was created by Conrad Schmidt (of Vancouver, Canada) in 2004 to help coordinate a large international naked bike ride between many different activist groups across the World. Since then, the WNBR has spread to over 50 cites in about 20 countries with the participation of thousands of riders.

visit the WNBR Adelaide website for more info about the ride.

Leszek Wereszka Memorial Bike Ride

December 7th, 2007

In early August 2007, Leszek Wereszka died when hit by a truck while riding his bike on the Port Wakefield road 70 km from Adelaide. Leszek was on the last stage of a 20,000km ride around Australia
when he died. The Sunday Mail gave an account of Leszek’s ride and tragic death on August 19th.
leszek.jpg When reading this story (August 19, pp 8-9), many South Australians were deeply moved. Leszek was the fifth cyclist killed on South Australian roads this year. Added to this of course, Leszek’s story seems even more tragic and compelling given he was killed on the very last day of such an epic journey
around Australia.
In the report, his Adelaide cousin, Janusz Wereszka, is quoted ‘We are just hoping one thing – we want to make drivers aware of cyclists on the road. If this can save even one life, then it is worth it…. Maybe one day someone can finish his journey – he only had 70kms left.”
In response to these comments a small riding group of friends based in Blackwood, decided to arrange a memorial ride for Leszek, beginning from the point where he was killed and finishing
in Victoria Square. 70 riders will complete the 70km journey, arriving in Victoria Square at 11.00am. The aims of this ride are to:

  1. Honor Leszek and Celebrate his achievements (and cycling generally), by completing the last 70km of his journey for him.
  2. Raise awareness amongst all road users about road rules as they relate to cyclists.

Janusz Wereszka, Anna Wereszka (Leszek’s daughter), SAPOL, Bike SA and other groups and individuals have joined together to plan for this ride.

The ride will be held on Saturday morning, December 8th, 2007.

A group of 70 riders will depart from the point where Leszek was killed on Pt Wakefield road and ride to Adelaide. This group will consist of representatives of cycling groups, sporting teams and other organizations and individuals supporting the ride.

Other riders who wish to support the goals of the ride, will be invited to join the 70 riders at 11am in Victoria Square where there will be speeches and other activities.

SAPOL will support the ride from the starting point 70km’s from Adelaide, ensuring the riders have police vehicle support and a controlled traffic / traffic light scenario through to Victoria Square.

Bicycle SA have offered to make available signage and a support vehicle for the ride, as well as their expert advice. They will also promote the ride.
Anyone interested in participating in the ride in any way should contact:
Leigh Cameron, lcameronatadam.com.au, Mb: 0400 036 919

Ride 2 Work Day is this week

October 15th, 2007

On 17 October, regular and first-time riders from all states and territories will join the inaugural National Ride to Work Day. Government and corporate organisations from around Australia have made the commitment to join this huge event. Estimated participation this year is:

  • Over 60,000 participants
  • Over 2800 registered workplaces, many hosting their own breakfasts
  • More than 70 community breakfast events in CBDs and town centres

National Ride to Work Day will stimulate over 10,600 tonnes of Greenhouse Gas savings in the first three years - that’s more than 2,650 hot air balloons or 212,000,000 “black balloons” full of CO2!

For more facts and figures see the National Ride to Work Day Fact Sheet.