South Australia's peak advocacy body for commuter and recreational cycling. Bicycle SA wants to get more people involved in cycling in South Australia. Seems pretty simple, but it's harder than you think!
Bikes Palya recently returned from an epic four-week tour to all eight
Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) schools and their adjoining communities.
The successful trip benefited the communities by repairing school
bike fleets and teaching students about health, safety and bike maintenance and
repair. Younger students had fun weaving through obstacle courses and practising
basic bike skills while their older friends enjoyed leading community rides, learning
about road safety and getting their hands dirty as bike mechanics.
Teachers appreciated the attention given to the school bike fleets
and provision of curriculum resources that were developed with bike-related
health, literacy, numeracy and skill-based activity ideas helping to keep bikes
on the agenda while boosting the students’ education and development across the
After school, Bikes Palya hosted community bike clinics to provide much-needed access to tools and good-quality, cost-price parts. These sessions were incredibly successful, bringing people of all ages together to share and learn relevant practical skills. It was great to see young people building on the skills of past Bikes Palya clinics and mechanical workshops and especially wonderful to watch elders supporting the younger generations in being resourceful and fixing bikes together.
A highlight of each visit was the community bike race. Prizes included Bikes Palya screen-printed t-shirts and $50 healthy food prizes thanks to sponsorship from Mai Wiru, which runs community-owned stores.
Bikes Palya has since launched the Be Healthy Challenge, an
inter-school competition inviting all school communities to have fun increasing
students’ use of their school bikes during and after school. The winning school
will be announced by Bikes Palya Ambassador Zibeon Feilding at the upcoming Ernabella
Dance and Sports Carnival in September.
This trip was
made possible thanks to a Healthy Towns Challenge grant from SA Health. We are thrilled to find out this week that two
more Healthy Towns Challenge grant applications involving Bikes Palya were
successful and will enable us to work with communities in Ceduna and Leigh
Creek later this year.
Bikes Palya staff:
lessons in eight schools to 316 students;
serviced and/or repaired 110 school bikes;
donated 10 bikes to Mimili Anangu School;
community bike races engaging 179 community members;
conducted 13 bike
clinics involving 174 community members, fixing 44 community bikes;
than 4000km (and blew one trailer tyre); and
were inspired by the
stunning scenery of the APY lands.
By 2013, 8.6
million or 37.4 per cent of Australians cycled. That same year, 50 people in
Australia died while cycling.
Australia, 220,000 people were riding their bike at least once a week in 2013. At
the end of that year, statistics showed 63 cyclists had been seriously injured
on our roads and South Australian cyclists accounted for 5 of Australia’s 50
the popularity of cycling and the increasing vulnerability of cyclists, the South
Australian Government decided something needed to change. And so began a series
of consultations, recommendations and legislative changes that sought to
decrease serious injuries and fatalities among cyclists, and increase cycling
years on from 2015’s landmark legislative changes, have the laws been the
coveted ‘saving grace’ of our road’s most vulnerable?
The laws prior to 2015
2015, motorists were required to keep a “sufficient distance” when overtaking a
vehicle (including a bicycle) to avoid a collision.
were only permitted to ride their bikes on the footpath if they had a medical
exemption or were aged 18 and over riding with a child under 12.
How were the laws changed?
2014, the South Australian Government introduced their Second Citizens’
Jury. Launched by then Premier, Jay
Weatherill, a Citizens’ Jury of 37 South Australians were randomly selected
from a pool of 6,000 to represent a cross-section of our community.
September and October 2014, the jury was tasked with making recommendations on
a single issue: Motorists and Cyclists
will always be using our roads. What things could we trial to ensure they share
the roads safely?
by an independent community engagement specialist, the jury met over five
sessions, receiving formal submissions from experts, lobbyists, activists and
citizens. Jury members were encouraged do their own research and bring their
own experiences to deliberations. Online consultations with members of the
public and a Twitter thread on the topic were also provided to the jury. Jurors
continued their discussions and debates in an online forum, and were asked to
develop practical and innovative ideas.
final recommendations were presented in a report
to the Government in November 2014.
What did the Jury recommend?
Citizens’ Jury made a number of recommendations, two of which were legislation
found the law regarding overtaking a vehicle at a “sufficient distance”
ambiguous and likely to result in an “unsafe environment” for road users who
were unable to judge a “sufficient” distance. Legislating to allow a minimum
overtaking distance of 1 metre was recommended.
also recommended legislating to allow cycling for all ages on footpaths where
there was no safer alternative.
The current laws
2015, the Government announced that the recommendations
of the Citizens’ Jury would be implemented. Further consultation on
the legislative detail was undertaken, including a consultation process
generating over 1,500 submissions.
respondents supported defining a minimum overtaking distance, while 71% of
respondents supported allowing cycling for all ages on footpaths.
current laws, legislated as at 25 October 2015 are:
are now required to give a minimum of one metre when passing a person riding a
bicycle in a 60km/h or less speed zone. This distance increases to 1.5 metres when
the speed limit is over 60km/h. This distance is measured from the rightmost
part of the bicycle to the leftmost part of the motor vehicle.
assist with compliance, motorists are permitted to undertake the following
where the driver has a clear view of approaching traffic and can do so safely:
Drive to the right of the centre of the road;
Drive to the right of the dividing line;
Drive on a dividing strip that is at the same
level as the road;
Drive on or over continuous lines around a
Move across lanes; and
Drive not completely in a single line of
of all ages are permitted to ride on footpaths whether or not a safer
alternative exists. Cyclists are required to keep left and give way to
pedestrians. Where footpaths are marked “no bikes”, the road must be used
The Statistics: Three Years On
Australian Government sought to decrease serious injuries and fatalities of
cyclists on our roads, while simultaneously improving cycling participation. Improving
cycling safety, and the perception of cycling safety encourages greater
participation in cycling.
Department data highlights a noticeable decline in serious injuries since the
introduction of the laws in 2015. In the five years between 2009-2013, an
average of 69 cyclists were
seriously injured on South Australian roads. In 2015, serious injuries to
cyclists peaked at 74 (bearing in mind
the new laws were not introduced until late October 2015). In 2016, that figure
reduced to 52, and decreased further
in 2017 to 39 bringing the 2013-2017
average to 58. In 2018, the figure
fell well below that average at 43.
of fatalities, on the other hand, have been considerably varied since 2013.
Between 2009-2013, an average of 3
cyclists were killed on our roads each year. The figure then alternated between
4 and 5 from 2013 to 2016. Mirroring a steep decline in serious injuries
in 2017, the number of fatalities that year dropped to 2. In a disappointing end to 2018, an astounding 7 cyclists were killed on our roads – a
figure higher than both the 2009-2013 and 2013-2017 average of 3 and 4 respectively.
Five of those seven were killed in rural areas, and at least one of the
accidents did not involve another motor vehicle.
cycling participation, data suggests that fewer Australians are riding their
bikes now than they were in 2011. According to the National
Cycling Survey, a biennial analysis conducted in each state and
territory, almost 300,000 people
were cycling each week in South Australia in 2011. That figure saw a sharp
decline in 2013 to just 220,000
before surging to 279,000 in 2015.A 14 per cent drop in participation
since then saw just 239,000 people
cycling each week in 2017.
The 2015 legislative changes sought to decrease
cyclists’ serious injuries and fatalities and increase cycling participation
among the community. Despite a variation in fatalities, from an injuries
standpoint, the laws have proven successful with a 46 per cent decline in
serious injuries in the three years to 2018. However, it may be too soon to
tell whether this decrease is a consequence of the corresponding decline in
From a legislative perspective, enforcement
of the minimum overtaking distance law will always prove challenging, and, as a
result, noticeably minimal. Despite this, the introduction of the law has
highlighted the vulnerability of cyclists and acted as an educational tool for
motorists regarding their awareness of cyclists on our roads.
Bike SA is already well known in the mountain bike world for the Dirty Weekend, which has seen many mountain bikers take to the trails since the first event back in 2001!
Bike SA also offers another, more casual foray into mountain biking with Dirty Days. Featuring two skill level options for every event, Dirty Days is both for people already comfortable on a mountain bike, as well as offering a great jumping in point for those new to mountain biking.
“It was a really well planned out course. The event marshalls were very helpful and supportive. Such a great group of like minded people participating in the event.” 2018 participant.
Whichever category you fit into, Dirty Days will explore some of the best local trail networks, as the series works its way around Adelaide. With so many awesome trails in Adelaide to explore, we’ve added a fourth ride for 2019, incorporated more single trail riding and reduced the price!
So 2019 was a little dusty, however the Friday rides meant fun in the forest started a day early, and enabled us to do more riding, socialising and generally make a BIG weekend of the event. Here are some of the highlights of Dirty Weekend 2019.
The little people got to test out the Dirt Skool track under the guidance of Kevin Pullen, 24-hour legend and Dirt Skills coach. Photos of the session are available here. Take note, these guys are the next generation of juniors in the making.
We had our first junior ALL female team and they indeed showed the boys how it was done by winning the Junior 12-hour event category. Congratulations to the Dirt Girls!
The Head For The Hills Schools Trophy was won by Blackwood High, a large number of riders and good placings earned them the top number of points to take out the trophy. The students get to take the trophy back to school and will enjoy a free coaching session by Tyson Schmidt from Head For The Hills.
Our 24-hour Solo Male category was taken out by Matt Ackland with an impressive 34 laps, and Kate Penglase took out the 24-hour Solo Female category clocking up 28 laps!
All the Dirty Weekend results can be found here. Many photos have been uploaded to the Bike SA Flickr account. Tim Loft also took some cracking shots so you can relive the event here.
To all who volunteered, rode, coached, spectated, cheered, fuelled us all with food and beverage, the pit crew, the local riders and some new interstate friends we say a HUGE thank you, together you made it an awesome weekend.
Stay tuned for details on the Bike SA Dirty Weekend 2020, and bring all your friends!
Today I had the opportunity to experience a Grand Slam ride. It was an experience filled with electric energy from a whole heap of people from all walks of life with only the love of cycling in common! I rode with a friend who has just ridden the whole of Tasmania and another who has never ridden more than 10km. I hadn’t been on the bike for over 12 months, but we all felt the same on this glorious Sunday morning. It was a well organised, safe and fun event with the most lovely volunteers adding to the buzz. The refreshments and lunch were well received (I could tell by all the “mmm” as I passed by groups).
I came about this ride as generally at this time of year I do a ride that I fundraise for The Smith Family. I relish the opportunity to ride for a cause and especially The Smith Family. It means a lot to know that the funds I raise are going to local families and children. This could even be supporting children that go to school with my children, but are less fortunate. I can’t imagine my kids going to school without breakfast or having a good nights sleep, so I like to think my fundraising is preventing another child suffering from this. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a fundraising ride this year, so I gave the Grand Slam a go.
I look forward to giving another one a go during the year. Thank you Bike SA for an awesome Sunday!
If you would like to join a future Bike SA Grand Slam event. You can find all the details here
It’s school holidays which means time spent with your little darlings. We think the best way to keep them happy is to get them out in the fresh air! Here is our cheat sheet on how to wear those little ones out on two wheels.
Adelaide FREE bikes
Yes that’s right they are FREE, and in lots of locations throughout the city. Our office at 53 Carrington Street, has children’s bikes and a cargo bike. Children can only make use of the bike hire when accompanied by an adult with a valid photo ID. Bicycles must be returned by 4.30 pm. Plenty of time to explore! More information here.
We also have a fleet of flat bar, road bikes and mountain bikes for hire, which means you can keep them for longer and ride further. And if we don’t have want you can also try out Quipmo a new bike sharing platform. Find out more here.
Bike SA is heading to Moonta for a weekend of camping and cycling. There will be supported rides for all ages, including a night ride into Moonta so the children can enjoy lighting up the Main Street with their bike lights. On Easter, Sunday children will ride to a secret location to see if the Easter bunny has paid a visit. More information here
Intermediate skills. As part of the preparation for Dirty Weekend 2019, Bike SA and Head to the Hills are running FREE Intermediate coaching on the trails on Easter Monday. There will be two sessions at both 10am and 2pm. Register here
Dirt skills. One of our Dirty Weekend legends Kevin Pullen will be running FREE beginner coaching for children on Friday 26 April. Watch the Dirty Weekend event page for more information on how to book.
High School kids can enter to compete for the Dirty Weekend Schools Challenge Trophy. Why not team up with mates in the junior 6hr or 12hr team event and you could return to school with the trophy in hand. Full information here
And if your kids are BMX bandits there is a brand new pump track at Gawler, that could be worth a visit if you are in the area?
And if all else fails drop them at their Granparents and grab a cuppa!
The Bike SA office will be closed for the public hoilday, but visit us during office hours at all other times.
The weather bureau suggested there may be some light showers, but that didn’t deter our army of riders who arrived with lights blinking in the pre-dawn light at Glenelg for the start of the 120 km event. Riders where fueling on caffeine, meeting their mates and preparing for a day of glorious riding from one coast to another. Watch the start here.
At 8am riders departed from both Stirling for the 95 km and Meadows for the 65kms ride all en route to Victor Habor. The Coast to Coast 2019 was well under way.
Despite a low fog forming at top of Willunga Hill, a treat of hot cross buns was a welcome sight to riders. Thank you to Bakers Delight for supplying these trays of Easter goodess. Yum! Riders fueled up and continued the journey onto Victor Harbor.
Meanwhile, the Mini Coast to Coast was heading off on its first loop on a section of the Encounter Bikeway, watch the live feed here. Riders had the option to complete a 10 km or 20 km ride, finishing through the arch, with children claiming a ribbon for their achievement.
The sun was now shining and riders started flooding through the finish arch with smiles on their faces and their fist pumping the air. The camaraderie was outstanding with riders and spectators high fiving, hugging and clapping those who finished the event. We are please to report everyone did!
The event village on Warland Reserve was in full swing with everyone enjoying live music, the kids especially enjoyed the jumping castle and face paints.
What a great bunch of people we met throughout the event, here just handful of the stories we were told.
David and Jane Barker rode a 26-year-old Tandem built in the UK.
Anne and Liz who have just completed the She Rides program, this was their first event since completing the program. Bravo!
Clive Thomas at 76 years young only started riding a few years ago, completed the Meadows to Victor Harbor ride. Outstanding!
Pete Holley rode a Higgins three-wheeler, which was built in Croydon.
The Mildura Crew who came over for a fun weekend of cycling in SA.
If you want to see more of the days action, all of the photos are on our Flickr accounthere.
Zibeon Fielding photographed during a ultra marathon.
Zibeon Fielding is an inspiring young health practitioner from Mimili, one of the ten main communities of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. APY lands are home to close to 3,000 indigenous people and located roughly 1100 kilometres from Adelaide, in the North Western corner of South Australia.
Armed with a Certificate IV in Primary Health care, Zibeon is passionate about addressing health issues in his community and currently works in the local Mimili clinic with aspirations to eventually become a community doctor. Zibeon has been striving hard to prevent chronic diseases and to promote healthy lifestyles within the community, by encouraging the physical fitness, running and exercise culture in APY Lands.
“As a health practitioner I’m at the forefront; every day I see many people on the edge of developing diseases at a young age and dying from chronic problems such as renal failure. These people are the friends, parents and children I’ve grown up with,” says Zibeon on his gofundraise page.
As a past participant of the Bikes Palya program Bike SA runs, Zibeon has experienced first-hand how bicycles can engage youth to promote education and to lead healthy lifestyles. Bike Payla have been delivering programs both in school and holiday periods over the last 15 years.
Previously he organized a 62km ultramarathon to help raise resources to fund dialysis services for the those in APY community who suffer from chronic kidney failure.
The charismatic young man has even extended his footprint overseas with his participation in the New York Marathon in 2016, the Boston Marathon in 2018 and the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year.
Tour De APY – Epic 700 km bike ride along the APY Lands
Zibeon’s dream is to build a community gym in Mimili to give the young people a place to gather, promote physical fitness as well as provide employment opportunities as personal trainers and staff. To raise funds to build the community gym, Zibeon has set himself a higher challenge: to be the first man to ride around the entire APY Lands through Tour De APY, a 700 km bike ride from the Indulkana Community in South Australia, along the outskirts of the Northern Territory and Western Australian border and back to the South Australian Mimili community. This ride will span seven days, from the 15th to the 21st of April 2019, with the temperature expected to be a maximum of high 20s and dropping to the low teens accompanied by mild to strong winds.
Along the route, Zibeon and the group of riders will engage with the Elders and locals in each community where there will be BBQs and other activities organised to promote benefits of health and well-being, mainly targeted towards the community youth.
will use the ride as a platform to talk about
healthy lifestyle choices, the benefits of education and the importance of
Bike Palya has partnered with Zibeon to provide mechanical support and deliver activities along the way to further involve the community. These include targeted youth mentoring workshops en route and facilitating community race events. Bikes Palya will supply bikes for community members to join Zibeon on 10 km ride stretches as he leaves one community and heads toward the next. This special visit received funding support by Regional Anangu Services Aboriginal Corporation and the Wyatt Foundation.
can extend your support by tracking the ride live here or by donating
to his cause.
Palya is a program for kids and communities in the APY Lands. Palya means
“great” in Pitjantjatjara. Bikes are Great. Bikes Palya translates
the excitement of cycling into learning opportunities for aboriginal youth
through programs that reinforce values of pride and responsibility while providing ongoing positive recreation options.
In schools where attendance can be very low, Bikes Palya aims to drive
attendance rates higher and to engage with typically hard to reach youth
through the power of the bike.
Through partnering with Zibeon’s Tour De APY, mutual school engagement, attendance and healthy lifestyles goals are strengthened. You can join the Bikes Palya journey via Facebook or make a tax deductible donation here.
For those who are happy to take an interstate adventure for their mountain biking, a new trail in Indigo Shire will connect existing trail networks in Beechworth and Yackandandah, northeast of Melbourne. It is set to be the second network in Australia to meet the Epic International Mountain Bike Association’s accreditation standard. Combined Federal and local council budget for the project totals two million dollars, combining a federal government grant and council budget. Read more about it at AMB
In the interim, we do not lack our own mountain bike trails in Adelaide, for those not familiar with what’s on offer here is an overview.
In the last few years, we’ve seen new mountain bike trails available locally. O’Halloran Hill opened at the end of 2017 and Anstey Hill opened its gates to mountain bikers in early 2017. Cobblers Creek received significant upgrades and infrastructure in 2016. Cobblers now boasts a large jumps section with a big wall ride and a range of well-built jumps, a big playground for kids and a well-maintained network of trails.
At the end of 2011, Craigburn Farm was added to the growing list of mountain bike trails. Craigburn features a range of trails, for varying skill levels. connected to the broader Sturt Gorge trail network) With the connection to Sturt Gorge trail network riders can explore a wider area.
And not to forget Eagle Park, a long established high-quality trail network with a significant network of downhill trails, which are often used for competition riding.
Another long established and hugely popular trail network is Fox Creek, located in the Cudlee Creek Forest. Featuring a huge, well maintained and frequently upgraded system of trails, including some awesome downhill options, coupled with an excellent Adelaide Hills location. This location plays host to the Bike SA Dirty Weekend, a huge 24-hour mountain bike festival, which takes place 26-28 April 2019 this year. If this is the first you have heard of the event, here is the Mountain Biking Australia preview. Ride solo or rally the troops, get dirty then cool off with the mountain biker’s drink of choice!
The Beechworth to Yackandandah Epic Mountain Bike Trail is going to be an excellent excuse for an MTB holiday, but while you wait for it to be completed, get out and discover some of SA’s trails first!