Tag Archives: Bicycle

Teaching kids to ride ensures motorcycle future

Teaching children how to ride a bicycle is the solution for ensuring the future of motorcycling, according to American motorcycle industry guru Robert Pandya.

He points to the All Kids Bike program in the US which is striving to get every child to learn to ride a bicycle in kindergarten PE class.

“If every boy and girl, regardless of family wealth, religion or race learns how to ride, ridership will grow very fast in just a few years,” says Robert, a former Indian Motorcycle executive and now a senior motorcycle industry consultant.

Robert Pandya Bicycle kids will become motorcyclists teachingRobert Pandya

“Dirt bikes will start selling, family riding will increase, riding parks will be created and we will be in a growth curve again.

“The pure joy of your ‘knees in the breeze’ will draw more people into cycling and ultimately motorcycling.”

Kids not riding

In 1969, 50% of US kids rode bikes to school, but now it’s 13%.

It’s worse in Australia where in 1970 more than 60% cycled to school and now it’s only 11%.

School bike racks used to be full. Now there is hardly a bicycle in sight!

Bicycle kids will become motorcyclistsSchool bicycle racks in the 1950s

Parents now drive their kids to school, creating massive traffic jams in school peak hours.

If more children rode to school, just think how much better commuting would be, especially the morning commute which clashes with school times.

Consider how much easier traffic flows during school holidays.

Teaching is a long-term gain

Harley-Davidson electric bicycle balance kidsHarley-Davidson launches kids’ electric bicycles

We agree with Robert and believe Australia should follow the All Kids Bike program of teaching children to ride to safeguard the future of motorcycling.

However, Robert points out that teaching kids to ride is a long-term solution that does not address the “stale inventory” sitting in warehouses.

“Thus managers are forced to focus short-term which leaves us where we are today,” he says.

Robert believes that, without a generation of youth who can ride on two wheels, the next global financial crisis could crush the motorcycle leisure industry.

Recruit new riders

bicycleRobert says these kids will see this photo as a great day decades from now. (Image: Facebook)

In the shorter term, he says it is up to riders to encourage others to ride.

“The future of motorcycling will not come from our relatively small industry trying to get the 97% of us who are not enthusiasts to learn to ride, but from getting the 3% of us who do ride to actively recruit new riders to get us to 4%,” he says.

“That 1/3 increase on market would make many currently fraught sales directors downright giddy.

“We are working in a time when three generations are fighting through their own definitions of fun on a motorcycle.

“As boomer management finally leaves, will the GenX manager realise how poorly current 40/50-year-olds were marketed to?

“No wonder their Millennial kids are quite often not inclined to own or operate vehicles.

“Easy fix my friends – implore every rider to do what they can to add one new rider per year. Challenge, incentive and recognise those who do. Then do it again the next year.”

Website: https://www.allkidsbike.org/

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Reward for two-wheeled commuting?

If cyclists have their way, the Federal Government should pay them a $5 daily reward for commuting to work and taking the strain off roads and public transport.

The ridiculous suggestion comes in the lead-up to the Federal election from the Bicycle Network which claims to be Australia’s biggest bike riding organisation with more than 50,000 members.

Politicians usually give in to the strong cycling lobby, but if they do this time, then they should also reward motorcyclists.

After all, have they not heard of the Belgian consultancy Transport & Mobility Leuven study that found if 10% of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles, it would reduce traffic congestion by 40%. 

If 25% went from steering wheel to handlebar, traffic congestion would cease.

Rules Lane filter splitting filtering reward
Motorcyclists ease congestion

Ridiculous reward

We are all for a carrot rather than a stick approach to social problems, but the Bicycle Network suggestion is ludicrous.

For a start, who would qualify? 

What about electric-assisted bicycles, scooters, skateboards, Segways etc?

And with the coming wave of electric motorcycles, should they also be included?

Where do you stop? Three-wheelers?

And how would the payment be made and monitored?

Cyclists reject paying registration and number pates, so any sort of automated reverse toll cameras would be impossible!

Bicycle claims

The Bicycle Network suggestion would cost the government $500m a year, but they say it would save more on road and transport infrastructure.

They also claim that for every kilometre cycled, society benefits up to $1.07. 

“An average bike commute of around 10km contributes $10, but an average commute by car in Australia costs society up to $9.30,” they claim.

“Rewarding people who ride to work with a $5 bonus will encourage even more people to swap out cars for bikes. 

“Keen bike commuters who ride every day could earn up to $1100 a year, while also saving on car and petrol costs.”

Absurd demand

Motorcycle Riders Association of Melbourne spokesman Damien Codognotto says bicycles and motorcyclists have a lot in common and agrees that more riders would ease traffic congestion.

“So if pushbike riders are paid $5 per commute motorbike commuters who pay registration and insurance for both their cars and their bikes, should get $5 too,” he says.

“The difference between bicyclists and motorcyclists, in this case, is that we rarely ask for the absurd!”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cyclist identification proposal rejected

Tasmanian Motorcycle Council proposal for free identification numbers for cyclists over 18 has been rejected.

Council president Paul Bullock confirms the Tasmanian Road Safety Advisory Council discussed the TMC’s policy proposal.  

Proposal rejected

“RSAC did not endorse the proposal,” he says.

“Discussions identified that it might be timely to develop a campaign about all road users sharing the roads.

“RSAC referred this to the Education and Enforcement Sub Committee (EESC) for consideration within its priorities.

“Identification has been passed on to a sub committee of the RSAC ‘for consideration within its priorities’, so it will be a low priority.

“But I will be following and asking what is happening at every RSAC meeting you can be assured of that.”

The rejected TMC call for cyclist ID is based on cyclists disobeying road rules and not being fined.

Paul says it follows “many complaints” from motorcyclists, car drivers, bus drivers and truck drivers about cyclists who behave irresponsibly.Identification bicycle rejected

Identification not registration

The rejected TMC proposal did NOT suggest cyclists pay registration fees.

“Cyclists don’t understand it is for identification, not registration. It is to stop cyclists breaking the law. At no cost to the cyclist,” Paul told us when the TMC made the suggestion in January.

The TMC wanted cyclists over 18 to wear some form of reflective identification number on their bike, clothing or helmet. Paul says it could be funded through the road safety levy.

Maritha Keyser Cyclist rule endangers motorcyclists rejected
Tasmanian road sign

Rule breakers

What seems to irk many motorists is that cyclists get political favour, their own lanes, free footpath parking and yet avoid traffic offences.

Paul says the TMC posted the following video of cyclists disobeying roundabout give-way rules.

However, cyclists are not avoiding traffic fines altogether.

In the past two years, Queensland Police alone have booked more than 230 cyclists for speeding and 540 for running red lights.

The TMC also provided this list of traffic offences in Tasmania by cyclists:

Offence Legislation Fine Code Item Penalty
Unit
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian RR 125(1) $81.50 B819 174 0.5
Cyclist ride without due care and attention RR 367(1) $122.25 BC11 441 0.75
Cycle without reasonable consideration for other road users RR 367(2) $81.50 BC12 442 0.5
Cyclist unreasonably obstructing the path of other driver/pedestrian RR 125(1) $81.50 B819 174 0.5
Cyclist not seated astride and facing forward RR 245(a) $81.50 BA97 330 0.5
Cyclist riding with no hands on handlebars RR 245(b) $81.50 BA97 330 0.5
Cyclist seated other than on seat RR 245(c) $81.50 BA98 331 0.5
Cyclist fail to ride in bicycle lane RR 247(1) $122.25 BB01 335 0.75
Cyclist cause traffic hazard (moving into path of driver/pedestrian RR 253 $122.25 BB22 345 0.75
Ride bicycle with no warning device in working order RR 258(b) $81.50 BB38 356 0.5

While the majority of cyclists obey the law there is an element within the cycling fraternity that continually do not,” Paul says.

“They obstruct vehicles travelling on the road; while travelling in a group doing far less speed compared to other vehicles, they will not move into single file to allow vehicles to pass.

“Cyclists use the excuse that they are entitled to ride two abreast on the road, while failing to accept that they are unreasonably obstructing traffic, which is illegal.

“Despite it being legal for cyclists to travel two abreast and laws allowing other vehicle to cross double lines to pass when safe to do so, irresponsible and discourteous rider behaviour puts cyclists and other road users at risk.”

With identification numbers, more traffic offences could be issued, more than paying for the cost to implement the program, Paul says.

Petitions against cyclist rules

Last year, a Change.org petition was started by Drivers For Registration of Cyclists for cyclists to ride single file.

It has so far received more than 136,000 signatures.

Identification bicycles cyclist rejected
Image from the Change.org.au petition

Meanwhile, a 2017 petition against a rule allowing motorists to cross solid and double white lines to pass cyclists thus endangering oncoming motorcyclists has closed with only 2327 supporters.

Petition organiser Maritha Keyser, who was injured in such an incident, closed the petition after failing to gain the attention of any politicians.

 

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Cyclist video shows ‘safety in numbers’

This cyclist video from a Tasmanian rider shows how cyclists use numbers to defy the road rules, prompting more calls for an identification system for bicycles.

Suzuki rider Estelle Rose posted the video on her Facebook page.

Cyclist video

“I’m riding to work this morning, obeying the road rules and such, but then I get to the roundabout to go into the industrial estate near Legana,” she says.

“I have the right of way so I can exit the roundabout, correct? No, not according to the mass group of cyclists that force me to stop in the middle of the roundabout to give way to them.
Angry react only, please and thank you.”Cyclist video shows ‘safety in numbers’ bicycle

She then adds this later as an edit:

“Been advised that the lead rider yells “stopping” and they all start to slow down. Me, in my situation, saw ahead that not everyone was slowing down so I made the call to come to a complete stop. Saved myself from crashing into the ones that didn’t slow to stop and from causing unnecessary injuries.”

Call for cyclist IDIdentification bicycle cyclist video

Her video follows calls by the Tasmanian Motorcycle Council for free identification numbers, not registration, for cyclists over 18 so their traffic offences can be reported and riders fined.

The article points out a number of offences by cyclists, which is supported by the above Launceston video.

Their call was backed by Emeritus Professor of Transport Marcus Wigan who says electric bicycles and scooters blur the lines between bicycles and registered motorcycles and scooters.

He says bicycles are legal transport and as such should be bound by the same features of ID as other vehicles using the roads.

The issue has been around for a while and divided motorcyclists and cyclists and those who ride both.

We would suggest readers take another look at the TMC’s suggestion which does not include children under 18 and is not a paid registration system.

No stopping cyclistsIdentification bicycle cyclist

We have no beef with cyclists. Today’s young cyclists could be tomorrow’s motorcyclists!

In fact, we believe young people should be encouraged to ride bicycles. But “helicopter parents” would need to stop driving their kids to school!

We also believe we can learn a lot from cyclist lobby groups. They seem to be more unified and therefore stronger than motorcycle representative groups.

Perhaps we should form a united “two-wheels” lobby group!

But we also believe cyclists should be accountable as road users.

On a personal observation, it seems cyclists are reticent to stop for stop signs, roundabouts (as above) and traffic lights because their shoes are clipped into the pedals.

Perhaps a ban on those clips would be more likely to make cyclists obey signs and lights!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Transport expert supports bicycle ID

The coming wave of electric bikes and scooters will create an overlap with bicycles that will put more pressure on cyclists to have ID plates or devices, a transport expert says.

Emeritus Professor of Transport Marcus Wigan says bicycles are legal transport and as such should be bound by the same features of ID as other vehicles using the roads.

His comments follow our recent article in which Tasmanian Motorcycle Council (TMC) called for free identification numbers, not registration, for cyclists over 18 so their traffic offences can be reported and riders fined.

Since publishing that article, the debate on our website and social media has been prolific. Click here for the full story.

Overlaps

Marcus says there are going to be “more and more overlaps (in speed capability) between bicycles and powered two-wheelers and hybrids such as ebikes and electric scooters”.

Even Harley-Davidson has announced a range of electric mountain bikes (photo at the top of the page) and scooters in the next few years.

Harley electric LiveWire ID
Harley electric scooter

“We need to deal with the blurring boundaries between different vehicles,” Marcus says.

“So the real question is not about approving of bicycle ID, it is when will we treat all vehicles and road users consistently?

“This is now a real issue.”

Marcus says he often sees bicycles exceed the speed limit in Albert St, East Melbourne, and asks why they should escape traffic offence notices.

Bike ID

He also pointed out that his words in a 2002 VicRoads paper are even more relevant now with the blurring of vehicle categories between bicycles and ebikes.

Marcus Wigan harassment
Marcus Wigan

Here is a slice of that text:

Vehicle identification is valuable for a range of official and personal purposes: registration, theft recovery and speed enforcement are the major ones. A range of alternatives to conventional rear number plates are considered, with special reference to bicycles and motorcycles. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Infrared Identification (IRID) barcodes and combinations of Geographical Positioning System (GPS)and GSM mobile telephone chips (GPS/GSM) approaches are considered and discussed. While it is still premature to move to automated remote identification systems, barcodes and short range RFID systems alone or in combination offer genuine advantages for vulnerable road users, especially for theft protection, and to the Police for identity verification. Trials of the latter hybrid methods in combination are suggested, and careful consideration of the trust and surveillance aspects of potentially continuous tracking system be undertaken, and the developments widely consulted over  before progress can be made on the deployment of widespread automated remote identification. However short range RFID tags deployed to verify vehicle identity for theft and other purposes may prove to me an effective first step towards automated remote identification systems.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com