Clocks have gone back and the days are getting shorter so please make sure you don't get caught out without lights at night and kit yourself out properly for Winter. The council is running a 'Be Bright' campaign to promote the use of lights and reflectors. A cyclist is essentially invisible at night without them. Roving cycle ambassadors from the Council, BNB and the police are out and about to stop cyclists without lights and offer to fit lights to their bike. Those that do have lights don't miss out, they'll be rewarded with puncture repair kits, reflective strips, bells and other cool stuff (while stocks last).
A number of bike shops are also helping cyclists kit out for winter with discounts if you mention BNB:
> Stoke cycle centre will take 15% off selected lights and reflective gear for the month of April.
> Avantiplus Richmond has reflective gear & selected lights on special until the end of April (Front & rear light combo was $69, now $49).
> The Cycle Shop will give a 10% discount on lights and reflective gear.
> Bicycle Business have some light sets on special at the moment; 2 options both 50% off were $59 and $50 now $29.50 and $25.00 and will give a 10% discount on other lights and reflective clothing not already discounted.
MP Katrina Shanks asked for feedback on whether high-viz should be compulsory. We have sent a response to Katrina from BNB, copied below.
We need to keep watching this space - one of the issues that the same coroner spends some time on (and is proposing to Govt) is making the use of cycle facilities mandatory if they're present. Cyclists would, for instance, be legally required to use the overpass at the Annesbrook roundabout and not be permitted to ride through it. This is a position which apparently used to apply in NZ and which he is pushing for a return to.
A copy of the full coroner’s report is available from a link on this page: http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/when-common-sense-isnt
Last year, Chris Allison and I were discussing the number of people who cycle in Nelson. Chris suggested that 1 in 3 people cycle. It seemed like a crazy figure but he'd based this on the Sport and Recreation NZ surveys show that in 2001 15% of adults cycled in NZ (13% women, 17% men) and by 2007 that had increased to 36% in SPARC's Tasman region (Nelson/Tasman and Marlborough - 31.4% women, 41.2% men). This figure is now likely to be conservative, as it's 4 years old and the trend towards cycling growth remains strong.
So this got us thinking; if 1 in 3 people cycle then everybody must be quite closely connected with somebody who cycles even if they don't cycle themselves. Cyclists are not just disconnected strangers from another planet and one of these bright yellow two wheeled aliens may be your neighbour, your child's teacher, your boss or your best friend.
Last Monday (18th March) I attended the first Roas Safe Nelson Bays (RSNB) meeting of the year as the BNB representative. As well as BNB we had Marg Parfitt (NCC), Sarah Downs (NCC/TDC), Andrew James (NZTA), Allan Kneale (AA), Shane Davies (NCC), Stu Wright (Police), Derek Nees (RTA), Krista Hobday (TDC), Kylie Matthewson (Plunket), Mark Preston-Thomas (ACC) and Fraser Magee (Ulysses).
As you can see from those groups that are represented, RSNB is a very important group for BNB to be part of. Below is a quick summary of the cycling related issues that were raised and you will note that Bicycle Nelson Bays isn't the only group raising cycling issues; RSNB as a group is concerned with the safety of all road users.
A very rewarding afternoon was had last Friday with a public talk by David Engwicht. David's a founding member of Creative Communities International and advocate for Liveable Streets. He was invited by Nelson City Council's Active Transport Forum. He gave an inspiring talk to the Forum, plus a large audience of interested parties including Chris and Will from Bike Nelson Bays.