15% Discount on Bicycle NSW Membership

All members of a Bicycle NSW affiliated BUGs, including Shoalhaven BUG, are eligible for the BUG Membership discount on joining or renewing membership. To receive the discount a discount code is required when purchasing membership on the BNSW website. The discount code for Shoalhaven BUG can be obtained by contacting the Shoalhaven BUG Membership Secretary. BUG members can join online here and when they enter the discount code on the checkout page, the discount will be applied automatically. Alternatively call Bicycle NSW on 02 9704 0800 for more information about their Memberships and to join over the phone. 

Tips for Group Riding from Bicycle NSW

HOME / BICYCLE NSW NEWS • COMMUNITY • SAFETY GUIDES 


Riding in a group is an exciting experience and can lead to some amazing adventures! St George BUG has come up with some helpful hints to ensure everyone remains safe and has a fun time.

Bike riders cycling together

Equipment 

  • Your bicycle should be in good working order, with tyres pumped and chain oiled. 
  • Do not ride if your brakes are defective.
  • You must wear a helmet – it’s the law.
  • Take a full drink bottle of water and be sure to drink regularly. 
  • Wear suitable clothing – a brightly coloured top is advisable. 
  • Carry a spare tube which is the correct fit for your tyre, a pump and tyre levers. 
  • If the ride is in the early morning or evening, make sure you have front and rear lights. 
  •  A mirror on your handlebar or wrist is an advantage. 
  • A bell is very necessary when riding on shared cycle paths. 
  • Use sunscreen when appropriate – you’ll probably be out in the sun for a few hours.

Riding Etiquette

  • If you haven’t ridden with a group before, let the group know, so they don’t ride too close to you. 
  • Listen carefully to the ride leader’s instructions at the start of the ride. 
  • Watch for hand signals from riders in front of you, e.g. left and right hand turns, slowing or stopping, debris or potholes on the road. The ride leader will show you the signals. 
  • Pass on the signals to the riders behind you, or call them out if you are unable to do them. 
  • Call out “bollard” when approaching one as you might block it from the vision of riders behind you. 
  • Keep to the left when riding, so others can pass you if necessary. 
  • If you pass a rider or walker, call out “passing”.
  • When riding on a road single file is preferred. If the sweep calls out “car back”, it means a car needs to pass, so make sure you keep to the left in single file. 
  • When approaching a roundabout, check behind to see if the road is clear, then take the middle of the lane to go into the roundabout so you don’t get nudged to the side if a car tries to pass. 
  • Always stop for red lights even if the riders ahead have gone through. They will wait for you. 
  • Don’t shout abuse at pedestrians, cyclists or motorists or use rude gestures. 
  • Remember that pedestrians have right of way on most shared paths. 
  • If the group has stopped to wait for you, don’t ride up to the front of the group, but join the back of the group.

Avoiding Accidents

  • Always move yourself and your bike to the left edge of the path when you stop. Not only does this avoid riders colliding with you, it also stops others who use the path from getting annoyed. 
  • Don’t swerve in and out of the group. 
  • Bollards come in all shapes and sizes. Watch out for them on shared paths, slow down and call out to riders behind you to alert them. 
  • When riding up onto a footpath or across a gutter, always approach at a right angle. If you approach side-on, your tyre might not get over the lip and your bike will stop suddenly. 
  • Look out for potholes and tree roots and always be on the alert for changes in the path or road surface. Concentrate on the path ahead. 
  • Watch out for bushes, tree branches or vines that encroach on cycle paths. 
  • Occasionally there are off-leash dogs on paths. Slow down and be prepared to stop as they are often unpredictable and can cause you to fall over.
  •  Ring your bell to let walkers with dogs on leashes know you’re going to pass so they can pull their dog to the side. 
  • Small children enjoy riding as much as we do but many of them zig zag across the path, so be patient, slow down and give them a wide berth.
  • Sometimes soft sand blows onto cycle paths. Avoid sudden braking in soft sand. If unsure, get off and push your bike through. 
  • Loose or stony gravel can also be a hazard, depending on its depth, looseness and on the type of your tyres. Try to ride through evenly and not brake suddenly. 
  • Avoid riding parallel to train and light rail tracks in case your tyre gets caught in them. Don’t brake on wet steel tracks or metal drains as this causes your tyres to slide. 
  • Wooden boardwalks also become slippery when wet. 
  • Don’t attempt tight turns when riding in a group, unless you are confident of following through. 
  • Before riding through any intersection, always check that it is safe to do so – don’t just follow the rider in front. 
  • Don’t ride too close to the rider in front of you in case your wheel clips theirs. 
  • Don’t stop suddenly if you can help it. Shout “stopping” or “slowing” when you’re going to stop. 
  • Look out for approaching hills so you can change your gears before you start the climb.

Riding Two Abreast

30 May 2018

Cyclists often ride two abreast for a reason.  It’s safer. It increases visibility and reduces the chances of being in an accident with a motor vehicle.

Bicycle riders are one of the most vulnerable road users, and riding two abreast make them more visible.  Two riders cycling side by side can be seen from much further away, than a single rider. Being able to see riders from a further distance will enable drivers to prepare to overtake the riders safely, in accordance with the Minimum Passing Distance law.

Riding two abreast also allows the motorist to overtake the group of riders more quickly as the line is only about half as long. This allows the vehicle to pass the group less time (giving for moving in and out to the correct location on the road).  A good overtake is safer for everyone, the other vehicles on the road, the driver and their passengers and all the riders on the road in the group.

Broken Centre Line Overtaking is legal, when safe to do so.

Unbroken Centre Line Overtaking is legal, when safe to do so.

What do cyclists need to know about riding two abreast?

Cyclists must be within 1.5 metres of each other when riding two abreast.  A third rider can overtake these two riders, but cannot continue to ride beside them.

Riders should be courteous and consider other roads users around them, and if safe may change to single file in some circumstances.

What do drivers need to know when overtaking cyclists riding two abreast? 

Only overtake when it is safe and legal to do so. We want all road users to get to their destinations safely.

Drivers in NSW must provide a minimum of 1 metre when overtaking 1 bike rider or multiple.  When the speed limit is 60km/h or under, drivers must provide 1 metre when overtaking – this is measured from the furthest point of vehicle (i.e. mirror) to the furthest point of the cyclists (i.e. handle bars, cyclists elbow). If the speed limit is over 60km/h, drivers must provide 1.5 metres of space when overtaking.

Drivers are able to cross double lines and go on painted islands to provide bike riders with this distance, if it is safe to do so.

 

A few seconds can save a life so please be patient. Our roads are shared spaces. Mutual respect and cooperation are the key to ensure everyone remains safe. 

Minimum Passing Distance – Update

In May 2018, after a 2 year trial, the Minimum Passing Distance became permanent law in NSW.  Providing space when overtaking cyclists, is helping to protect our most vulnerable road users.

 

What is the Minimum Passing Distance? 

When driving 60km/h and under, a motor vehicle must provide bike riders 1 metre of space when overtaking.

When driving over 60km/h, a motor vehicle must provide 1.5 metres of space when overtaking.

 

The measurement is taken from the widest part of the bike (i.e. handle bars) to the widest part of the motor vehicle (i.e. a mirror)

Exemptions to the law that enable driver to provide bike riders with this space. 

 

Drivers will be exempt from the following rules, as long as it is safe to pass the bicycle rider with at least a metre of space and they have a clear view of approaching traffic:

  • Keep to the left of the centre of the road (two-way road with no dividing line)
  • Keep to the left of the centre of a dividing line – broken and unbroken lines
  • Keep off a flat dividing strip
  • Keep off a flat painted island
  • Driving within a single marked lane or line of traffic
  • Moving from one marked lane to another across a continuous line separating the lanes

Extending the courtesy to paths

When riding on shared path and footpaths, we strongly encourage riders to give pedestrians and other riders 1 metre of space when overtaking.

Bike riders are allowed to ride on footpaths if they are under the age of 12, or are with an under 12 bike rider. This means that parents, guardians, friends and siblings aged 12 years or over are legally allowed to ride on the footpath if they are accompanying a rider under 12. Read more about footpath riding in NSW here.

Learn to Ride Sussex Inlet Launched

The project received funding from three partners including $20,000 from the Gilmore Stronger Communities Program Federal Funding from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development; $5000 from Sussex Inlet Rotary and the bulk of the funding $65,000 from Shoalhaven City Council’s minor improvements budget.

Mayor Amanda Findley is very thankful for the funding, “We would like to thank the Federal Government and Sussex Inlet Rotary for supporting the project to ensure children can learn to ride their bikes safely, off the roads, in a simulated road environment.  This facility educates children on road safety, provides enjoyment, as well as peace of mind to parents. The extra funding and support is very much appreciated to allow us to build something for the children and parents in the area.”

Federal Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis said she was delighted to support a facility that teaches children how to ride a bike and bike rules, “It is great to see this project come to together, it will be an important community asset offering both a fun environment for young people and the opportunity to practice their skills,” she said.

Council worked side by side with the community in consulting with their needs holding onsite meetings with community group representatives and local primary school students to examine the need for a Learn to Ride facility and potential new sites.  Site investigations specifically focused on public reserves with existing recreation facilities and how to minimise the requirement for vegetation removal.

Driver Education

NSW Parliamentary Inquiry – Driver Education, Training and Road Safety

Watch for cyclists sign In February, Bicycle NSW along with 75 other bodies, made a submission to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry in to Driver Education, Training and Road Safety. You can read our submission on the NSW Parliament Inquiry website. Our main recommendations were:
  • To include approved bicycle safety courses in the total training hours for Learners that count towards their logbook.
  • Driver Education be included as a compulsory part of the Year 10 PDHPE curriculum in NSW High Schools
  • Include a Vulnerable Road Users component in the Learner rules testing and practical examination
  • For NSW Drivers to undergo a computer based Rules test every 5 years which must include a Vulnerable Road Users component
  • A high priority be given to ongoing driver education through effective media campaigns
  • Transport infrastructure projects to include a component for the Positive Provision of Active Transport Infrastructure
  • The bicycle infrastructure component of the total transport infrastructure budget be raised to 5%
On May 22nd, we appeared alongside the Amy Gillett Foundation and the Australian Cycle Alliance, to present further to the inquiry on our recommendations and need for greater education across all road users. The topic has garnered significant media interest resulting in news articles and radio interviews. We spoke to 2HD Newcastle ahead of the hearing and discussed the proposal and the work our local affiliated BUG, Newcastle Cycleways Movement have been doing in pushing for the CycleSafe Network. We will continue to update our members and stakeholders as the outcomes from the Inquiry are made available.

Increased Fines for Bicycle Offences

Bicycle Fines – More Education, less Big Stick.

Bicycle NSW presents their position on the new fines for bicycle offences;

Dear Members and Friends,

Recently we discussed the mandatory Photo ID issue, and this elicited a great range of responses. Thank you for this.

This week we wanted to present the Bicycle NSW position on the large increases in fines for bicycle offences:

  • Not wearing a helmet: from $71 to $319. Equivalent to the motor cycle fine, even though a motor cycle has much higher power and can reach much higher speeds.
  • Running a red light: from $71 to $425. Equivalent to cars, even though at many intersections bicycles are unable to trigger the traffic signal. This is a 500% increase.
  • Riding dangerously: from $71 to $425. This is a 500% increase.
  • Not stopping at children’s/pedestrian crossing: from $71 to $425. Equivalent to cars.
  • All other general bicycle fines: from $71 to $106.

Our position remains that we oppose the automatic equivalence of bicycle and motor vehicle fines. The fines should be based on the potential negative consequence of the offence. For example at present, some speeding fines for heavy vehicles are much greater than for cars because the potential consequences are considered.

At Bicycle NSW we believe any policy or regulatory changes should make riders safer and encourage riding, so as to benefit health, transport, community and the environment. We do not believe that these fine increases will help achieve these aims. As NSW roads face more and more congestion, the Government should be looking at ways to encourage bike riding as a form of transport, rather than discouraging riding.

We encourage all road users to follow the rules and share the road. We know that a good education campaign is the key to behavioural change. During the Government’s committee process there was no hard evidence that higher fines would produce greater compliance than an effective education campaign. The recent Queensland “Stay Wider of the Rider”,  and the NSW motor cycle safety “Ride to Live” campaigns are good examples.

The proposed new fine levels seem ad hoc, draconian, and particularly to target bicycle riders. In fact, the new bicycle fines lead to some interesting anomalies, eg:

  • Ride bicycle without working warning device (eg bell, horn): $106
  • Pedestrian crossing a level crossing when an approaching tram/train can be seen/heard: $71

Which of these is far more dangerous? And look at:

  • Car driving in a bicycle lane: $177
  • Car driving in a bus lane: $319

Who is the vulnerable road user here?

At Bicycle NSW we will continue to work with the Government to achieve a better solution. To aid this, and support our voice, we suggest that concerned riders should write to their Local MP, and to the Premier seeking a reconsideration of these measures.

Ray Rice

CEOBicycle NSW – Creating a Better Environment for Cycling

Reading the Ride Calendar

Some members have reported problems reading the website Ride Calendar on their Smartphones and Tablets. With so many types of phones and other devices it is difficult to give specific instructions covering all but if anyone is having issues reading the Ride Calendar please call Wayne on 02 4423 7430 and he will attempt to assist.