Monday, March 17, 2014

Extra Details of us, Safety alerts, and Safe Cycling Tips you do not know about (yet........)


Corner of Design Rd and Central Lane Callaghan 2308. At the end of Richardson Rd go left into Design Road.  We are at the corner of the next right, at the back of the Bike Hub East building at Uni.  We are near a bank.
Free car parking for drop off / pick up goods. Also free car parking on Saturdays.
Workshop provided through NUSA, NUBUG, and UoN (thanks heaps!) Everyone welcome.  We are hard to find with little signage, so follow these directions and have a street directory
Directions to get to Richardson Road, Callaghan 2308:
From Stannett St (Waratah West) : Right onto Ring Road, left at Richardson Road
From Warabrook Train Station :  Go up the hill, turn left.  Then at roundabout turn left.  Then go down the hill and up the hill.  Turn right at Richardson Rd. 
Directions by bus:
Get off at the Design bus stop and follow signs to Bike Hub East From bus stop head into Uni.  Follow the path that joins into Design Rd.  Keep walking down hill until Central Lane on the left.

**********************************SAFETY ALERT***************************************
"Bargain" bikes from Department and Chain stores (and online) including An@conda, BigKW etc (not bike shops) usually need all nuts tightened or they soon go dangerously loose (bearing locknuts, handlebars, cranks, etc).  Low quality steel painted wheels using v-brakes cause the brake pads to wear out very quickly, especially when they put brake pads for alloy wheels onto these steel wheels. So if you went on a long ride you could easily have no brakes left at the end.  These don't meet AS1927 bicycle quality standard, and for these reasons these bad bikes should be banned!  (And we refuse to issue these types of bikes anymore). Recently some Uni students kept complaining and taking back their new unsafe bikes and they got a full refund.  Do this to stop them selling unsafe bikes.
**********************************SAFETY ALERT***************************************


The Bike Love Corral offers to everyone:
1. Trade-in or buy with cash second hand bikes /accessories. Most adult bikes are between $40 and $90 for a quality, fully serviced and checked preloved bike.  Kids bikes are even cheaper $5 or $30 for back pedal brake bikes.

2. Bike fixing, servicing, fixing help and workshops.  Cheap bike fixing and cheaper with trade-ins.
a) Do not believe "experts" saying it's not economic to fix your bike (these people usually want you to buy a new bike).  We have fixed 1000's of bikes over the last 8 years for under $30 when most bike shops quote over $200 to fix it. 
b) $5 for fixing 1 thing on bike (flat tyre, brake, etc)
c) $30 for full service of a ride-able bike (most parts included in this price)
3. Donations of pre-loved bikes or parts can also be done.  But please try freecycle, or gumtree to get reuse of your bikes in your local area.
4. Pre-loved helmets ($5), locks, lights, carry-racks ($10), baby seats, etc.

The Bike Love Corral offers free things to Bike Love Corral members:
1. Borrow, or order second hand bikes /accessories from the (returnable deposit).

Get parts , non-working bikes
2. Use tools (we can help you use them)
3. Fix up a non-working bike (we can help you fix them)
4. Join a fixing workshop
5. Stop getting annoyed by cars, by joining traffic skills workshops
6. Get bike info/handouts/magazines/stickers/newsletters/flyers/ Bike User Groups, Bike Co-op models, etc.
7. Help us build a fantastic sustainable community self-help centre!
8. Learn different tyre/tube combos to stop punctures
9. Volunteers that have worked on a bike/parts receive a donation from BLC funds.
10. If you want a working bike for free refer to Critical Mass promo.


Bikes/parts:  We usually can supply bikes and parts to people within 10 minutes (over 95% success for requests).  But for newer things or to save a trip send us an email to check we have it, or we could bring it in from a house for you.
Free Membership: Non-members are very welcome. We recommend membership for safer cycling in region, discounts, ordering bikes/parts and returns.  Different volunteers may require you to join the uni bike club for $2 to use the BLC, either way we are cheap.
Workshop rules/OHS: Safety and Health are our top priority for visitors.  If you want to use our tools in our workshop, please email us to obtain a workshop pass. 
Starting history :

Pro and nonPro Cycling Tips you do not know about (yet........)

There is a solution to all the common cycling complaints, and we'd love to solve each, one at a time. Safety, sweaty, hot/cold, knees hurting, etc.

Learn to solve problems so you can be happy!:

If you get annoyed with cars or car doors opening in front of you and are not enjoying your ride, then you are not riding correctly (or safely)
Don't ride too close to parked cars:
• You may collide with a car door opening OR You may swerve to avoid a car door and get hit by traffic coming up behind you.
• Always allow room to avoid an opening door. Don't bother slowing or looking for people in cars (unseen kids open doors all the time)

Use designated bike lanes unless impractical or unsafe.
• Road rules require cyclists to use signposted bike lanes when provided.
• Bike pictures painted on the road accompanied with a “bike lane” signpost are intended to designate a bike lane but poor design or bad parking may mean that it is safer, and legal, not to ride in these lanes.
• Most bike pictures painted on Newcastle roads are not signposted and Road Rules 153, 144 & 247 advise not to ride in them because they are not proper bike lanes. Bike pictures on the road positioned where a parked car door opens is a very dangerous place to ride because of crashing into opening doors. These archaic lanes have to go, and hopefully this is only a temporary Newcastle strategy.

Be predictable.
• Travel in a relatively straight line – position yourself to avoid parked cars or other obstacles well in advance so that you don't weave in and out or swerve at the last moment. Be able to glance behind you while still cycling straight (practice this safely on grass)

Maintain the safest lane position.
• If the road is wide enough, keep left to allow motor vehicles to pass you safely.
• If the road is not wide enough to allow motor vehicles to pass you safely, either stop and pull over to allow vehicles to pass or, when no vehicles are approaching from behind, signal, then occupy the centre of the lane to prevent vehicles from attempting to pass you.
• At roundabouts – keep left and give way to vehicles that want to cross in front of you to exit, or occupy the lane and negotiate the roundabout in the same way a motor vehicle would.
• Inexperienced cyclists often “hug the curb” and wonder why cars pass so close. Experienced cyclists let traffic pass when they can but occupy the lane when needed for safety. Occupying the lane by a single rider, or two riders abreast, is legal but preventing drivers from passing can cause aggravation, so be considerate and move left to let motorists pass as soon as it is safe to do so.


Maintaining your bike for safer cycling
Bikes not maintained well cause many crashes to cyclists. If you are not sure you can check your bike for safety then get the Bike Love Corral to give it a free safety check!
• Wheels and seat on tight, handlebars steering correctly and brakes work.
• When not riding keep your bike covered, inside or in a shed to stop rust.
• When riding try not to hit potholes, or drop off gutters to save denting wheels
• Keep tyres inflated hard to PSI written on side of tyre (30% lower for old tyres), check for tyre wear
• Quick release levers are levered over into the "closed" position. Just don't screw these up. This stops front wheels coming loose.
• Too much oil on the chain will attract dirt and wear out the chain too fast, use a tiny bit of vegetable oil. Oil cables with synthetic oil. Only use WD40/CRC etc  as a solvent to clean out things, then remove all the WD40/CRC from component and then relube component with the correct grease/oil. 
• Fix any wobbles in wheels, pedals, cranks, steering before they get worse
• Choose correct gears for longer lasting parts. (Eg. Match slow gears front and back, match high speed gears, etc.)
• Seat and Handlebar heights so the safety limit marks are hidden in the frame.   If your knees hurt, put your seat up higher.
• bell or horn is working.
• if riding in poor light – a clean reflector and flashing or steady red light at the rear of the bike and a flashing or steady white light at the front.
• Make sure nothing can catch in the front wheel, especially items falling out of a front basket, or being carried, such as a beach towel, or bag.
Be seen.
• Wear bright coloured clothes or a high visibility vest with reflective strips.
• Flags and wide mounted reflectors can help motorists see you.
• Rear reflectors/lights are seen first by approaching motorists. But the reflectors on pedals at night are what first tell motorists they are approaching a cyclist.
Personal protection.
• Wearing an approved helmet is required by law and may offer some protection in some accidents.
• Glasses can protect your eyes from wind, rain, dirt and bugs. Tinted glasses can protect your eyes from glare.
Heads up.
• If you don't need to ride in a racing position, consider setting up your bike so you can ride in a more upright position making it easier see the road ahead or look over your shoulder.
Manage poor road conditions.
• Watch out for grates, potholes, stones and kerbs that can stop you in your tracks.
• Ridges, grooves or cracks in the road surface can cause “tram-lining” forcing your front wheel to track along the fault in the road.
• Oil, water or sand can cause sliding.
• Painted surfaces can be exceptionally slippery.
• In wet weather conditions regularly "touch" your brakes to help keep them dry and working well when needed.
Plan your ride. The shortest route may not be the best.
• Choose a route with safe cycle paths where possible.
• Avoid roads with fast moving motor vehicles, inadequate space for bikes and poor road surfaces.
Use a hook turn to turn right at a busy intersection.
• A hook turn avoids sitting in the centre lane while waiting to turn right and avoids having to turn right in front of oncoming traffic.
• To perform a hook turn, pull over to the left when entering the intersection, joining traffic approaching from the side street. Proceed through the intersection (to the street that was to your right) when safe to do so.
Avoid blind spots.
• You may not be visible in the rear view mirrors of a motor vehicle ahead of you so be prepared for it to turn in front of you to park or turn left.
• A motor vehicle immediately behind you can probably see you. But a second vehicle immediately behind it may not be able to see you. As the first vehicle passes you the second vehicle may approach without realising you are there. Make sure you have adequate room to move left as the second vehicle approaches.
• Vehicles entering from side streets may be unable to see you because they are looking for larger vehicles or if a vehicle is passing you.
Ride defensively.
• Being in the right is little comfort if you are hit by a car.
• Assume that you are invisible until a driver's action show that they have seen you.
• Assume that a motor vehicle will not give you adequate space or recognise your right of way until the vehicle shows that it is taking action to avoid you.
• Always have a Plan B – go slow enough to stop in an emergency or make sure you leave space to steer out of trouble.
• Defensive riding becomes second nature once you practice it for a while.
Give way to pedestrians.
• Cyclists must follow the same road rules as motorists. There are a small number of exceptions and some additional rules for cyclists.
• It is illegal for cyclists to ride on footpaths unless younger than 12 or accompanying a child younger than 12.
• If you must travel along a footpath, dismount and walk your bike.
• On shared cycle paths use your bell to warn pedestrians when approaching and slow down when passing. Show pedestrians the same courtesy we would like car drivers to show cyclists. Shared path courtesy is also on-road courtesy
• Walk to the left of centre line (like cyclists do on roads)
• Cyclists overtaking people should change lanes and give 1m room (like cars should overtake cyclists on roads)
Practise emergency braking and steering.
• Take note of which brake is for the front and back wheels. In Australia the left hand should operate the rear brake.
• Learn the limits of braking. Applying the rear wheel brake too hard may cause it to lock and skid. Some fish-tailing may occur but the bike will still be controllable. Applying the front brake too hard could cause the rider to go over the handle bars. Keep your weight low and to the back to minimise this chance. Locking the front wheel can be catastrophic as steering is lost and the front wheel will often skid out from under you. The front tyre's tread pattern helps with braking and water dispersion. Look for the direction arrow on the sidewall or the tread has an arrow formation pointing forward when looking down at it when you are riding your bike.
• Careful application of both brakes, without skidding, provides greatest stopping power.
• Find a safe place to practice braking hard while steering straight, left or right.
Learn from experienced cyclists.
• Ride with a buddy or join a Critical Mass group ride – talk about and practice safe cycling techniques.

Build respect and tolerance.
• Cyclists and motor vehicles are often forced to share roads that weren't designed to be shared. Responding to an aggressive motorist with aggression is likely to make them more aggressive to all cyclists – so just let it go. Avoid conflict and save your energy for campaigning for better cycling infrastructure.

Learn to cycling for 2 yr olds to 90 yr olds.
•    Society has progressed away from training wheels!  Best way for all types of people to learn how to ride a bike is to get on grass and lower the seat so you can scoot with your feet on the ground (take the pedals off if necessary).  Learn how to stop the bike with the handbrake/s.  Start confidence of being in control and knowing you can stop with handbrakes and put feet down at any time.  Then scoot along with your feet and use your brakes.  Then lift up your feet for 2 seconds to learn balance/steering.  Then lift up feet and roll for longer times until you can balance and steer.  Then start pedalling.  This way coincides with the 2010 start of the popularity of balance bikes for 3-5 yr olds.  The pedalling is learnt last, which is the exact opposite with training wheels on bikes.  With training wheels you don't learn the balance or steering (leaning) at all.  And then the removal of training wheels needs more learning.  But there are lots of ways to learn how to ride a bike.  The method described here will cater for all types of people with the least amount of crashed/frights.