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Ride On digest

16 April, 2014

The week’s top bike news from around the world, brought to you every Wednesday.

Local news

cafeheroAustralia’s biggest cafe crawl

If you’re keen to try some of the bean bars included in our ‘Australia’s top 50 bike-friendly cafes’ post, Steve Bennett has them all mapped out. Thanks Steve!

Get the full scoop >>



Rule of the road

Confident you know the road rules? Put your knowledge to the test with this road rules for riders quiz from The Age. (Note: some rules covered in the quiz apply specifically to Victoria, so check what applies in your state.)

Get the full scoop >>

Darebin Bridge

After 19 years, tenders have finally been called for the building of Melbourne’s Darebin Bridge, with ground expected to break mid-year. The project will form a vital link in Melbourne’s bike network.

Get the full scoop >>

International news

61499909-2a24-4793-9593-a1b396b0d9bf-460x27610 reasons to love your bike

If the cooler weather is sapping your motivation, check out these top 10 reasons to get rolling from The Guardian UK.

Get the full scoop >>



Paid to ride

Londoners may soon be able to get cash rebates when they walk or ride to work rather than catch the tube. The proposal, which explores a number of options for flexible public transport ticketing, is currently open to feedback, and, if successful, would be implemented from January 2015. Mayor Boris Johnson has welcomed the proposal, stating: “I will certainly ask TfL (Transport for London) to examine if we can encourage Londoners to walk and cycle to work as part of this offering from 2015.”

Get the full scoop >>

Weighty issue

Since 2000 the UCI has required that bikes raced in its events be a minimum 6.8kg in order that they be safe to ride. However, this rule may soon be replaced with bikes instead required to meet a minimum safety standard.

Get the full scoop >>


n-BURN-CALORIES-FREE-large57010 ways to get active for free

Going to the gym can not only become monotonous, it’s expensive. Huffington Post has put together 10 suggestions for boosting your fitness for free, without feeling like you’re exercising. Needless to say, bike riding is on the list.

Get the full scoop >>


Book your leave now

If you haven’t booked your annual holiday yet, now’s the time to chat with the boss because this year the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride is heading to Bright and the High Country to take on some of Victoria’s most picturesque cycling routes. Entries open for Bicycle Network members on Monday, 12 May. Save the date!

Upcoming events

dotdotdot 18 April Kew. VIC Hawthorn Cycling Club Good Friday Criterium
dotdotdot 18-21 April Kapunda, SA Kapunda Easter Cycle
dotdotdot 26 April – 4 May QLD Queensland Bike Week
dotdotdot 27 April Shorncliffe, QLD Bicycle Queensland Pier to Point Women’s Ride


Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.

Brake adjustment: the basics explained

15 April, 2014

Iain Treloar demonstrates some quick, easy brake adjustments.


Brake adjustment can be a daunting prospect for the novice mechanic, but fear not—it’s significantly more straightforward than it may at first appear. The following tips for the three most common braking systems in Australia don’t require fancy tools—if you’ve got a set of Allen keys, two hands and ten minutes, you’ll be able to improve your braking performance.

The golden rule of brake adjustment, regardless of what braking system you have, is to check that the wheels are sitting correctly in the dropouts. Loosen the quick release on your wheels and wiggle the wheel from side to side until you’re confident that the wheel is sitting straight. Then, firmly retighten the quick release.

Identify which braking system you have. There might be some differences in appearance between models and brands, but the fundamentals will remain the same.

Caliper brakes

1. Firstly, it’s important to centre your brakes. Are the brake pads sitting an equal distance from the rim? If you can’t see this by eye, squeeze the brake and watch to see if the brake pads contact at the same time, or whether one pad pushes the rim across onto the other pad. To straighten the brake, loosen the bolt at the back, realign the brake and firmly retighten.

2. The next step is to check the distance of the pads from the rim. There’s no set rule on what this distance should be; some people prefer the brakes quite firm, others prefer a little more travel at the lever. Holding the brake caliper in one hand, loosen the bolt holding the cable and squeeze (or release) the brake calipers a little. Retighten this bolt and secure the cable, and then test how the brakes feel at the lever. Continue until the brake lever feels as you want it to.

3. The lever demonstrated in this position is not there to adjust brake feel, but to give space for tyre clearance when removing the wheel from the bike. When riding—and adjusting your brakes—make sure the point of this lever is facing downwards rather than out.

4. Now that you’ve adjusted for brake caliper position and cable tension, align the brake pads. These should be positioned so that they are centered on the braking surface. They should never make contact with the sidewall of the tyre, and should never be lower than the braking surface. Spin the wheel and check that the brake pads are aligned with the braking track all the way around.

5. Once cable tension and pad position has been set up, it’s easy to fine tune down the track with the barrel adjuster, as in the large image above. Turn this barrel clockwise to move the pads out from the rim, and counter-clockwise to move them closer. This is also the best way to adjust for cable stretch over time, without having to reset cable tension altogether, and allows micro-adjustment from in the saddle.

Caliper_1_IMG_3342_CMYK Caliper_2_IMG_3348_CMYK Caliper_3_IMG_3357_CMYK
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Caliper_4_IMG_3370_CMYK Caliper_5_sqIMG_3386_CMYK
Step 4 Step 5

Disc brakes

Disc brakes are more complex to adjust than cable or V-brakes, and we will be taking a closer look at them in a future issue. The following is just one very simple, home-mechanic friendly way to fix a common issue. If your disc brake is rubbing, it is most often caused by an incorrectly aligned brake caliper, or the wheel having been incorrectly repositioned after removal. Before adjusting the brake itself, undo the quick-release skewer, check the wheel is sitting straight in the drop outs, and then firmly retighten the quick release. If the brake is still rubbing, the disc brake itself is the likely culprit. Disc brake calipers are attached either directly to a fork or frame (post-mount) or, more commonly, mounted onto a disc brake adaptor. Make sure that you’re adjusting the right bolts, as demonstrated in Figure 1.

1. Loosen both bolts on the brake caliper. They don’t need to be undone completely—just enough for the caliper to move side to side if you jiggle the caliper with your hand.

2. While squeezing the corresponding brake lever firmly, retighten these bolts. The wheel should now spin freely. If the pads are still audibly rubbing on the brake rotor all the way around, try this process again; sometimes it takes a couple of attempts before the caliper settles in its correct position.

3. If step two is still unsuccessful, you can also try to adjust the caliper by eye. In this figure you can see that there is a gap either side of the rotor. With loosened bolts, realign the caliper by hand, and then whilst holding it firmly in position, tighten the bolts with your other hand.

Disc_1_IMG_3394_CMYK Disc_2_IMG_3403_CMYK Disc_3_IMG_3407_CMYK
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3



1. After checking that the wheel is centered and spinning true, it’s time to adjust cable tension. While holding both arms of the brake with one hand, release the brake cable.

2. Gently release your hand’s pressure on the brake arms until the brake pads are roughly the distance from the rim for optimum braking. You may need to help guide the cable through its clamping point with your free hand.

3. Reattach the brake cable and tighten the bolt. Confirm by squeezing the lever whether the brake lever travel is to your preference.

4. Now that cable tension has been set, adjust the placement of the pads. To assist with positioning on the rim, either squeeze the V-brake arms hard into the rim with one hand to simulate braking (as demonstrated in the image), or squeeze the brake lever. Whilst the brake pad is loose, you can use your free hand to align the pad so it is contacting the rim in centre of the braking track. Once you’re satisfied that the pad isn’t set too low or rubbing on the tyre, retighten the bolt. Repeat on the other side.

5. Clear on one side but rubbing on the other? This is where the little screws on each side of the brake come into play. Running up the back of each brake arm is a metal spring, the tension of which is controlled by this screw. If the right brake pad is rubbing, increase tension on the right spring by winding this screw in, which will force the brake arm out. Continue adjusting in this fashion until the pads are not rubbing on the rim, and contacting evenly. Once you’re happy with the position of the pads, check how the brake feels when you squeeze it, and repeat steps 1-3 to fine tune the feel of the brakes.

V_1_IMG_3410_CMYK V_2_IMG_3414_CMYK V_3_IMG_3418_CMYK
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
V_4_IMG_3420_CMYK V_5_IMG_3424_CMYK
Step 4 Step 5


Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.

Ride On digest

9 April, 2014

The week’s top bike news from around the world, brought to you every Wednesday.

quicklercommuteLocal news

A quicker commute

Bikes come out on top in a race from Melbourne’s outer suburbs to Federation Square during morning peak hour.

Get the full scoop >>

Is cycling the new golf?

Tony Abbott and eight of Australia’s leading CEOs explain why bike riding is their exercise of choice.

Get the full scoop >>

Operation Amulet wraps up

A seven week initiative by Victoria Police to improve safety of vulnerable road users in high incident areas has come to a close, with police detecting over 2,000 offences, among them motorists using mobile phones, motorbike riders travelling in the bike lance and cyclists running red lights. Police will continue to run similar future operations.

Get the full scoop >>

guidinglightInternational news

Guiding light

This innovative new bike light design could help motorists recognise riders earlier in low light conditions.

Get the full scoop >>

The best of #replacebikewithcar

A new hashtag, #replacebikewithcar has been trending on Twitter with riders taking complaints about cyclists and replacing the word ‘bike’ with ‘car’ to illustrate how unfounded and absurd these complaints actually are. Here’s a selection of the best.

Get the full scoop >>

The cobbles are set

Race organisers have completed their final look-over of the notorious Paris-Roubaix course ahead of this weekend’s race. Ratings for each of the pavé (cobblestone) sectors are now available online and the race will be streamed from 9pm (AEST) on SBS Cycling Central.

Get the full scoop >>


19 reasons to get moving

Bike riding is a great form of regular exercise. If you need a little extra motivation, here’s 19 benefits to being physically active.

Get the full scoop >>


Tricks of the trade

World-famous trials rider, Danny MacAskill, shares his tips and love for bikes.

Upcoming events

dotdotdot 13 April Surry Hills, NSW George Street Cycleway Easter Eggstravaganza
dotdotdot 13 April Woodend, VIC Wombat 100
dotdotdot 18-21 April Kapunda, SA Kapunda Easter Cycle


Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.

Australia’s top 50 bike-friendly cafes

7 April, 2014

 Margot McGovern finds the nation’s best spots for a post-ride pick-me-up.

6. Rapha Cycle Club Sydney

6. Rapha Cycle Club Sydney

For two-wheeled coffee drinkers, there is little more rewarding or rejuvenating than that first sip of your latte or long mac after an even longer ride. However, great coffee alone usually isn’t enough for a café to draw a regular crowd of riders. So we put the question to Ride On readers: what makes a cafe bike-friendly?

Unsurprisingly, bike parking, and friendly service were near the top of the list, as were free water bottle refills and cleat-resistant floors. Road riders appreciated early opening times and room enough to accommodate the whole peloton—extra points if the café splits the bill. Commuters wanted chic, inner-city hubs, single roasts and speedy service, while recreational riders and tourers craved shady courtyards, access to trails and a decent selection of sweet treats to accompany their bean brew.

Australia has a rich café culture with thousands of bean bars dotted across the nation. We were determined to find those select few that meet your criteria of a great bike-friendly café. So here they are, as voted by you, in alphabetical order by state, Australia’s top 50 bike-friendly cafes.


Australian Capital Territory

1. Two Before Ten

1. Two Before Ten

1. Two before Ten

40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra
At Two Before Ten, coffee is not a beverage—it’s a way of life. Enjoy the chic urban décor inside, or relax outdoors where there’s plenty of room for you, your crew and your bikes.


New South Wales

2. The Hub

52 Keppel St, Bathurst
Take a seat beneath the shady vines or find a cosy indoor table. There’s plenty of room to park your bike and big tables set up for large groups. If you’re a local rider, chances are the friendly staff already know your name and caffeinated drink of choice.

3. Paddington Grind

339 Oxford Street, Paddington
Cyclists have the rule of the roost at ‘Paddo’ Grind. The staff are as bike-mad as the riders and there’s bike art on the walls to make you feel at home.

4. Peloton Espresso Bar

7. Cafe Central

7. Cafe Central

163 Gordon Street, Port Macquarie
As the name suggests, Peloton Espresso Bar is geared for riders, with staff that are as passionate about bikes as they are about coffee.

5. Pie in the Sky

1296 Pacific Highway, Cowan
Located on a popular regional bike route, Pie in the Sky has a covered outdoor area, great views, excellent coffee and, you guessed it, pies.

6. Rapha Cycle Club, Sydney

4/410 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Rapha has a reputation for never doing things by halves, and you can bet their coffee is as top notch as their cycling kit. One sip and the world takes on a grainy, sepia hue.

Northern Territory

7. Café Central

Shop 1/29 Rossiter Street, Rapid Creek
Café Central brews some of Darwin’s best coffee. There are also plenty of outdoor tables, room to lean your bike and cold hand towels to help you cool down after a ride.



9. Cactus Espresso bar

9. Cactus Espresso bar

8. Blackbutt Bakery

34 Coulson Street, Blackbutt
After a big ride there’s only one thing better than coffee—and that’s coffee accompanied by baked goods. Blackbutt Bakery, located on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, has a selection of pies and cakes to satisfy the most famished rider.

9. Cactus Espresso Bar

173 Brisbane Street, Ipswich
At Cactus Espresso bar the staff are chipper, the coffee is excellent and riders are welcomed with open arms. There’s room outside for your bike and large outdoor tables. Regulars also tell us “coffees are half price before 9am on the weekend for cyclists.”

10. Cankstar Bespoke Cyclery

50 Annerley Road, Woolloongabba
Decked out with “bike bling” and attached to a bike shop, Crankstar is an ideal spot to enjoy a post-ride coffee while your ride gets a tune up.

11. Espresso Garage

176 Grey Street, South Bank
Conveniently located on Brisbane’s South Bank, Espresso Garage has plenty of space for bikes, great coffee and fast, friendly service.

12. Jetty Café

10. Crankstar Bespoke Cyclery

10. Crankstar Bespoke Cyclery

155 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe
Jetty Café’s coffee has been described as “epic,” it’s open early and you get to look out over the water while you refuel. There’s also a team of friendly staff and bike racks to boot.

13. Juliette’s 

7/58 The Strand, Townsville
The owners of Juliette’s are as keen on bikes as their patrons and support local cycling groups and events. They have plenty of room for large groups, open at 6am, put out bike racks and offer water bottle refills with ice, raisin toast and great coffee.

14. My Sweetopia

Shop 8/180 Grey Street, South Bank
Indulge your sweet tooth! My Sweetopia has delicious cupcakes baked fresh on the premises each morning and if you’re lucky the barista will write your name in chocolate on your coffee.


South Australia

15. Argo

212 The Parade, Norwood
Argo is a little café with a big heart, and something of an institution in the Adelaide suburb of Norwood. It boasts outdoor seating, bike racks, great coffee and friendly staff.

16. Coffee Branch

12. Jetty Cafe

12. Jetty Cafe

32 Leigh Street, Adelaide
One of our readers makes the bold claim that Coffee Branch owner Josh “makes the best coffee in the country”. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, Coffee Branch is located right in the heart of the Adelaide CBD on trendy, car-free Leigh Street.

17. Cudlee Café

Gorge Road, Cudlee Creek
A popular haunt among Adelaide Hills riders, Cudlee Café has plenty of room for bikes, outdoor seating and a wood fire indoors when the weather turns chilly.

18. La Musette, Siphon Coffee Bar

3/15 Moseley Street, Glenelg
As the name suggests, this little nook off Glenelg’s main drag is a dedicated cyclist refueling station. It also houses a small bike museum and has a mechanic on hand Saturday afternoons.

19. Red Berry Espresso

1A L’Estrange Street, Glenside
Red Berry won a silver medal at the 2013 Australian Coffee Roasters Awards and boasts its own cycling kit. If that’s not enough to convince you to drop by, the variety of single origin roasts will.

20. Watermark Coffee Station

631 Anzac Highway, Glenelg

Part of the Watermark Hotel, the Coffee Station opens early to cater to Adelaide’s beachside roadie crowd. There’s plenty of bike parking, great coffee and fast, friendly service.



14. My Sweetopia

14. My Sweetopia

21. Aromas Café

272 Charles Street, Launceston
The team at Aromas know exactly what riders want: great coffee, freedom to rearrange the furniture, less than $10 minimum EFTPOS spending and cheap cake and coffee combo deals.

22. Crusty’s Bakery

Shop 1/37 Main Road, Wivenhoe
A favourite among local riders, Crusty’s Bakery is open early and offers a large selection of baked treats to accompany your coffee.

23. The Picnic Basket

176 Channel Highway, Taroona
Riders are always welcome at The Picnic Basket, which has a generous undercover outdoor area, room for your bike and a great section of coffees and cakes.

24. Renaissance Café

95 Main Road, Penguin
Head to Renaissance Café for service with a smile and ocean views.



19. Red Berry Espresso

19. Red Berry Espresso

25. Allpress Espresso

80 Rupert Street, Collingwood
The epitome of Melbourne cool, Allpress serves fine coffee in urban chic surrounds, with bike parking available in the enclosed rear courtyard.

26. Boneshaker Espresso

90-92 Inkerman Street, St Kilda
Boneshaker Espresso lives up to its name, offering some of St Kilda’s best coffee from inside a bike shop.

27. Bright Velo

2 Ireland Street, Bright
The café at Bright Velo is part of Australia’s first dedicated bike hotel. It’s run by a cyclist, for cyclists, and is fitted out with a fascinating array of bike paraphernalia. The iced coffees are rumoured to be particularly good.

28. Brown Cow

382 Hampton Street, Hampton
Brown Cow is a strong supporter of the local cycling community and boasts bike racks, ample outdoor seating, friendly staff and great coffee.

29. Café Racer

20. Watermark Coffee Station

20. Watermark Coffee Station

15 Marine Parade, St Kilda
If you’re one of Melbourne’s regular Beach Road riders, chances are you’ve enjoyed a latte or two at Café Racer, which is now under new management. It’s right on the esplanade, has ample bike parking and is always flooded with a sea of lycra.

30. Cog Bike Café

42 Station Road, Warburton
Cog Bike Café is right on the ‘Warby’ Trail, is attached to a bike shop with a mechanic on hand and offers bikes for hire. In fact, everything about Cog is geared for riders—even the bathroom has bike-themed décor.

31. The Corner Store

Cnr. Blundy and Station Streets, Forrest
Located in the heart of Forrest mountain bike country, The Corner Store boasts the Otways’ best coffee, ample bike parking, a bike shop and bikes for hire.

32. Friars Café

127 Fryers Street, Shepparton
Housed in an old church, Friars Café combines old world charm with great food and coffee. There’s racks outside for bikes and the owners don’t mind you leaving your cycling shoes on indoors.

33. Gauge Espresso

23. The Picnic Basket

23. The Picnic Basket

3 Katandra Road, Ormond
Gauge Espresso is open from 6am, Monday to Friday, to cater for early riders, and inside its bikes, bikes, bikes, everywhere you look—there’s even one hanging from the ceiling.

34. The Great Provider

42A Marine Parade, St Kilda
Located right on Melbourne’s popular Beach Road strip, The Great Provider has hanging bike racks, a great breakfast menu, friendly service and marina views.

35. Kanteen

150 Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra
Located on the Capital City Trail and close by Yarra Boulevard, Kanteen caters to roadies and recreational riders alike. There’s plenty of space to park your bike while you kick back, drink up and enjoy the river views.

36. Mad Cowes Café and Food Store

Shop 3/17 Esplanade, Cowes
Mad Cowes offers preferential seating for local riders, the coffee tastes great and the breakfast menu is large.

37. Madeline’s at Jells

29. Cafe Racer

29. Cafe Racer

Jells Park, Waverly Road, Wheelers Hill
Madeline’s offers plenty of outdoor seating and great coffee in picturesque surrounds.

38. Market Lane Coffee

Shop 13 Prahran Market, South Yarra
“Awesome” coffee, places to lock up your bikes, trendy urban décor. Market Lane Coffee has everything you could want in a chic inner-burbs bean bar.

39. Olinda Café and Produce Store

17 Olinda–Monbulk Road, Olinda
Olinda Café is home to plenty of outdoor seating and some of the best hot chips and iced chocolates around.

40. The Pickled Sisters Café

Cofield Wines, Distillery Road, Wahgunyah
The Pickled Sisters Café is an accredited cycle friendly business. The staff is clued up on local riding and the café has a pump and repair kit on hand. There’s also ample bike parking and space to spread out.

41. The Pint of Milk

30. Cog Bike Cafe

30. Cog Bike Cafe

19 North Road, Newport
There’s always a bike or two at The Pint of Milk, where the friendly, relaxed atmosphere is a draw card for locals.The long list

42. St Ali North

815 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Not only does St Ali North brew some of the best coffee to be had in Melbourne, it’s right on the Capital City Trail, next to Velo Cycles bike shop, offers ‘ride through’ service, ample bike parking and a large grassy area where patrons can spread out and enjoy a post ride treat.

43. Seven seeds

114 Berkeley Street, Carlton
Seven Seeds has indoor wall-mounted bike racks and the floor is polished concrete, so you don’t need to worry about scuffing it with your cleats. The pastries are excellent and the staff are friendly.

44. Tour de Café

Pier Road, Mordialloc
Located at the famous Beach Road Mordialloc turn around point, Tour de Café has bike racks aplenty, taps to refill your water bottles and a range of energy bars to fuel your return trip to Melbourne.

45. Yarra Edge Nursery Café

31. The Corner Store

31. The Corner Store

NMIT Fairfield Campus, Yarra Bend Road
Yarra Edge Nursery Café is located just off Melbourne’s arterial Main Yarra Trail and offers plenty of bike parking and quiet, leafy surrounds. As the name suggests, there’s also a nursery for green thumbs.


Western Australia

46. Bada Bing

84 Rosewood Avenue, Woodlands
Overlooking Jackadder Reserve, Bada Bing has lakefront views, outdoor seating and friendly staff.

47. Cranked

Shop 5, 106 Oxford Street, Leederville
Not only is Cranked connected to a bike shop, it boasts some of Perth’s finest coffee, bike racks aplenty and shaded outdoor tables.

48. Dome, Busselton

30 Kent Street, Busselton
The coffee is consistently good and the friendly staff are happy to welcome your entire peloton.

49. La Tropicana Café

47. Cranked

47. Cranked

177 High Street, Fremantle
This Fremantle café has big tables to accommodate large groups of riders with speedy service and bike racks to boot.

50. Tasty Express

310 South Terrace, South Fremantle
The coffee is good, the staff have a sense of humour and the waterfront is close.


42. St Ali North

42. St Ali North

The long list

Australian Capital Territory

dotdotdot Two Before Ten
40 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra


New South Wales

 dotdotdot 1con1c Coffee Van
Corner Dean and Creek Street, Albury
dotdotdot About Life Natural Marketplace
 605 Darling Street, Rozelle
 dotdotdot Adora
10 Homer Street, Earlwood
 dotdotdot Bar Coluzzi
322 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
dotdotdot Bellagio
285 Bronte Road, Waverley
 dotdotdot Bicycle Garage
215 Lilyfield Road, Lilyfield
 dotdotdot Café Buzz
18 Park Street, Port Macquarie
 dotdotdot Café de Beaumont
70 Beaumont Street, Hamilton
 dotdotdot Centennial Park Kiosk 
Centennial Park, Sydney
 dotdotdot The Coffee Club, Nepean River
78-88 Tench Avenue, Penrith
 dotdotdot The Hub
52 Keppel Street, Bathurst
dotdotdot Frenleigh Café
89 Fletcher Street, Adamstown
dotdotdot Greengrocer Café & Cyclery
37-41 Clifford Street, Goulburn
dotdotdot Grind Espresso
6 Surf Road, Cronulla
 dotdotdot The Mews
Shop 4/3-5 Myahgag Mews, Mosman
 dotdotdot Paddington Grind
191 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
 dotdotdot Peloton Espresso Bar
163 Gordon Street, Port Macquarie
 dotdotdot Pie in the Sky
1296 Pacific Highway, Cowan
 dotdotdot Poppy’s
Shop 15/1 Alice Street, Merimbula
 dotdotdot Rapha Cycle Club
4/410 Crown Street, Surry Hills


Northern Territory

dotdotdot Café Central
Shop1/29 Rossiter Street, Rapid Creek



dotdotdot Alberto’s Shot Espresso Bar
462 Montague Road, West End
 dotdotdot The Bingil Bay Café
Bingil Bay Road, Bingil Bay
 dotdotdot Blackbutt Café
34 Coulson Street, Blackbutt
 dotdotdot The Blue Olive
1/38 The Esplanade, Paradise Point
 dotdotdot BSKT Café
4 Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach
 dotdotdot Cactus Espresso Bar
173 Brisbane Street, Ipswich
 dotdotdot  Café Boombana
1863 Mt Nebo Road, Mt Nebo
 dotdotdot Chase the Rider
Cnr Arrabria and Currangindi Street, Jindalee
 dotdotdot The Chelsea Bistro
The Barracks, 61 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane
 dotdotdot Coffee Sisters
110 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters
 dotdotdot Crankstar Bespoke Cyclery
50 Annerley Road, Woolloongabba
dotdotdot Designer Desserts
Shop 3/30 Chancellor Village Boulevard, Sippy Downs
dotdotdot Espresso Garage
176 Grey Street, South Bank
 dotdotdot Feel Goodz Gourmet
Shop7/14 Oxley Avenue, Woody Point
 dotdotdot First Pour Brisbane
369 Montague Road, West End
 dotdotdot Honour Espresso
1/327 Honour Avenue, Graceville
 dotdotdot The Jetty Café
155 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe
 dotdotdot Juliette’s
7/58 The Strand, Townsville
 dotdotdot KGB Express
87 Roma Street, Brisbane
 dotdotdot La Promenade
4 Tay Avenue, Caloundra
 dotdotdot Little Blue Tandem Café and Cycles
Shop 3/577 The Esplanade, Urangan
 dotdotdot   Mackay Metro Market
24-26 River Street, Mackay
 dotdotdot Millie J and Co
334b Flinders StreetTownsville
dotdotdot Mocha Mecca
Shop 2/237 Riverside Boulevard, Douglas
 dotdotdot My Sweetopia
Shop 8/180 Grey Street, South bank
 dotdotdot Origin Espresso
Shop 3/21-23 Warner Street, Port Douglas
 dotdotdot Pam’s Café 88
88 O’Quinn Street, Nudgee Beach
 dotdotdot Piccolo Espresso
2 Hythe Street, Miami
 dotdotdot Slinky Espresso
Shop 3/190 Fairfield Road, Fairfield
 dotdotdot Two Wheels and a Handlebar  
33 Railway Terrace, Milton
 dotdotdot Zarraffa’s Coffee, Chatswood Road
Shop 1, Chatswood Central Shopping Centre Corner Chatswood Rd and Magellan Road, Springwood


South Australia

dotdotdot Altar Bistro
27 High Street, Willunga
 dotdotdot Anderson Hill Winery/Café
407 Croft Road, Lenswood
 dotdotdot Argo
212 The parade, Norwood
 dotdotdot Bakers Edge 
1/9 West beach Road, West Beach
 dotdotdot Blefari
182 Victoria Square, Adealide
 dotdotdot Bond and Lane Canteen
1 Salisbury Crescent, Colonel Light Gardens
 dotdotdot The Broadway Kiosk
Corner Broadway and South Esplanade
 dotdotdot Carnevale Coffee
114-118 East Avenue, Clarence Park
 dotdotdot Coffee Branch
32 Leigh Street
 dotdotdot Cudlee Café
George Road, Cudlee Creek
 dotdotdot Europa
12-14 Jetty Road, Glenelg
 dotdotdot The Grain and Bean
Shop 2B Bartley Terrace Shopping Centre, West Lakes Shore
 dotdotdot Harvest Café
240 Strathalbyn Road, Mylor
 dotdotdot Hello, Yes
12 Eliza Street
dotdotdot Jetty Street Café
1 Jetty Street, Grange
 dotdotdot La Musette, Siphon Coffee Bar
3/15 Moseley Street, Glenelg
 dotdotdot MediterraneanCafé Ristorante 
Shop 2/72 Broadway, Glenelg South
 dotdotdot The Organic Market and Café
5 Druid Avenue, Stirling
 dotdotdot The Pantry on Egmont
2 Egmont Terrace. Hawthorn
 dotdotdot Pavé Café
138 The Parade, Norwood
 dotdotdot Red Berry Espresso
1A L’Estrange Street, Glenside
 dotdotdot Red Poles
McLaren Vale Road, McLaren Vale
 dotdotdot Scuzzi
99 O’Connell Street, North Adelaide
 dotdotdot Watermark Coffee Station
631 Anzac Highway, Glenelg



dotdotdot Aromas Café
272 Charles Street, Launceston
 dotdotdot Brew
172 Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay
 dotdotdot Chikko Café
267 Main Road, Derwent Park
 dotdotdot Churros Café
54-56 Gormanston Road, Moonah
 dotdotdot Crusty’s Bakery
Shop 1/37 Main Road, Wivenhoe
 dotdotdot Ecru Coffee
18 Criterion Street, Hobart
 dotdotdot Ginger Brown
464 Macquarie Street, South Hobart
 dotdotdot The Lotus Eaters Café
10 Mary Street, Cygnet
 dotdotdot Machine Laundry Café
12 Salamanca Square, Hobart
 dotdotdot The Picnic Basket
176 Channel Highway, Taroona
dotdotdot Renaissance Café
52 Main Road, Penguin
 dotdotdot Richmond Bakery
50 Bridge Street, Richmond



dotdotdot 15 Pounds
21-23 Railway Place, Fairfield
 dotdotdot 56 Threads
56 Derby Street, Kensignton
 dotdotdot À Bloc Bicycle Shop
116 Commercial Road, Prahran
 dotdotdot Alfio’s Café
86 Station Street, Fairfield
 dotdotdot Allpress Espresso
80 Rupert Street, Collingwood
 dotdotdot Alpine Gate
Great Alpine Road, Myrtleford
dotdotdot Anchorage Coffee Shed
34 The strand, Williamstown
 dotdotdot Art of Cycling
177 Stephen Street, Yarraville
 dotdotdot Black Panther Café
Shop 6, Stoney Creek Stores, Halls Gap
 dotdotdot Blue Chair
611 Nepean highway, Carrum
 dotdotdot The Boathouse
7 The Boulevard, Moonee Ponds
 dotdotdot Boneshaker Espresso
90-92 Inkerman Street
 dotdotdot Bright Velo
2 Irland Street, Bright
 dotdotdot Brother Fox
648 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
 dotdotdot Brown Cow
382 Hampton Street, Hampton
 dotdotdot Brunetti
214 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
dotdotdot Café Matto
136 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg
 dotdotdot Café Racer
 15 marine Drive, St Kilda
 dotdotdot Cellar Door
62 Ford Street, Beechworth
 dotdotdot CERES Organic Café
Ccorner Roberts and Stewart Street, Brunswick
 dotdotdot Chiltern Bakery
27 Conness Street, Chiltern
 dotdotdot Coffee Peddlers Café
22 Charles Street, Brunswick
 dotdotdot Cog Bike Café
42 Station Road, Warburton
 dotdotdot Commonfolk Coffee
16 Progress Street, Mornington
 dotdotdot Convent Bakery
Abbotsford Convent, 1 Saint Heliers St, Abbotsford
 dotdotdot The Corner Store
Corner Blundy and Station Street, Forrest
 dotdotdot Deadman Espresso
35 Market Street, South Melbourne
 dotdotdot The Deli Platter
1/1514 Mt Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda
 dotdotdot Elwood Food and Wine Bar
201 Ormond Road, Elwood
 dotdotdot Emerald Village Bakery and Café
Shop 8/10 Kilvington Drive, Emerald
dotdotdot The Farm Café
18 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne
 dotdotdot Figs Café
787 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
 dotdotdot Fine Grind Café
34 Union Street, Brunswick
 dotdotdot Foxy Brown
31 South Cresent, Northcote
 dotdotdot Friars Café
127 Fryers Street, Shepparton
 dotdotdot Friends of Ours
1018 Mt Alexander Road, Essendon
 dotdotdot  Fuel
2 Gore Place, Geelong
 dotdotdot Grand Boulevarde General Store Café Deli
27 Princess Court, Craigieburn
 dotdotdot The Great Provider
42A Marine Parade, St Kilda
 dotdotdot The Green Olive Café
11 Bath Lane, Bendigo
 dotdotdot Guage Espresso
3 Katandra Road, Ormond
 dotdotdot Hahndorf’s Fine Chocolates
107 Bulleen Road, North Balwyn
 dotdotdot Hey Jude
4/100 Keilor Road ,Essendon
 dotdotdot Howler
7 – 11 Dawson Street, Brunswick
 dotdotdot The Joy Bus
23 High Street Barnawartha
 dotdotdot Kanteen
150 Alexandra Avenue, South Yarra
 dotdotdot Larder Fromagerie and Provisions
14a Camp Street, Beechworth
 dotdotdot Little Chloe Café
Ground Floor, 1810 Malvern Road, Malvern East
 dotdotdot The Little Mule
19 Somerset Place, Melbourne
 dotdotdot The Loaf and Lounge
223 Manifold Street, Camprdown
 dotdotdot Lux Foundry
21 Hope Street, Brunswick
 dotdotdot Mad Cowes Café and food Store
Shop 3/17 Esplanade, Cowes
 dotdotdot Madeline’s at Jells
Jells Park, Waverly Road, Wheelers Hill
 dotdotdot Maling Room
206 Canterbury Road, canterbury
 dotdotdot Market Lane Coffee
Shop 13, Prahran Market, South Yarra
 dotdotdot Mart 130
107A canterbury Road, Middle Park
 dotdotdot Melissa Cakes
34 Pier Street, Altona
 dotdotdot Middle Brighton Baths
251 Esplanade, Brighton
 dotdotdot Mocha Mecca
133 Eighth Street, Mildura
 dotdotdot Monkey Can Fly
519 Highett Road, Highett
 dotdotdot Odo
1a Bluff Road, Black Rock
 dotdotdot O’Hea’s Bakery and Deli
203 O’Hea Street, Coburg
 dotdotdot The Old Bakery and Wild Plum Café
97 Martin Street, Dunkeld
 dotdotdot Olinda Café and Produce Store
17 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda
 dotdotdot The Olive Pit Delicatessen
73 The Terrace, Ocean Grove
 dotdotdot Omara Cycles Café
304 Beach Road, Black Rock
 dotdotdot Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird
124 Gardenvale Road, Gardenvale
 dotdotdot Oz Bikes
The Esplanade, Cowes
 dotdotdot Parker Pies
Main Street, Rutherglen
 dotdotdot Piccolo Meccanico
57 Chute Street, Diamond Creek
 dotdotdot The Pickled Sisters Café
Cofield Wines, Distillery Road, Wahgunyah
 dotdotdot The Pint of Milk
19 North Road, Newport
 dotdotdot Poppyseeds
59 Wells Street, Frankston
 dotdotdot Port Melbourne Bakehouse
210 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
 dotdotdot The Produce Store
86 High Street, Mansfield
 dotdotdot Rail Trail Café
2 Service Street, Porepunkah
 dotdotdot Red Bean Coffee
121 Plenty Road, Preston
 dotdotdot Richmond Rush Café
4 Stewart Street, Richmond
dotdotdot Ricketts Point Beachside Café
Ricketts Point, Beach Road, Beaumaris
 dotdotdot Rubber Duck Café
139 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill
 dotdotdot Seven Seeds
114 Berkely Street, Carlton
 dotdotdot Smiths Gully General Store and Café
914 Main Road, Smiths Gully
 dotdotdot Sofia’s
Pier Promenade, Frankston Waterfront, Frankston
 dotdotdot Soul Kitchen Café
The Arts centre, St Kilda Road, Southbank
 dotdotdot Spilt Milk
288 Neerim Road, Carnegie
 dotdotdot St Ali North
815 Nicholson Street, Carlton
 dotdotdot St Ali South
12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
 dotdotdot State Coal Mine Café
Garden street, Wonthaggi
 dotdotdot Svaks
1325 Mountain Highway, The Basin
 dotdotdot Switchboard
11 and 12 Manchester Unity Arcade, 220 Collins Street, Melbourne
 dotdotdot Tour de Café
Pier Road, Mordialloc
 dotdotdot Trailmix
Lysterfield Park, Horswood Road Entrance, Narre Warren North
 dotdotdot Vada
465 Nepean Highway, Frankston
 dotdotdot Vanilla Pod
170 Canterbury Road, Heathmont
 dotdotdot Wa-De-Loch Cellar Door
76 Tyres Street, Stratford
dotdotdot Whyte Café
1122 Glen Huntley Road, Glen Huntley
 dotdotdot Xpose Café
769 Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield South
 dotdotdot Yarra Edge Nursery Café
NMIT Fairfield Campus, Yarra Bend Road


Western Australia

dotdotdot Bada Bing
84 Rosewood Avenue, Woodlands
 dotdotdot Canning River Café
Corner Of Kent Sreet and Queens Park Road
 dotdotdot Cranked
Shop 5/106 Oxford Street, Leederville
 dotdotdot Crossing Bakery
17 brockman Street, Pemberton
 dotdotdot Dome, Bussleton
30 Kent Street, Bussleton
 dotdotdot Dome, Westralia Plaza
167 St Georges Terrace, Perth
 dotdotdot La Tropicana Café
177 High Street, Freemantle
 dotdotdot Tasty Express
310 South terrace, South Freemantle


Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.






Ride On digest

2 April, 2014

The week’s top bike news from around the world, brought to you every Wednesday.

Local news

bikeparkingEmployees demand more secure bike parking

Given the steady rise in bike commuter numbers in recent years, the Victorian State Government is considering increasing the minimum bike parking requirements for commercial buildings. Currently retail and office buildings must provide one employee bike parking space for every 300 square metres. These guidelines date back to 2006 and don’t adequately cater for the growing number of riders.

Get the full scoop >>

Queensland trials new road law

Following recommendations made in the Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry into cycling, the state will be trialling  a minimum passing distance law. From Monday, 7 April, motorists will be required to give riders a  1m berth when passing in 60km/h or less zones and 1.5m if travelling at speeds greater than 60km/h.

Get the full scoop >>

Teens in traffic

Teens aged 12 and over can legally ride on footpaths in some states but not others. Bicycle Network is asking for the age to be raised to 16 Australia-wide.

Get the full scoop >>

International news

medicalofficerChief Medical Officer prescribes bikes

UK’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has released a report encouraging Brits to get on their bikes and get moving towards better health. The recommendation has been met with great support from the bike community with British Cycling campaigns manager Martin Key stating: “Today’s report by the chief medical officer highlights the vital need for cycling to be prioritised as a form of transport. From our research we know that almost two thirds of people would travel more by bike if cycling was accommodated in road design.”

Get the full scoop >>

Canadian bike share revamped

Six month’s ago Toronto City Council took over the city’s failing bike share scheme and entrusted it to Alta Bicycle Share, which also runs the New York scheme. Now its ready to roll out a new approach to get more people riding.

Get the full scoop >>

Women’s cycling shifts up gear

Whether you’re a roadie, commuter or doing the school run, this feature from The Independent says that it’s an exciting time to be a female rider in the UK, though the battle isn’t over yet.

Get the full scoop >>


eyeExercise may save your sight

A recent study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has found a potential link between regular exercise and retaining good eyesight. More research is needed, but initial findings indicate that those who exercise at least three times a week are 58% less likely to become vision impaired as they age compared to those who exercise less than three times a week.

Get the full scoop >>


Wheels of change

Watch this fun, 60-history lesson on the evolution of the bicycle.


Upcoming events

dotdotdot 5 April Melbourne, VIC The World Famous Melburn Swap Meet
dotdotdot 6 April Dubbo, NSW Tour of the West 
dotdotdot 6 April Woodside, SA BikeSA Grand Slam Challenge Series #2
dotdotdot 6 April Melbourne, VIC Melbourne Autumn Day (MAD) Ride
dotdotdot 6 April Perth, WA Dams Challenge


Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.

Teens in traffic

2 April, 2014

Should teenagers ride on the road? Simon Vincett takes a look at why those 12 years and older should be able to ride on the footpath. 


Hobart’s Emma Pharo is the mum of two active teenage boys. They love riding their bikes  to school or to friends’ houses  in their downtime. Pharo is relaxed about letting her boys, aged 14 and 12, ride regularly because they’re able to stay off the roads and ride on footpaths on their journeys.

Tasmania’s road regulations allow anyone to ride on footpaths (unless signed as ‘No cycling’), unlike the regulations in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, which don’t allow children over the age of 11 to ride on the footpath. “As a parent I really like to be able to tell my 14-year-old that he should use the footpath in a couple of tricky spots between home and school or home and his friends’ houses. I worry less about him knowing that he can use the
footpath if he has to,” Pharo says.

Pharo believes Tasmania allows teenagers to ride as often as possible. It allows them to learn some of the skills they’ll be able to use when they feel confident enough to ride on the road, like watching for oncoming obstacles or other traffic. Pharo is also the Facilities Development officer for Bicycle Tasmania, so she is well-versed in catering for bike riders. “Our cities are yet to be retrofitted with good bike infrastructure,” she explains. “In the meantime it would be a big deterrent to less confident riders if they could not use the footpath.”

As parents of teens know, the phase of growth from 12-16 years old is as rapid and intense a transformation as toddlerhood (from one to three-years-old) and, like toddlers, it’s similarly hard to determine an adolescent’s level of ability with many tasks. While teenagers may seem to transform into adults as the onset of puberty spurs rapid growth and body changes, it’s a mistake to assume that they have gained adult capabilities.

“Riding a bicycle involves the simultaneous execution of motor skills and cognitive skills,” explains a bicycle education guide prepared for the US Department of Transportation. Bicycle safety education for children from a developmental and learning perspective gathers research into the abilities of children at different ages to provide bike ed that is age appropriate and ability appropriate. Motor skills are the essential balance, pedalling and braking actions but also include turning the head
to scan while riding, indicating to turn while riding and accelerating into a gap in traffic. The necessary cognitive skills are the spatial and temporal abilities allowing
them to choose gaps in traffic, and the ability to ignore distractions in order to negotiate traffic situations.

Our cities are yet to be retro-fitted with good bike infrastructure… In the meantime it would be a big deterrent to less confident riders if they could not use the footpath.

The guide continues: “While children are able to perform two tasks at once, they often sacrifice cognitive performance for motor skill performance. Research suggests children begin to handle dual-tasks like adults, where they show some decrement in both tasks but good performance overall, during adolescence.”

It is during this period of mastering these skills that the response time of adolescents improves, the guide explains. “Children have slower response times that gradually improve with age and are adult-like by approximately 14 years old. This means that children have a delay from the moment they make their decision to the moment they begin to act on their decision.”

For Warren Cann, psychologist and Chief Executive Officer of the Parenting Research Centre, the most significant issue with adolescents on the road are some critical thinking errors to which they are prone. “The two thinking errors that are relevant here,” says Cann, “are a sense of invulnerability and underestimating risk. Both of those things have implications. It means that, especially young teenagers, while they might have the cognitive capability there are issues about judgement that leave them at risk riding on the road. At a theoretical level they can be conscious that they are in fact not immortal but they are prone to acting as if they are, as if they are bullet-proof. They have an under-lying assumption that bad things happen but they don’t happen to me, making assessments such as ‘I can squeeze into that gap’ likely.

This risk-taking, or sensation-seeking, behaviour in adolescents is a topic tackled by the World Health Organisation in its 2007 publication Youth and Road Safety.

“Risk-taking behaviour may allow adolescents to feel a sense of control over their lives or sometimes to oppose authority. Research shows that there are high levels of ‘sensation seeking’ behaviour among young adults and a need to maintain a heightened level of physiological arousal. Young people consequently seek new situations and experiences to maintain this level, irrespective of the risks inherent in the experience. Such sensation-seeking frequently focuses on risky behaviours, including while driving a vehicle or crossing a road. Sensation-seeking has been shown to rise between the ages of 9 and 14 years, peaking in late adolescence or the early 20s, and then declining steadily with age. Across all ages and particularly among the young, sensation seeking is more common among males than females.”

The WHO publication goes on to trace the source of influence. “As young children become adolescents, peer influence becomes increasingly important, compared to the earlier strong influence of parents. For many young people, their peers are the most important people in their lives and are often also their primary source of behavioural norms. Teenagers can be led by what is considered “cool”, not necessarily what is safe.”

To tackle the issues of thinking errors and peer pressure, practice under parental supervision in earlier years provides the best foundation for adolescents to ride competently on their own, according to Warren Cann. “Experience is the thing that really does matter, lots of experience. Where the risk really lies is in the unusual. They’ve got to be able to handle themselves when a problem comes up, not just in the normal when things are going really well. So you want to have experience in all sorts of conditions before the child goes out riding by themselves.”

The findings of a literature review for the Queensland Department of Transport concerning the hazard perception abilities of novice drivers backs Cann’s suggestion. “Hazard perception… requires scanning of the environment, evaluating the relative location of other road users and predicting their behaviour. More experienced drivers are able to detect hazards faster. A deficit in hazard perception skills has been associated with increased crash rates, even when age and driving exposure (distance travelled) are statistically controlled. Hazard perception skills are closely linked with situational awareness, attentional control, time sharing and self-calibration skills (moderating behaviour to match the difficulty of the driving situation with the driver’s level of skill).”

In Queensland, where footpath riding is permitted for all ages, governments use the footpath space for pragmatic solutions to difficult traffic situations. Ben Wilson, Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Queensland, has praise for councils such as Brisbane City Council for pro-actively using the footpath in this way to traverse challenging intersections.

“Councils provide a ‘cut through’ with a pram-ramp-type modification to the kerb at 45 degrees in favour of the bike so that the bike can duck up on the footpath and come back onto the road,” Wilson reports. “There are a handful of these around but they are very helpful and welcome for riders.”

Wilson believes footpath riding in Queensland is a great facilitator of riding, for the refuge it provides. An obvious user is a rider who chooses to do the bulk of their riding on an off-road path. “They like the fact that when they get to the city and get off the bike path for the first time and they’re on the road they can use the footpath to get to work and to where they are going,” he says.

Considering a situation of footpath riding being disallowed, another instance occurs to Wilson: “The mum who doesn’t like riding on the road: she rides the kids to school but how does she get home? It’s cleaner to have the law clear that anyone can ride on the footpath. You can ride with your kids to school and when you turn around to come home you can ride on the footpath as well.”

A common objection against allowing bike riders on the footpath is a fear of collisions with pedestrians. Wilson says complaints about conflict between bikes and pedestrians are not a significant concern. “There’s actually quite little,” says Wilson. “For instance with the cut throughs, people treat it very sensibly. We’ve got no reports of complaints.”

I think bike riders are well aware that they need to give way to pedestrians and the sort of people who are riding on footpaths are going slowly.

Councils have the capability to post “No cycling” signs to prohibit footpath riding in areas but Wilson reports that not many take that step. “In Brisbane there are virtually no ‘No cycling’ signs anywhere, except on private property and the Mall [the pedestrian-only retail centre of the city].”

Emma Pharo says it’s a similar situation in Tasmania—the conflict is simply not a problem. “For us … having adults and older children riding on the footpath is a non-issue, and I’m very aware of the things that annoy people about cyclists in Tasmania and this is a non-issue.”

“I think bike riders are well aware that they need to give way to pedestrians and the sort of people who are riding on footpaths are going slowly,” Pharo reasons. “Even myself, when I’m using the footpath in areas where I don’t want to be on the road, I ride slowly and I take care. It’s really nice to have that option to keep the stress levels down because you’re not having to ride close to fast moving traffic.”

Ben Wilson thinks the Queensland experience has illuminated amenity of the vital space of the footpath. “It has brought into perspective footpath design. We’ve always argued for wider footpaths. The standard one metre is awful. We think they should be two metres, so that two people pushing prams, two wheelchairs, can pass each other. Very slowly we’ve seen improvement. The standard now is 1.2 metres. The standard around schools is two metres. We’ve had a few wins where footpaths are widened to be more accommodating.”

But widening footpaths is not enough according to Ben Rossiter of Victoria Walks, Australia’s premier walking advocacy organisation. He believes that bike riders on the footpath will prevent people from walking, which he cites as “the most common, popular form of physical activity”. Any reduction of activity is to the detriment of public health but a threatening environment on the footpath is a debilitating obstacle for the walking dependent. “The walking dependent,” explains Rossiter, “are seniors, people with vision impairment and other disabilities and children. These are people who have fewer other options for transport. We need to be designing our streets and suburbs to enable them to walk.”

Rossiter contends that seniors, for instance, are already faced with unreasonable risk in the current traffic environment. “Seniors are well overrepresented in the crash stats. Our approach to road safety is to tell seniors to take extra care. We need to create road environments that take better care of them. We really need to be designing our community around the 8 to 80 principles. If you do that you’re designing for everyone.

“In that ideal model the bike rider should be on the road. Footpaths are for feet. They’re for walking, but they’re also for talking, for playing, for living, for learning, they are the basis of our public and community space. They need to be protected and strengthened. “Where walking and cycling intersect is around the issue of speed. If we have slower urban speeds, footpaths can be for walking and playing and our road network is going to be safer for cyclists.

“Seniors are overwhelmingly concerned with not falling. In OECD countries about 74% of serious pedestrian injuries and fatalities are from slips, trips and falls. So they’re watching where they are walking. Things which surprise them are a real concern. With hearing and vision dropping they don’t see a bike coming. “Their concern is a bike whizzing behind them, not ringing the bell. That is more of a barrier than actual collision. The perceptions are really critical for seniors.”

Rossiter’s arguments are not new ones but there is currently no research giving a definitive answer as to whether allowing more teens ride on the footpaths increases the risk of crashes between pedestrians and bike riders.

As an Abstract in 2011 from the Australiasian College of Road Safety Conference, entitled Pedestrian–Cyclist Collisions, Issues and Risks states: “[Monash University Accident Research Centre researcher Alan] Drummond concluded in his report that the problem of casualties due to collisions between cyclists and pedestrians on footpaths was of very small proportions such that it need not be considered in the formulation of policy. Moreover, a report on Pedestrian and Cyclists Safety from the Legislative Assembly of Queensland (1993) concluded that collisions with motor vehicles caused the vast majority of cyclist deaths and injuries.”

The Queensland experience points to the fact that footpath riding is not without its risks for the bike rider as well. Conflict with driveways is a problem “particularly on hills,” says Ben Wilson of Bicycle Queensland. “We’ve got one or two instances where a footpath has been upgraded deliberately or in a surrogate way it’s become a bikeway, down to the point that it’s become listed on the council’s bikeway map.”

“We’ve had police and community meetings about how to deal with Galloway’s Hill on Wynnum Road. It’s a screaming downhill where bikes do go too quick and sometimes cars back out unknowingly and we have accidents.”

An earlier study by Monash University in 1988, commissioned by the Road Traffic Authority, found that 14% of nonriding teenagers surveyed said they would start riding if it was legal to ride on the footpath. The study recommended “a trial of legalised footpath cycling in a limited area of metropolitan Melbourne in order to collect the information required to more confidently predict the safety outcomes of legalised footpath cycling.”

The special amendment to the road regulations in these two specific locations required riders to give pedestrians right of way and travel ‘slowly enough to be able to avoid colliding with pedestrians and vehicles using driveways.’

This recommendation was realised with a year-long trial in middle-Melbourne suburb of Nunawading and the central Victorian town of Shepparton, November 1991 to November 1992. The special amendment to the road regulations in these two specific locations required riders to give pedestrians right of way and travel “slowly enough to be able to avoid colliding with pedestrians and vehicles using driveways”. It also forbade riders from “entering the road from the footpath without stopping”.

Assessment of the Nunawading and Shepparton footpath cycling trials was undertaken via phone surveys of 796 residents in the Nunawading area and 822 residents of Shepparton.

“Respondents [in Nunawading] who believe that cyclists should legally be allowed on the cycle on the footpath (54% vs 34% in Shepparton) provided the following major explanations [which are very similar to the explanations given in Shepparton]:

  • It’s safer—less dangerous
  • Too much traffic on the roads
  • Young cyclists have little road sense
  • Motorists don’t give cyclists any consideration
  • Footpaths are wider.”

“By way of contrast, sample members [in Nunawading] who reject the suggestion that cyclists should legally be allowed to cycle on the footpath (35% of the total sample) provided the following major reasons[which are very similar to the reasons given in Shepparton]:

  • Dangerous for pedestrians, elderly and young people
  • Footpaths are for pedestrians
  • Cars back out of driveways, dangerous for cyclists
  • Not enough room—too narrow
  • No respect for pedestrians
  • Young people are irresponsible, reckless.”

However, “13% of pedestrians (7% in the Shepparton study) would take up cycling if it were legal to ride on the footpath; this ranges from a high of 19% in the youngest age group (18–30) to a low of 2% in the over 60s.”

The Shepparton trial report also provided an insight into who is using the footpath on their bike. “Exactly half of all cyclists ever ride along the footpath; younger respondents are much more likely to do so than the over 18s (14–17: 63%). However, it is also clear that riding on the footpath is not a particularly frequent occurrence (‘Not very often’ and ‘Sometimes’: 73%).

Respondents told researchers “The key reasons for cycling on the footpath [in both Nunawading and Shepparton] centre around safety perceptions:

  • Safer—not as dangerous
  • Less traffic—too much traffic on the road
  • More space on the footpath—wider
  • Smoother ride—less bumpy
  • Can supervise children

While safety is front of mind for parents and students, for Craig Richards, CEO of Bicycle Network, it’s also about getting teens physically active. Mr Richards is calling for the age to ride on footpaths in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia to be raised to 16. “We want all teens to have the skills to ride on the road, but they need to learn them first. Allowing them to ride on footpaths, whether they’re doing it for the first time or they’ve done it before during their primary school years, means they can learn them in an environment with far less traffic. This is an awesome way to get them to be confident riders who can handle riding on the road. It’s also a way to keep encouraging them to stay active.”

The key activity opportunity is to get these kids riding to school, Richards contends, “Children gain enormous health benefits from riding to school—it means they are getting regular physical activity every day (the recommendation is children get 60 minutes of physical activity every day). Research shows regular exercise like riding not only decreases the risk of developing preventable diseases like Type 2 diabetes and some cancers, it also improves mental health and concentration in class meaning children become better learners.”

Emma Pharo agrees—for her and her sons the footpath is a very welcome refuge when it’s available. “I am a confident, fit rider who is very happy in traffic and I use footpaths all the time just to keep out of the way of cars,” Pharo says.

“I think more people ride if they can use the footpath,” says Pharo. “It gives people who are less confident a chance to negotiate the streets. I see quite a few people, particularly older kids and women, using the footpath because it gives them an option rather than riding on busy roads.”

Bicycle network is campaigning to have the legal age for riding on footpaths raised to 16 Australia-wide. To find our more about the campaign and how you get involved, visit Bicycle Network.

Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.

Where the wind takes him

31 March, 2014

By bicycle, sailboat and paraglider around the world: Simon Vincett talks with a French man who has made his boyhood dream a reality.

Kite biking with the paraglider; Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Kite biking with the paraglider; Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. Photo by Nadege Perrot.

At 15, Olivier Peyre, read a book of two men who travelled around the world by bicycle. The idea captivated him, and just knowing it was possible convinced him that he would have to do it.

Peyre, of Grenoble, France, completed school, followed by an engineering degree, and the dream never diminished. It became a project, with myriad challenges to overcome, even down to the very nature of the travelling. “With years, ideas came,” Peyre explains. “The idea of turning around the world by bicycle and taking planes across oceans didn’t appeal to me so much because it was not very aesthetic. If I cross continents on the bicycle, there must be another way more consistent with the bicycle.”


Olivier and his bike, August 2008; Vercors, France. Photo by Olivier Peyre.

He hit on sail power as the answer, and found it was possible to hitch rides on yachts to cross the oceans. “I got information and found it was possible to do this. I could go across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands in October, and if I was in Panama in February then I could cross the whole Pacific. Then there was Asia and that’s it. So there it was—I could do a world tour with no petrol means.”

Meanwhile paragliding was becoming a favourite activity for Peyre and one he did not want to leave behind. “The paragliding was addictive and new equipment had been out recently with extreme lightweight and little volume. This made it possible to carry one on a bicycle! And since it’s possible, why not do it?”

The concept was complete. “It became a zero-carbon world tour,” Peyre explains. “The world is using its reserve of fossil fuel at an excessive speed and increasingly ruining our habitat. I want to show that a great thing such as turning all around our planet can be achieved without petrol and that it is even more fun!”

Map by Thomas Joynt

Map by Thomas Joynt

Departure: July 2008 from Grenoble, France

Distance so far: Bicycle 37,766km; sailboat 17,500km

Paragliding sites: 145

Return: 2017?

Peyre is currently travelling up the coast of Western Australia en route to Darwin and another sea leg to Indonesia. He arrived in Australia at Newcastle in September 2013 with his partner, Nadege, who has travelled with him for nearly half of the trip.

“Our itinerary is roughly planned a year before depending on the paragliding spots, place we want to visit, our visa dates and when sailing boats leave for the next country. We like to build our own travel. We don’t like to get inspiration from travel guidebooks. Travelling by bike allows you to see so many things and we don’t feel it necessary to pass by the ‘must see’ spots.”

Nadege decided to leave the trip in Melbourne—a difficult decision for both of them.

Hitchhiking a sailboat across the Atlantic; Agadir, Morocco

Hitchhiking a sailboat across the Atlantic; Agadir, Morocco. Photo by Olivier Peyre.

“It was her choice was not to continue because she was not realising her life,” Peyre explains. “Even though I tried very hard to include her and for her to be really part of the trip, it was not her dream…But it was impossible for me to go back to France and give up on what I had already done. So I decided to go on. It’s a realisation of my life and it will break my heart forever if I give it up. I have to consider two or three years away from Nadege. Can we keep up our relationship? It’s a tough choice but I have to risk it.”

This was not the first challenge to Peyre’s commitment to his quest. For all the physical hardship of the journey, the extended separation from family and friends has provided the most difficult situations of impasse. “It’s one of the challenges of such a long trip,” admits Peyre.

He relates an earlier occasion while he was travelling around New Zealand with Nadege in 2012.

“In the middle something happened: my sister wanted to get married. I had told my family that I would take four years. I was already thinking of eight years. Lots of people—my surrounding family and friends—wanted to see me. So I had to make a big choice here: my tour was supposed to be a zero-carbon world tour but my sister wanted me to come over. I had to choose between the purity of my trip and my family and my culture that made me, my roots.

“It was a hard choice—I nearly didn’t go. I tried hard to find an alternative to the plane to go back, such as hitch hiking a fast sailboat back to Europe or even hitch hiking on the roads of Russia. In the end we decided we had to take a plane. We came back for five months in France. It was beautiful. It was a good and smart choice to make. My parents told me it was better to come to something happy than to something sad, and they were correct.”

“The use of wind is an experiment. It’s not to double the mileage; it’s to explore the concept, to give other people ideas as well.”

Now back on the quest and in Australia, Peyre decided to attempt kite biking across the Nullarbor Plain.

“Is there any other place in the world where you could do that?” he asks, though admitting that there were issues with realising the concept. “The paraglider was too big. I had some kites made for this in New Zealand. It’s a crazy dream and I believe that sometimes crazy things are possible and you just have to try.”

The seed of the idea was formed for Peyre on an earlier visit to Australia, when he had driven across the Nullabor. “There was a good amount of time when there was nothing. Why not use the wind, the space, for travelling? When something is coming I can always drop the kite.”

Paragliding at Mokau, New Zealand.

Paragliding at Mokau, New Zealand. Photo by Nadege Perrot.

On this visit, now accompanied by a friend Sebastien, Peyre put his plan into action. “It was successful for a little bit,” he says. “I made 19km the first day. I was really scared, really prudent, really careful. Then I became a little more relaxed and I got the technique so that when a car was coming I would stop and raise the kite and wait. As long as the wind was right and there were no obstacles it was okay. I did 40km the second day without pedalling. I was going faster than Sebastien.”

“However, the kite was not a wing and was not really that good. A kite surfer friend here [in Australia] is going to work on another version. And maybe up the west coast there might be some stretch with no trees again and maybe through Mongolia and other countries it might work.”

His engineering background guides Peyre’s vision for adapting equipment and utilising novel methods of travel.

“I like working on things, I like inventing,” he explains. “The use of wind is an experiment. It’s not to double the mileage; it’s really to add some creativity to the trip. It’s not to go faster. It’s to explore the concept, to give other people ideas as well.”

In Australia, Peyre lists as highlights crossing the Alps from Sydney to Melbourne, through Jindabyne and Thredbo, crossing the Nullarbor and paragliding beside the Great Ocean Road.

Of the Nullarbor, he says, “People say there’s nothing to see but I think the nothingness is something to see. It’s so huge that you feel your real size in relation to the rest of the planet.”

But the Great Ocean Road was the number one venue in Australia so far.

“Johanna Beach is one of the best spots for flying,” Peyre enthuses. “Taking off from the beach and going high in the air, then dropping the wing and landing just next to the tents.”

Further on, he and Sebastien were hosted by a family in Peterborough.

“We were flying on the beach and I fitted my second harness and I took some kids up with me. Then I took the mum on a flight. I was good to share this pleasure of life. It gives so much. They said it was the best day of their lives. I received so much during my trip—it’s so great when I can give in return.”

Kite biking Western Australia

Kite biking Western Australia. Photo by Ben Menetrier.

For more visit

Olivier’s project is made possible by sponsorship from Porcher Sports, Brunton, Camsports, Ozone Paragliders, Ikon Kiteboarding and, in Australia, The Fitzroy Revolution.

Ride On content is editorially independent, but is supported financially by members of Bicycle Network Victoria. If you enjoy our articles and want to support the future publication of high-quality content, please consider helping out by becoming a member.


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