Sternfahrt Berlin 2016

Hundreds of thousands of cyclists took to the streets of Berlin in support of safer conditions for bikes. There is an urgent need for real cycle facilities, not just cycle streets where cars can drive and cycle paths which they park on. The traffic infrastructure need to support pedal powered vehicles and not just the fossil fuel users. Berlin needs to meet the needs of modern road users.

Sternfahrt is the one day each year when the potential of streets for pedal transport can be experienced first hand. Cycling on the Autobahn in the fresh air is so easy compared with dodging illegally parked vehicles.

Unfortunately the event was tainted by a massive release  of balloons distributed to participants in the ride with the slogan ‘ride bike' on them. The high cost of such balloon releases to children, wildlife and rural animals seems to have gone unnoticed to those giving away these free balloons.

Hopefully next year it will be different.


1,500 cyclists but only four motorists have been fined after the introduction of new road laws in NSW

NSW is cracking down hard to discourage mobility without fossil fuel, prioritising cars over active transport – bikes and walking.

"Cyclists bear brunt of new road fines as NSW Liberals accused of 'dash for cash' About 1,500 cyclists but only four motorists have been fined after the introduction of new road laws",  Guardian


Justice for Jack Sultan-Page killed by a hit-and-run motorist

Eight-year-old Jack Sultan-Page was riding his BMX bike when he was struck by a car and killed.

Mathew Alexander was handed an 18-month suspended sentence and six months home detention after a hit-and-run that killed the child.

"In the Darwin Magistrates Court today Alexander pleaded guilty to five charges involving the possession and use of drugs and of driving a vehicle in a dangerous manner...He was fined $2,090 for the five charges but noted the amount was lower than it might have been because Alexander had shown himself to be committed to drug rehabilitation." (source)

Social justice commissioner Mick Gooda said  ”Hard to get away from making the conclusion that there appeared to be different laws applied to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, especially given Alexander's sentence." (source)

Mathew Alexander sentenced over hit-and-run death of Jack Sultan-Page fined over separate charges, abc 22.07.2015

'Different laws' for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people: social justice commissioner Mick Gooda, abc 22.07.2015

Man in custody after hit and run accident that led to the death of Jack Sultan-Page 02.11.2014 

More on Australian race relations:
Imaginary Spear Outrages Oz. Slap On The Wrist For Hit And Run Death Of Black Child Doesn't, 28.07.2015


Cycling on a Beach in a National Park

Cycling along a NSW National Parks beach, having a swim in winter. Pods of smiling Bottlenose dolphins are surfing together. A White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) is soaring overhead. Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus longirostris) are wading in pairs looking for pipis (small bivalve molluscs) that have not been raided by humans as it is in a national park. When a person approaches them, the shy shorebirds make a loud whistling call and flee from their feeding grounds. The unusual thing was when approached by bike, they just continued going about their business. Nice to observe wildlife in their refuge for some time.


Flat Tire, Der Radwechsel, Bertolt Brecht

Der Radwechsel
 Ich sitze am Straßenhang.
Der Fahrer wechselt das Rad.
Ich bin nicht gerne, wo ich herkomme.
Ich bin nicht gerne, wo ich hinfahre.
Warum sehe ich den Radwechsel
mit Ungeduld?

B.B. patiently waiting amongst investor architecture

The Flat Tire
 I am sitting on the edge of the street.
The bicycle repair shop is changing the tire.
I don't like, where I come from.
I don't like, where I am going to.
Why do I view the changing of the tire
with impatience?

Bertolt Brecht, Change of Tire, 1953, (A very free fossil fuel-free translation)


How to fatten up by taking the car

A study "Showed that switching from private motor transport to active travel or public transport was associated with a significant reduction in BMI compared with continued private motor vehicle use.... Interventions to enable commuters to switch from private motor transport to more active modes of travel could contribute to reducing population mean BMI."

Meanwhile automobile dependent mobility in Australia has come to a standstill.
All major cities suffer from road congestion. "The report says car travel times in the most gridlocked parts of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra are expected to jump by at least 20 per cent if there no measures to boost capacity or curb demand." (source)

Australia being deficient in public transport, footpaths, cycle paths and walkable neighbourhoods will of course 'do more of the same' - build more gridlocks.

And the Australian obesity rates are climbing faster than anywhere else in the world... (source)

Impact of changes in mode of travel to work on changes in body mass index: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey,  Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

Manly Beach, Sydney
Sculpture on road side, eu
Sawtell, NSW No bike paths, smelly cars


Putting Geelong on the Map with Hit and Run

The almost daily news in an automobile-centric country with motor enthusiasts:

"A hit-and-run that killed a cyclist near Geelong may have been deliberate, police have said, after they received numerous reports of cyclists being "stalked" in the area." (source)