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Category Archives: Bike Parking

Perth Cycling Infrastructure: Bike Parking, Perth Arena

I went to the final of the Hopman Cup last night. Everyone seemed to be there to cheer Djockovic & Ivanovic at first, and Djokovic won his game against Verdasco, but Anabel Medina Garrigues fought gamely to defeat Ivanovic and the feeling in the Arena changed a little, with many many people supporting Spain. In fact the Anabel Medina Garrigues vs Ana Ivanovic match lasted for hours and pushed the end time of the match back to the wee hours of the morning.

djokovic at the Hopman Cup final (photo mine lol)

All of the players seemed impressed with the size of the crowd, Anabel and Novac both said they thought the crowd was like being at a Grand Slam. It was pretty much a sell out.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand, bike parking. As the Arena is pretty much brand-spanking-new it reflects some of the ‘newer’ philosophy that people need to be encouraged to walk, cycle and take public transport to big events. That means that there is bike parking provided in the underground car park.

Bike Parking underground Perth Arena

It’s pretty easy to get in there from the ‘old Entertainment Centre overpass’ – after you cross over the rail line, there’s now a little street that runs down the side of the Arena down to the car park.

There were only four bikes down there for a sell out crowd and we were responsible for two of them – though I think some of this is because it hasn’t been promoted!

There is space for about 4 or 5 bikes near Entrance B above ground, and that bike rack filled up as we were waiting in the queue to go in. There were also 4 or so bikes chained up to random objects. I suspect that these people didn’t know there was another bike rack available.

The racks themselves are the ‘corkscrew type’ which they already have in Northbridge. They do look kind of pretty but they are a bit awkward to use when compared to plain old U-racks which are still the most practical bike rack design that I have used.

When it was time to leave the underground car park, hundreds of other people were also leaving in their cars. One of the staff informed us that the ‘in’ ramp had been closed to traffic so we could use that without joining the queue of cars. This was great because my opposite number has a sore knee at the moment and has real trouble riding up inclines at any speed. After we rode up the ‘in’ ramp, we simply crossed the road to the overpass and home via the PSP, bypassing all the traffic jams and avoiding the train station at 2am on a Sunday morning.

I am going to see Pink at the Arena in the very near future so we will see if there are more patrons using the bike parking then.

It is certainly a great improvement on Burswood Dome (where we locked our bikes to the railing of a stairwell last time), and Subiaco Oval (where we usually find a random pole).

So next time you go to see something at Perth Arena, consider cycling there.

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Ride to Work Day – 17 October

It is ride to work day on the 17 October 2012. Go here to sign up for your free breakfast!

I don’t know if anyone is interested in the minutiae of how various office workers commute to work by bike, but sometimes I just roll my eyes at the excuses people come out with.

“But my shirts will get wrinkles”
“There are no shower facilities or lockers at my workplace”
“It’s too far”
“It’s too much hassle to get organised in the morning”

I have been commuting by bike to work for the majority of my 15 year working life. The circumstances, jobs and distances have changed. At the moment I have the following advantages:

Secure bike cage to leave my precious bicycle.
A beautiful longer route to work (15.7kms one way), or a shorter route (8.7km) both of which are on bike paths which are separated from motor vehicles, but shared with pedestrians.
A flat commute where the only hills are ramps up to bridges.
Flexi-time, so I do not have to arrive or leave from work at a set time – hence I can wait until the rain blows over, within reason.
A city with a beautiful, and mostly mild climate.

I have the following disadvantages:

Showers and lockers are inconvenient to access as they involve climbing up and down a couple of sets of stairs. Lockers are controlled via a system that I don’t quite understand.
I am not a morning person, so any kind of variation in routine means that I’m likely to forget something.

So what do I do?

I put my office gear in my pannier bag the night before – I roll my shirt and pants and they usually come out looking fine. I also chuck my wallet, access card and whatever else I will need that day in there.

In the morning I tumble out of bed, eat toast and drink coffee, pull on some regular, but sporty clothes and trundle in to work.

I don’t bother with showers. I don’t think it’s necessary. In summer I will use some sports-oriented deodorant, but otherwise I just get to work, carry my pannier into the disabled toilet on my floor, it takes me about 10 minutes to get changed, and I’m ready for work.

Most people don’t even realise I ride to work every day unless they happen to see me in the bike cage in the basement.

So put away the excuses and get on your bike. Free breakfast is worth it.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Bike Parking, Commuting

 

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Perth Ride to Conquer Cancer Training: Chocolate Cookies, cyclist superfood!

Two rides this weekend, on Saturday I rode to ‘My Pet Warehouse’ in Osborne Park – I rode into the city via my local bike track, and then back up to Ozzie Park via the Mitchell Freeway path. The pet shop wasn’t far from the path, but even so, there was no bike parking! I expected that I would have to lock up to a sign, but I didn’t think I’d have to wade through rubbish and weeds.

I bought some stuff for the dogs, but they didn’t do cash out, so I had no money for the sausage sizzle and rode home hungry. I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice so I made a batch of chocolate cookies, minus the chocolate chips, for my big ride on Sunday.

I rode down to a friend’s place to hang around her garage sale in my lycra. It was a 72.3 kilometre one way trip, and when I had gotten there I was astounded to see that my average speed was 26.9 kilometres per hour. It had taken so long to break that 26 kph barrier, and I had finally done it! I credit it to my chocolate cookies!

I stopped once on the way down, for 15 minutes, so I wolfed down a cookie then. They aren’t really convenient to eat on the bike. It is a convenient bottle refill spot as well – the only water fountain that I know of on the Kwinana Freeway bike path. It’s a couple of kilometres North of Cockburn Central (for those who aren’t from Perth that is pronounced Coe-burn, not how it is spelled).

After a day of hanging around the garage sale, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to ride the whole way home. The sea breeze had wafted in and made the ride a bit easier, so I kept going. I managed to finish the ride with an average of 28.3 kilometres per hour.

I don’t know how you can live in Perth and not love it. Well, apart from some of the bogans who seem to try their best to ruin it all. I did get slapped on the lower back by some tool kid on the back of a trail bike somewhere near Mortimer Road. There was a group of three bikes and after the first one went past and slapped me I rode wider to force them on to the dirt. I got a few middle fingers for my trouble. I thought about pulling my camera out of my back pocket, but that would have resulted in, well, blurry pictures of their backs.

Anyway, after 144 kilometres, I say bring the Ride to Conquer Cancer! I am ready!

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Bike Parking, Charity Rides

 

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Hobbit Bike Parking

Make sure that you done your Personal Protective Equipment before entering this bicycle parking area! It’s a good thing that cyclists in general wear helmets in Australia – if they didn’t I think this arrangement would have resulted in a few split open heads.

OK, the ceiling doesn’t look that low with me for scale, but check out the bikes next to me. This is a classic ‘afterthought bike cage’.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2012 in Bike Parking

 

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The Avon Descent 2012

Western Australia is home to a race which has been going on for 40 years. The Avon Descent is a 124 km race over two days in which a variety of paddlecraft and powerboats compete. A bit of last minute rain saved the race from record low water levels, but 2006 and 2010 were also low years. In 2010 most of the powerboat competitors didn’t make it to the end because of low water levels.

I figure that if I want to do this race, I need to do it soon. Poor rainfall is more and more likely as WA gets drier (and hotter). I think that the Avon Descent is something that almost every active WA resident has considered doing, and while I’m not an experienced paddler, it is something I enjoy getting out and doing.

We drove out to Toodyay for day one, and cheered on most of the paddlers though we were too late to see the powerboats go through.

The dogs watching the paddlers in Toodyay

It looked like a hard slog, even though there was a little bit of water flow where we were, then the paddlers had to navigate through the remains of an old bridge, we think it was for the miniature railway that was in the area. We cheered and clapped and a lot of the competitors smiled at the dogs looking over at them.

The second day finishes at Riverside Gardens in Bayswater. Rather than contributing to the traffic issues in the general area, we decided to ride. We used a temporary fence as a convenient bike stand, and sat nearby.

Unintentionally provided bike parking, put a couple of bikes in a temporary fence and it looks like a bike rack!

We didn’t quite catch the first powerboat coming in but we did see most of them cross the line. They were covering the race with these little camera-drone helicopters. I thought it was awesome, though they did still have the loud, fuel-burning helicopters flying overhead.

The little drone helicopters were being rotated, I know they had at least 3 of them. I am not sure how much fly time they had but they did appear to swap them around quite a bit, perhaps to charge the batteries.

 

Remote controlled video helicopter

We saw the paddlers making their sprints for the line, ate icecream in the sun and generally had a great afternoon. It got busier as time went on but all the late arrivals missed the winners by a long way. I think a few of them were waiting for people they knew.

When I had enough of sitting in the sun, and was feeling a little sleepy, we just got on our bikes and left, no traffic hassles. It was a really nice afternoon and I loved cheering the paddlers home after a gruelling race.

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in Bike Parking, Everyday cycling

 

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Perth Cycling Infrastructure: UPDATE on Bike Parking at St John of God Hospital Subiaco

After I wrote this post, I shot an email to SJOG Subiaco via their website about securing the bike racks near the main entrance of the hospital.

This was my e-mail:

Firstly I want to say, good on you for providing a bike rack right near the main entrance. I found it very valuable while visiting my partner during her stay with you.
 
I just wanted to provide some feedback, in that the bike rack, while a great rack, isnt secured to anything. During my time at Murdoch University a similar rack was stolen complete with 5 bicycles by some people in a ute who simply drove up, loaded it on and drove away. The rack that you have is also quite lightweight itself and tends to slide around a bit on the pavers, as its location had changed slightly the few times I visited it. As this is the main pickup/dropoff area for the hospital vehicle access is very easy in this location, so I would suggest securing the rack is important.
 
I noticed there were other bikes in the vicinity which were chained to drain pipes and signage. It could be that the riders of these bikes didn’t feel secure using the unanchored bike rack.

I received a follow up response  from them today as follows:

Thank you for your email of 5 July 2012 regarding your recent visit to St John of God Subiaco Hospital.

Your feedback regarding the securing of the bicycle rack has been forwarded to the Manager of Security & Grounds who has completed his review of the issues you raised.

Please be assured that the Engineering Department has confirmed that they are arranging for the bicycle rack to be secured in the next couple of weeks.

I again thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. Feedback is a valuable way for us to review our processes and procedures to identify areas for improvement and therefore always very welcome.

This is excellent stuff and even though it seemed to take a long time for the information and action to flow through, I am very happy with the outcome.

This contrasts wildly with the response that I had from Coles Supermarkets regarding my emails to get a bike rack installed at their stand-alone store in Maylands. I understand that Coles is a behemoth, and getting something to happen with them is like trying to turn the Titanic, but after being referred to the ‘National Property Team’ my email went nowhere. The SJOG experience has encouraged me to try again with Coles. Stay tuned for developments!

 

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Perth Cycling Infrastructure: Bike Parking, St John of God Hospital Subiaco

I recently had reason to visit the St John of God Hospital in Subiaco. It is conveniently located near a bike path, so I assumed that there was going to be bike parking. Just in case, I took my biggest U-lock which would fit comfortably around the light poles I saw last time I was there.

Bike racks near the front entrance of SJOG Subiaco

It turns out there are bike racks right at the entrance. There are 3 U-rails which are connected to a common base plate. Unfortunately they are not bolted down, so susceptible to someone rocking up with a ute, chucking the whole thing in the back, and driving off. Don’t laugh, this happened at Murdoch University in the early 2000s – in an area where vehicle access was much more difficult than it is here!

While I didn’t hesitate to leave the Surly there for the hour or so I would be inside, I would not want to lock an expensive bike there, or even a moderately priced bike on a regular basis, just in case someone scoped it out and then came back for it later.

There were bikes chained to other poles in the immediate vicinity, so I guess I was not the only one concerned about the portability of the bike rack.

SJOG Subiaco actually has publicly available information on the measures it takes to encourage it’s staff to use ‘green’ transport, including public transport, walking and cycling, so I am going to send them an email and ask them to consider securing the bike rack properly.

All in all, SJOG has at least tried to provide bike parking for visitors. There’s always room for improvement though!

 

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