October 12, 2011
The Rural Clinical School, attached to the North-West Regional Hospital in Burnie hosted a breakfast on Wednesday morning to celebrate National Ride to Work Day, along with 150,000 people across Australia.
This year, nearly every Thursday morning a bike breakfast is held for those who ride, walk or run – travel sustainably – to the hospital/clinical school. It is usually populated by the hard core few (five or six) riders, plus a number of 4th and 5th year medical students, but yesterday, NINE bikes were tied up at the bike racks, this year’s record and many more from the hospital and who work at the clinical school walked or ran. It was a splendid morning, with extra special banana (yep, bananas) smoothies, raspberry yoghurt and mountains of mango and muesli.
Burnie itself had a much greater than usual number of commuters pushing pedals yesterday, and generally speaking, a large amount of enthusiasm was expressed for the event, and riding in general. Bring on the commuter revolution.
This is my sister. She has recently moved to Melbourne, to do lots of ‘beautiful-people’ watching (a term Miss Katie has used in the past to describe the well dressed, aesthetically satisfying people who live in inner-Melbourne) and study Art History.
She lives with a lovely cream and orange bike (not sure if it has a name) and has been riding heaps since she’s moved. She mentioned that her thighs are developing from the exercise they’re getting, and that she was missing her bike since she’s been in Tasmania for the last ten days. I sympathized with both statements.
Given the Why Ride campaign and action currently running, I asked her this morning as we sat at (well, on) the kitchen table drinking coffee (she’s come home for her mid-semester break) ‘why do you ride your bike?’. Her responses – Getting places – You go quickly – Feels normal – I feel strong It could be argued that such responses are commonly stated ones by people who ride their bike. It is possible to look beyond the obvious reasons for and outcomes from such statements related to strength, normality and going places. Riding makes us feel strong – our body is nourished, our blood is filled with fresh oxygen, which circulates to our brain and fills it with energy.
Going places. You’ve run out of milk, you need to grab some quickly and it’s 100times easier to ride than drive. It’s Saturday evening and it’s safer (is it?!) to ride than drive home, and cheaper than a taxi. I’ve left my runners in Hobart, I need some exercise … bike ride. A friend once asked me ’Anna what is the way you would like to see the world?’. I answered, after a short deliberation and then fantastic revelation – ‘By bike!’ Once one starts to ride to the milk-shop, journeys get longer, possibilities become grander (my latest is riding in Nepal …) yes, the large, ahem, ‘hills’ are a mild issue). Which is such a gift – to have one’s ‘horizons’ expanded in this way. I know a couple of people who have gone to far off places on their bikes, and I find their stories, and the knowledge of what they, their minds and legs achieved , exceptionally inspiring.
And it feels normal, a term which can relate to necessity and ‘that which is frequently conducted’. Riding can become a ritual in the context of a normal day, along with morning coffee, teeth brushing twice a day, lunch between 12:30 -2:00.
And I thought I would write a piece about her, and share it, given what a wonderful person she is (like the siblings of Liam and Katie). Readers in Melbourne, look out for her and smile if you see her walking, skipping or running by – she’ll warmly return it.
September 24, 2011
24 September is Moving Planet Day, an international day of action, highlighting the need for the world to move beyond fossil fuels and look to renewable energy sources. It is an event organized by members of .350.org, Oxfam, the World Council of Churches, Greenpeace and Global Exchange.
The goals of this day of action, and the member organisations are
– Science-based policies to get us back to 350ppm
– A rapid, just transition to zero carbon emissions
– Mobilizing funding for a fair transition to a 350ppm world
– Lifting the rights of people over the rights of polluters
Whether or not one agrees entirely with these goals, this year, the theme for the day was an admirable one – ‘Get Moving’. Events were held in places as diverse as Sulalmani Iraq, Ho Chi Minh City and Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania; many people on bikes demonstrating better ways to ‘get moving’ than relying on oil-fueled vehicles. From the images I’ve looked at, there was a huge amount of positivity and hope shared across the world.
Yesterday, two friends and I, ‘got moving’ – riding our bikes from outside Smithton to Burnie along the Bass Highway. The day sparkled (the weather perhaps affirming our decision to ride a hefty 90kms on a Saturday afternoon across Tasmania), and I wish I could show you, kind reader, the images of the sapphire-coloured water, shimmering green grass and fields of tulips like rainbows caught on the earth. Alas, I was too taken feasting my eyes on such images to get my camera out of my backpack and attempt to capture them.
After arriving home, elated and pooped, we went into entertaining mode and hosted a very relaxing Moving Planet day celebratory low-carbon emission dinner (bio-dynamic Tassie grape juice, Kindred-grown quinoa, local dirt-covered carrots).
http://moving-planet.org – some fantastic photos to be seen from Moving Planet Day 2011
September 13, 2011
Too right Liam – all the related worthy ’causes’ in which we are involved (action on climate change, Malaysia Solution pondering and responding, preventative public health learning, ironic cake stalls held to raise funds for ‘African’ famines), letter writing, article reading … our (or, at least, my!) mind gets sidetracked.
Which is wonderful, in some respects – that cycling-when-smiling is so much a wholly positive part of the day it is not even acknowledged as something to write or think about. Except of course, when I look beyond the road in front and see shafts of blinding sun coming through the clouds (phrase to be taken literally as well as figuratively!) lighting the path, a kind soul to ride beside and the daffodils (oh, the daffodils!) smiling up from the verge, am I reminded of how good we’ve got it.
I engaged in a conversation with an inspiring cyclist recently, which reminded me of my interest and passion for this form and way of moving across the world. So I hopped onto WordPress to have a bit of a type to express that and ponder it more in my head, as well as riding in the afternoon sun to the Swansea top-shop fetch some $2.99kg bananas (bruised and squishy ones) to make a bike riding fueling banana cake.
If you find your day feeling slow, check out this article for some inspiration for honouring that feeling and walking:
3 upcoming events I’m a bit excited about:
24 Hours of Reality 14-15 September
RU OK Day 15 September (intrigued? Google it)
Ride to Work Day 12 October
July 21, 2011
It may seem that your humble Healthy Transport Hobart Correspondents have taken a break. Well this is not quite the case. In fact, Liam, Katie and Anna have been busier than ever fighting the good fight. Its just not been on this blog for a little while. We are all doing things that don’t just relate to Hobart so they blogging side of things has taken a back seat. Have we achieved our objectives or are other people pushing the same barrow?. We think so. The Tasmanian Government now has a walking and cycling for active transport strategy and a project officer, the heart foundation is becoming heavily involved in Active Transport Promotion and Bicycle Tasmania has a working partnership with Bicycle Victoria who are soon to be registered as a Health Promotion Charity! Hip hip hurrah. To cut a long story short Katie headed off to Melbourne and is crankin through a masters in international health and development, Anna is in Burnie fighting it out with her 4th year of medicine and Liam has been bought by Bicycle Tasmania to help with their campaigning work! So instead of just saying stuff we are all trying to do some stuff. Lets see if it works eh?
Check out: http://bicycletasmaniablog.org/ for the latest in bike related developments in Tasmania
and sign up to the organisation which is doing most for everyday riders in Tasmania:
Healthy Transport Hobart blog will stay live as evidence of all the good things that have happened on the healthy transport front in Hobart.
Posted for the love of change by Liam.C
May 20, 2011
April 16, 2011
Its not every afternoon I’ve got to move a worm farm from the top of the hill down to my place but I sure enjoyed it this evening. Tested the mountain bike on a healthy transport themed track to a mates parents place hoping I might be able to collect some loot. Sure enough they had a worm farm for me. I made sure I emptied the worm juice out first but then strapped it onto the bob trailer and bobs your uncle. Dirt road, mud, steep gravel, Bonnet Hill bends and back home without a hitch.
Posted for the love of a good load by Liam.C
April 13, 2011
Well I’ve been on a temporary blogging holiday and doing some real stuff. But… due to popular demand the HTH blog will be firing you healthy transport related business like nothing else so watch out. Seems like its been raining a fair bit lately eh… I been getting pretty wet and loving it. Not everyday you see one of the only bike lanes around Hobart in Flood.
Posted for the love of rain by Liam.C
April 4, 2011
I came across this beautiful patch of bike rings at Melbourne University. The campus is glowing with the culture of sustainable transport; from big green priority lanes and lights at most access points, to the intelligent and healthy students and staff on the saddles of vintage, fixie and recycled machines. There are sign posted ‘bike routes’ between the different buildings and copenhagen style lanes running to and from the CBD. The above picture doesn’t quite capture the newly cemented 150 bike rings that have replaced what looks to be an old car park…yeah baby! I’d like to see a bit more of that around UTAS.
February 28, 2011
February 9, 2011
I’ve been doing a little bit of work up in Burnie, North West Tasmania, and have been pleasantly surprised by the number of people riding bicycles licra and carbon fibre free (as Mikael from Copenhagenize likes to say). The man with the box wins hands down but the other two folk look very smart. Who says using a bike is only for urban metros? Read the rest of this entry »
February 6, 2011
270 Bicycle Riders gathered at Marieville Esplanade on Sunday the 6th for what would be the biggest bicycle demonstration in Tasmania. Folks of all ages formed a line kilometres long to Sandown Park, Lower Sandy Bay in support of the Sandy Bay Rd Cycle/Walk Way development and the consultation process around it. Prizes were awarded for the bike with the most baskets (Sam Keely), the most well dressed participants (Alison and Alice), the youngest child (2 yrs old) and the most interesting bicycle contraption (Dave Ross).