CAMWEST: Cyclists’ Action Movement West

News — July 2004

Feature: Beyond Peak Oil

In a future where the last remaining barrels of oil go to the highest bidder on the world market and replacement fuels such as renewable Hydrogen generated from wind farms and coastal wave power absorbers cost the equivalent of $20 per litre, the cost of motoring will probably be beyond the financial reach of most of the public.

Mark Robson's vision of the future sees fuel costing 20 to 50 times current petrol prices, meaning that the general public will have to learn to survive without daily use of a motor car. Life will revolve more around local communities, we will live closer to work and millions will ride motor cycles and bicycles in the daily travel. Most of us will have no other choice. Buses will stop earlier, governments will attempt to keep electric trains will running normally.

The big problem for alternative energies is the energy profit ratio. With giant oil fields, for every barrel of oil we consume in exploration and drilling we get around 20 back. For wind farms, it's about 5, and solar panels and nuclear are about 2 to 1. So much of the effort and therefore cost is spent providing energy to build the infrastructure to provide the energy, and the whole thing becomes very, very expensive. Corporations expect at least some return on their investment, so the price of renewable fuel will be beyond the reach of most wage earners. The entire Western economy is built on this 'cheap oil', and ballooning transport energy costs for food and building materials will cause uncontrollable inflation and economic chaos. Mark suggests that when the change arrives you buy a Hydrogen powered motor cycle and a good pushbike.

Full Article

Rides and Events Coming Up

Come ride with us! Our rides are easy and friendly.

Date of ride: 10/7/04

Day of week: Saturday

Grade: Med

Name of ride: Castle Hill markets

Distance: 30km

Contact: Rob Kemp



Starts at: South side entrance to Blacktown station on Main St 9am

Description of ride: Ride quiet streets and cycleways to Castle Hill to explore the markets. More downhills on the return !


Date of ride: 7/8/04

Day of week: Saturday

Grade: Easy

Name of ride: Parra-Homebush Bay Loop

Distance: 30km

Contact: Rob Catford

Phone H:  9633 9185 
  or W:  9635 9733


Starts at: Station St entrance, Parramatta station, 9am

Description of ride: Ride the new M4 viaduct cycleway to Homebush Bay then return along Parramatta Valley Cycleway. Cafþ stop at Olympic Park.

[9.7.04] Ride Details Changed

Note: This ride has been moved to a later time, to coincide with the advocacy workshop being run at the Parramatta Heritage Centre (see article below). The ride will start after the workshop, in the afternoon, and will retrace the heritage ride we held recently. Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Tizzana Ride Coming Up

Our most popular ride is being held Sunday 22 August, 2004. Make sure you don't miss out this year on enjoying the Windsor scenery and a very social three course meal in the Winery this year! More Info, Photos

CAMWEST Wins Grant for Heritage Ride!

CAMWEST has won a near $3,000 grant to design and produce a self-guided pamphlet and web tour for a Parramatta Heritage Ride, highlighting the wonderful historical heritage in the Parramatta area. The grant will be presented by Mayor Julia Finn on Wednesday 14th July at the Granville Youth and Community Recreation Centre.

Parramatta Heritage Ride Report

Riders hear about St John's Church, at the mall. Photo: Michael Goard

About 26 people turned up for the ride, including about six children and a star appearance of Gabrielle Kuiper, President of Bicycle NSW! Weather was perfect - sunny and cool but not cold. It covered an easy 16km at a leisurely pace, with CAMWEST member and Parramatta history fan Paul Bowyer as our guide. We started off from Tudor Gates, Parramatta Park, up past Old Govt House and then to Dairy Precinct. From there we visited the Female Orphan School, Experiment Farm, Hambledon Cottage, and finished at St John's Church in the Mall. Most then adjourned to Delifrance for coffee. This ride will next be run in May 2005. Look out for our self-guided tour guide (downloadable) and web tour - coming up!

Advocacy Workshop

The next Bicycle NSW BUGs workshop is Saturday 7th August, 9am -12.30pm, at Parramatta Heritage Centre, followed by lunch and a ride around Parramatta. The workshop includes Marty Olmos from CAMWEST on how to design eye catching cycling promotion information and Chris Reeves from Hornsby Council on how cycling facilities can be included in section 94 plans. All welcome, even those not involved with BUGs.

Design for Dummies Workshop
This workshop will go through the fundamentals of desktop design, with a special focus on producing cycle advocacy material. It is aimed at people with no or very little design knowledge, producing simple designs with word processing software. It will look at fonts, graphics, information design, colour, and alignment. It will help cycling advocates to produce better flyers, newsletters, and websites. Bring a design/publication you'd like to critique/improve on.
Plus - What is Section 94? And why is it useful for BUGs? This seminar will cover the basics of local council section 94 (developer contribution) plans and tell you how you can work with Council staff to allocate funds for cycling facilities.
At Parramatta Heritage Centre, Church Street, opposite the Riverside Theatres (4 minutes ride from Parramatta Station. See for train and bus times). To book phone Jannine at the Bicycle NSW office on 9281 4099.

Hawkesbury Happenings - Funding Cut!

Thumbs down to Hawkesbury City Council, and Councillors Bassett who moved the motion and Finch who seconded it, to reduce funding to the Kurrajong Cycleway by $50,000. This means that the residents of Kurrajong will be lucky if their cycleway is ever completed depriving commuters especially children of the opportunity to cycle safely to work and schools in the area. The money would have been spent on the new cycleway from North Richmond to Kurrajong Village part of the off road network extending from Liverpool to M2 and the Parramatta to the Windsor path.

Chipping Norton Ride Report

A few of us ventured out on a cold and windy morning to tackle Parramatta-Liverpool rail trail then Chipping Norton Lakes circuit. Our rides are now being promoted in a newsletter put out by Parramatta Council recreation team.

The ride was very enjoyable, and we decided to return via Newbridge Rd (felt safe in numbers) across Georges River to ride up Henry Lawson drive to Mirembeena reserve. It was good to see the rest of this route back to the rail trail through Carramar completed. We also noted an off-road cycleway being built along stretches of Henry Lawson drive before Mirembeena Reserve. There are now lights to allow crossing of the Hume Hiighway and a very impressive bridge crossing over Prospect creek purpose built.

We encourage the RTA and Bankstown council to get the missing links completed, creating a great loop ride from Canley Vale-Liverpool-Chipping Norton- Carramar and back. This is without a doubt some of the nicest riding in the west.

A priority is connecting Chipping Norton side of river to Mirembeena reserve. Its an obvious missing link and would significantly increase use of these cycleways if they actually made a circuit and went somewhere.

Blacktown to M2 Link Feedback

CAMWEST has provided feedback on the proposed alignment of the link between Blacktown and the M2. We are pleased to see some planning going ahead for this important cycling link.

We would proposed a third alignment. This route would follow Proposed Alignment 2 along Powers Rd between Seven Hills station and Toongabbie Ck, but then follow the Toongabbie Ck corridor between Powers Rd and Foundry Rd. It would then proceed along Foundry Rd and Abbott Rd to the M2. It's fairly flat and direct, it has a low number of minor road and driveway crossings, most of the route would be away from busy roads.

We also believe that the start of this proposed route should be moved from the current eastern side of Blacktown Station (George St) to the Western side (Corner of Third Ave/Balmoral Rd and Richmond Rd). At present there is a bus-only overpass accessible through the bus interchange area of Blacktown station which links these two sides of the station. This route is currently used by a number of cyclists. CAMWEST believes that this is a vital missing link within the cycling network around Blacktown at present, and would increase the accessibility of the Blacktown to M2 Cycleway.

Holroyd Happenings

1. Canal Cycleway - Now in Holroyd Council hands. All vehicle approaches now have yellow warning signs to alert approaching motorists to the possible existence of cyclists on the road.

2. Prospect Creek cycleway Ð Bankstown to Horesly Park - The loop back from under the Cumberland Highway Bridge is complete, thanks to over a year of asking from CAMWEST. Fairfield St now has an underpass and work is progressing rapidly on the link to the Rail Trail which will be used in our September ride. It is now possible to ride from Georges Hall (Mirembeena Regional park ) to Horesly Park (Western Sydney Regional park) on 100% off-road cycleway all the way by two different routes ( via Prospect and via Cecil Hills). This is the full length of Prospect Creek, and being along a watercourse has very few serious grades. A magnificent cycleway covering 3 Council areas with very few dangerous road crossings. The next step is a safe controlled crossing of Henry Lawson Drive.

4. CSIRO site/Inter Transitway link - Internal cycleways are beginning to take shape.

5. Merrylands to Fox St - New residential development called Holroyd Gardens in Walpole St contains a cycleway link from Walpole St Park through Holroyd Sports Centre to the M4 cycleway near Fox St. The March ride followed the completed part of this new development.

6. Victoria St, Wetherill Park gap in Transitway cycleway is complete but roadworks here are a cycling nightmare. The link from Wetherill Park to Greystanes is still only a dirt track, Ok for mountain bikes and hybrids but no good for racing tyres. The busway crossing has been blocked by a low concrete RTA fence but is still usable.

7. Holroyd Steering Committee has not yet had first meeting, perhaps due to lack of police and RTA volunteers.

News in Brief

BP has released its annual Statistical Review of world energy. Australian oil production for 2003 continued its decline after it peaked in 2000, this time by a whopping 15.6%. See BP Review page.

The RTA has released very good cycling design guidelines. You can download the full document at the RTA Download Page.

A new website has emerged to follow coverage of Peak Oil on the media: Energy Bulletin. It's the best place to follow the growing awareness of this issue.

WA's Sustainable Transport Coalition is holding its second conference on Peak Oil, titled Oil: Living with less. The conference will be held at the new Perth Convention Centre on Monday August 9th. It will be opened by the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Ms Alannah MacTiernan. Speakers will address the general issue of oil supplies peaking as well as specific scenarios of oil being $1 per litre, $3 per litre and $10 per litre in the next 5-10 years.

Postcard from the Future - Great Cycleway Design

Here in the future, the design of cycleways has become an artform, with engineers putting their creative skills into action (and even laughing at the bad old days when a stenciled bicycle on a road, most often invisible under a parked car, was standard practice). Above is a wonderful example of a shared path beside a road. Instead of having the path right up against the fences, there's a gap so that any cars reversing out of driveways have the opportunity to see cyclists, and the cyclists can see the cars. See Also Cycle Lane Design.

In the Media Lately

If you want to fight obesity, get moving (1.7.04, SMH Opinion by Gregory Hywood)
The man who helped make compulsory seatbelt legislation the norm in industrialised nations is turning his attention to sedentary living.

Sydney council backs 40kph plan for CBD (29.6.04, SMH)

PM launches child health plan (29.6.04, SMH)
The federal government has committed $116 million to a four-year program to encourage Australian children to exercise more and improve their eating habits. CAMWEST thinks the best way to do this is to fund Active Transport infrastructure [link to article]

On Yer Bike! (Saturday 26 June  2004, ABC Radio National's The Buzz)
The deadly treadlie: slave to physics, accident of design, or just a victim of fashion? The rise of the humble bicycle has spurred many technological advances, such as pneumatic tyres, tension-spoked wheels, and ball bearings. The Buzz takes to the streets to explore whether you should be cycling standing up or lying down.

City with a future (15.5.04, SMH)

Australia not facing up to reality of energy resources (ABC PM, 18.6.04)
Greg Bourne, who retired as regional president for BP Australasia last year, and now Chairs the sustainable Energy Authority in Victoria, and is on the New South Wales Greenhouse Advisory Panel, states: "I think we will have a [oil] price issue much quicker than people expect... we are seeing incredibly fast growth in demand from China, fast growth from India as well, and other parts of the world, and supply at the moment can keep up with it, but I do not think that's going to last for very much longer. And as supply and demand get closer together, we always see price spikes."

Warning on oil hunt slip (7.6.04, The West Australian)
"Surging oil prices should be seen as a warning and not a cure for declining oil and gas exploration which threatened to leave Australia dangerously reliant on overseas supplies, the head of the nation's peak oil and gas body warned. 'We just had a week in which every news service in this country has been running stories about instability in the Middle East, how OPEC does not have any more supply capacity and how Chinese demand is growing. If all that is correct . . . then this country has a real problem. But where is the urgency in policy-making, and the people saying this is a serious issue? Waiting 10 years for this to hit us is not an answer.'"

Break out the bicycles (8.6.04, George Monbiot - Guardian Unlimited)
Oil is running out, but the west would rather wage wars than consider other energy sources


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