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Cyclists reminded to put safety first, following calls to widen northern shared pathway

AS many residents opt for a bike ride as their choice of exercise in the current lockdown, Wollongong City Council is reminding riders to put their safety first.

Council’s warning follows calls for the shared northern cycleway to be widened, particularly at Bulli, with claims that the coastal path has become so popular that it now poses a danger to cyclists and pedestrians.

Wollongong Greens Councillor, Mithra Cox is calling for the pathway to be widened to include a dedicated pedestrian lane. See story HERE.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the past few weeks have seen more bike riders out and about as many have taken advantage of the warmer weather.

“We understand riding a bike provides a different form of exercise but it’s important to remember to do the right thing and stay alert when cycling, whether you’re on a shared path, pump track or when sharing the road with vehicles,” he said.

“If you’re not too sure if the road rules or need a refresher, please take the time to go through them on Transport for NSW’s website.”

Visit Transport for NSW website for more information on the NSW Road Rules and useful resources.

Cr Bradbery said riders should use common sense and be kind when riding as this will help avoid harm, to not only yourself but those around you.

“Remember the need for courtesy as riding a bike comes with responsibility and being vigilant about your safety and the wellbeing of others,” he said.

“It’s important to be mindful of other bike riders, pedestrians and vehicles while riding. Simple behaviours such as using your bell or your voice when you have to overtake will make a big difference.

“Even when riding outdoors and on the move, it’s important to remember to stay COVID safe. This means remaining socially distant from those outside your household, carrying a mask and hand sanitiser on you and if you’re feeling unwell, skipping the bike ride, getting tested and staying home.”

Council’s website has useful information for local cyclists which includes Wollongong’s cycling guide and map, along with guides on how to ride your bike around our roads, shared pathways and footpaths.

For those looking to get back on their bikes, here are a few things to remember when cycling around our bike city.

Plan your ride

It’s always best to plan your bike route and there are plenty of paths around our city for you to discover. Please ensure your route adheres to the public health orders as this will restrict how far you can ride and consider how busy your proposed destination might be before heading off.

Use your bell

Under the NSW road rules your bike must be equipped with a bell or horn. This will help you warn pedestrians and other cyclists you’re around, particularly when overtaking.

Ride bright to be seen

To make it easier for other road users to see you, wear bright or light-coloured clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night. When riding at night, your bike must also be bright with a flashing or steady white light on the front, and a flashing or steady red light fitted on the rear. Also remember to wear an approved bicycle helmet as this is required by law.

Cycle on the correct path

Cyclists can choose to ride on a marked bicycle lane, separated cycleway, shared footpath or on the road. If you are riding on the road, or any location, you need to follow the road rules, including traffic lights, give way and stop signs.

Stay aware and alert

Positioning is an essential part of riding as this helps you see ahead, and also allows those around you, including drivers and pedestrians, to see you and predict where you are going.

Just like when you are driving a car, it is important to stay mindful and vigilant of the space around you. Check over your shoulder for vehicles, keep an eye out for potholes, debris, dividers, car doors opening, and people walking. Be particularly careful around young children, older pedestrians and animals. You can report any hazards to Council on (02) 4227 7111.

Riding as a family

Riding as a family can be a fun way to exercise and spend time together outdoors. Regular footpaths can be used for cycling, only if you’re under the age of 16, or if you’re an adult supervising a younger rider.

What are your thoughts on this story or cycleways? Scroll down to have your say in the comments section.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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