Cycling in the news 25 Apr to 1 May 2020

Business Insider Australia reports that bicycle sales continue to increase during the coronavirus lockdown. One bicycle retailer in South Australia told Business Insider that the surge of sales was “better than the Christmas period” and that instead of closing his store as he had once expected, he is now running out of stock.

As reported by The Guardian last week, retailers across the country have reported shortages, as low and mid-priced bikes fly off the shelves. Manager of Giant Sydney, Grant Kaplan, reportedly told the paper that the shortage was partly a supply side issue as well, with shutdowns in manufacturing centres in China and Taiwan limiting the number of bikes Australian retailers could get their hands on.

CEO of online bicycle retailer Bike Exchange told Business Insider that his company had seen sales rise by 86% in March alone.

The City of Sydney released figures on Thursday showing that while all other forms of transportation throughout the city appear to be decreasing, cycling is on the rise. They attribute this partly to an increase in the number of people using bicycles for exercise during the lockdown, but also to an increase in reliance on food delivery services.

“Bike rides along Glebe’s foreshore seem to be a popular exercise choice […] the area saw a 50% increase in riding in the first 3 weeks of April, compared to the same period last year. Riding on Bourke Street in Redfern is up 19%, while St Johns Road in Glebe has seen a 33% increase.”

The City is encouraging rookie riders to stay safe and be aware of their surroundings, and to make sure that their bicycle is well maintained if it hasn’t been ridden in some time.

On Thursday, the Daily Mail reported that a cyclist had been in a near-miss in Taylors Lakes, north-west of Melbourne and that the incident was caught on dash cam. Video footage uploaded to Reddit showed a cyclist cutting across two lanes of traffic while the driver swerves to avoid the collision.

The Mail reported that “many commenters [on Reddit] were shocked by the cyclist’s actions and praised the driver’s quick reflexes.” Commenters on the Mail’s website were quick to blame the cyclist for the incident and call for mandatory registration and number plates for riders in Australia.

In infrastructure news, Bicycle Network released a statement celebrating the opening of a new cyclist accessible bridge in Hobart’s city centre.

The eye-catching Rose Garden Bridge crosses Brooker Avenue, connecting Bathurst Street and the University Rose Gardens near the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Hobart. The opening of the bridge was significantly delayed last year after a defect was found in the non-slip coating designed to make walking and riding over the bridge safer.

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