A new report, has after analysing the data, come up with a figure for the public health benefit offered by cycling. The study, Cycling: Getting Australia Moving, funded by the Australian government and prepared by Melbourne University and the Cycling Promotion Fund concluded that thanks to the increased health of cyclists, public health services are spared an estimated $227.2m AUD annually.
They also noted that per 100,000 participants, an individual is seven times more likely to be hospitalised playing football than riding a bicycle. And observed that “the more cyclists there are, the safer it becomes. In fact, if cycling doubles, the risk per kilometre falls by 34%.” The report’s authors were pleased to find that between 2001 and 2006 bicycle journeys to work had risen 22% in Australian capital cities, with Melbourne being the standout, recording over a 42% increase.
[Homepage photo by Mark C. Austin]
“If I were David Byrne,” sang Brad Roberts of the Crash Test Dummies, “I’d go to galleries and not be too concerned.” Thing is, though, David Byrne is concerned—specifically about modern life and the way we build cities.
The former Talking Heads frontman proved himself to be a thoughtful observer of urban growth and planning last year with his Bicycle Diaries and an essay in the Wall Street Journal about his ideal city. This year, Byrne will continue his role as urban commentator at the Congress for New Urbanism’s 18th annual conference, “Rx for Healthy Places” in Atlanta, May 19-22.
For the opening night panel discussion, Byrne will join CNU 18’s chair, Georgia Tech architecture professor Ellen Dunham-Jones; award-winning park developer Charles Brewer, who is responsible for Atlanta’s Glenwood Park; and Scottie Green, who has used bicycles to energize Atlanta’s congested Buckhead area through his role as executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District.
“Riding his bicycles through the cities of the world… David Byrne is out front among the voices from diverse worlds who are seeing connections between how we build neighborhoods, how we get around and how well we live,” says John Norquist, CNU President and CEO.
A continued interest in modern life and its inner workings is no surprise coming from the man who penned “(Nothing But) Flowers” and “Found a Job.” Byrne has announced no plans to give further talks on urbanism and growth, but there are other ways to get your Byrne fix, like downloading his new song with Fatboy Slim and Santigold.
As I was sitting at the Red light at 34th Street and the Hudson River Bikeway, I noticed I was being stared down by a passing cyclist. He U turned and came over to introduce himself since he see’s me everyday. He asked about that funny looking bike I ride ,of course! Well I was ready with camera in hand.
He also let me know he had a story ….
Kinda funny cause I had been interviewing cyclists and introducing myself to other riders.I guess after all these years everyone is very curious.
Neon Green Vest.… Red folding Dahon….Really Hard to miss !
Great to meet you..
I have a photo already so I can post as soon as I hear from you.
Hope you liked the blog.
Yes, some interesting and fun stuff on your blog.
Whats your occupation?
I am a computer programmer.
When did you become a Bicycle commuter?
It started last Spring  during “Bike to Work Week”. I had been contemplating it for a few years. So glad I went for it.
Where are you going when I see you out there everyday?
(my neighbors always thought I was just going bike riding,
When I see you in the mornings I am on my way to work. I ride from Penn Station to right next to Ground Zero.
How far do you ride?
In the morning I ride 8 miles. If I went straight to the office when my train gets to Penn I would get there early. The bike is my personal portable gym so when I get to the bike path in Hudson River Park, before I go South, I go North to 74th Street. Then I turn around and head to the office downtown.
In the evening I need to go straight to Penn when I get off work to catch my train so that ride is 5 miles.
This gives me a total of 13 miles per day.
Why ride instead of using our comfy mass transit system?
The reasons are many. Primarily it’s the fitness I have regained.
Then there’s the $aving$ from not buying a monthly Metro Card.
Being outside and seeing a world that changes every day [morning sun, sunsets, sky, clouds, river, weather, flora, fauna] instead of the same old subway car interior.
The E train platform at Chambers Street is one of the smelliest platforms I have ever endured. Being there twice a day is something I don’t miss at all.
Why are you so determined to ride in extreme conditions?
I learned from my SCUBA instructor Di that “As long as you have air, everything else is merely an inconvenience.” The way I see it. As long as I have the proper clothing on I can ride through any weather except maybe the extremely slippery conditions of ice or snow.
Do you see the same people everyday also?
There are a number of people I see a lot. You among them. It’s why I stopped and introduced myself when I saw you waiting for the light. It’s difficult to make many connections that go beyond a smile or a wave because most of the recognizable regulars are always going in the opposite direction. The ones I see on the bitterest of cold days or rainy days stand out because there’s like No One else out there.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
I’ve been on and off the bike all my life. As a kid I practically lived on my bike. When I got a license to drive I stopped riding for some years. When I started working as a programmer and sitting in front of a screen all day I put on weight and began having back problems. That’s when I got back into it big time, doing century rides and training with local racers. [The Triangle Ride] In 1991 I literally lived on a bike for 4 months.
I started in Vancouver, BC hoping to reach San Diego, CA. I made it to San Diego and was enjoying it so much I continued on to Daytona Beach, FL and finally Key West, FL. When my son was born in 1998 riding stopped again. Since then there were periods of riding and not riding because it is hard for me to find or make the time with work and family responsibilities. Commuting is the PERFECT solution. I get enough riding in so that my pants fit and I feel SO much better all around, mentally as well as physically.
Enjoy the ride
David Byrne admits early on in his Bicycle Diaries that it may be hard to picture him club-hopping on a bike in New York. But it turns out this mode of transportation fits Byrne like an oversized sports coat.
A cyclists answer to the NYC Gridlock!
I swear we’ve passing each other for at least 10 years.She’s out on the Bikeway in all types of extreme weather. It was so cool to finally get to speak with her. It felt like we’ve know each other for years,
I guess we have……
I know her by the white helmet.
I’ve seen the same bike commuters everyday for years. I have my own names for all of them. We’re like family, except we don’t really know one another.
I was thinking that once all the Hudson River Bikeway Riders are a little more acquainted might be a good IDEA to meet for Coffee at The Boathouse in Central Park or The Frying Pan Barge on west 26th street and the Bikeway!
After I wrote my letter of protest in reference to removing our bike racks in Battery Park City an old friend and his organization Transportation Alternatives came to the rescue! Since I had his attention I thought it would be a good idea to post a little interview with him, he agreed!
So I ran out at 9am on Saturday morning to get some shots of Charles and Son cycling to Pier 40.
Are you one of the Founders of Transportation Alternatives?
I wasn’t a founder of TA at all. But toward
the end of my presidency, 1986-1992, people
started dubbing me the “re-founder” (since
I had brought the organization back from
the depths, to a place of dynamism and
success). I like that term, re-founder.
Charles and son riding to Pier 40
How long have you been cycling?
Since April 1973, when I learned to ride,
at age 25, in Central Park.
I wish! Our recreational styles are different.
And my kids (15 and almost-12) are spooked by
NYC traffic. I’m working on it. A few times
a year my younger son and I borrow a friend’s
tandem and ride to the GWB or into Brooklyn.
For years, both my wife and I carried the kids
on our bikes — sometimes, both boys on one bike.
First in detachable rear kiddie seats, later on
those excellent top-tube seats with the fold-out
foot pegs on the down tube. Over the years I
logged over a thousand miles on the bike with
each kid, just getting around.
Whats so good about riding in NYC?
Practically everything. The ability to go
anywhere and everywhere fast, efficiently and
at my own pace. Soaking up the energy in the
streets. The ability to “transcend time, traffic
and the regulated ordinariness of city life,” as
I wrote in an op-ed in the Times 20 years ago.
The whole package.
Do you commute by bicycle?
Every day, no exceptions. I have good RAINGEAR!
(I keep spares in my office) and work in a
bike-friendly building. Up to 6 inches of snow,
nothing stops me.
Whats your favorite way to get around NYC?
If you mean what “mode,” then bike, of course.
Sometimes if I’m with one or both boys and
biking isn’t practical, we take the train.
I haven’t taken a solo cab ride in at least
How many bikes do you have?
Three — my mountain bike with the top-tube
seat (I still ride Alexander occasionally) for
getting around; a Cannondale road bike for fun
long rides; and a beater bike for Critical Mass.
Plus the bike trailer I used to haul the kids in.
I now use it for freight. I’ve moved heavy boxes,
glass shelves, musical instruments, and, last
year, a 110-pound 27-inch TV a friend in Harlem
gave us. It was a blast, hauling it through
Central Park and down the Greenway to Tribeca.
Anything you’d like to add?
I love cycling — here or anywhere — as much as
ever. My kaleidoscope of reasons seem to be shifting,
though. While I still relish the enviro benefits, they
no longer rank in my Top Three reasons to bike: those
are (3) save time, (2) physical activity, and (1) riding
just feels terrific!
Copyright 2011 Urban Mobility Project