Incomplete network for cycling in Adelaide area presents dangers but websites offer links

An Adelaide Hills cycling tour route, among those suggested by the Bicycle Network's website.

During 2011-16, an average of four people have been killed and 69 people seriously injured annually in cyclist-involved road crashes in South Australia.

This is partly the effect of an Adelaide metropolitan area network of bicycle lanes and bikeway that still suffers from gaps.

While some major bike paths, such as the linear park, coast park and Mike Turtur, are free of motor traffic, most bike paths are still marked by lines at the side of roads.

The state government has been working, through its Black Spot program, to link up gaps in the line markings.

Although the metropolitan bike network is not comprehensive, the government website does present a Cycle Instead Journey Planner, which suggests cycle routes based on selected destination point.

It allows cyclists to select between a route that maximises designated bike paths, quiet roads, the fastest route or the flattest route.

A Trail Experience website also allows bike paths in regional areas.

Google Map also had a bike route search in the Get Directions function.

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South Australia leads other Australian states in adopting motor cars, especially in the 1920s

South Australia took up the motor cars quicker than other Australian states. By 1921, there were 24 motor vehicles (excluding motorcycles) per 1000 South Australians. Victoria, with 16 per 1000, was next in Australia. Some initial antagonism was directed at cars’ noise and smell scaring horses, still the main means of transport.  Speeding cars also threw up dust. But cars were rapidly appreciated by groups such as farmers in reducing isolation and medical practitioners for speedy house calls. The Automobile and Motor Cycle Club of South Australia (later to become the RAA, Royal Automobile Association), formed in 1903, boosted motoring and a framework for competitions. Hill climbs and reliability trials were favoured over racing, and were strongly supported by the Lewis Cycle and Motor Works. Vivian Lewis, Tom O'Grady, Bill Courtney and Murray Aunger were regular competitors from among its staff, while Norman Jackson and master builder Walter Torode were keen early competitors on Lewis motorcycles. Lewis Cycle and Motor Works also ran hire cars. Newspapers reported in 1905 that, “following the practice that has been adopted in some Government departments, (the Premier) engaged a 12hp De Dion Bouton motor car from Mr V. Lewis' establishment” to visit the ailing former attorney-general in Mount Barker 22 miles away. This was praised as efficient use of the premier’s time compared to using a train. Lewis hire cars also provided sightseeing tours of the hills or to visits to country shows and race meetings. The cars’ general impact on South Australians began in the 1920s. American cars, such as the Model T Ford, became more practical and cheaper but remained the preserve of the affluent. Motor cycles with sidecars were common.

Charlie Walsh joins Cycling Hall of Fame as rider and as Olympic track and road coach

Charlie Walsh was inducted into the inaugural Cycling Australia Hall of Fame in 2015, joining stars such as Hubert Opperman, Russell Mockridge, Edgar “Dunc” Gray, Sid Patterson, Phil Anderson, Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Robbie McEwen and Sara Carrigan. As a racing cyclist, Walsh won more than 1,000 events over 25 years at national and state level, including the Austral Wheel Race in 1969, on a 50-yard handicap, and the Melbourne Cup on Wheels. In South Australian state titles, he was placed first more than 70 times from sprints to 125-mile road events, and toppled or set 25 state records. From 1985, Walsh was cycling coach with Michael Turtur at the South Australian Sports Institute. He was the national coaching director for the Australian Cycling Federation from 1980, developing and lecturing at coaching courses throughout Australia and internationally. In 1990, Walsh was one of four persons appointed by the Federation of International Amateur Cycling for coaching development worldwide. Walsh was overall head coach of track and road cycling at the Australian Institute of Sport 1987-2001, overseeing Australia's rise in world track cycling to No.1 in 1993-94. He was Olympic cycling coach at six Games,15 world titles, five Commonwealth Games and two Goodwill Games. Under Walsh, Australia won two Olympic gold medals, nine silver, nine bronze and 10 world titles. He coached Michael Grenda, Michael Turtur, Dean Woods and Kevin Nichols to win the 4000 pursuit at the 1984 Olympics. Walsh received nine Australian Coach of Year awards for all sports.

Adelaide City E-scooter trial extends to added carbon savings in venture with EcoCaddy

Two electric scooter companies, Singapore-based Beam and Melbourne-based Ride, begin operating a six-month trial across Adelaide CBD in 2019. They were chosen by Adelaide City Council ahead of Californian company Lime that run a four-week pilot program with 500 scooters used for 140,000 trips during the Adelaide Fringe. The shortlisted operators were assessed on criteria, including ability to restrict an e-scooter’s speed and braking. The council said Lime didn’t meet requirements because it wouldn't force its e-scooters to stop if they went outside the council-imposed boundaries. GPS-tracked and operated with a smartphone app, the new e-scooters operating in Adelaide were required by the council to reduce to a speed of four kilometres per hour. The new permit is limited to the CBD. If riders go beyond this (or into Rundle Mall no-go zone), Beam and Ride’s e-scooters will slow to a stop. Ride scooters has become a partner of Adelaide-born micro-mobility company EcoCaddy that operates a CBD pedal-assisted electric bike passenger service. In a deal maximising their common aim of reducing carbon emissions, Ride scooters and EcoCaddy developed a battery swapping system. Instead of a truck picking up scooters each day to move them to in-demand pickup points or to the depot for recharging, the batteries are swapped by a mechanic on an EcoCaddy bike. An EcoCargo trailer was designed to carry scooters around. The partnership worked so well that Ride scooters and EcoCaddy were looking to take it to the national level.

From Bicycle Institute, BikeSA becomes the main cycling promo and recreation body

BikeSA is the state’s main cycling promotion and recreation body. With its revenue coming from contracts such as the state government’s bicycle education program, BikeSA has been able to employ full-time staff. BikeSA grew out of the Bicycle Institute South Australia (formerly Cyclists Protection Association). Among the Bike SA roles are: Recreational cycling, maintenance courses, health intervention,  crime diversion programs for youth at risk, workplace and school road safety education. 


Six Adelaide suburban train services tagged for privatisation by state government in 2019

Adelaide’s suburban network – Belair, Gawler, Grange, Outer Harbor, Seaford and Tonsley lines –  were the part of South Australian railways operated by the state government up to 2019 when it announced plans to privatise the system. The network, run by the transport, planning and infrastructure department through Adelaide Metro, has 81 stations. Only the Seaford and Tonsley lines (with Gawler next) are electrified. In the leadup to South Australian Railways being sold as an entity to the federal government’s Australian National in 1978, country services operating from Adelaide were lost, including: Bute-Moonta, Port Pirie Junction, Hamley Bridge-Balaklava, Blyth-Wilmington, Riverton-Terowie, Kapunda-Robertstown, Nuriootpa-Truro, Murray Bridge-Wailerie, Naracoorte, Kingston SE, Mount-Barker-Milang, Morphett Vale-Willunga. Australia National’s longer-distance trains continued to use Adelaide station for several years until its Keswick passenger terminal opened in 1984. Adelaide station, now only serving suburban trains, saw big changes in 1985-87 with the Adelaide Station and Environs Redevelopment (ASER) refurbishing much of its exterior and converting the interior to a casino, building the-then Hyatt Regency hotel over its northern end and removing platforms 12 and 13. The track layout in the station yard was modified with new signals in 1987-88 with a new control centre overlooking the railcar depot and station. The railcar depot was moved to Dry Creek in 2008 to make way for the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and signal controls also moved to Dry Creek in 2018.

Gawler Central joining Seaford, Tonsley in being electrified but lagging nationally

Work on the Gawler Central line started in 2018 to make it the third, with the Tonsley and Seaford services, to be electrified on Adelaide suburban train network. Until 2014, this network was the only one in Australia to operate solely with diesel railcars. Since then, the Seaford and Tonsley lines have been electrified. In 2018, it was announced is that a one-kilometre spur line and Port Dock station project will return train services to the centre of Port Adelaide after almost 30 years

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