The finish of the Tour Down Under People's Choice Challenge Adelaide city street circuit race in 2018.
Image courtesy Santos Tour Down Under

ADELAIDE CYCLING REGAINS POPULARITY THAT GOES BACK TO 1870s; Tour Down Under gives South Australia international exposure


ADELAIDE'S HOSTING OF THE TOUR DOWN UNDER, part of the global cycling elite racing events, has been a rallying totem for the revived popularity of cycling in the city and state.

But popularity of cycling in 21st Century Adelaide is actually the recycling of an era that was almost wiped out in the car-crazy 1960s.

The arrival of the first bicycles in South Australia in the 1870s ignited great enthusiasm for everyday and organised cycling. Adelaide still has Australia’s old cycling club at Norwood.

The enthusiasm flowed into the 20th Century with, for example, cyclists given more access to city parklands in 1909 with bike tracks laid each side of Unley Road, along western half of Glen Osmond Road, north side of Wakefield Street, the south side of Bay Road (Anzac Highway) and along Port Road. These tracks were lost in the mania for cars starting in the 1950s and 1960s.

Competitive cycling in the suburbs eventually centred on velodromes such as Norwood’s Jubilee Cycling Arena (lost to housing in 1981). Hanson Reserve velodrome at Woodville Gardens became the focus of racing from 1932 with Stuart O'Grady, Brett Aitken, Mike Turtur and Jack Bobridge among stars to train there later.

In the 1970s, the 10-speed bicycle with drop handlebars was the focus of revibing cycling's popularity. Also in the 1970s, Hans Penning was the energetic leader of what became the Cyclists Protection Association, a group that started pushing for greater awareness of cycling in urban planning.

In the early 1980s, the state government established the State Bicycle Committee, superseded in 1999 by the State Bicycle Council, to further cycling interests.

With 10,000 bicycle trips through the City of Adelaide each weekday now, improving cycling infrastructure has the attention of the state government and councils. But Adelaide has yet to achieve a proper joined-up network of bikeways and paths that properly protects cyclists.



women find freedom in cycling that becomes lively social outing 

Bicycles banned from Adelaide footpaths in 1874 as the popularity of cycling sweeps the city

Bicycles were so popular in Adelaide by 1874 that they were banned from footpaths. South Australia first experienced North American and European velocipedes or “boneshakers" in the 1860s. After penny farthings, the first safety bicycle arrived in the 1880s. After the penny farthings, the first safety bicycle – smaller wheels and pneumatic tyres – arrived in the 1880s. Penny-farthing riders formed racing and recreational clubs, with members wearing military-like uniforms. By 1888, Adelaide had four racing clubs, including the South Australia Bicycle Club and the Norwood Cycling Club. The cycling craze grew in the 1890s many clubs affiliated with South Australia League of Wheelmen, including Adelaide, Arid, Gawler, Norwood, Great Northern, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte, North Adelaide, Port Adelaide, Port Augusta, Port Pirie, Railway, Holdfast Bay, Northern Areas, Red Bird, Jamestown, South Australian, Mannum, Parkside, Southern Districts, Melrose and West Torrens. The League of Wheelmen’s magazine, the SA Cyclist, started in 1896, described social cycling events such as the Monster Cycle Parade to Henley Beach in May 1897 involved 11 clubs and visitors.Cyclists left in club order from North Terrace, Adelaide, at 2.45. Sports at the beach included tug of war. Tea at 5pm was a shilling a head. A hall was booked for an evening of music. North Adelaide club’s annual strawberry picnic involved a run from North Adelaide via Norwood to Glen Osmond and then to Smiths Garden. A paper chase in 1897 took in Gilberton, Medindie, Botanic Park, Norwood and Marryatville.

Norwood Cycling Club, southern hemisphere's oldest and still state's biggest since 1883

Norwood Cycling Club, oldest in the southern hemisphere, is still South Australia's largest.  Formed in 1883 (as Norwood Cycle and Motor Club) by a group of penny farthing enthusiasts, the club was officially started at Kensington Oval the next year. The Norwood club set up rooms on land bought at Port Noarlunga in 1913-14. Its first Noarlunga road race (still run annually) was in 1919. The club’s centenary 60-mile road race in 1936 was the first official South Australian event to use variable gears. In 1948, the club and the League of South Australian Wheelmen started negotiations with Norwood Council that led to the Jubilee Cycling Arena on Osmond Terrace, Norwood. Opened in 1951, this steep six-lap-to-the-mile concrete velodrome, designed by League of SA Wheelmen life member Eddie Smith, hosted racing every Friday night during summer. For a few years, it was managed by a Victorian promoter Ted Waterford who brought over many (mostly Italian) world and Olympic champions.  Norwood Council sold the Jubilee Velodrome and surrounding land to developers in 1981. The club promotes major historical events each year including the Noarlunga road race, the Burra two-day classic and the two-day Tour of the Riverland. It has produced many former and current Australian and International champions including Jack Bobridge, Luke Roberts, Tim Roe, Alexis Rhodes, Tiffany Cromwell, Patrick Jonker, Michael & Chris Turtur, Nino and David Solari, Wayne McCarney, Pat Marcucci, Charlie Walsh and Jay and Corey Sweet.

Adelaide women form cycling clubs in 1890s and J.E. Snell makes a record Melbourne ride

The League of Wheelmen’s magazine, the SA Cyclist, reflects the growing organised nature of Adelaide cycling in the late 1890s. The advent of the safety bicycle, with smaller wheels and pneumatic tyres, made cycling popular, and also feasible, for women. The magazine ran an editorial against a law for bicycle bells. It argued that cyclists were unlikely to run into pedestrians and ringing a bell increased the danger. The SA Cyclist noted the freedom that cycling offered women, who formed their own clubs. It advised on most graceful ways for women to get on and off a bicycle  Five Easter cycling tours in 1897 ran from Thursday to Monday allowing “'time for devotions on the Sunday”. Routes included: Strathalbyn, Milang, steamer to Meningie and back, cycle to Goolwa then Victor Harbor and home via Willunga. The League of SA Wheelmen staged a grand summer carnival at Jubilee Exhibition Oval (on Frome Road between the Jubilee Exhibition building and the River Torrens). Also in 1897, South Australian Bicycle Club members held a moonlight run to Eagle on the Hill to see off J.E. Snell on his record-breaking ride to Melbourne. Snell left Adelaide at 10pm on January 19 and arrived at Melbourne GPO at noon January 22 – beating the record by eight and a half hours. He walked 14 miles because of bad roads on the South Australian side. He dieted on fruit, bread, soups and beef tea. Dunlop Tyre Company provided the bicycles.


as bicycle makers and retailers sponsoring races and top riders

Vivian Lewis builds a cycling sales and manufacture empire in Adelaide from 1893

Although credited with assembling Adelaide’s first motor cycle and motor car, Vivian Lewis started with a bicycle business in 1893 that grew to one of Adelaide’s largest. His Ormonde Bicycle Depot in Freeman Street (later Gawler place), Adelaide, has its Lewis cycle workshop in McHenry Street. In 1896, he started a cycling school in a gymnasium and, at the peak of the turn-of-the-century cycle boom, he travelled to England frequently to keep up with trends in his cycle agencies. His light-blue men’s Pathracer, for road and track, and the Lewis roadster with three-speed hub and freewheel option became popular options. Although delving into motor-car options, Lewis continue to build a reputation for quality cycles. He bought the well-known Mount Gambier cycle business of D.J. McNamara and was influential in forming many cycling clubs around the state. He sponsored events, including the Lewis road race, promoted by the League of South Australian wheelmen, with a £8 first prize. Lewis died in 1919, after 54, after a long illness but his business carried on making and selling to racing cyclists and enthusiasts, taking advantage of imported BSA sets for improvements. In 1924, Fred Mann took over Vivian Lewis Ltd and put the company focus more on motoring as it moved to Waymouth Street, Adelaide, in 1925. Now an importer of Oldsmobile and Buick cars, the company continued selling motor motorcycles and cycles. A 1956 shift to Gouger Street, Adelaide, ended most manufacturing and Lewis Cycle Works went into voluntary liquidation in 1975.

John Bullock starts a bike chain of stores with his record-breaking quality racing machines

Bullock became one of Adelaide’s finest cycle makers. Adelaide-born cyclist John Bullock worked as a mechanic at one of Adelaide’s oldest and tricycle shops, owned by W. Tyler and P.J Williams in Pulteney Street, Adelaide, before opening his own business. Bullock cycles came to notice when he won Norwood Cycling Club’s 1898 race to Victor Harbor, and W.J. Dale of Norwood club rode a Bullock to a fastest-time victory in the 100-mile. As with another Adelaide cycle maker Vivian Lewis, Bullock won an agency to make early motor cars at his Pirie Street, Adelaide, works. By 1906, the Bullock range included its Royal Swift with two-speed gearing. South Australian Police Cycle Corps chose Bullock. Also importing Humber cycles, Bullock opened shops in Pirie and Rundle streets – the first Adelaide chain stores that extended to Port Adelaide, Gawler, Kadina and Port Pirie. With a BSA roadster and motorcycles (a Clyno with sidecar, Humber, Excelsior, Zenith) also offered by 1913, Bullock sponsored the South Australia League of Wheelmen 25-mile race. Bullock bikes were used by world champions Willie Spencer and Frank Corry; Arme Bate who defeated Hubert Operman in the five-mile pursuit at Payneham Oval; and state champion K.L. Osborne. Bullock’s Arrow, fitted with BSA parts, was used by record breakers. John Bullock died in 1931 but the company continued inprovements such as the Bullock Deluxe in 1939-40. It now also sold shearing merchandise, tractors, radios and wheelchairs. But the Bullock business didn’t survive beyond the 1950s.

Super Elliott carries the Adelaide cycle tradition of Vivian Lewis/John Bullock in 21st Century

Super Elliott bicycles brand has survived into the 21st Century, carrying the banner for Adelaide's strong tradition of cycle manufacturing started by Vivian Lewis in 1892 and taken up by John Bullock in the early 20th Century. The Elliott brothers, Bert and Laurie, founded what later became Super Elliott, as a shop in Payneham in 1902, coinciding with Laurie winning the South Australian league’s 25-mile road race. When the original partnership broke up, Victor Elliot joined the company that started a factory in an old livery stable in Gawler Place, Adelaide, in the 1920s. Later that decade, that Bert Elliott decided to discard the motor cycle side and concentrate on bicycles. Two years after opening a shop in Rundle Street, Adelaide, the business became a limited company: changing from Elliott Bros to Super Elliott. In the early 1930s, Super Elliott sponsored its own successful professional cycling team  – Keith Thurgood, Deane Toseland, Phil Thomas, Jack Conyers –  to showcase the brand. With sales soaring to the thousands, Bert Elliott made a trip to Britain with Bruce Small and negotiated with BSA Co. Birmingham to merge their wholesale departments as General Accessories (South Australia). Super Elliotts was blessed with the talents of frame builders such as Claude Bushell, Len Edwards and Tom Robinson, painters Percy Kutcher, and frame enamellers Rex Hunter, Les Hall and Ray Greenslade. This attention to frame building almost ended in the 1960s but Super Elliott survived the 1970s/80s imports flood, even developing its in-store brand Pursuit, built by Wayne Roberts. 


of cycle racing and producing greats: Charlie Walsh, Mike Turtur

Adelaide Oval cycling races and in the regions, and suburbs at Norwood and Hanson Reserve

Most famous of early 20th Century cycle tracks was at Adelaide Oval, installed with the picket fences in 1900. The cycling track governed the shape of Adelaide Oval with straight square boundaries until the redevelopment in 2013. Port Pirie Cycling Carnival in December 1896 attracted Adelaide competitors for the main race: the two-mile summer handicap with a prize of £27. Northern Areas Cycling Club race meeting at Petersburg (now Peterborough) in 1897 attracted more than 1000 people. The strength of cycling in regional South Australia continued into the second half of the 20th Century with the Port Pirie Wheel Race putting up prizes that attracted international stars such as Sid Patterson. Stirling North (outside Port Augusta), Appila, Crystal Brook, Renmark, Tailem Bend were among other country centres with cycling staged with athletics events. In metropolitan area, ovals such as Wayville Showgrounds and Campbelltown also had cycling tracks.  Competitive cycling in the suburbs eventually centred on velodromes such as the Jubilee Cycling Arena on Osmond Terrace, Norwood – lost to housing development after 30 years in 1981. The Hanson Reserve velodrome at Woodville Gardens became the focus of racing from 1932 with Stuart O'Grady, Brett Aitken, Mike Turtur and Jack Bobridge among stars who later trained there. The velodrome’s future was threatened in 2006 when Port Adelaide Enfield Council spent $100,000 on track resurfacing that prove unsuitable and kept it unused for six years. The council later agreed to remedy the surface.


Super Drome at Gepps Cross gives Adelaide national coaching venue on world-class track

The Adelaide Super Drome at the State Sports Park, Main North Road, Gepps Cross, was designed by architect Carlo Gnezda and opened in 1993. From 1993, the venue was managed and promoted by 1984 Olympic pursuit gold medallist Mike Turtur, helped by the venue's track designer Ron Webb, in bringing out international competitors. The Super Drome is headquarters for the Australian Institute of Sports track cycling program, fully accredited international-standard training and competition arena. It has hosted international events and has been a training base for teams competing in the Tour Down Under since 1999. It also the site of the 2011 Oceania track titles. The indoor velodrome is a 250m international standard timber track made from specially specified Nordic pine with 43° banking in the turns, constructed under the supervision of British velodrome specialist Ron Webb. It can accommodate 3,000 spectators. In the centre of the cycling track is a multipurpose concrete floor used for various sports. It has had a swimming pool set up on the tracks infield as part of a triathlon a course. It is the location for the headquarters and office of Cycling South Australia. A women's cycling world record was broken at the Super-Drome during Tour Down Under week in 2016 after Victorian cyclist Bridie O'Donnell rode 46.882 kilometres in an hour. O'Donnell spent 10 months preparing for her 60-minute assault on the women's world record, which was previously held by American Molly Van Houweling, who had covered 46.273 kilometres.

Criterium racing moves to Victoria Park in 2013; Cycling SA the sport's controller from 1995

A track on the Regency Park industrial estate hosted most criterium racing until a $650,000 (state government $500,000; South Australian Motor Sport Board $150,000) extension of the criterium track in Victoria Park was laid in 2013 to give it a new home. More than 630m of track was laid to shift the course east and allow viewing from the Victoria Park heritage horse-racing grandstand. The track is available for racing, pedal prix events and school and community use for all but a few weeks when the Clipsal 500 motor racing event is held. The South Australian Cycling Federation (Cycling SA) in 1995 became the controlling and sanctioning body for the disciplines of track and road racing in the state. Cycling SA and its affiliated clubs offer road and track race and training for all categories of membership, from Junior under-11 boys  and girls to Masters ( men and women over 65). A full racing gold licence enables entry to all cycle races (in the appropriate category) run by Cycling SA or Cycling Australia auspices. In includes personal accident and third party insurance for training and racing. Non-competitive cyclists can have the ride silver licence categories. This provides recreational members with the same level of insurance and access to tracks as racing members. Cycling SA also offer coaching and commissaires (cycling officials), training and accreditation to all our members. Volunteers have the platinum licence category. Criterium racing – for individual or teams over 30-60 minutes –  was introduced to South Australia by the Norwood Cycling Club in 1985.


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.

Olympic gold medallist Mike Turtur heads the pack in getting Tour Down Under to Adelaide

Mike Turtur was the spearhead for Adelaide getting to host the international Tour Down Under from 1999 and will have been its director for 22 years when he bows out in 2020. The event became the first non-European race to be bestowed UCI WorldTour (then known as the ProTour) status. A member of the Cycling Australia Hall of Fame, Turtur represented Australia at Olympic and Commonwealth games. He won gold in the 4000m team pursuit at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles with team members Dean Woods, Kevin Nichols and Michael Grenda, coached by Charlie Walsh.  At the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games, he won gold medals in the men’s 4000m teams and individual pursuits, and a bronze medal in the 10-mile scratch race. He was the flag bearer for Australia at the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games, and won a gold medal in the men’s 4000m team pursuit. Turtur later became the South Australian Instititute of Sport  cycling coach for five years. and, from 1993, he was the manager and promoter of the Adelaide Super Drome, at State Sports Park, headquarters for the highly successful Australian Institute of Sport’s women’s and men’s track cycling. Turtur was section manager of Australia’s teams for the 1994 Victoria, Canada, Commonwealth Games Cycling Team, 1995 world championships, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. While creating and guiding the Tour Down Under, Turtur has been on the boards of the Australian Sports Commission and management committee of the International Cycliste Union.

Town Down Under gains world profile spike from the three appearances by Lance Armstrong

South Australia’s Tour Down Under international cycling event received its biggest boost from three appearances by Lance Armstrong (2009-11). The South Australian government paid Armstrong’s Livestrong charity  $1.5 million for each appearance, coming out of returement after seven consecutive Tour de France wins. His 2009 Tour Down Under and a third in that year’s Tour de France marked his return to the sport. Armstrong finished 29th in the 2009 Tour Down Under, 24th on his second appearance, and 67th in 2011. But the international media attention to Armstrong’s appearances was described by race director Mike Turtur as “phenomenal”. In 2009, the attendances rose at all events within the tour by at least 100%, with the BUPA Challenge tour growing from about 4000 to 8000 competitors. The event was still benefitting from the Armstrong legacy 10 years later. In 2013, Armstrong admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to doping throughout his career. He received a life ban and lost his Tour de France titles. South Australian premier Jay Weatherill joined calls for Armstrong to return his appearance fees. But his sports minister Leon Bignell agreed with Turtur that Armstrong’s participation had taken the Tour Down Under’s profile to new levels. Armstrong has competed legally in the event and had raised awareness of cancer that Armstrong had overcome. Turtur said the Tour Down Under, that emerged from Adelaide’s loss of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix to Melbourne, had helped transformed the cycling culture of the city.

Stuart O'Grady's golden career smudged by a drug incident during the 1998 Tour de France

Stuart O'Grady, part of a cycling family (his father represented South Australia and uncle Robert Baird was in Australia’s team pursuit for the 1964 Olympics), started track cycling as a St Paul’s College student and won silver in the 4000m team pursuit, aged 18, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. An Australian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, O’Grady won bronze medals in the points race and team pursuit at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He joined the GAN (later Credit Agricole) team for the 1998 Tour de France. He won a stage and finished second for the green jersey. He was named Australian Cyclist of the Year (1998) and Australian Male Road Cyclist of the Year (2001). In 2001, he wore the Tour de France yellow jersey for six days, contending for the green jersey with Erik Zabel but defeated on the final day. O’Grady gained gold at the 2004 Olympics, winning the men’s madison with Graeme Brown. He was also the first Australian to win the Paris-Roubraix in 2007. In 2013, O’Grady tied with George Hincapie’s record 17 starts in the Tour de France. But Hincapie was removed from three starts in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and O'Grady admitted having used illicit erythropoietin (EPO) on the 1998 Tour. O'Grady joined the new Australian team GreenEDGE in 2012 but retired in July 2013 – and a day before he was named by a French Senate report into the 1998 event. The Australian Institute of Sport suspended O'Grady from its Best of the Best list. The Stuart O’Grady Bikeway, next to the Northern Expressway in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, is named after him.

Australia's greatest female cyclist Anna Meares a champion of Adelaide community

Anna Meares, Australia’s greatest female cyclist, has made her home in Adelaide where the Australian Institute of Sport’s track cycling is based at the super drome. The Anna Meares bike path, opened next to Sir Donald Bradman Drive near Adelaide Airport in 2012, honours her involvement with the city’s community, including being worldwide ambassador for Port Adelaide Football Club. A Queensland coal miner’s daughter, Meares is a four-time Olympian and twice Olympic champion (bronze in Rio 2016, gold and bronze in London 2012, silver in Beijing 2008, and gold and bronze in Athens 2004). She was 11 times world champion across four disciplines, five times Commonwealth Games champion and flag bearer for the Glasgow 2014 Australian Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Rio Olympics where she was Australian team captain. Her bronze in Rio de Janeiro made her Australia’s only athlete from any sport to win a medal at four consecutive Olympic Games. One of her most remarkable achievements was her silver medal in the sprint at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 – Australia's only cycling medal of the Games – just seven months after she broke her neck in a crash at a World Cup meet in Los Angeles.  Meares has been a strong contributor to community causes, serving as an ambassador for Cycling Cares, linked with Neale Daniher and Ian Davis’s foundation Fight MND, after her coach Gary West was diagnosed with motor neurone disease after the Rio Olympics. Mearesis also ambassador for the Little Heroes foundation for children with serious illness.

Victoria Square nightly base for Tour Down Under teams after races through regions

The Tour Down Under, first staged in 1999, is now the biggest cycling festival outside of Europe. The award-winning event was given the highest ranking as a world tour event outside Europe in 2008 by the Union Cycliste Internationale. The unique feature of the Tour Down Under is that it is based in the centre on the city at Victoria Square. Each stage of the tour starts from a designated suburb that puts on its own events, such as street parties, around that stage.

Women's Tour joins the Festival of Cycling in 2015 attracting the world's top riders

The Women’s Tour in 2015 joined the Festival of Cycling around the Tour Down Under. The women’s tour had been granted international status by the world’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, as part of its Oceania calendar of events. The event also remains part of Cycling Australia’s Subaru National Road Series meaning that teams are racing for points but against an even more competitive international field.

Thousands take part in tour Challenge while children get chance on the city race circuit

Thousands of recreational cyclists taking part in the Bupa Challenge Tour help turn the Tour Down Under week into a festival of cycling. The Challenge riders cover the same Tour Down Under stages that the professionals cyclists race along hours later. Junior riders can also taste the Tour Down Under excitement by entering the BUPA Mini Tour For Kids. The event is open to children aged six to 12 and is staged before the MAC Stage 6 Street Circuit in Adelaide city.


Streets parties at host suburbs part of the culture for stages of the Tour Down Under

Nightly street parties at host suburbs for stages of the Tour Down Under heighten the festival aura of the event. Prominent suburban thoroughfares such as at King William Road, Norwood Parade, Unley Road and Prospect Road have played host to stages. The Tourrific Prospect street party in 2016, for example, had a extended kids’ zone featuring a city beach, the Loopy Kids ride, food, wine, music, dancing, buskers and a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest ukelele ensemble .


CYCLIST PROTECTION ASSOCIATION HAS A NATIONAL EFFECT on cycling safety from 1970s; Amy Gillett Foundation adds weight

Hans Penning leads to Cyclists Protection Association and a federal lobby group

Hans Penning led what became in 1976 the Cyclist Protection Association, pushing for awareness of cycling in urban planning. After rallies of hundreds of cyclists, the association became involved in city planning related to cycling. These included 40 km/h urban speed limits, the linear park, Tea Tree Gully bikeway and Emerson Crossing. Association president Darrell Penhale in 1979 initiated the Bicycle Federation of Australia, the peak lobby body for more than 20,000 cyclists nationally.


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. 


Amy Gillett Foundation adds to safety push: Penning resigns when helmets compulsory

The high-profile Amy Gillett Foundation is another of the South Australian cycling-safety lobby groups having national impacts. The foundation was born out of the death of South Australian cyclist Amy Gillett, hit by a driver while training in Germany in 2005. Compulsory helmets for all cyclists became law in South Australia in 1991. Hans Penning, first president of the Cyclists Protection Association, formed in 1976, resigned in protest against compulsory helmets for bike riders.


State government and city council join forces on better bikeways in the Adelaide CBD

A $12 million funding split between the state government and the city council will upgrade cycling infrastructure across Adelaide’s CBD and extend the bike share scheme. The project will include fixing the controversial bikeway section of Frome Street bikeway. Options for an east-west bikeway through the city will be investigated. The options include finishing the Pirie Street and Waymouth Street upgrades and further routes along Flinders-Franklin and Grote-Wakefield streets.



tourism advantages loom for the city, suburbs and regional areas

Footpath cycling and minimum 1.5m for overtaking cyclists made the law in 2015

Changes to road rules setting a minimum distance for overtaking cyclists and allowing all-age cycling on footpaths were introduced by South Australia in 2015.
The minimum passing distance is a first for a Australian state or territory. The cyclist protection rules were recommended to the state government by a citizens’ jury. The “one metre matters” campaign was spearheaded by the Amy Gillett Foundation, Australia’s leading bike rider safety organisation.

Torrens linear park, Mike Turtur and coast main Adelaide metro car-free bike paths

Adelaide metropolitan area has some long bike paths free of motor traffic.  The Torrens Linear Park cycle path is shared with walkers who can use a trail that runs the 30 km lengthof the River Torrens  from Gorge Road, Athelstone, in the north-eastern suburbs, through the northern parklands of the City of Adelaide, to the river mouth at Henley Beach in the west. The linear park was completed in 1997 as the first of its kind in Australia. The state government has worked with six suburban councils on a Coast Park – a 70km walking and cycling path along the metropolitan coastline from North Haven to Sellicks Beach. The Mike Turtur Bikeway is the busiest cycling commuter route in Adelaide. In runs from South Terrace in the city and follows the tramline route to Glenelg. The Southern Veloway runs from the intersection of Marion and South roads in the Adelaide suburb of Darlington out to Old Reynella, where it joins onto the Marino-Willunga Rail Trail. Beyond the metropolitan area are off-road trails such as the 54km Riesling and Rattler running through the award-winning Clare Valley wine region. The Amy Gillett rail trail follows the former Mount Pleasant railway line from Oakbank and Woodside in the Adelaide Hills through to the Barossa Valley.

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

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 gaps in the Adelaide metropolitan area network of bicycle lanes and bikeway that still suffers from gaps. While some major bike paths are free of motor traffic, most are still marked by lines at the side of roads. The state government website presents a Journey Planner, suggesting cycle routes between destinations. 



adding an international outlook to South Australian cycling scene

International tourist vision for mountain bike riding trails in the Mount Lofty Ranges

The state government will spend $1.5 million to make Mount Lofty Ranges an international mountain biking destination and boost tourism by 50% by 2020. The ranges already have an 200km extensive network of trails across national parks, forest reserves and other public land. The government had also spent $150,000 on a mountain bike and bushwalking trail at Cleland Conservation Park in the Adelaide Hills that links the Crafers interchange with Mount Lofty Summit.

Adelaide's pedal prix becomes the biggest human-powered vehicle race in the world

The Adelaide-grown Australian International Pedal Prix has become the world's biggest human-powered vehicle (HPV) race. The 24-hour event at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge, attracts teams from around Australia. The first event in 1985, in the car park of the then Underdale campus of The University of South Australia, had 15-20 teams racing in clunky vehicles. As the event grew, it has moved to bigger venues including the former road safety centre at Oaklands Park and Adelaide International Raceway at Virginia, and in 1997 to Murray Bridge, where for the first time, public roads were shut specially for the event. Ninety teams were in the first Murray Bridge event, growing to a record 228 in 2009. During the year, the HPV Super Series of six-hour races is conducted in several states at venues including Victoria Park in Adelaide’s parklands.Technology has evolved to produce aero-efficient slick machines that are capable of speeds up to 70 km/h.


O'Halloran Hill BMX track plan to attract international riders to boom local scene

A world-class BMX track planned for Majors Road, O’Halloran Hill, would be able to host international and national events events in line with standards set by the Union Cycliste Internationale. With a $3.5 funding from the state government, and Marion and Onkaparinga councils, the BMX track would aim to attract bigger events to the state. The number of BMX riders in the state has doubled since 2010, with more than half the riders from the southern suburbs.

EcoCaddy trikes bring hybrid electric short-trip taxi experience to Adelaide city centre

EcoCaddy, a short-trip passenger service for the Adelaide city centre, using bamboo-bodied hybrid-electric tricycles, is consolidating on its challenging start in 2015.  EcoCaddy’s founder Daniels Langeberg, whose qualifications include bachelor of urban and regional planning with first class honours at the University of South Australia, worked in Shanghai, helping design green cities. While racing fixed-gear bikes in China, Langeberg met Chris and Florence Trees, designers and makers of Treecycle: an electric-assisted pedal trike, built from steam-pressed bamboo and aluminium, that now comprises EcoCaddy’s fleet. Besides taking on Adelaide’s car obsession, Langeberg became Australia’s first pedicab company in Australia to provide riders with a wage, rather than commission, to retain drivers who match the culture of the venture. The wage system was propped up by advertising and sponsorship on the vehicles. Courier and delivery services are other sidelines, and EcoCaddy diversified into city and parklands tours. Dovetailing with Adelaide City Council carbon-neutral goals and its own eco-friendly philosophy, EcoCaddy struck a deal with Ride, an operator of e-scooters in the Adelaide CDB, to collect and recharge its scooters with a custom-built EcoCart. These extra revenue possibilities have allowed EcoCaddy to settle more comfortably into new headquarters in Pulteney Street, Adelaide. EcoCaddy’s short-trip taxi service operates on a $10 flat fee within the Adelaide City Council zone, includes the Adelaide city centre, North Adelaide and the parklands. 

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