2 Oct 2019
We were extremely lucky as there were lovely clear blue skies on Saturday and a brief interruption of rain early Sunday morning but it magically cleared just long enough between 8:00am - 2:00pm for our ride launch before returning later in the afternoon.
At first we set up indoors within the Brunswick Cycling Clubrooms which was very cosy and protected from the gusty winds.
People enjoyed a fine Genovese coffee carefully crafted by Agostino Giramondo, the President of Brunswick Cycling Club.
As the winds dissipated, we moved everything outdoors.
We were very fortunate to have Cycles Galleria attending with Leena Kate-James and bicycle mechanic Kian Lerh-McKinnon who helped a steady stream of willing participants to learn some new tips & tricks.
Whether you had a big wheel or little wheels, everyone braved the wet roads and bike tracks to join our opening.
Agostino Giramondo, the President of Brunswick Cycling Club spoke about sharing similar values of people getting on bikes, whether you are wearing lycra or not.
The velodrome was built in the 1950's as a training track for the 1956 Olympics with the club being formed in 1916. The pavilion of the club is named after Alf Walker who was a junior but made his name as an official. Some other notable members include Pop Stewart who never actually rode a bike but made a tremendous contribution to the sport. So to be involved in the sport you don't just have to be a rider but have a love to watch people getting out there, being on bikes and having a great time.
It's a mental health machine
It gets you out and helps you forget about the stresses of life as it's just you and the bike and when you add other people it does so much for your well being.
There is a junior clinic (starting from 6th October) with sometimes 70 - 80 kids, with parents, who are having a great time on the bike. 'If you see them, you will understand that we don't take ourselves too seriously and we don't have programs. Our philosophy is if you enjoy the sport you will continue to do it until your old age'.
Cr Mark Riley spoke about growing up in West Gippsland in a family of 6 who taught each other to ride and he remembers falling off many times in his front yard before getting his balance and riding outside the house.
A growing city
An extra 50k people will move into the City of Moreland by 2026 which is creating lots of opportunities for businesses to have more people coming to their business. This also brings the challenges of an extra 32k motor vehicles or 34 MCG's worth of additional parking space or 70 Brunswick velodromes. This involved council spending 450k in developing their Moreland Integrated Transport Strategy (MITS) with it being adopted earlier this year.
The priorities are people on foot, people on bikes and other wheeled vehicles that are not motorised (or have no throttle - E Bikes), public transport followed by the car.
The biggest open spaces are the road ways being taking up by tarmac and concrete and mostly taken up by cars parking, taking up that valuable public space. It's about turning this public space into more community space, this includes temporary bike parking popups outside cafes and businesses.
Fortunately Moreland has some of the biggest uptake of commuting cycling in the city. These types of rides are really important in supporting these initiatives and any other strategies to get people out and active, riding and sharing with community.
Programs to get people on their bikes
A great community initiative is run by a local resident in John St Brunwick who recycles bikes and makes them freely available to borrow by signing in when you wish to use them.
Moreland council is creating programs to get more women and children riding bikes, also with Neighbourly Ride, Brunswick Cycling Club and local businesses partnering, it's about everyone working together.
Important safety Messages
The importance of wearing helmets in preventing acquired brain injury and wearing bright clothing, many people attending the ride had floor jackets, 'flouro is the new black'.
Creating awareness on shared paths is also important by using the bike bell, or saying 'passing on your right' to let people know that you are passing other riders and pedestrians.
Who have generously supported us from the very beginning and their ongoing commitment enables us to prosper.
In supporting our printing requirements that keeps many poles & posts company at night.
Cycles Galleria Brunswick
For bring their marquee, bike stand & tools, Leeana Kate-James (whom we are honoured for spending her 40th Birthday weekend with us) & Kian Lerh-McKinnon for looking after the riders bikes.
Generously supplying 450g packets
For the bread & rolls, the underrated partner in any successful sausage sizzle
The Town Meatery
Providing yummy sausages
For the awesome coffee, we all love good coffee
Brunswick Cycling Club
For being our first Champion and Agostino Giramondo the President of Brunswick Cycling Club for believing in our little program
Moreland City Council
In helping to spread the word throughout the local community
For the Monopoly board game
For the generous restaurant voucher
Brunswick Cycling Club
For the great club caps and socks
Agostino Giramondo for believing in our ride and providing the Clubs support.
Martin Bower for leading the inaugural ride & all of his support & the many volunteers from Brunswick Cycling Club.
Deputy Lord Mayor Cr Mark Riley
For a passionate and informative speech on cycling in Moreland
MP Tim Read, local member for Brunswick
Who very generously supports so many community events
Who have generously supported our new location, we understand it's a tough time for small business and we really appreciate you getting behind the program.