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Forward to a friend  ISSUE 6, JULY 2012

AustCycle. Skills, Confidence, Safety.
General Manager Welcome

It is a real pleasure to introduce this month’s newsletter. A lot has been happening with AustCycle lately and this issue is full of local stories showcasing how the community is getting back on bikes and enjoying what cycling has to offer.

Our program work with both the Department of Health and Ageing and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has been fantastic in providing opportunities for a broad range of community needs, and it really demonstrates the reach and diversity in participation.

Over the past six months, AustCycle has delivered cycle training programs in over 25 Local Government Areas (LGAs) through its hard working Licensed Provider Network.

I have been particularly pleased to hear how participants have overwhelming commented that their ability to ride safely and confidently has drastically improved through participation in AustCycle programs. This message is also consistently provided through the phone surveys we conduct as we investigate the impact of training, and it is a credit to both the Licensed Providers and the AustCycle accredited Teachers operating in our system.


On the junior front, AustCycle has been working hard developing the National School Riding Program. AustCycle believes that no matter how we ride, developing proficient bike handling skills, introducing the importance of road safety and learning to ride in traffic environments, are lifelong skills all children should learn.

Cycling is an important introduction to road safety as it provides the opportunity to teach safe road behaviours to children. Teaching children at an early age will foster a stronger connection between road users and cyclists in the future. The benefits of cycling to community health, the environment and transport are significant enough reasons in their own right, but together they take on a greater meaning for what our community will look like for future generations.

Gareth Watkins, AustCycle General Manager

AustCycle News

AustCycle Teacher Wins Trip To London After Teaching Her Son To Ride

The son of one of AustCycle’s recently accredited Teachers has won himself, and his mother, a trip to watch the Olympics in London, simply by telling the story of how he learnt to ride.

Anthea Knowles, a 34-year old mother from Mindarie, Western Australia, completed her Level 1 AustCycle Teacher Accreditation Program course through Cycling WA’s ‘Be Active Cycle Instead – Bike Skills Program’ so that she could encourage others in the community to cycle.

But the first person she wanted to teach was her 6-year old son Wiremu.

“We had been trying for months to help our son Wiremu ride his bike,” Anthea told AustCycle. “I went and did the AustCycle Teaching course which gave me some specific bike skills to utilise with beginner to intermediate riders”.

“So as we taught him I used some skills that I had learnt in the AustCycle course,” she said. “We started with balancing without pedalling and going down a slight incline. It was a progression of the skills, each one building on the next, and most importantly we made it fun and turned it into games”.

“Before we knew it he was riding on his own and joining in with the family – no stress, just fun. I guess biking isn’t just about pedalling. It is about learning different skills, from balancing to scooting to stopping to turning. And, it’s about having a good time!”

After learning to ride, Wiremu wrote a story about his experience for the McDonalds Champions of Play Competition. He was chosen as one of five lucky winners and won a trip to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Wiremu said that being able to ride makes him feel proud.

“I am very proud of myself that I can now ride with my family,” he said. “I just kept trying and trying and never gave up”.

Wiremu is excited to see Big Ben, and is looking forward to watching the cycling at the Olympics. He is taking his mum Anthea with him.

Claire South, Cycling WA’s Development Manager, said she is thrilled to have such an inspiring story come out of the 'Be Active Instead - Bike Skills Program'.

“It has been a real treat to have new Teachers like Anthea come on board to support our ‘Be Active Cycle Instead – Bike Skills Program’,” she said.

“The program has just commenced it’s second year of operation and I feel confident that with the support of our talented and friendly team of AustCycle Teachers that we can help provide quality bike education to school and the community in WA”.

To watch the amazing YouTube clip of Wiremu’s story visit our website here.

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After 50 Years, Two UK Women in Nannup Ride Again

Margaret and Hazel, two British born women from Nannup, have completed AustCycle's 'Bike Handling Skills' course, despite not previously being on bikes since the 1950’s.

Even though the ladies have over 160 years of age between them, they both successfully completed their goal of learning to ride a bike again, passing their traffic free cycling course with “flying colours”. Margaret even started the course on a tricycle, but gained enough confidence from her lessons to progress to a two-wheeler bicycle.

Simmone Van Buerle, Warren Blackwood Healthy Communities Coordinator, said the women’s stories were particularly inspiring as she often has people tell her that they are too old to ride.

The six-week ‘Bike Handling Skills’ course was run by Tim Saunders as part of the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) in Manjimup. Hazel has since signed up to complete the 'Bike Handling Skills in Traffic' course, which teaches participants to cycle in a traffic environment.

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HCI Training Leaves Ladies Feeling Pumped in Brisbane

‘Learn to Cycle’ classes turned out to be a hit at the Green Apple Wellness Centre in Brisbane, with AustCycle accredited Teacher Jan Stephenson saying the ladies were ‘pumped’ after completing the session.

“I had six lovely ladies turn up, some who were complete beginners and one who was already a rider," Jan told AustCycle. "The lady that could already ride was a little bit concerned she wouldn’t learn anything new. But by the end of the first session the three beginners had all ridden, and they were dead keen with smiles on their faces”.

“They all told me they learnt so much from the course, and the lady who already knew how to ride made a point to tell me at the end of a session how she had learnt so much about the little things to do with cycling”. 

Jan said the ladies are hoping to ride 15kms on a Camp Quality Ride in the future. The ‘Learn to Cycle’ sessions were run as part of the Brisbane Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI).

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Spokesabout Delivers AustCycle Training To Schools

Spokesabout, one of AustCycle’s newest Providers, will be delivering AustCycle 'Bike Handling Skills' training to three primary schools in the Fraser Coast region as part of the Active Transport to Schools program.

The Active Transport to School program is a travel behaviour change program that aims to reduce the number of school trips that students take by car. Instead of driving, the program encourages students to use alternative forms of transport such as walking and cycling.

The program is a joint initiative of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, Sport and Recreation QLD, Hervey Bay State High School, Pialba State School and Cardno Consulting Engineers. It will be rolling out across the region over the next six months and means that over 200 school children will have participated in AustCycle training courses.

Spokesabout has only been working as an AustCycle Licensed Provider for a few months, operating as part of the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) in the Fraser Coast Region. They recently held their first public appearance to promote AustCycle, their business and the FCRC Live Life Healthy Programs.

The day involved recruiting participants for future courses, and included a competition for people to guess how many kilometres had been ridden on their bikes since commencing cycling in February 2011.

The weather for the event was less than ideal but Michelle Lennard, Director of Spokesabout, said the day was a success.

“We were very thankful for our large shelter as this event was on the Saturday of the Queen's Jubilee weekend, when it poured down for three days,” Michelle told AustCycle.

“As the weather really closed in, a couple ran under our shelter and we were delighted to realise they were on our AustCycle training course back in September in Brisbane".

"It was also very entertaining listening to the various mathematical ways the entrants tried to come up with their guess [for the competition]. The winner was a young boy".

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Aboriginal Exercise Group Completes Advanced Cycling Skills in WA

The City of Cockburn’s Aboriginal Men’s Exercise Group recently advanced eight participants to the highest level of the AustCycle Framework, completing AustCycle's 'Advanced Traffic Skills' course.

The 6-week program, which was actually dominated by females, was run by accredited AustCycle Teacher Emma Livingston through AustCycle Provider Cycling WA.

Claire South, Cycling WA’s Development Manager, said she was thrilled with the results.

“The group seemed to really enjoy the sessions and all reported improved cycling fitness and confidence when it came to the end of the program”.

The Aboriginal Men’s Exercise Group was founded in 2011 as part of the Co-Health programs developed under the Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) in the City of Cockburn.

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Sydney's Bike & Lifestyle Show!

The second annual Bike & Lifestyle Show was held in Sydney from  the 13th to the 15th of July and was a great success for AustCycle.

AustCycle’s ‘Trek Training Zone’ received a steady stream of traffic, with both children and adults jumping at the chance to ride a Trek bike and learn new bike skills from our accredited AustCycle Teachers.

The AustCycle stall promoted cycle training to the community and featured a 'Bontrager Helmet Check Area' to teach children and adults how to properly fit their helmets. There was also the opportunity to go in the draw to win one of two Trek MT-220 children’s bikes.

Feedback from participants in the ‘Trek Training Zone’ was all positive, with one of the parents Raymond Akhigbe making a point of telling us about the great time his son had in the bike handling skills session.

A big thankyou to Michael Hull and Jazz Frankel from Finesse Cycling who were our accredited Teachers on the Saturday, and to Lisa McHarg and Peter Ruszkowski who ran the Sunday sessions.

The event was organised by Cycling Australia and SBS and ran from Friday afternoon until Sunday evening. There were over 80 exhibitor stands on display showcasing the cycling industry’s latest products and services, which was double last year’s turnout.

To see a slideshow of pictures from the event, visit our wesbite.

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New ATAP Courses Announced

We would like to announce the next round of our AustCycle Teacher Accreditation Program (ATAP) courses. These courses will take place in the coming months, and will accredit AustCycle Teachers to provide a wide range of cycle training programs for people of all skills.

Upon completion of the course, an accredited AustCycle Teacher will be able to instruct beginners on how to ride a bike safely or teach cyclists how to ride in a traffic environment. Accredited AustCycle Teachers focus on teaching all ages, all ability levels and all backgrounds. Our aim, and the aim of our AustCycle Teachers, is to give the community the skills and confidence to ride safely in order to improve public health, support the environment and reduce traffic congestion.

AustCycle and the AustCycle Teacher Accreditation Program are setting the national industry standard for cycle education. AustCycle is addressing the need for a formal national standard and framework for cycling education which will provide the community and stakeholders with a national standard and a level of quality assurance for cycle education throughout Australia.

The AustCycle Teacher Accreditation Program is a 2-day course and includes theory and practical components. Places on the AustCycle Teacher Accreditation Program are strictly limited, so to guarantee a place on a course, please complete and return the Application Form as soon as possible. The Melbourne course is almost full, so get in early and don't miss out!

The upcoming courses are:

11th and 12th of August – Melbourne, VIC
18th and 19th of August – Bunbury, WA
18th and 19th of August – Adelaide, SA

Other courses will be announced very shortly in regional New South Wales, Brisbane, Sydney, regional South Australia and Perth. Keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter pages to hear the dates first!

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AustCycle Appoints New Communications and Media Coordinator

AustCycle has recently appointed Claire Brinkley to new role of Communications and Media Coordinator. Claire will be the key media and marketing contact for AustCycle and will be responsible for all the electronic media, including the website, Facebook page, Twitter page and newsletter. Claire will also play a key role in promoting AustCycle to the community and in the redevelopment of our website that will occur later this year.

Claire is excited for the challenge of this new position and hopes to be able to encourage more people to cycle for health and transport reasons.

"I think AustCycle is such an amazing program, but more people in the community need to know about it," Claire said. "I really hope that I can get the AustCycle name out there and encourage more people to cycle because there are just so many benefits to a person's health and environment when they cycle”.

“The next 12 months is looking like an exciting time for AustCycle, and for cycling, and I can't wait to get involved in everything and really immerse myself in the media side of AustCycle. I also can’t wait to hear more about the great things our Teachers and Providers have been doing”.

Claire would love to hear from you so if you have any questions, news, story ideas, pictures, or you just want to have a chat, contact her on claire.brinkley@cycling.org.au or (02) 9339 5831.

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Come Visit Us!

To receive regular updates on everything that is going on at AustCycle, visit us online! 

Website: http://austcycle.com.au 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AustCycle

Twitter: @AustCycle

Provider Profile

Lisa McHarg


AustCycle Licensed Provider Sydney Bike Skills has been attracting a lot of media attention lately. The business was recently featured in the Manly Daily newspaper and on 2UE radio, and this media recognition is a testament to all the great work that has been going on over the past few months.

Owned and operated by Lisa McHarg, who is an accredited AustCycle Teacher and former PE teacher, the business leads workshops with councils and schools to teach proper rider etiquette to both children and adults.

Lisa’s aim is to make cycling fun and safe for everyone. Along with her work with schools, Lisa also runs lessons for children and adults who want to learn to cycle safely in traffic or non-traffic environments. She also teaches mountain biking and recreational bike skills. 

Lisa McHarg
Spacer Lisa McHarg Program

Lisa has over 20 years of teaching experience and over 9 years of cycling expertise. She has been an avid mountain biker for over a decade, and spent 2009 in Canada riding at Whistler and Vancouver Island.

On return to Australia in 2010, Lisa noticed the increasing need for cycle skills training in both schools and the community. From this, Sydney Bike Skills was born.

Lisa told AustCycle the most rewarding part about running the business and the training sessions is the people she gets to help.

"The best thing is the satisfaction I get when someone who has never ridden a bike finally 'gets it'," she said. "I am happy, and they are happy, and we both get a sense of achievement''.

If you would like to find out more about Sydney Bike Skills, visit their website or call Lisa on 0414 517 756.

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Provider News

AustCycle Helmet Incentive a Hit in ACT

AustCycle Licensed Provider 'Cycle Education' has already given away two of AustCycle’s helmets to participants of their Healthy Communities Initiative (HCI) programs.

AustCycle Accredited Teacher Raynie McNee said the helmet incentive has allowed her to help participants that don't have access to their own cycling gear.

“The participants, two men, were both with the HCI cycling skills program,” Raynie told AustCycle. “One of the men didn’t have a helmet at all when he turned up to do the course, so we had been lending him a helmet so that he could participate”.

“The other lovely fellow was one of the most committed people we’ve ever had,” she said. “He turned up to every single lesson and rode 5kms to get there. He had a helmet, but it was an old fashioned stack hat, so we wanted to be able to give him something a little safer”.

Raynie said she plans to distribute more helmets if need demands it.

“I’ve given the ACT Health a couple of helmets in case they find someone, but I’ve kept the majority of them. The next HCI course is in August and you just never know who will turn up”.


AustCycle, in conjunction with the Amy Gillett Foundation, distributed ten sprint helmets to each of the AustCycle Licensed Providers who were delivering HCI programs. The aim of this is to grant more people access to helmets that may not have the ability to purchase themselves one. It is hoped that the Helmet Incentive can be a positive teaching tool for Teachers running HCI programs.

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Helmet Incentive
Other News
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Mudgee ATAP Course a Success

Yet another successful AustCycle Teacher Accreditation Program (ATAP) course has been held since our last newsletter.

The course was delivered in Mudgee on the 24th and 25th of March, with most attendees coming from Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) regions such as Great Lakes, Gosford and the Mid-Western Regional Council.

All eight course attendees gained training with the view of delivering AustCycle programs in the future. 

The Mudgee ATAP course was designed to support the growing HCI expansion, and the need for more Teachers in these areas. As a result of this ATAP course, the Mid-Western Regional Council became an AustCycle Licensed Provider. 

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Other News

Top Tips For Cycling Safely in Winter

It is well and truly winter in Australia, which means colder mornings, darker nights, and battling with wind and rain. If you intend to keep cycling through these days (and we hope you do!), here are some tips to ensure that you stay safe on your bike this winter.

1. Be visible. The days can be dull, and darkness falls earlier than in the summer months, so it is essential that you are visible to other road users. Wear fluorescent or reflective clothing and make sure you have a good bike light installed.

2. Stay dry. Invest in a good quality waterproof jacket, preferably one with breathable fibres. Also, consider mudguards for your bike as a lot of the water that hits cyclists is actually from the road.

3. Keep warm. Keep your hands toasty while you cycle by wearing waterproof, padded gloves. Choose gloves with a non-slip grip to ensure proper control of your bike.

4. Be aware. Wet, slippery roads mean that your bike can slide when cornering. It also means that the required distance for braking is increased - for both you and other road users. So go slow, brake early, and be completely aware of your surroundings. Also, be wary of puddles as they can be hiding dangerous potholes.

5. Enjoy. Chances are the cycle lanes will be a little emptier than they are in summer, so enjoy the extra room!

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The 2011 National Cycling Participation Survey, conducted by Austroads and The Australian Bicycle Council, found that:

• 18% of Australians cycle for transport and recreation purposes in a typical week

• Men and boys are more likely to ride, with 22% of males and 13% of females riding in a typical week

• 3.6 million Australians use their bikes for recreation, leisure or sport in a typical week

• 1.2 million Australians make at least one transport journey on their bikes a week

• NSW has the lowest rate of cycling participation, while the NT has the highest

• Cycling participation dramatically decreases in the 40 and over age bracket, with only 9% of people in this category riding in a typical week

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City of Wanneroo HCI Participants (below)

Wanneroo Participants

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