Last Sunday morning I was part of a group of 15 or 20 people who took part in a cycle ride with the formidable Dr Behooving (that’s him glowering down at me, below). Dr Behooving’s alter-ego, Steven Fleming, and his team of researchers at the University of Newcastle have come up with an exciting project proposal that sees car-free developments using empty post-industrial land in Newcastle’s inner city, with each site linked to the other (as well as to parks, public transport, schools and shops) through a cycle-way that follows existing rail and creek lines. No need for car parks! No need for any new roads!
Why didn’t I think of that?
My co-riders were an eclectic bunch of bloggers, cycling advocates, town planners and people like me, ordinary folk out for a ride in the sunshine.
Part of the loop took in Styx Creek. We pulled over, dropped in and I speechified for a while on what a brilliant and safe short cut this creek is. (From Maitland Road to New Lambton you can avoid having to cross four major arteries and dozens of the minor hassles that cyclists who use this city’s roads will be familiar with.)
I can’t half go on, can’t I?
It wasn’t just me gas-bagging. As well as the Doctor we also heard from David, one of the prime movers behind the Fernliegh Track and Bernard, who has helped secure funding for a bike-safe crossing at Hannell Street in Honeysuckle. I also got to meet a few people I’ve been following (in a non-threatening Internet kind of way), including showbag and the owner of that famous red sickle in the Bicycles in Newcastle blog.
Another new friend, Robert, also put me on to this fantastic story of a guy who caught a fish in Cottage Creek from his second-floor apartment. Ya gotta love this city!