Cyclists get chance to ride without the risks
IPSWICH'S budding bike riders will soon get all the experience of being on the road without having to negotiate the dangers of the real thing.
A new bicycle education facility is planned for Sutton Park in Brassall to teach the city's young riders the rules of the road.
Work is to start in January on the bike track that links with the popular and ever-expanding nearby Brassall Bikeway.
The project is designed to expand the park's existing facility to create a safe course for children to practise riding and learn about road rules.
The expansion will include a flat cul-de-sac area for beginners to learn to mount and dismount, a T-intersection, an intersection with signals, one-way street, overtaking lane, roundabout, pedestrian crossing, speed hump and an offroad track.
Young riders will also experience electronic LED traffic lights that will be set by a timer or activated by a pedestrian push button.
Ipswich City Council will also install extra pedestrian footpaths to allow for better connections between the car park, playground, bicycle education facility and picnic areas.
Council infrastructure boss Cr Cheryl Bromage, whose division covers the bike education track, said it was the result of co-operation with the 24/7 Cycling Safety Fund and its founder Troy Dobinson. But Cr Bromage stressed it was separate from the goal of 24/7 to build a safe community bike facility in Ipswich.
"It came about working with Troy and 24/7 to try to find a way we can educate people and especially children, on the safe way to ride and what the different signs and markings mean," Cr Bromage said. "24/7 will actually be running some clinics on it as well, so they'll bring bikes for children who don't have a bike so they can have the experience as well."
She said it was beneficial to have the bike education track near the Brassall Bikeway.
"The Brassall Bikeway comes out behind Brassall Shopping Centre which is right opposite Sutton Park," she said.
"It makes sense that they can ride over as a family, then do a bit of education and then utilise the bikeway that surrounds the park.
"It's also providing kids with an activity; to get them out and be active … With the help of 24/7 …it will enhance it; the community gets a double benefit out of it.
"It's education and exercise at the same time."