Click through here for an online version of this recent edition of CAN's periodical.  Articles on overtaking gap research, cycle touring experiences, quaxing and more.



March 2017

In this issue

CAN-Do next weekend!

New Cycling Research Causes a Flurry

CAN is Targeting Politicians

Recycling bikes for those who need them

CAN's Share the Road campaign rolls on

Government Policy- opinion piece

Stories of Touring & Quaxing

Book reviews- 'In the City of Bikes' and 'Streetfight'

Bargains at CAN's Shop

About Cycling Advocates Network

CAN is New Zealand's national network of cycling advocates. We work with government, local authorities, businesses and the community on behalf of cyclists, for a better cycling environment.

Hi and welcome to another edition of Chainlinks. Thanks for your ongoing support of CAN. Don't forget if your membership has lapsed you can join again here, and do let us know if you'd like to volunteer to help with CAN's ongoing work, there's a lot going on as you'll see below!

CAN-Do 2017, March 25th and 26th, Wellington

Cycling's diversity will be represented at the CAN-Do 2017

Registrations are looking healthy for the 2017 CAN Do, CAN’s annual advocates’ workshop. 
The CAN Do is open to any person who considers themselves a cycling advocate and who wants to share campaigning tips and stories, meet others, and hear from a varied programme of speakers.

Cycle Aware Wellington is hosting this year and has put together a programme that all cycling advocates, experienced and fresh to the cause, will find of value. This year CAN is also celebrating 20 years as an organisation and 200 years of the bicycle.
The full programme is online with registration details. Campaigners may register right up till the event. The programme includes keynote speakers from Wellington’s councils and from Fulton Hogan, updates on CAN projects and news of exciting initiatives from members including a new campaign from the Skypath Trust, Rebicycle, and Bikes Welcome. Campaigners will hear from NZTA on the latest draft policies and can offer their feedback. Also on offer are e-bike tours, skills workshops, and a panel session brainstorming getting more kids on bikes. 
Those who turn up early on the Friday night will be treated to a free screening of Century of Cycling, and afterwards people with a couple of spare days can make a trip into the Wairarapa on one of the legendary “post CAN Do rides”. 
So many reasons to be there! Get online and register here now!  ​​

New Cycling Research Causes a Flurry


Three interesting research reports about cycling have just been publicly released by the NZ Transport Agency and already they’re causing a bit of a stir around cycling circles (and elsewhere…). Cycling in Christchurch previously alluded to these pieces of work being underway, and their findings have some interesting implications for cycling policy in New Zealand.

Probably the one attracting the most immediate attention is the one regarding cycling on footpaths, but of great interest to cyclists is a study on overtaking gaps and whether a regulation requiring motorists to give space to cyclists is a good idea. Another major milestone is work by consultants MWH and ViaStrada which looked at a number of different road rules that affect walking and cycling to see if they could be changed. The six rules examined (many which are common overseas) were:

  • giving pedestrians precedence over turning traffic when crossing side roads
  • giving cyclists precedence over turning traffic where separated cycle facilities cross side roads.
  • allowing cyclists to use a turning lane while riding straight ahead
  • allowing cyclists to “undertake” slow moving traffic (i.e. pass on the lefthand side in the same lane)
  • allowing cyclists to “lane split” when filtering to the front of a queue of traffic
  • allowing cyclists to turn left (and/or ride across the top of a T-intersection) despite facing a red light

    Read the article, originally posted on the Cycling in Christchurch blog, here.


Targeting Politicians


NZTA Cyclelife570_Hi_Res

CAN has set targets and priorities for all political parties to adopt and achieve in the next political term. 

The priorities are: get kids biking to school, build urban cycling infrastructure, and adopt “vision zero” (zero deaths and serious injuries). The priorities align to CAN’s long-term mission of getting more people on bikes, more often. 

'This is where the focus needs to be in the next three years and where the best gains can be made towards getting more people on bikes, more often,' said Will Andrews, CAN’s 2016-17 chair. 
The messages are published in a 4-page advisory to political parties for the 2017 election. It will be publicly released soon and is available from the CAN office.

In brief, the targets are:

Get kids biking to school –treble the number of children getting to school by bike. Currently only 2% of kids cycle to school. Children are missing out on being more active, healthier, and independent. 
Fund and build more cycleways in our cities. Continue at least the level of funding started under the Urban Cycleways Programme. Many more people want to cycle but they need a coherent network connects their journeys. The Government urgently needs to redress this imbalance in our transport system and deliver what people want. A higher and ongoing level of investment is needed to build connecting cycleways across our cities.
Adopt “vision zero” for road safety. No deaths are acceptable on our roads. Reduce speed limits so that 30km is the default for many urban areas, particularly where cyclists must share roads with other vehicles. Implement all of the Cycling Safety Panel’s 2014 recommendations. Build separate cycle lanes where higher traffic speeds remain. Provide sealed shoulders on rural roads for cyclists. Continue education for heavy vehicles and cyclists. 

CAN members have been taking the messages to political parties and will continue to meet with political candidates in the lead-up to the 2017 general election. 

So far the response has been reasonably positive: politicians of all stripes can see the many benefits in enabling people to bike. But we need to translate the goodwill into specifics that make supporting cycling a priority on the transport agenda. 

ReBicycle Wellington- bikes where they're needed


RefugeeBikes - 2 V2

Wellington is the latest town to get its very own bike library and community bicycle upcycling scheme. ReBicycle Charitable Trust was founded recently to help collect used bikes and fix them up for refugees and other low income families. ‘So far the response has been fantastic with more donations than we have room for’, said project manager, Hilleke Townsend.


Hop over to our website to read more.

GPS 2018- PieChart

The GPS that’s got a whole transport system lost

Opinion piece on the Government’s Policy Statement on land transport, a draft of which has been released by the Ministry.

Read more here.


Stephen Wood's North Island Wanderings

Last year's CAN Do meeting in Hamilton was a good opportunity to have a couple of weeks away cycling.

I flew to Auckland with my touring bike. The ride started inauspiciously, as the road from the airport had road works and I missed a turn-off.

Men in hi-vis overalls urgently flagged me off the road next to a sign marking the start of a motorway. They asked me to sign their visitor's book and gave me a ride to the old Mangere Bridge. From there I navigated to my brother's place in Mt Eden.

See the full story here.


'I'm Sure it's against Some Law...'

‘I don’t know the actual law, but I’m sure it is against some law’. Steven Muir writes about being made to feel like a criminal without being given much supporting evidence: My crime? I wanted to carry three lengths of stainless steel home on my bike for my latest trailer project.

It was around 10 kg of material in 3 m lengths that I planned to strap to the top tube of my bike, a method I’ve safely used before. I paid for the steel; then the conversation with the salesman at Steel & Tube Bromley went something like this...

See the full story here.

CAN's Share the Road campaign's successful 2016

Heavy vehicles and cyclists

From Adelaide via Bologna and Invercargill to Upper Hutt and beyond, Share the Road has hit the road hard (but safely!) this year, spreading our message of empathy between road users no matter how big or small.

We’ve put drivers on bikes and riders in trucks in Auckland, Hawkes Bay Taupo, Hamilton, Nelson, Hokitika Dunedin and. In 2016 alone, the campaign has personally reached over 1,000 people in the transport industry, but the statistic we’re most proud of is that a positive change in driver attitudes to sharing the road with cyclists was reported by 93% of our freight or bus company participants.

2017 is off to a good start, too with the campaign winning a TRAFINZ Award for Leadership.

See the full story here.


'In the City of Bikes' and 'Streetfight' Reviewed

Book cover

   Streetfight cover

It’s a pretty standard part of any cycleway debate to have someone say “But we’re not Amsterdam, people are never going to bike here”

Alastair Smith has reviewed Pete Jordan’s In the City of Bikes, an immigrant American’s view of biking in Amsterdam, and Janette Sadik Khan’s Streetfight, about her battle to turn New York into the Amsterdam of the US.

Click here for Alastair's verdict.

Grab a bargain


CAN's new T-shirts have arrived, and are selling quickly. But we have some old stock which needs to go, so our remaining 'Freedom' T-shirts are going at bargain rates for members! Browse here, or email Lyneke our awesome retail therapist on

CAN's new T-shirt design

Grab a bargain at CAN's online shop

Transform yourself into a living advertisement for the advantages and pleasures of everyday cycling. Help promote cycling and CAN by wearing the CAN Cycling vest. Only sizes S and XS left.

Need more space? never fear -- the Spacemaker is here, discouraging other road users from getting too close.

Spacemaker Flag


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More People on Bikes More Often



The views expressed in Chainlinks are not necessarily those of CAN.

Release Date: 
Monday, 20 March, 2017