The Hub Plot Castlemaine was the scene of a celebration of cycling and community on last Wednesday. Over 100 adults and children dropped in before school to take part in the fun, enjoy a delicious brekkie made by the Good Table and to hear about plans to make cycling safer in and around Castlemaine.
While the kids were entertained by Eric the Red from Castlemaine Circus, the grown-ups heard from a range of speakers about plans to help make cycling a bigger part of the lives of residents in the Shire.
Phil Rowland, CEO of Mt Alexander Shire Council spoke about the Council’s commitment to cycling in the Shire and the initiatives underway to encourage more people to get on their bikes including the Maldon to Castlemaine Trail and the primary trail linking Castlemaine to Campbells Creek.
He made it clear that Barker St was a Vicroads responsibility and that Council’s hands were tied.
Neil Barrett, chair of the Hub Foundation, showed photos of some of the safety blackspots on our roads and announced a new initiative by the Hub Foundation to work with Council and other interested groups and individuals to address these issues. Deane Belfield from Mount Alexander Sustainability Group launched the list of ‘safe cycling wants’ which include bike lanes around the CBD of Castlemaine, single lanes for cars in Forest and Barker Streets and proper shoulders for bikes on other roads in the Shire.
Inspiration and ideas to encourage everyone to ride more often were provided by Shirley Amy of Castlemaine Cycling Club and Frank Forster of Castlemaine Rocky Riders. Shirley gave a personal account of how getting into cycling changed her life for the better. Frank spoke about Dirt Crits, a handicap series of mountain bike racing for cyclists of all ages and abilities, which starts on Thursday 5 November at 5:30pm (juniors) and 6:30pm (seniors).
After the speeches, there was a bit of fun with prizes for best decorated bike and funniest bike jokes. The audience got right into the laughs as people got up to deliver their best bike jokes in return for a heap of great prizes from local businesses.
This one’s from TimTim, entertainer and keen cyclist:
Real tough red asphalt is in a bar when green asphalt comes in. Red ducks under a table. Barman’s like why you scared? Red – “that guy’s a cycle path!”
The event was hosted by the Hub Foundation and supported by Mount Alexander Shire Council, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group and Castlemaine District Community Health as well as Cycle Concepts and Homestead hardware, and is set to become a regular date for Castlemaine’s cycling community.
Photos by Diana Domonkos.
A HUGE thank you to all the wonderful volunteers, including the terrific team from Mount Alexander Sustainability Group, also to our Event Supporters: Mount Alexander Shire Council, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group and Castlemaine District Community Health.
Also, a special note of thanks to Cycle Concepts who gave generous support to the event, helping to make it possible. And to the following businesses, organisations and individuals who contributed to the event: Castlemaine Rocky Riders, Coffee Basics, photographer Diana Domonkos, Home Hardware, Extremity Sports, Lisa Chesters MP, Federal Member for Bendigo, The Industrial Sewing Workshop, Castlemaine Fitness Centre, Castlemaine Central Wine Store, Jets Gymnastics, Castlemaine Circus, Eric the Red and The Good Table.