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Perhaps you're running late for a meeting. Or maybe you're laughing at something you heard on the radio. Maybe you have fractious children in the back seat who are commanding all of your already splintered attention. You're probably on auto-pilot, performing a function so mundane that you aren't even really aware of what you're doing. You are focused on the next moment - what you are going to do when you get out of your car. 

But as events this week have tragically highlighted, at this very moment, you are in possession of a power so great that it can take another person's life in an instant. Your innocent disregard for something so simple as looking behind you can be irredeemably extinguished by the innocence of the person who has just died as a result of your negligence.

How do you feel? How do you live with this for the rest of your life?

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It is never acceptable that human life must be lost for a public safety issue to come to prominence. At The Squeaky Wheel, we have been working with various government and advocacy bodies over the last few years to raise awareness of this critical issue, which is the leading cause of injury for people riding bikes (see links below).

The most important message that has come from this work is simple. Our responsibilities as a motorist do not end the moment we switch off the ignition. The law states that the onus of responsibility is always ON YOU to ensure you do not cause a hazard whilst exiting your car.

Far too much emphasis has been placed on the responsibilities of people riding bikes to avoid car dooring. Not only is it practically impossible to judge when this random act is going to take place, the infrastructure provided for us to ride on makes these recommendations dangerous in themselves. 

Avoiding car dooring is simple. Changing the public negligence of the onus of responsibility is the challenge. With very little emphasis on car dooring as a public safety issue, it's no surprise that for people who don't ride bikes, awareness of the issue is very low. 

We can of course lobby government and advocacy bodies to make improvements in road conditions and undertake public awareness campaigns, and penalties for breaking the law can be increased. Here are some opportunities that have arisen after this week's tragic outcome.
Change.org
Change.org
 

We can also become an advocates in our everyday lives. Every time you are in a car with other people (exiting from either side), show them how easy it is to avoid car dooring. Simply state: 

\"I'm going to open my door with my opposite hand, so that when I get out, i'm looking behind me and can see if anyone is coming.\"

\"I've got my keys, wallet, phone, I've checked my mirrors, and I'm opening my door with my opposite hand.\"

These simple actions are all it takes to #endcardooring. Even if you don't drive, you can share this information with your family, friends and workmates. 

There is little to be gained in blaming people for behaviour that has up to that point, been encouraged and accepted as normal. We need to create a new normal, informed by an awareness that both parties, the person who potentially causes serious injury or death by opening the car door, and the person who suffers the impact, are both victims of negligence around car dooring.

What we must never lose sight of is that there is only one victim who has the capacity to do anything about it, and that the law expects this of them. 

A memorial for the person killed this week by a car dooring is being held on Friday 6th March.
Details here.  Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of the person killed, and everyone involved.

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", "excerpt" : "

Perhaps you're running late for a meeting. Or maybe you're laughing at something you heard on the radio. Maybe you have fractious children in the back seat who are commanding all of your already splintered attention. You're probably on auto-pilot, performing a function so mundane that you aren't even really aware of what you're doing...

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Good Wheel is back for 2015, and this time it's all about the ladies! The Good Wheel Spokeswomen program has been co-funded by a City of Melbourne Community Grant and the Victorian Women's Benevolent trust. 

The program, part of our partnership with Good Cycles, will provide women CALD and refugee backgrounds in the City of Melbourne with a working bicycle, helmet and lock plus professional training in bicycle skills, on road riding, route planning and road safety. 

Delivered over 5 sessions, the first round will take place on Thursday evenings from 4-6pm on the 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th March & 2nd April 2015. Our program hosts and partners are The Huddle, the North Melbourne Football Club learning and life centre. 

A second round of the program will take place on Thursday evenings from 4-6pm on the 30th April and the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th May 2015.. 

An important part of the program is the skills transfer and mentoring that takes place between the female delivery team and participants. Women learning from other women in a relaxed and welcoming environment. 

We are currently seeking out female mentors to volunteer on the program. You will be an experienced bike rider, available for all (or most) of the sessions and prepared to share your knowledge and skills in helping other women start their bike riding journey.

Please contact Loretta at Good Cycles if you are interested in taking part. 

", "excerpt" : "

Good Wheel is back for 2015, and this time it's all about the ladies! The Good Wheel Spokeswomen program has been co-funded by a City of Melbourne Community grant and the Victorian Women's Benevolent trust. We are currently seeking out female mentors to volunteer on the program. Find out more...

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Sunday 12 April 2015, 4pm

Writer, comedian and commuter cycling evangelist Catherine Deveny presents Pushy Women, a stand up show for the love of bicycles. Seven high profile babes push the envelope with tales of triumph, tragedy and everything in between. Now in its fourth year, Deveny’s event collects Melbourne’s most fabulous and fiercely funny women to share their story of life on two wheels.

Featuring:
Julia Morris
Clare Bowditch
Fiona O’Loughlin
Rachel Berger
Alicia Sometimes
Fiona Patten
and Catherine Deveny

Showing at the Trades Hall New Ballroom as part of the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and The Women's Ride.

Tickets: $35 full / $25 concession (plus booking fee)

ONE SHOW ONLY
BOOK TICKETS

", "excerpt" : "

The Pushy Women return, this year as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Featuring:
Julia Morris, Clare Bowditch, Fiona O’Loughlin, Rachel Berger, Alicia Sometimes, Fiona Patten and Catherine Deveny. One show only! Don't miss out...

 

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City of Melbourne gets you moving with The Squeaky Wheel - putting a new spin on your lunchbreak!

In this FREE 45 min lunchtime tour, we provide you with a Melbourne Bike Share bike & helmet, show you how to safely navigate CBD bike lanes and pick up a free healthy lunchbox along the way. All you need to bring is yourself and a smile.

What better way to get moving during your lunch break AND build up your confidence to ride safely in the CBD?

All session run from 12.30 - 1.15 pm and depart from one of two city locations.

Departing & returning to City Square:

Tuesday 10th February BOOK YOUR PLACE
Tuesday 17th February BOOK YOUR PLACE
Tuesday 24th February BOOK YOUR PLACE

Departing & returning to Docklands Harbour Esplanade (near Bike Share station outside NAB)

Friday 13th February BOOK YOUR PLACE
Friday 20th February BOOK YOUR PLACE
Friday 27th February BOOK YOUR PLACE

For more information on other ways to Move it Melbourne from 9 February-9 March 
Visit melbourne.vic.gov.au/100ways

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City of Melbourne gets you moving with The Squeaky Wheel - putting a new spin on your lunchbreak! In this FREE 45 min lunchtime tour, we provide you with a Melbourne Bike Share bike & helmet, show you how to safely navigate CBD bike lanes and pick up a free healthy lunchbox along the way. All you need to bring is yourself and a smile. 

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From September through to November 2014, we ran three rounds of the Good Wheel program, providing bicycles and road safety training to refugees living in Melbourne, Working with project partner AMES, the program was funded by the TAC Community Grants program, and set out to provide instruction on safe road use (along with a working bicycle) to a group of people experiencing disadvantage, and cut out of traditional learning models.

The program was supported by Victoria Police, Knog, Nutcase Helmets and delivered in partnership with Good Cycles.

 

 

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In June and August 2014 we ran two rounds of the good Wheel program at The Huddle, North Melbourne Football Club's Learning and Life Centre. 

The program was targeted at the young men and women who use the centre, and who would benefit from the mobility a bike, and the skills to ride it locally would bring.

We worked closely with the Huddle team , the Victoria Police and of course our project partners Good Cycles. 

24 participants are now equipped with new bicycles and the skills to ride them safely in their local areas. 

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Another month, another round of the Good Wheel Project, our partnership with Good Cycles, supported by the City of Melbourne. In November 2014 we piloted a new version of the program that worked with a group of students from the St Joseph's Flexible Learning Centre in North Melbourne.

The students participated in a 5 session program, focused on teaching bike maintenance, road rules and city riding experience. We are pleased that all 11 students graduated from the course - top marks for all! 

Aspects of the program were integrated into the student's VCAL accreditation, making it a truly meaningful (and fun!) program for these students. 

We will conduct another round of the program in February 2015, all thanks to the City of Melbourne and with support from Nutcase Helmets, Knog and The Huddle Learning and Life Centre. Great work everyone!

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Your Ride. Your Friends. Your Day.

The Women’s Ride will be the only women’s focused cycling event in Victoria. It is a single day celebration of women’s riding with a strong social focus, taking in multiple independently determined routes.

The event invites individuals, clubs, social riding groups, bike shops and all in the community to register a ride, that begins and ends at locations they desire. Ride leaders will determine a route, distance as well as recruiting people to join them on the day, whilst also developing a social following for the event.

Programmed activities and events will take place in locations all over Melbourne and Victoria on the day, (with a central location in Docklands to provide a focal point) allowing ride participants to meet other riders and participate in a celebratory atmosphere.

Participation in the rides may be free or attract a cost (if the ride is usually ticketed it’s fine to charge money for it). Cycling Victoria will be collecting registrations for each ride via the central website and pass this info on to ride leaders. Registered riders will receive a package of discounts and gifts from sponsors.

The event is also intended to generate and distil discussions around issues of gender in cycling, and advocates strongly for an increased presence for women in all forms of participation.

Who is behind the event?

The Women’s Ride is an initiative of Cycling Victoria, and supports their Breeze program of female lead community cycling. The event is supported by The Squeaky Wheel and aligned with the Amy Gillet Foundation as a charitable partner.

How can you get involved?
We are asking that you consider organising a RIDE or contributing an EVENT to the day’s activities.

The rides can be of any distance or difficultly, and it might be that you stage your regular activity with female participation in mind. You might just choose to get together a small group and ride to your local cafe, all kinds of rides and distances are encouraged.

An event could be anything, but something that encourages and rewards female participation on the day is ideal. These could be things such as:
• a discount for participating women in-store
• a reward or free service (pampering, hospitality, food and wine etc)
• a social activity that could be a ride destination or stop (movie, picnic, meal, experience) • entertainment (free or ticketed)
• workshops or learning opportunities (free or ticketed)

All rides and events must be self funded and managed, and will be listed on The Women’s Ride website with information details and a map. Rides and programming can be uploaded via the event website from December 2014. 

Contact
For more information, please contact Mark Drehlich at Cycling Victoria on 8480 3077, or via email mark.drehlich@cycling.org.au

Social
You can start following and contributing to The Women’s Ride story via the social accounts listed below. It’s your ride, your friends and your day, so make it count for YOU. 

www.thewomensride.com.au

https://www.facebook.com/thewomensride Twitter / Instagram: @TheWomensRide 

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We are very excited to be part of the team behind The Women's Ride, Victoria's first mass participation riding event designed specifically for women. You can submit a ride or event, and join thousands of other women from all across the state in a single day celebration of women's riding. 

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