influencers! – Warren Salomon

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Welcome to influencers!

If ever anyone has earned the mantle of unsung hero, it would be Warren Salomon.

Warren founded Australia’s first national general cycling magazine. He founded, grew and then donated ownership to charity, one of Australia’s largest mass participation bike rides.

He led Bicycle New South Wales as both President and later CEO, through a golden era of growth and effectiveness.

And he created, what’s to the best of my knowledge, Australia’s first specialist cycling infrastructure consultancy, working with local and state governments Australia-wide.

But as you’ll hear, despite this remarkable lifetime of accomplishments, Warren remains completely selfless in his generosity and his efforts to advance the causes most important to him.

We hope you enjoy episode four of influencers!

BikeExchange

This episode of influencers! is
proudly sponsored by:

BikeExchange

Watch the full episode below from 1 November


Watch on YouTube

Read the Transcript

~ Coming soon ~


About Warren Salomon

Way back in the 1970’s Warren founded Freewheeling, Australia’s first national general cycling magazine. He then founded, grew to an incredible 10,000 riders one of Australia’s largest and longest running mass participation bike rides, the Sydney to the Gong. Remarkably, Warren donated to charity the ownership of this huge and valuable event that he’d built from scratch through years of hard work.

Warren also founded, co-owned and ran Sydney’s first specialist touring and commuting bicycle shop, Inner City Cycles, which is still trading to this day, decades after he sold the business.

Warren has been instrumental in the creation and rise of Bicycle New South Wales, the peak cycling advocacy group in Australia’s most populous state. He has served both and President and later CEO, through a golden era of growth and effectiveness including some memorable media and political campaigns.

Later Warren founded, what’s to the best of our knowledge, Australia’s first specialist cycling infrastructure consultancy, Sustainable Transport Consultants. Through this, he and colleagues have worked with local and state governments, transport agencies and other groups Australia-wide. Sustainable Transport Consultants has had key design input into some of Australia’s most important, pioneering separated bicycle infrastructure.

In his ‘spare time’ Warren has attended and spoken at cycling conferences both within Australia and worldwide, been a tireless volunteer for his local bicycle advocacy group, been a Founding Benefactor of We Ride Australia, our nation’s peak cycling advocacy group, plus a host of other achievements too numerous to mention.

We’d like to publicly thank Warren for the hours that he spent searching through his huge photo archives to select the unique, historic collection of over 40 images that accompany this video. It has been our privilege to document just some of the lifetime of great achievements of this humble man with an irrepressible ‘can do’ attitude.


Episode Summary Notes

Phil and Warren started out by talking about how bicycles first got him in touch with his surroundings and how living in the inner city of Sydney and the closeness and proximity of living close to work was much better suited to owning a bicycle instead of a car. During this time, Warren started the first ever national non-racing magazine, Freewheeling, in 1977m which chronicled some of the major events in cycling including the first Geelong bike plan, the introduction of mountain biking and the arrival of index gears.

Warren talks about co-starting the Inner City Cycles with Dave McLean in Glebe, catering wholly for the recreational market and his involvement with the Bicycle Institute (later to become Bicycle NSW) filling almost every position on the board.

In 1982, a simple conversation with a friend who recently returned from London, resulting in Warren developing the Sydney to the Gong MS bike ride along the spectacular coastal route and he discusses the reasons and situation behind the decision to donate this major event to MS for future fundraising.

This experience led to Warren’s involvement with Bicycle NSW on the committee developing new rides including the Big NSW Bike Ride and eventually his acceptance of the role as CEO of Bicycle NSW. In his time as the CEO, his greatest achievement was securing free bicycle travel on suburban trains to encourage mode share.

Warren closes with how he took that Bicycle NSW experience, newly formed government relationships, being on government committees and being part of major conferences, to seriously look at the concept of the bicycle as a transport mode and created Sustainable Transport Consultants. He was invited by the Roads and Traffic Authority to author a NSW Bicycle Guidelines policy/bike plan, to give the right direction for the practitioners to build the right kinds of facilities that were going to be right for the cyclists.

The ‘Designing for Pedestrians and Bicycle Riders’ training course was then developed, to take the information behind the Guidelines and train the people who build the infrastructure and allow them to have a real experience of the perspective of a bicycle rider and take that into account when designing and building infrastructure for cyclists.

The interview wraps up with Warren’s opinion on the future of change for cycling and people movement in Australia, especially after the effect of Covid on transportation in our country.


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