Wednesday, April 13

Bicycle resources

Riding is exhilarating, freeing, fun and okay sometimes down right scary. There are so many things to look out for. But honestly it's still more dangerous to drive a car. Or smoke ciggies. Or drink booze.  There are better ways to go than others sometimes, and there are certain rules it's a good idea to follow. And there are endless resources online.
I've been riding a bike since I was 4 or 5. I remember my dad pushing me on my pink training wheels down our street and it being the best thing in the world. I've been riding as a mode of transport since I was 13 or so. Last year I rode around Uganda. I've been riding in Sydney (deemed one of the most unfriendly bicycle cities in the world) for seven years now, and have only had the one big accident, a handful of minor incidences, and saved a crap load on bus fares, time and gym fees. Here's my advice.

* Remember you have a right to be on the road (okay not on motorways I suggest you avoid those) If you don't feel safe being in the gutter or right up close to parked cars then drivers are just gonna have to suck it up and wait to overtake you as you saunter down the centre of a lane. At the end of the day traffic in Sydney is at crawling pace anyway.
* Wear a helmet. I love the feeling of the wind in my hair as much as the next free spirited soul. But mines saved my bacon twice now. I love not wearing one for a saunter around centennial park. But if you are commuting in the city like me, it's dumb dumb not to.
* Likewise have lights. You are SO invisible in the rain and at night without them.
 * Look around you all the time. Remember how in your driving test you check the rear view mirror and the wing mirrors all the time coz the examiner is marking you on it. Yeah. Do that. But for real.
* Don't swerve without checking first because you can be as sure as hell the drivers aren't checking for you.
* Be a good cyclist. I see heaps of crap ones everyday, and I'm sick of having a bad rep because of people that cycle the wrong way down one way streets, go through reds, abuse anyone who makes the slightest mistakes etc.
* Have a bell. They're not just retro and cool, they are so important. I use mine everyday to get pedestrians off *my* cycleway. Pedestrians don't realise that getting hit by a bike will really hurt. Problem is, it hurts the cyclists too! A friend of mine actually has an air horn with adjustable volumn!
* Be comfy. I ride in jeans and a tshirt, because that's what I wear to work. If I worked somewhere that required me to look neat and ummm professional, then in most likely hood I would change when I got there. Always under dress for the weather slightly. Even if it's flippin cold out (okay Europeans I'm talking australian cold so this may not apply to you).
 * If all else fails and someone has been a total banana head (no I don't swear on my blog - it seems to be the one place I can control it) sidle up next to them at traffic lights and give them a slow clap, or a loud clap on the hood of their car... with a bunch of keys in your hand (I'm joking I'm joking!)

Here are some useful links, especially if you're a Sydneysider. Also let me know in the comments if I've missed an awesome cycling resource.

* Bikely. People post their routes on maps. Really great if you are looking for a scenic trip or the best way to get to work.
* Bike Sydney.
* City of Sydney.
* Sydney cyclist.
* All the info about the cycle network in Sydney.
* The lovely treadlie magazine.
* The humble vintage bike hire has just launched in Sydney (and was started in Melbourne).
PS. Did you know there are bike racks on the Sydney ferrys? And lovely bike paths all along the harbour, including around Manly. Daytrip anyone?



  1. oh man! I just typed an epic comment about how much I heart cycling and blogspot "couldn't complete my request". Lameface! x

  2. oh! now that I've left Sydney, I learn they have bike racks on ferries! Loving your series of bike posts lately :)
    Pepper x


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