Posts Tagged ‘ Sydney ’

Even More Cycling Fun in Sydney in November

It seems my last post on upcoming cycling events in Sydney was published too soon. As Demtel would put it: “But wait, there’s more!” Continue reading

Sydney Rides Festival

Sydney_Harbour_Bridge_Sunday_Ride

Spring is sprung, which means a lot of Sydneysiders have come out of hibernation and the City of Sydney is doing its best to convince them to get on a bike. (even though the city’s bike lanes are still an un-connected mess of green paint thanks to the NSW government’s “Stop the Bikes” policy).

As well as the usual  Ride2Work day (woo hoo! Free coffee and tune up!) and Spring Cycle (a rare opportunity to ride across the bridge on the tarmac) , the festival program includes bike dating, a series of bike-mechanic workshops, and even a hill race competition, to give all the MAMILs a chance to show off their shiny bikes and hairless calves.

30daysofbiking Day 1 Rolling With Clover

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April is here, and that means 30daysofbiking – it’s a project from some Minneapolitans with no politicis, no fundraising, no campaigning… just getting people out and riding their bikes for 30 days straight. It’s a great idea, encouraging people to get riding and doing it repeatedly – it’s exactly the sort of thing psychologists would recommend if you want people to change habits and behaviour. 

Here in Sydney, riding your bike regularly can result in being attacked by motorists, or if you’re lucky enough to have the police around, being fined. Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore has done her best to make cycling safer and more acceptable, most notably by building dedicated cycle lanes. Sounds like a good idea right? Especially in a city where transport issues dominate headlines and political campaigns. So of course, with the cycle network only half complete, the NSW government has naturally decided to put a stop to it, by creating a new committee to oversee (and no doubt veto) any further cycling infrastructure development. 

Because what the commuters need is another committee, not a viable transport alternative. Bravo Barry. 

As a result, a group of Clover’s supporters arranged a rolling rally, well attended by Sydney cyclists of all shapes and sizes. The Stig was definitely my favourite. The crowd was in good spirits and good voice for the speechy parts, and then moved off for a ride around the patchy, and thus far, poorly-connected cycle lanes in the CBD. Proving how much Sydney needs better cycling facilities, the first 100m from Town Hall had to be done on foot, pushing our bikes along the footpath. 

To everyone who got out for the ride, good work! Keep it up for the rest of April, and encourage others to join in. I’ll be documenting my 30daysofbiking experiences here with a photo a day. 

Sydney Tweed Ride

Tweeders posing 'neath the bridgeSome people ride bikes because they like to go fast. Some people ride bikes because they like to get muddy. And some people ride bikes so they can dress up. London’s tweed run has been transported to the colonies, and 2010 saw the second running of the Sydney Tweed Ride. A piece in the smh alerted me to it, and eventually led to SydneyCyclist.com, which seems to be a great source for all things bike going on in Sydney.

The event itself was just spiffing: ladies and gents dressed in their dapperest attire braved a cold mid-winter morn to gather at Town Hall. A gentle ride around the mostly deserted CBD finished in a picnic in Alexandria and some bike polo. The ride was well organised and managed by people simply doing it for fun, and it couldn’t have been a better advertisement for Sydney cyclists. Drivers honked in appreciation, rather than anger. Pedestrians looked on the tweedy peloton in admiration and amusement, rather than the disgust and disdain usually reserved for lycra-clad weekend riders. Apparently one passerby asked “What are you protesting about?” … Nothing except sartorial inelegance! For me it was a perfect way to rediscover cycling in Sydney, surrounded by friendly fellow riders and being led around some of the quieter streets so I know how to avoid the main roads in future.

At the ride I bumped into an old uni friend, Nick, whom I hadn’t seen in a long time. He was in the smh photo for the event: I hadn’t recognised him in print, but in person we recognised each other almost immediately and got to chatting. Turns out he has become quite a serious cyclist – he suggested we meet up for a ride on the weekend… turns out he meant a 200km audax ride! It sounds like something I’d love, but having been out of the saddle for months, it might take a while to be able to handle something like that… we’ll see.

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