Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Sydney cyclists and ‘European bikes’

Some people think encouraging cycling is about the kind of bicycle you ride:

Mike Rubbo, a cycling blogger who has made more than a dozen short films about cycling, says introducing the upright bikes used in Europe is the best way of creating a new cycling culture that would encourage slow cycling and a friendly ''come ride with me'' attitude.

''If we can get more people on this type of bike we will get rid of the monoculture of those people, bent down over the bars with sunglasses … who are happy on roads and don't want to share bikeways with slower riders,'' he said.


The vice-president of Bicycle NSW, Richard Birdsey, said European bikes were not what local riders needed. ''Upright bikes are all well and good in low speed and flat environments, but I don't think they are suitable for what you have here in Sydney,'' he said. ''They are designed, without sounding sexist, for women.

''If you are moving in the serious traffic here you need something a bit quick, something you can throw around, something more performance oriented.''

He was also strongly in favour of retaining the helmet laws even though Australia and New Zealand were virtually the only countries with them.

''We don't have the same riding environment with the lower speeds,
greater awareness of cyclists they have in Europe