Cycling in Sydney Australia
Did you get hooked into watching the Veledrome race coverage? I watched more than I planned. It occurred to me that it's high time SBS, which calls itself, Bike Central, devoted some substantial coverage to utility cycling.
Racing is all well and good, but its not going change our world for the better as we know that using bikes as transport, surely can. I don't have to list the ways. You know them already.
My specific challenge to SBS, which I spell out on my blog, http://situp-cycle.com, is to do an in-depth look as the public bikes of London, in the lead up to the Olympics
. Find out why there are working better than expected. Delve their ability to bring non riders to the idea of bikes as transport.Ask the key question, why cant we have the same?
Think this is a fair challenge? Then support it, please. Add your own variant on the utility bike story that you'd like SBS to get their teeth into .
To prime the pump further, I add this cut down version of one of my films, now called. The Return of the Speedwells.
I am tired of seeing so much male dominated sport on the tv. If there is the need for another sports program it should just be about women's sport. Anyone ever watched Australia vs New Zealand in netball? No, you probably haven't which is a pity because it's one of the most exciting things you'll ever watch.
Would you believe I actually have, and you're right, it was awesome! It might have been the last world champs? Me and a super sporty male were on the edge of our seats screaming at the tv, it was a really exciting game. ABC shows a lot of the netball I think.
I was watching Anna Meares (ON TV) whilst at the ACMC (Aust. messenger champs) at some pub near the velodrome. there was plenty of women's coverage on this occasion. I was enjoying it ...
I have a guilty admission to make... being in my genes, I try to get a weekly fix of rugby which without Foxtel pretty much revolves around the Shute Shield on ABC 1, 3pm Saturday arvo. It is followed by some bowls sport coverage, which is bizarrely riveting - the strategy, the skill, the precision, the tension - and the general rules are easily understandable (compare that to explaining cycling or cricket to someone who knows NOTHING about them).
Bowls is also a sport (a term I use loosely - as with chess and darts - surely there needs to be some degree of physical exertion, not just mental?) that appears to be played by both men and women (both sets of my grandparents used to play, for different clubs - and would sometimes face off against one another in pairs competition!).
What I've never been able to understand about bowls is how so many ~25 year olds get in to it, and are playing at the elite level. How does that happen?
Apologies for taking a self-indulgent wander to Offtopicville...
Bowls is also one of the only sports you can legitimately play whilst holding a schooner
Darts is the only sport you can play where it is the rules to hold a schooner.
The W League has been covered by ABC. Pity that the A League is in the throes of deciding that women's football is too much of a liability to fund.
When National Geographic's A-1 adventure sports channel (which is now called Nat Geo Adventure) was first introduced to Australia, many of the documentaries were about cycle touring. Mongolia and the Altiplano Plateau and other fascinating places were shown in great light and the joy of cycling was equally well portrayed.
The programmes didn't just look at doing the touring but usually included something about the cycling culture of the countries being visited and tour planning and showed riders being resourceful.
Then to out-do each other the doco makers started turning the amazing journies into the histrionics of cycle touring. I soon switched off.
I didn't want to follow the cosmic dreams of others, detailing cycling journeys by eccentric outsiders that in themselves are an enigma to this modern day. Or with riders agonizing about visiting Australia, on roads less travelled. The torment of remembering that it isn't about good roads, bad roads or how numerous or large the size of the potholes are but about finding one's self, through adversity and hardship were the only issues of cycle touring.
The real torment early on was only about starting the journey ... but what was being shown on Nat Geo Adventure was the real torment, the riders.
Now when I go to Nat Geo Adventure, this ANZAC Day, there's Food School, The Delinquent Gourmet, several episodes of Bondi Rescues, and several programmes about food from around the world.
SBS covering the non-reality of cycling, would be excellent. Something showing that not every cyclist has a victim's mentality or an entitlement mentality, would be very good to see.
perhaps an Artistic side to cycling by interviewing a guy who does bike art?
You can say you ride for utility.
I reckon it'd have to be about cycle touring, with little bits about cycle culture thrown in the mix.
The thing is, we all bang on about normalising cycling (me included, I think that's the crux of my mission), so to have utility cycling as a feature program sort of ...doesn't help that.
There are plenty of travel shows and people still love them all. A cycle-travel show could capture the travel junkies and the bored, regular Aussies who watch travel shows and still never get out ;-) You could have the hosts talk about the journey, and then at each destination they could delve into the 'normal' cycling culture there. This could be within and external to Australia, because both are important, and the differences highlighted could be a real catalyst for change here.
Just thinkin' aloud :-)
A bit like "long way round" but done without the engines then?
Or the Hannibal Trail one that actually was on bicycles. Not sure if it has been shown on TV here but I really want to go on the ride that they are now offering commercially. There's a few hills...