Cycling in Sydney Australia
OK, we finally arrived in Nice to live for 3 years. The boss, and the next boss up, both kept giving instructions on how to get a car, and I kept insisting that we were not going to get one. How will you get to work then? Well, this is Europe, so of course going car free and using a bike will be easy, I kept telling them. I'd heard a podcast of a guy who lives in Los Angeles and even then, went car free. Needless to say, this was putting my complete lack of knowledge against their local knowledge.
At the airport, we were given a hire car. Hitting the first roundabout, I started to panic. Going around the wrong way, on
the wrong side, and picking an exit was tough. The roads are significantly skinnier. Where can you fit a bike on the road? Where are the bikes, by the way, around here? This is supposed to be Euro-fantasy land, come on!
It was about 500m to the hotel, but it took about 30 minutes to drive going on the wrong exits twice etc, following my boss, who is French. There is a fantastic bike track running along the waterfront. This is great for tourists and day trippers. My work place was inland high on a hill, and we were going to stay in Antibes, where the seaside track disappears.
Then I started to see them. The helmetless(!) old(!!) ladies (indicator species no less on the busy local roads going as slow as you like!), and finally thought, I'll have to be brave and try it out. I got a folder from Decathlon for 300 euro, chucked it in the back of the hire car, and drove back to the airport to drop it off. I unfolded it, and rode away in triumph, to the nearest roundabout, realising I had no idea, and did not want to mix it on roads that looked much like Sydney airport's internal ones. I chanced on a couple of cyclists, and tried out some rusty French for instructions on how to get out. They turned out to be American, and they told me to get some balls, and get in amoungst it. So I did. And they didn't honk, tail gate or rev their engines at me. I felt like a citizen on the road for the first time. The exit lead onto the main bike path along the waterfront. Later on the train, I folded it up out of the way. One lady said "C'est magique!", and I felt the same. I must have lloked like a trained monkey, cycling uphill on that thing, after the train. It took the same amount of time as the bus, minus walking to the stops and waiting.