Cycling in Sydney Australia
Eagle-eyed readers will have immediately noticed something unusual about the picture above.
Yes, those are "cycling" socks but those are not (proper) cycling shoes. Of course, they can be used for cycling, and even occasionally are on my commuter bike with toe clips, but their primary purpose is for walking, not pedalling.
Really insightful readers, (you know who you are), will also have noted that there is also no bicycle in the picture. So, save yourself the trouble of zooming in, looking for reflections, or forensically examining every pixel. Your impression is correct: no bicycle.
All of which may suggest the difficulty I face in completing my traditional christmas day blog/whinge, (which you have all been clamouring for... well, two of you loyal fans, anyway – thanks, the cheques are in the mail) about how few of you keen cyclists take advantage of the best cycling day of the year.
So I am not riding on the North Shore today. I am not riding anywhere, coz no bicycle here. Where is here, though? It's a place where, on an ordinary day, as far as I can judge, there are hundreds of riders passing a given point every hour. If you pick the right given point, of course.
LEFT: Here's a couple of riders heading away from the "right given point" who made the count.
This morning I went for a walk instead of a ride and decided to count the cyclists as I went. My standard measure of riders/km was not going to be any use without my bicycle/Garmin set-up, so I had to invent a new standard measure.
I settled on riders/minute as the benchmark index and an hour as the time-frame. Given the ordinary-day score, I was hoping to exceed the mark of one rider per minute which would be an improvement on the one-per-km I have (nearly) previously recorded on the North Shore (http://www.sydneycyclist.com/profiles/blogs/another-christmas-day-f... and http://www.sydneycyclist.com/profiles/blogs/another-lonely-christmas-day-ride).
A mild temperature, overcast skies and a gentle zephyr offered pretty ideal conditions. Only the threat of rain may have been a slight deterrent, but it held off until mid-morning.
To say I was disappointed in my official measure of christmas day cycling-participation in this new environment would be an understatement. I managed to spot only 45 different people riding in the observed hour despite much bicycle-friendly infrastructure and near-deserted roads. Less than the benchmark one/minute! And, I almost forgot to mention, there were at least two acceptable caffeine-purveying establishments, open and trading, in the close vicinity. This strongly suggests to me that the tendency for cyclists to waste the best cycling day of the year is widespread in this country.
I'll point out that there were quite a few bicycles parked in numerous locations, perhaps more than were moving, including this well set-up Surly LHT, (right), but I can't really count them as active participants in christmas-day-cycling unless I see them in use and moving.
What is wrong with people in Australia?!?!
OK, whinge out of the way, where is it I am whinging about? (Oh, BTW, some of you are disqualified. You know who you are.)