Cycling in Sydney Australia
A pretty poor turnout this morning chaps... and especially you ladies.
My continuing totally unscientific and non-exhaustive statistical analysis of December 25 cycling participation rates on popular routes showed a phenomenal near-complete lack of interest in riding evident in 2012, with women some eight times less likely to cycle.
On a 42km circuit today taking in Chatswood, Lane Cove National Park, Shrimptons Creek SUP, John Whitton Bridge at Meadowbank, Bicentennial Park in Homebush, and returning home via Putney, Ryde and Lane Cove, I saw a total of nine (9!) other cyclists, eight of whom were male. Sad.
There were two other riders in LCNP -- I see that many when I go there at night for some surreptitious hill training, although there are usually more brushtail possums and rabbits. On weekends and pub-hols there are usually dozens of cyclists riding Riverside Drive.
One other cyclist was on the Shrimptons Ck path, accompanying his female partner who was walking a dog. They needed the entire width of the path apparently but I had been prepared for erraticism by the other pedestrians who frequent the area and dodged them all easily.
Most of the rest of the riders I saw, including the only woman, were in Bicentennial Park, its network of shared paths normally thronged with cyclists today virtually abandoned with only more erratic walkers to fill the gaps.
So, to what do we owe this negative surge in velocipedic activity?
As I have noted in previous years, the cafes are closed, at least on the north side of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River (though I have a suspicion -- memo to self: check next year -- that one or more at Balmoral Beach might be trading...) This excuse may no longer be entirely valid if the brave attempt at trend-setting by the cafe owner in Bowden St, Ryde, near the corner with Victoria Rd, is successful. Admittedly his caffeine-purveying premises were entirely devoid of customers, be they cyclists or mere mortals, as I passed but, who knows what could happen when word gets out that performance-enhancing substances are available here on Xmas Day.
Also, today, the weather was crap threatening overcast and dull and there was a little standing water from overnight rain. There was, then, a small risk that the paintwork on your Pinarello Dogma might be slightly marred by picking up a little dirt from tyre spray... Is this sufficient reason for lying in bed like a lazy slob on one of the lowest traffic cycling days of the year? I don't think so! But, of course, I don't own a PD, so what would I know? The temperature, however, was perfect and the humidity only a little excessive -- no real excuse there.
I suppose the other excuse which you could pull out for lack of interest or non-performance might be some sort of injury -- hey, a sore knee would be a good one.
Is that really why hardly anyone else was out, then?