Tour de Bris

The French Way

The French Way

I recently became the proud owner of a beautifully rusty second hand bike.

Although this bike has seen better days, the nice high handle bars and old comfy seat match relatively well with my extreme lack of sporting prowess.

With petrol prices rising and everyone jumping on the environmental bandwagon, I decided cycling was the next logical step in my attempts to reduce my carbon footprint whilst saving a bit of cash.

Taking old Rusty (as I have affectionately named her) out for a spin, was more trouble then I anticipated.

The impracticality of being incredibly unfit and living on a large succession of hills proved an immediate obstacle.

This teemed with the scorching sun and Brisbane’s famous humidity, high enough to make even a fish sweat, made me feel like I had done more exercise in the first five minutes, then I had done all year.

Battling the heat but remaining optimistic, I pedaled to the main road of New Farm looking for the bike path, as not to get run over.

But wait, there IS no bike path, and if there is, it has been used as a car parking bay, making it risky business to ride along when people may be opening their car doors.

To top off my frustrations, I was wearing a highly unattractive helmet, $13.95 from Target 7 years ago, which teamed with my spreading sweat marks made me a undoubtedly a dashing catch (look out boys).

I realised the Parisians managed to remain elegant and suave whilst cycling as they didn’t have to wear these hideous (but safe) fashion atrocities.

This whole experience made me realize that the reason people prefer to cycle in Brisbane is the unsuitable weather, the hilly terrain and the lack of safe bike paths.

The Brisbane City Council is attempting to encourage riders by introducing a Bikeshare scheme, to be opened by July next year.

The scheme is modeled on a system utilised in many European countries, whereby pedestrians can hire bikes from stations located conveniently around the inner city.

Cambell Newman may not be able to change our tropical climate or make me magically fit like an athlete, however Bikeshare could see Brisbane catching up with the rest of the world (give or take a few sweaty armpits and some daggy cycling apparel).


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