23 Nov 2010

Bikes around Perth. Glamour Push on Pushies

Posted by Mike Rubbo

Do you remember that in the Northern Territory they sometimes call everyday bikes, Pushies? I discovered that on a recent research trip to the Top End.

Now, I’m just back from Perth where their everyday bikes are not called pushies but they do have a slightly related slogan.

We don’t hear much about Perth when it comes to cycling, do we?

That’s not very fair because, it turns out, they are doing lots of imaginative things to make riding safer and more fun.

Before this visit, If you’d said , Perth and Bikes to me, I’d immediately have thought of the Narrows Bridge and bike traffic flowing across it into the city.

Crucial counts of cyclists are done on that bridge, folks going in and out to work, and in the early nineties, those counts recorded a turning point in Australian bike history (photo Moondyne)

It was through the counts at the Narrows we discovered that our new helmet laws, (they became compulsory in 1992) were having an unintended effect, they were killing off cycling by between 30-40%.

For more on these stats, go to the web page, Mandatory Helmets in Western Australia

There has been so much anger in the comments about these figures, the idea that some slur is being cast upon WA, that I’ve added the figures from my source at the end of this post

The impact was the pretty much the same all over Australia, but it was the accurate counts before and after the change at the Narrows bridge, which got the most attention, not only in other states, but overseas as well.

As a result, many other countries which had been tempted to followed our lead, decided that helmet wearing should remain a choice for adults.

Anyway, back to my own Perth story. I received and email enquiry about my Darwin film from Jillian Woolmer who works for
, in Perth.

Jillian wanted to know more about the Darwin accident stats I was quoting in my movie; Darwin Shows the way.

Especially about my claims that the unusual helmet exemption they have up the Top End, has not resulted in any increase in serious injuries.

Sharing what I knew, I was soon getting some interesting info in return.

Jillian reported that her employer, Dept. of Transport’s Bikewest has been running a very successful initiative called Glamour Push.

Lead by Jana Zivadinovic a small group of the promotional staff of Bikewest have been working on the Glamour Push campaign for a couple of years now.

Glamour Push sounded rather like the Copenhagen Cycle Chic idea, meaning, they are both about getting people to ride in style, about looking good, about taking short trips on bikes, and foregoing the Lycra.

I gathered Bikewest, being government, can’t use the Cycle Chic name because Mikael Colville -Andersen its creator, does not wish the trademark to be associated in any way with helmets.

So Jana's group coined their own term, Glamour Push. The word, “push” picks up on the push bike, I guess, maybe on pushies, and on the idea of forging, pushing, ahead.

Cycle Instead is another catchy slogan from Bikewest, also to do with encouraging easy going cycling.

Now, here’s what really intrigued me, Jillian said Glamour Push is completely in synch with my own personal push, which is as you know, is about promoting Sit up Cycles.

I’m convinced that they are the bikes we need to adopt for everyday riding (I explained why in my film, Bike it or Not)

The Bikewest people insist that they are succeeding in getting many riders, especially but not only women, to ride in the classic, stately, way on sit-ups, on Cheetahs, Globes, Gazelles, Electras, etc.

I found this good news but hard to believe, so addicted are the Eastern riders I know to their Drops and Flatbar bikes.

You have to go on one of Saskia’s Sydney Cycle Chic rides to see more than two sit-ups together in Sydney.

I exaggerate, but I think I’m right in saying there is as yet no bike shop offering a really wide sit-up range in either Melbourne or Sydney!

Sorry, I forgot Papillionaire in Melb which I’ve yet to check out.

Anyway, Sam, the WA wholesaler for GPI Cheetah cycles, told Bikewest that he’s sold around 500 sit-ups since last months” Glamour Push expo.

When I heard that, I had to take the red eye flight to Perth and see if they weren’t, well, exaggerating. It seems there really is a trend to these inviting bikes

Those two Bike West women, Jillian and Jana, had it all laid out for me when I stumbled off Virgin Blue , one recent dawn into a gust of 34 degrees heat.

Here’s the two conspirators texting me some of what to expect in the weekend ahead

Over the next few days, they promised I’d see the Glamour push grafted onto the Santos Great Bike ride.

There’d be, they assured me, a mini expo of stylish urban bikes near the starting line that one could try and pose with.

I was somewhat cynical, even disbelieving. For months, in NSW, we’ve been trying, Ian Chalton, Gill and I, to get young women to try riding in style, but with no success.

We’ve wanted to replicate the Beauty and the Bike experiment done in Gt. Britain, and whilst we’ll have another go at it soon, so far no luck.

So, I couldn’t believe these superb young women around the Glamour Push tent were doing more than posing. It was very unsettling.

Was I still Australia or had I been spirited to Mikael’s Denmark in some pleasant nightmare?

Where was the Lycra? Woman/bike/Lycra, the combo’s inescapable surely in our sunny land?

In any case, there was no way these strangely dressed women would actually ride those stately beasts, or so I thought.

and yet….

…. and yet some did seem to be riding if somewhat posingly.

Jana and Jillian said its was all intentional as they confided their secret .

They’ve discovered that when a woman poses with a stately sit-up in clothes she likes, (just the act of posing can do the trick) something clicks and the model, till then not thinking of herself as ever riding a bike, can suddenly see it happening, see herself wheeling along, beautiful and free.

I felt Jana and Jillian must be in league with a certain series on the ABC which wants to spread happiness across the land. But they denied any connection, unconvincingly.

Using the tiny red carpet to spread the disease, Jillian and Jana set up intentional opportunities for contagion . If infected, a rush of not unpleasant gorge-osity (gorge-jossity) overcomes the victim.

They heard by chance a year later from one woman who’d been on their red carpet and as a result, turned her life around. She’d not only purchased stately sit-up, she’d found love as well

Epiphanies on Perth’s small red carpet, it seems.

Here’s a Fremantle GP, Dr. Helen Sadler, looking pretty good as well. Helen is thinking about getting an E Bike sit-up.

To help this process along, they have helmets on hand which don’t look like the usual racing gear, like striped tigers crouching on one’s head. More like geodesic domes or…

…. hot air balloons, rising pleasantly in the morning air.


I was partially convinced Jillian and Jana had had a breakthrough. Maybe they were able to get young women to ride, (almost unheard of in this country)

Checking further, still the doubter, I asked a bunch of athletic looking girls to cross to the shared path at the river’s edge just a few steps away where I could put them through their paces. Or rather, my paces.

I’d soon find out if they were just decorative riders or not.

“That’s far enough,” I cried as they took off down the path.

Back they came those young women, out of the saddle, rocking along at speed.

They were traveling at such a clip and with such style, that there was no faking it, that’s for sure!

I reckon Bikewest has discovered a species thought to be extinct, supposedly killed off at the Narrows in 1991.

It’s young women riding elegant bikes, not in Lycra, riding and loving it! Not to say that young women don’t have fun riding in Lycra too on occasion. But that’s well reported and so not our concern here.

I was thrilled. Suddenly I felt I needed a new word for these riders. Cyclists wasn’t right anymore, bringing to mostly mind the Lycra crowd.

Cyclist evokes speed and sport, costly lightweight bikes with no chainguards, no baskets, none of the things a girl needs on a useful bike. Or a guy for that matter with laptop and briefcase, on his way to a business meeting

Everyday riders is a pretty good alternative and is a term favored around the offices of Bikewest, I discovered. But for me, it’s a bit too… everyday.

For those folks who just want to use their bikes for the truly everyday,
for going to the shops,
for school,
for going to the job,
for visiting,
for everything except sport and racing,
then maybe they could be, should be called…

….Wheelers. It has certain ring to it, doesn’t it?

Come wheel with me!
I’ll wheel round to your place.
Bye, I’m wheeling off now.
Just wheeling to work as usual.
Oh, I’m just wheeling away a few pleasant hours.
Free wheeling again.
Hey, wheel on over if you want!
With my wheels on the path, and the wind in my hair…

What do you think? I know new terms don’t take on easily, though the name, Fixie, has caught on. Surely the need is there for something more engaging than utility cycling which I’ve used till now!

There’s history too, to this word. I’ve never forgotten reading about The League of American Wheelmen ,

At the end of the 19th century in the US, the wheelmen lobbied for better roads for their often gigantic wheels.

After years of pressure, they got the roads, but then along came the T Model Ford and stole them all away. Wheelmen, and women, were left on the shoulders, ingesting poisonous fumes from the noisy machines

I’ve always liked that name, wheelmen. So, taking away the gender, Wheeler remains and I now think of myself as a wheeler.

My other discovery in Perth was the strange attraction that riding out of the saddle has for me.

I’m talking from an artistic POV, and thinking of one of my first linocuts as I do (One of many, Hopefully) This one.

I’m not sure why this posture appeals. Something to do with the range of body movements the bike provokes when out of the saddle.

I have already decided that for an artist, two wheels provide one of the most successful presentational devices for the human body ever invented.

And the wheeler out of the saddle, standing tall, is an exciting figure.

I put this to Bree who I saw as having the line I was looking for. You glimpsed her in the green dress above.

Would she ride out of the saddle?

Not to say that Bree didn’t present a fabulous line just wheeling along, saddle bound. She clearly did as you see here.

I caught that too. But out of the saddle is more alive, more exciting as an image, I find.

Bree agreed to ride like that. We found the tiniest of rises and she powered up the incline two or three times.

Here’s another angle, head on.

Yes, Bree was indeed riding to order and giving me images I will use in Lino cuts later on, not the usual documentarian stance on my part.

But just to show you that Glamour Plus is not all coming from the hands of such fabricators, here is a woman wheeler we spotted on the outskirts of Freo and photographed in the true fly on the road manner.

(Freo, that’s Fremantle to the uninitiated, spelled with only one “e” to my (and google’s) surprise.)

She’s a wheeler who we stopped as we passed her by.

Jillian hopped out and made a good job of explaining our world view, our mission, and our crazy drive for sit up glamour….

All to find someone wheeling along as happy as she seemed to be. We never got her name. Maybe she’ll find herself here and leave a comment.

Have you heard of Cottlesloe beach?

That’s where my two guides, Jana and Jillian, took me at the end of a fabulous day.


I though that was all but, no, we had to stop on the way back to see the windows of a classy boutique featuring mannequins and sit ups.

No doubt about it, these bikes are, as they say in the trade; The Next Big thing!

Narrows bike counts.

Cyclist numbers plunged on the Narrows Bridge after 1992 helmet law enforcement but recovered from 1998 to 2003. Cyclist numbers then dipped for several years but have risen strongly in recent years partly because of soaring fuel prices and partly because more people are cycling illegally without a helmet. The inner city population trebled, petrol prices doubled and CBD employment surged over the 18 year period due to Western Australia’s booming resource economy.

In December 1991, 11,406 bikes were counted on the Narrows on weekends. In December 1992, it was down to 4526. By December 1993, it was 6507 and by December 1994 it was 6863.

This is down from a mean daily count of 1267 in December 1991 to a mean of 762 in December 1994… a reduction of approximately 40%.

In December 1991, 35,122 cyclists were counted on the Narrows on all days. In December 1992, it was down to 20,581. By December 1993, it was 29,506 and in December 1994 it was 27,216.

This is down from a mean daily count of 1132 in December 1991 to a mean of 877 in December 1994… a reduction of approximately 23%.

Cyclist survey figures before 1990 are scarce. However, these are the known statistics from random surveys:

* In a 12 hour survey in May 1976, 59 cyclists were counted on the Narrows and 100 cyclists were counted on the Causeway.
* In June 1979, 127 cyclists were counted on the Narrows over a 12 hour weekday period.

Note: It was illegal to ride a bike across the Narrows until the introduction of dual-use path legislation in 1981. Note also that cycle pathways adjoining the Narrows were completed in the 1980s and bike hire facilities are situated nearby. Both these latter issues may influence cyclist numbers on the Narrows.

* 1047 cyclists were counted on the Narrows during a 12 hour weekend survey in November 1984.
* 1763 cyclists were counted on the Narrows during a 12 hour weekend survey in August 1989.
* There were 839 cyclists on the Narrows during a 12 hour survey in September 1989.
* 1700 cyclists were recorded on the Narrows in a 12 hour period on a Sunday in September 1989.
* A maximum peak hour flow of 288 bikes per hour was recorded over the Narrows Bridge on Sunday 3.9.89 between 3pm and 4pm.
* Government departments calculate weekend cycling numbers on the Narrows grew by an average 11.4% per year between 1983 and 1989.

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25 Responses to “Bikes around Perth. Glamour Push on Pushies”

  1. Great post Mike!

    Lovely photos. Perth has some very good cycle networks – certainly compared to Brisbane…


    Paul Martin
    Brisbane, Australia


    Dr Paul Martin

  2. 1. That’s Fremantle (not Freemantle, to the uninitiated)
    2. Did you ask Jillian or Jana to provide you with evidence regarding the Narrows Bridge? Or are you happy to perpetuate the myth peddled by cyclehelmets.org? (it is Bikewest’s parent organisation that cyclehelmets.org ‘quotes’)
    3. I find your fetishising of female cyclists a little creepy.


    Perth Boy

  3. No, the stats don’t come from Bikewest people as you well know, but from the excellent blog, Mandatory helmets in Western Australia. http://www.cycle-helmets.com/ if you have other stats, do present them.

    As for celebrating how people look on bikes, in this case women, if you object to what I’ve done, you must hate Copenhagen Cycle Chic and all the other cycle chic movements around the word and esp. your very own WA Glamour Plus movement. I make no apologies.I have been dedicated to the sit up bike since day one.

    I maintain, as I say in this post, that bike is a wonderful presentational device for the human body, one that has hardly functioned here due to the tendency to ride hunched over and in Lycra.

    By the way, the woman, Bree, who is mainly featured, was shown the post as a courtesy before it was published and approved it. I had identified her just as B. She wanted her name on it


    Mike Rubbo

  4. http://www.cycle-helmets.com/ quotes ‘Main Roads WA’. Since 1998 the Department of Transport has been responsible for the cycle counters on the Narrows Bridge (and the collection of other PBN data).
    Bikewest is a department within the Department of Transport. But then lets not let the truth get in the way of http://www.cycle-helmets.com/ claims.


    Perth Boy

  5. Perth Boy, There is nothing creepy about women wanting to look elegant and pretty on a bike, and if Mikes films can demonstrate that its not necessary to enlarge our hips by wearing padded lycra shorts we may just find more women happy to give cycling a go. Maybe, however, your nom de plume gives you away and you would prefer to maintain cycling as a male dominated exercise!


    Gillian Charlton

  6. I agree, there is nothing creepy about women wanting to look elegant and pretty on a bike.
    I just think the sexualisation of female cyclists is a bit creepy.


    Perth Boy

  7. For the record Gillian, I fully support Bikewest’s Glamour Push. Personally I think the work that Jillian and Jana are doing is exemplary. They probably do more in a single day for cycling in Western Australia than Mr Rubbo will do in his lifetime.

    The issue I have with Mr Rubbo is his participation in the poisoning of cycling politics in Australia. He is part of a small band who’s campaign of lies and misinformation for 18 years has knobbled any real action or political will.
    His lack of any rigour or understanding of the issues involved is summed up nicely but his surprise at the use of the word ‘pushie’.
    I understand he has only recently moved back to Australia, but even Adelaide’s ‘old Scotch’ boys can’t be that sheltered to know what ‘the rest of us’ call a bicycle.


    Perth Boy

  8. Perth Boy can surely come up with a better case against the Narrows data than pointing out that responsibility for the cycle counts changed from one government department, Main Roads WA, to another government department, the Department of Transport. The point being?

    My website http://www.cycle-helmets.com provides links to the Department of Transport traffic survey database so people can compare it with the pre-law cyclist counts by Main Roads before 1992. These are the official survey counts, not the 20 year old memories of avid helmet law supporters who seem to have trouble reading and understanding recorded statistical data.

    Thanks to petrol prices, lengthening freeway traffic jams and population growth over 20 years, there’s no doubt that weekday commuter cyclist numbers in and out of Perth are now two to three times higher than pre-1992. Almost all of them are wearing lycra and the helmet they would wear whether or not it was mandatory.

    However, weekend recreational cyclist numbers on the Narrows/both paths and Causeway/Windan bridges were last year still below 1989 levels, according to the Department of Transport. These are the government survey figures and they are as relevant now as they were in the four to five years after 1992 helmet law enforcement when cyclists numbers on the bridges fell by 30-40%.

    Mike Rubbo is promoting leisurely, casual cycling that will get more people out of cars and into convenient, healthy exercise without lycra, and all the data shows that helmets continue to discourage this from happening.

    Go to http://www.cycle-helmets.com/bicycle_numbers.html and look at the Main Roads WA/Department of Transport cyclist survey figures.

    Look at the Melbourne Bike Share failure and the collapse of the bike hire scheme this month in helmet-mandatory Auckland. Look at the irrefutable evidence of cycling discouragement in every jurisdiction with helmet laws.

    The latest opinion polls show a majority of Australians want the helmet law repealed. The huge proportion of non-lycra cyclists who nowadays ride without a helmet in Perth, risking punishment, surely makes it obvious that people disagree with the law and it discourages cycling.

    “Small band?” “Poisoning of cycling politics in Australia?” “Campaign of lies and misinformation?” “Knobbled any real action or political will?” What are you on about?

    As for PB thinking “pushie” is a relevant issue and equating female cycling promotion with sex … why am I bothering to respond?


    Chris Gillham

  9. Hmm…

    It appears that most of the photos I can find on Glamour Push seem to show the vast majority of bicycle riders without helmets at all.

    There is an enormous latent desire, particularly among those that currently don’t ride a bicycle, to be able to do so without needing ‘safety’ (aka ‘danger’) gear.

    Why is that do you think?

    Some photos:
    Cycle Instead In Spring

    Even the official website doesn’t show a photo of a woman riding a bicycle, only walking it – a common theme it seems. I suspect so she doesn’t have to have the helmet on her head.

    It then has a patronising PDF on helmet hair which somehow distills the choice to wear a helmet as being a purely ‘hair issue’.


    Dr Paul Martin

  10. Now, where have I seen that writing style before…? Hello Anonymous

    …and more commentary here, using the name ‘Perf Boy’.

    Some courtesy & respect would go a long way, particularly given that all your comments could be deleted or censored, and yet they are not. Open discussion is healthy and while you may be hiding behind a pseudonym, you are by no means anonymous; not in the slightest!

    Personal attacks and criticism without any counter of substance is not helpful and really only weakens your point of view. What exactly do you do in the world of bicycle advocacy? Why not lay your cards on the table? If you have data, present it for all to see.

    There is nothing wrong with admiring the human form, male or female, on a bicycle. There is nothing abnormal with Mike’s fascination with it and my wife agrees. Perhaps the ‘fetish’ is in the mind of the beholder? I know Mike personally and your comments really are out of order and I admire Mike for posting them here, unedited.

    Also, on the ‘Freemantle’ issue. You may have noticed that Mike makes a few minor typos – this is clearly a typo, you pedant.


    Dr Paul Martin

  11. we all make a few typos, me more than most…

    here is what Mr Rubbo has censored

    Your comment is awaiting moderation (another comment ‘awaiting moderation’ was approved after I posted this, but he left this one ‘hanging’).

    “(bicycle helmets dot com link removed so it doesn’t need ‘approval’) states “in December 1991, 35,122 cyclists were counted on the Narrows on all days.” (MHL introduced in WA in 1992)

    (Bikewest link removed so it doesn’t need ‘approval’) states “the graphs below (and on following pages) are generated using statistical data collected from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009.” These graphs show the Narrows (east and west) having 812,000 cycle movements.
    This gives a monthly average for 2009 of 67,666 cycle movements for the Narrows Bridge.

    This increase is in stark contrast to the figure present so often by those with an axe to grind about helmets.
    Here was your opportunity to speak to the authority that collects the data…. hmmm….”


    Perth Boy

  12. “while you may be hiding behind a pseudonym, you are by no means anonymous; not in the slightest!”

    Should I be scared?
    Personally I don’t try and put myself of the centre of everything, unlike yourself and Mr Rubbo. I think you and I know what a pair of self promoters you and Mr Rubbo are (Mr Rubbo having made a career out of self promotion).


    Perth Boy

  13. Self promoter? The guy did his own IMDb and Wikipedia pages for gawd’s sake!


    Perth Boy

  14. Should I be scared?

    Only in that you will be ignored…

    All you appear to do is make negative comments & personal attacks. This is destructive, unhelpful and unwelcome.

    As Thomas Paine quipped, “Either lead, follow or get out of the way”.

    If you’re currently leading, then please put your cards on the table for all to see. If not, please step aside.


    Dr Paul Martin

  15. If I’ve censored some of his stats as this Perth Boy person claims, it was inadvertent.

    Perth boy person has shot off such a barrage of comment to the blog, that’s difficult to keep track. Anyway PBP has now re posted what he says was cut and it stands.

    My inclination is to publish all comments, but Perth Boy person is getting so personal, so judgmental and so wrong,
    ( I( did not go to school in Adelaide, for example. Melbourne is my home town) that I might start to cut him off.

    To be published on someone’s blog is a privilege not a right. The privilege I extend to those who are courteous, who don’t go in for personal attacks, and who teach us all something, or are at least trying to.
    Mike Rubbo


    Mike Rubbo

  16. “All you appear to do is make negative comments & personal attacks. This is destructive, unhelpful and unwelcome.”

    I tell you what, you stop making attacks on commuters, lycra clads, roadies, helmet wearers, anyone that doesn’t agree with you, nanny states, etc, etc… And drop the lies about ‘fattest nation on earth’, Narrows Bridge stats, increase in fuel prices, drops in cycling numbers, etc, etc… And most importantly, STOP looking over here in the west to support your cause, you guys don’t know Perth (its Fremantle), don’t know who does the cycle counts you quote, don’t know the actual cycling data here, don’t even know what we call a bicycle!
    As you have looked around for my posts elsewhere I guess you have noticed I have made NO pro helmet comments, eg: helmets save lives, saved my life, etc… My comments are about the lies promoted by the likes of yourself and Mr Rubbo. In Mr Rubbo’s case I didn’t make any attacks till he came to WA and met with the generous Jana and Jillian, and then proceeded to bring out the same old BS about the Narrows Bridge. The whole international movement against MHL looks to the Narrows data – curious he didn’t speak with Bikewest about it. Although to his credit he was ill informed and believed bicycle helmets dot com was the source for the data… hmm…

    So, if you stop all this nonsense I will stop mine (at least I can see what I am doing is nonsense…). And perhaps if you and your mate stay over there in the east, we don’t need your type of advocacy over here.


    Perth Boy

  17. Mr Rubbo,

    I knew you were a Scotch old boy, my mistake for suggesting it was Adelaide. I apologise.

    You and Dr Martin asked for me to post some data, are you willing to look at it and respond?


    Perth Boy

  18. I’ve told this Perth Boy person that I’m not letting him to post any more comments.

    Not because I fear debate, on the contrary, I love it, but because he’s too vitriolic, too personal. It’s O.K. for a while but enough is enough. Posting on someone’s hard worked blog is a privilege not a right.

    I’m satisfied there was a big drop in cycling everywhere in Aust. when comp. helmets were introduced, and that this showed up in the Narrows bridge counts. I pointed him to my source.

    If he want to promote other info, he can start his own blog.


    Mike Rubbo

  19. “…stop making attacks on commuters, lycra clads, roadies, helmet wearers, anyone that doesn’t agree with you, nanny states, etc, etc…”

    I’d love to know where I have attacked these groups… because it will be news to me!

    I am a commuter (200km per week); I have a road bike; I have worn lycra; I support anyone who wants to wear a helmet, always have – so does the law…; I’m against helmet laws; I have raced in too many races to count – wearing a helmet – a long time ago now; I have many friends who only ride as a sport and even they understand where I’m coming from… I’m really not sure why you don’t!

    I’m aiming to get back into the sport of cycling again but at the moment I’m more interested in broadening the Australian view of “What is a cyclist?” and how the public (ie. non-bicycle users) relate to them. Bicycle use needs to be more inclusive for it to be seen as a valid alternative to a car journey. The people on bicycles should be a snapshot of society. At the moment it is dominated by 30-40yo males (of which I am one).

    Cycling in Australia has an image problem and Mike and others are doing a damn fine job of trying to change that – it will benefit all cyclists in the end. My views on all of this were very different even as recently as 2 years ago. I thank all these great bloggers, both here and overseas, for opening my eyes to what it could be like…


    Dr Paul Martin

  20. Good post Mike.

    Nice to see that people are promoting sit-up bikes in WA.

    Shame about the intolerant, small-minded people who don’t seem to accept that there are other forms of cycling that have an equal right to exist.



  21. How strange that such a simple thing as riding a bike in style could become so political! Well done Mike and lets hope others can get a bit of perspective.


    el australiano

  22. Hi Mike, it was great to have you over in Perth… you have inspired us too with a few new approaches. Thanks!!

    And just for the record, my sister Chantalle, who you interviewed….is now the proud owner of a Cheetah Sorbonne classic sit-up bicycle! She mentioned that she wasn’t a bicycle rider before, but since being inspired at the bicycle expo and community ride, she now commutes quite regularly and in style!! She said its interesting how she’s noticed a much friendlier response from people she rides past when she’s dressed in her nice everyday clothing rather than a sporty outfit…. A few other have noticed this too….it’s a new look for Perth but people walking past seem to be really inspired and it seems to light up a lot of smiles on faces!! :)



  23. Hi Mike

    Thanks so much for all the awesome pics you took; I’m so happy that someone really is making an effort to diversify the riding culture in Perth which has become dominated by road bikes and ‘roadies’. I should say though that I only sometimes get around on ‘Rosy’ (affectionate name for my darling ladies bike) in the dresses I was pictured in. I ride her mainly when commuting around the city and getting shopping and being out and about. For the record I’m also a keen road cyclist who also competes (pretty slowly) in MTB stage races. What can I say?? I simply love all aspects of riding and bikes and using the appropriate bike for the appropriate need. I don’t agree with the helmet laws, but this does not necessarily mean I don’t wear a helmet. I often do when the need arises i.e. on my road and MTB. But when I’m slowly rolling along on Rosy off the roads and on the bike path, the risk is minimal and so I ride care and helmet free. I believe it should be our own choice to assess risk and do the right thing for the right moment. In the age old argument between educate or legislate I really believe that educating about risks (when they do exist) rather than penalising the masses is the better way to go.

    Mike please excuse Perth Boy, unfortunately there are a few arrogant road cyclist who give the whole of road cycling a bad name. Most road cyclists, such as myself wear lycra simply because when your going on a long and hard ride it is really is very comfortable (seriously don’t knock it before you try it, it feels great, looks terrible I know !). But don’t worry I much prefer heels and skirts :) .


    Bree Sharp

  24. Hi Mike

    Through our network we managed to get in touch again with the pretty woman we saw riding in style and stopped and photographed. Jen is keen to encourage more people to ride bikes and was happy that her photo made it onto your web page and others.

    Thanks for your great blog. You encouraged me to try riding my sit up bike in normal clothes on a longer ride recently. I was surprised I found it so comfortable on my 50km ride and that I did not take that much longer than when I rode my road bike in lycra for the same trip. I will definitely be riding my sit up bike more now as I have found out how comfortable it is and I can carry much more gear with me. Like Bree, while I do have lycra, I much prefer to be able to ride in my normal clothes.



  25. I get skin cancer on my face. I can not modify my helmet due to the law so I need an exception which will allow me to use my sun hat which the cancer council recommends. I need a certificate but I can not find a doctor willing to give me one. Any suggestions?



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