the best city bicycle- part two

cityhippyfarmgirlcityhippyfarmgirlcityhippyfarmgirlA few weeks back I put the call out for a little help on the bike purchasing front… What was the best bicycle for a city gal wanting to get around on two wheels?

Turns out I had quite a lot of choice, and so I slowly narrowed it down to two, with 5062 hours of research and the help of you- my awesome readers. Every piece of advice was duly noted and I can confidently say, without everyone’s advice there is no way I would have found the bike that I did.

The cool looking retro bikes were trying to entice me but it’s a trusty 21 speed hybridΒ Malvern Star that finely came through with a skidding halt to my back door step. Despite being daunted by all the seemingly excessive gears, after two rides, (yes, two) I got them. I understood the gears and can confidently say….I love them! Gears are amazing and make bike riding a joy… who knew?

This little bike has everything I wanted- stand, mud guards, step through, basket, rack, upright position, 21 speeds and a comfy seat, (without a crazy price tag.)

The first few rides were a little daunting, the footpath getting a good workout along with the breaks. Every car going by seemed to be a potential to, well… die! However I’ve decided that if I’m going to ride in Sydney I just have to get more confident. It’s a busy city, with not a lot of apparent love towards bike riders, (and just quietly, more than it’s fair share of hills.) But it’s my city and there is nothing to say, I can’t make that all work for me.

Early morning rides to city farmers markets? No problem, with my basket on the front and my bell finger at the ready, ting ting…out of my way drunken Friday night partiers, city hippy farm girl coming though on her bike…ting ting.

Taking the bike away with us last weekend, I got a different view of what it’s like to ride around another city. Newcastle this time, which is incredibly flat and bike friendly. Peddling furiously to make it to the beach in time to watch the sun sneak over the water I had a moment.

I got it, I really did.

With the wind on my face, the light slowly touching the scattered clouds, my breath catching a little as I peddled faster and faster. I had time, I knew I could get there before the sun snuck over the horizon. I kept going faster though, not because I had to, but because I could… and that’s a pretty wonderful feeling to have.

cityhippyfarmgirlMy top tips for anyone looking at getting a bike in the city.

Research…and research your butt off. Ask oodles of questions, try the bikes out and take your time making a decision. You want to use it, not for it to be an expensive ornament. The low gear retro bikes look amazing, but if you don’t live in a flat cobblestone city, maybe think again. If you are going to be riding up any sort incline, gears are your friend. A superb wonderful friend, that you will love getting to know.

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For an interesting comparison on riding in a different city, have a read of Richard Tulloch’s cycling in Amsterdam…44,000 bike spaces to park in!

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25 thoughts on “the best city bicycle- part two

  1. Sounds like you love it! I haven’t been on a bike in years (this part of the country much better traversed on foot or by canoe!) but I think they’re fantastic mode of transportation. Exercise + get from point A to point B = winning. Have fun! I bet those hills are “no big deal” in a couple months.

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  2. That is so fabulous you’ll have the best time!

    Down here in the Illawarra we have cycle tracks along the beaches, you can go from Austinmer to Shellharbour virtually without roadway.

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  3. Gears are great – glad you are getting yours – good luck with the hills of sydney – wishing you many discoveries of flatter alternatives to some of the hills and the wind at your back!

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    • I have indeed apped up. There is something quite satisfying in seeing exactly where you rode, how long it took you and how far it really was. A bike nerd I suspect I’ll never be, but I do like the apps.

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  4. Congrats on finally getting your wheels! We live in Sydney’s inner west and there are a few bike paths creeping in around the place but I know what you mean, it can be a bit scary at first. I’m getting hubby to put a seat on the back for my little one so we can go on adventures together. Have fun!

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  5. Fantastic you got your bike! It looks great! Sorry I didn’t give any input, despite lengthy conversations with Nicolas after I saw your post a few weeks ago. You know that as a dutch girl, I love riding but here in the eastern suburbs of Sydney people are crazy so I was at odds as to what to tell you…. Happy you got the bike though and wish you many great (but safe) rides!!

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    • Irene, I was reading on the biking differences between Amsterdam and Sydney yesterday…the contrast! It must have been incredibly hard for you initially adjusting to here. Maybe one day Sydney will be a bit more encouraging of the trusty two wheels.

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      • Differences are HUGE! The thing is though that since having kids I have become more fearful and frustrated on the bike which is understandable perhaps but annoying too ;-( The hills however are not helping either ha ha! Remember I did Arden street one day after leaving your place? Crazy!!

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  6. Yay! I’m so excited for you πŸ™‚ I don’t ride as much as I’d like but I know what you mean about that blissful feeling of freedom and riding because you can. I’d love to see you scuttling around the city on your new wheels πŸ™‚

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  7. I jus love those retro bikes and often see them in the Newcastle area. You were about an hour by car away from the farmstay when you were in Newie . It took the Simple Lives bloggers a whole day to cycle to Branxton, so you might have to try that next time and come for a cuppa. Kettles on next time you are in Newcastle. kimx

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