Cycling Sydneysider # 4: Justine
When did you start riding a bike?
I started riding a bike when I was a young child. My parents taught me, and I spent many happy hours cycling around the local neighbourhood with all the other kids.
I didn't spend much time at all cycling as an adult until about 10 years ago. I moved back to Sydney from a stint in London. I didn't have a car, nor did I want one. I live in the inner city so I decided cycling was the best way to get around.
What does your typical bicycle attire consist of?
I always wear cycling gloves and a helmet - the latter because it is the law in Australia. I tend to wear either cycling shorts with a pocket, or a fleecy jacket with pockets in winter. The pockets are useful for carrying my phone, and my keys which I keep on a carabiner, attached to a small rucksack that is always part of my cycling gear. In winter I also tend to wear cycling tights as baggy pants can get caught in the moving parts if I am not careful.
Do you prefer to ride on roads or shared paths and cycleways?
I prefer to ride on shared paths and cycleways wherever the roads are super-busy, and enjoy riding on dedicated bike paths.
If the roads are not busy, I definitely prefer riding on the road, as roads are designed for traffic and wheels in particular.
Whichever choice I make, it is important to me that I am hyper vigilant , being mindful of pedestrians as they can be unpredictable.
What advice would you have for someone thinking about starting to use a bike for transportation?
If you are going to start cycling in Sydney as a means of transportation, I would suggest doing a rider-training course to gain confidence negotiating a bike in traffic. Learn what you can do and what you should avoid. I also recommend you do a basic maintenance course so you can look after your bike - change a tyre, etc - should the need arise during your commute.
If you cycle to a meeting don't you get sweaty and gross?
Sydney is very humid, so you can get sweaty no matter what transport mode you choose. When cycling to work or a meeting, I wear clothes that wick, or take a change of clothes, deodorant and a hairbrush. I often carry a small towel to shower and/or change my clothes when I get to the other end.