citizen cyclists making urban spaces liveable

01 May 2011

Tanja - Converted!

Since I started this blog almost a year ago, I've seen changes, great changes with an increase in numbers of people, especially women, riding bicycles.  Sydney's landscape has changed and with the development of the cycle ways continues to edge closer to the liveable city we all crave.  Change and growth is a good thing.

We still have a long way to go before we are close to some of our European counterparts but we're moving forward and as Copenhagen can attest to, major changes to infrastructure and attitude don't happen overnight.  But they do happen.

So I thought I'd start a little regular post and share with you some of the many people I come across who have recently rediscovered the bicycle.  The new riders who are not weighed down by the ways of the past but instead, inspired by the potential of the new and by their sheer visibility and enthusiasm for the humble bicycle, are helping to transform this city.

Welcome to the new happy face of bicycle Sydney!

Tanja Binggeli - Treadlie issue 2 #1

No1 is my good friend, work colleague and fellow blogger Tanja.

What/who inspired you to get back on a bike again?
I was inspired to get back on the bike again by two things - a work colleague (YOU) and the increasing number of people riding around my neighbourhood in Surry Hills. At first, I thought I would just try and score a cheap, second-hand pair of wheels, just to check that I still COULD ride (!), but then I happened upon a BEAUTIFUL Danish bike on ebay (a Velorbis) - it was a great deal + I just couldn't resist. 

Can you remember how it felt, that first time?
I think having a really delightful, upright, euro-style bike really helped make the transition back to riding a very fun one ! I fell absolutely head over heels for the bike + just couldn't get out and about ENOUGH ! What really surprised me was that all that FUN that you have as a kid on bike is still there to be had - cruising along, wind in hair, utter independence - there is nothing quite like it ! 

What do you say to anyone thinking about getting a bike?
Before I bought the bike, I had been fearful of riding on the roads, but this, too, just takes getting used to. I don't ride on 'big' roads with my lady bike, but I really get around ! I love riding down to Kings Cross, Taylor Sq or across to Eveleigh Mkts on a Sat morning, I love riding to work when I'm down at the Opera House but it is also just fun to cruise down to the bakery to pick up a baguette for the basket and to ride back home again !

How did you decide what bike to buy?
My two pieces of advice for ppl thinking of getting a bike would be: GET A BASKET ! There is so much more freedom in being able to plonk anything in the basket - makes shopping v easy + you don't have to worry about trying to balance carrying a bag. Secondly, buy a bike that you will LOVE. This extra bit of investment will definitely be worth it - I think it would spell the difference between being someone who just rides occasionally and someone seeks out new routes to anywhere and everywhere ! I just can't get enough.

Check out her cool blogs too I [Heart] My Food and I [Heart] My Hood or follow her on Twitter @iheartmyfood @iheartmyhood

PS: If you happen to be watching Masterchef tonight - you might just spot this familiar face!


Tillie said...

Great interview Saskia! It's lovely to hear the story behind the cyclist. And I totally agree with Tanja's advice to get a basket. I can't imagine getting around without one. Looking forward to more conversions!

Anonymous said...

It is a shame Tanja neglected to wear her helmet whilst riding her much loved stead. Doesn't set a very good example.