I love wearing white while cycling. In addition to increasing my visibility on the road, it feels so luxe yet risky having that greasy chain rotating beneath, just waiting to stain anything in its path. I bought this Principles top a lifetime ago in London and these white Calvin Klein jeans from Macys online. And I’m always wearing my wedding and engagement rings.
Riding the Nihola always provokes a reaction. If my kids are in the cabin, even more so. Informally, 90% of the people I have encountered on the streets are positive about it. Kids in general seem to love the concept. Fathers pushing prams and many drivers have been very encouraging. I’ve heard “That’s a great idea!” many times as I’ve passed by. And then there is the other 10%.
Julius was with me one afternoon recently. A crossing pedestrian shouted “Stupid!” at the corner of Bathurst and Castelreagh streets. I looked at her and shouted, “Fat!” I saw her wince. She turned around and shouted again, “Stupid!” I repeated myself because she was.
A few years ago on Campbell Street, before the cyclepath was built, a gelato delivery truck started beeping behind me. The driver shouted “Move to the left!” The kids and I were en route to school. He accelerated past dangerously close to us. At the lights, I asked him, “Are you aware that bicycles are entitled to ride on the road?” “Get off the road and move to the left.” He said. He took off quickly and at the next set of lights moved in as if to cut us off. He was about half a foot away. I shouted, “You aren’t a nice person! Oh, I see you work for [insert name of gelato company]”. I took a photo of the telephone number on his truck. A pedestrian saw the incident and had shouted, “You’re an idiot!” at the driver. I reassured my kids as my daughter had been frightened by the incident. I called the gelato company and reported the incident to management. Politely, I said that they needed to re-educate their drivers. Why? Because driving in the city had changed with the number of cyclists. They rang me back, apologised for the incident and said that they would inform their drivers. I’ve never eaten their gelato.
And then there is the issue of safety on the roads. With the kids, I usually avoid heavily trafficked roads. There are plenty of roads parallel to the heavily trafficked ones which are more comfortable for cycling. If we plan to travel some distance, I go on a trial run with the kids the weekend before. The recent tragedy in Melbourne has heightened my awareness of safer riding. Riley Street in Surry Hills, which does not have heavy traffic like Sydney Road in Melbourne, has the same awkward bicycle path next to cars. We were riding on it the other day after lunch with Justin. Fortunately for us, it was just another beautiful day in Sydney.
Today’s ensemble: Calvin Klein jeans, Principles bustier, Bruno Magli sandals (second-hand from Pelle Shoes, Paddington), Yakkay helmet with rain cover, Dior sunglasses, Linus Eleanor handbag, Nihola Cigar. On Julius: Little Nutty helmet,