Since all the other discussion threads have been based around newspaper articles and *ahem* issues of headgear, I'd like to start a discussion that doesn't end up in a helmet debate!! (On a Thursday night? I'm brave, only 3.5 hours til Friday
Basically, after months of dithering, I finally got my yearly subscription to the Bike Share Scheme. Prior to getting pregnant I was commuting 2-3 days a week, but I just don't have the time/energy to do it at the moment - I always seem to be on some ridiculous tight schedule to get back and do a baby-transfer, or need to be somewhere with him and the car, so most of my commuting has been via train (and yes, for those wondering, it takes me longer to ride than to use PT - hills, and I'm not fast).
After a year of wanting to hop on the bikes but never having a helmet on me, I buckled my spare helmet to my work bag on Tuesday and set off with my blue key on my key-ring, and a piece of elastic to extend the occy strap on the front basket.
Now I've done 7 trips I think on the bikes, and am loving it! It gives me a chance to do a teeny bit of riding outside my 1-2 recreational rides a week, and contrary to any of my expectations, has cut a bit of time off my commute
I've been picking the bikes up at Richmond and riding to VCA, Swanston St, or Clarendon St South Melbourne. Cutting out the city loop or a change of trains and a tram trip means it's pretty quick.
Here's what I've found:
1. The bikes are heavy
(I knew that already).
2. As a reasonably fit cyclist, the Collins St Hill had me pootling in lowest gear trying not to break into a sweat, and failing
I can see why people who don't ride much might be put off by hills......
3. 3 gears are interesting when you're used to 20-24
4. The top gear doesn't allow you to whizz along quite as fast as you'd like or are used to.
5. You can change hub gears when you're stopped (I knew this, but keep on having to remind myself)
6. I can cycle perfectly well with a briefcase-sized shoulder bag on one shoulder.
7. Whoever decided that Brunton Ave was the best place to put a bike station Richmond needs their head checked
With regards to point 7 - I need to head down Swan St - I have to get the bike, try to join the traffic or use the pedestrian crossing to turn right into Punt Road, do a hook right hand turn into Swan St, which means waiting for a few REALLY LONG light sequences. Short of trying to get myself into the right-hand-turn lane of Punt road (4 lanes across?) I can't see any better solution
Anyway, I'm really enjoying it and a few people have already asked me about it having seen me turning up to a rehearsal on a clunky very unSqueaza-like bike
Still a cyclist, albeit one who never rides any more....