I Love Riding in the City
NAME: Mark Russell Dean
LOCATION: Melbourne, Australia
OCCUPATION: Reformed hobo and general avoider of the nine-to-five
Where do you live and what is it like riding in your city?
Melbourne. A very cool city for cycling, in both senses of the word. There is a strong bike culture and the numbers of commuter cyclists are also on the increase, which is all good.
Despite what you were led to believe in Crocodile Dundee and Mad Max, Australia is not completely desert and sand. We have proper seasons in the south and to paraphrase Crowded House, often all four in one day. You never leave home without a bag containing winter, summer and wet weather options and frequently end up wearing all three at once.
The only real downside to cycling here is the car culture (I suspect we have more V8’s rumbling around in daily commute than in the US) which is really Neanderthal. You need your wits about you and a thick skin—rare is the trip out where you won’t receive some kind of abuse.
What was your favorite city to ride in and why?
London, my hometown. Deliberately ignoring the chronic pollution and endemic bike crime, I remember feeling more confident on the roads there—on a good day, on my fixie belting along the Embankment by the Thames, with a fluid traffic flow and strong legs working in my favor, it would feel like surfing. Just an amazing feeling.
Why do you love riding in the city?
There is no better way to travel. And it is incredibly good at sobering me up on the way back from the pub.
Or just say whatever you like about riding in the city?
There were three of us riding home one evening. I set a harsh pace, mostly fuelled by beer, and the other two kept up. We swapped positions like we were in the peloton. Threaded our way across roads, down streets and up hills to home. During that ride we weren’t adults, we were kids again. Great fun. City riding, I love it!