I Love Riding in the City
NAME: Marty Sale
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
OCCUPATION: Cycling Coordinator
Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
Perth, Western Australia. We’re pretty spoilt here with a network of cycle paths and bike routes and a series of about 40 maps for the different areas around the metro area. Having said that we are also in an economic boom which seems to make people think that they need bigger cars. So now we have a lot of less-than-competent drivers in SUVs who haven’t worked out how wide their car is yet. My guess is, at the back of the manual for these things there is a poorly translated troubleshooting guide that lists what to do and/or say when you nearly kill a cyclist.
What’s been your favourite (or the most exotic) city to ride in and why?
Perth is the only city I have had the pleasure of riding in. The best place to ride here is the holiday island off the coast called Rottnest. The only cars there are the emergency services, maintenance vehicles and the occasional shuttle bus from the ferry terminal to the two hotels. Everyone else walks or rides, mainly rides. The island is about a third of the size of Manhattan Island and has a population ranging from 300 (in winter) to 15,000 (tourists in summer). I think a lot of your readers would think they’ve died and gone to heaven if they went there. Basically it is a pub with a beach out the front full of barely clothed beauties and an island out the back full of cycle tracks.
Why do you love riding in the city?
I just love riding. For me riding is a break away from the rest of the world. My daily commute gives me 45 minutes peace between work and my awesome, crazy, noisy kids at home. I ride for completely selfish reasons and if they ever discovered that cycling increases global warming the first thing I’d probably do is put on an extra layer of sunscreen.
I love riding in this city because of the camaraderie between cyclists. If you stop to fix a flat on one of our cycle paths you’ll probably have five people stop in the first five minutes to ask if you need anything. If you are on your own side of the river (our city is split north-south by the Swan River) everyone says hello or nods as you ride by. I’ve never been able to work out how people can tell if you are on the wrong side of the river, they just seem to know.
Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city... Poetry anyone?
Drivers running late,
Getting angrier with each minute,
Trying to get there faster.