When comes to cycling in Sydney, I'm a total newbie. I don't have a bike, to start with, and I'm a bit scared of being run over by a reckless cab driver.
However, I've recently embraced the joys of cycling thanks to Paris' fantastic 'Vélib' street bike hire scheme, one of the first and largest schemes of its kind in the world. Such a fantastic way to re-discover the city - especially comes spring and summer, when you can ride to your favourite sunny cafe terrace while perfecting your tan (and keeping your carbon emissions down).
The Bourke St cycleway; at Sullivan + Strumpf Gallery
So when I read about Art Month Sydney's free "ART Cycle" guided bike tours, I jumped at the opportunity to explore Danks St, Redfern and Waterloo by bike. It looks like cycling is the new black these days, and I didn't want to be missing on that trend!
First item on the list? Finding a bike. Quite essential for a bike tour...
So I headed off to one of my favourite cafes in town, The Commons on Burton St, Darlinghurst.
In addition to serving world-class coffee on their lovely outdoor terrace, The Commons have partnered with the Humble Vintage Bike Hire Co, a really cool bike hire company initially from Melbourne, the brainchild of brilliant Matt Hurst. For only $30 a day, you can rent a nice-looking bike, and the helmet, lock and light are included.
Once I was all geared up, I rode to the relatively new Bourke St cycleway. Very safe for riders, very convenient - I loved it. The City of Sydney has invested a lot of money and efforts lately towards promoting cycling and making Sydney a cycling city. You can even sign up for free safe riding courses. Really great initiative championed by Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
Barry Keldoulis talking about collecting contemporary video art
And then the rest of the day was pure bliss - cycling from one art gallery to another checking out new exhibitions, with inspiring artists and curators talks galore.
The conversation with friends and artists Paul Higgs and Ivor Fabok at Stella Downer gallery, Danks St, was a definite highlight - really fascinating insight into the creative process and being inspired by jazz. Check out their exhibition if you get the chance, beautiful, beautiful work...
At the Danks St Waterloo arts hub
Hats off to Art Month Sydney and everyone involved in ART Cycle for putting together such a brilliant event!
Speaking of which, there's another ART Cycle tour in Paddington and Woollahra next week, if there's any spot left I strongly urge you to make a booking, you won't regret it!
So tell me dear reader, which type of rider are you? Are you more "Lance Amstrong meets Cadel Evans", or "Brigitte Bardot meets Carrie Bradshaw"?