Saturday, 13 April 2013

An illustration

So there I was. It's 5.30. I am still at work on the wrong side of the Central Markets. I have to be at the Palace Nova on Rundle Street in time for a 6 o'clock movie. Don't have the bike. I'm in a suit.

In that situation, you have a choice. Taxi? Meh ... possibly but at that time of night, my slow wheezing jogging along Wright Street was faster than the line of cars going in my direction. In any event, you still have to get to Victoria Square to the cab rank and there's no guarantee of getting a cab. Even if you do, having to pay for it is a bit of an imposition, especially if you're a tight-arse.

The second option is the tram - from Victoria Square to Rundle Mall. It's slow and it really only saves you about 700m of the total 2½ km trip. Hardly worth it and a complete waste of time if you have to wait for longer than a minute.

I settled on walking/running. This is the route I ended up taking:

In the end, I just made it - hot, sweaty and puffed out. In fact, when I arrived, I did the decent thing and warned everyone I was smelly. I took off my jacket and the children said, "dad, dad, don't take off your jacket. You've got totally sweaty armpits."

Now this is one of the many illustrations that show the need for a decent bikeshare system - but with two qualifications. First, a quick comparison between Melbourne and Dublin shows that the one difference between the two (the dreaded "H" word) is a significant obstacle to spontaneous use. You would have to have an exemption for the system. Second, hiring bikes with our roads in their current state is a waste of time. Nobody in their right mind is spontaneously going to hire a bike to get across town if they have to dodge trucks and buses. That's really just another way of ending up with sweaty armpits.

In the childish wonderland that is in my head, there are bikehire docks across the CBD:

(From Wikimedia Commons)

They are connected by smooth wide bike lanes that are separated from fast-moving traffic and have their own lights at intersections.

People in suits, who are running late, can ride them 2½ km across town in 5 minutes. When they get to the Palace Nova, they dock the bike and walk in looking urbane and sophisticated - a bit like James Bond after he's had a fight.

You know it makes sense. Here's the alternative:

(Not me but it might as well be. Borrowed from Bubblews)


  1. good information , i need this information to share my friend in bali was have bali cycling tour thank for your article

  2. A blog post about sweaty armpits helped you on a Bali cycling tour? Hmm, I suppose it is humid there. You're definitely not a robot are you?