I Love Riding in the City – Christina Neubauer
Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Perth, Western Australia. Imagine a metropolis surrounded by the ocean to the west and rugged terrain to the east, thousands of miles away from any other city. I was told Perth has the climate people in LA wish they had: clear blue skies, mostly warm and dry with peaks of intense heat in summer. The urban sprawl has turned Perth into an endless carpet of single houses – somehow, sometime in the past someone had the foresight to build a network of bitumen cycle paths along the train lines and freeways, which all lead into the CBD. Whether I commute or get around for recreation – it’d be waste not to do so on a bike.
What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I grew up near Hamburg in Germany and have ridden my fare share in Europe. Perth has been, so far, the nicest place I’ve ridden in. Weather, terrain and scenery are AMAZING. With a bit of patience, choosing a slightly longer ‘scenic’ route, I can get around town mostly on shared paths, which feels safe and comfortable. If someone had said ten years ago that I’d enjoy riding with a helmet (we’ve got compulsory helmet laws here) I would have thought they were talking rubbish, but a helmet is not enough to stop me from travelling by treadlie. Plus, the sun is so intense here, I’d wear a hat anyway…
Why do you love riding in the city? My daily 20 mile commute follows the coastline. There is always wind (seemingly always to pedal against, but never mind), a salty sea breeze, sometimes I see dolphins in the surf along the shore, most nights I have the most amazing sunset on my way home. All of this fills my heart with intense happiness.
Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Given Perth’s infrastructure, not enough people use it yet, which is a bummer. While I enjoy a ride in solitude I know there is a lot more safety in numbers. I know you know all the other benefits (health, environment and so on) So, I want to do my bid to help change things, which is why I’ve become a cycle coach. Well, I don’t like to call myself a coach – sounds too sporty – but I teach women who’ve never learned how to ride a bicycle. It’s one of the most satisfying jobs I ever had. I also write for People on Bicycles to spread the word.