On a recent trip to the land-down-under, Sydney, Australia exhibited a thriving bike culture that spans from the surfboard-carrying surfer, fix-wheel bike courier, to the suit-clad commuter of the Central Business District of Sydney. Yes bikes, or push-bikes, were everywhere and that made Sydney a bike friendly city.
Even though the broad spectrum of bike styles and numbers were familiar there were some obvious differences that went beyond name brands. The most obvious change was the flow of traffic from rite to the left side of the road.
The second obvious change was the helmet law. Everyone wore a helmet except one tanned sun-bleached-blond with the surfboard under his arm.
In New South Whales, the South Eastern State that holds Sydney, law requires cyclist to wear a helmet. The promise of a $75 Aus. fine and two points of your license encourages cyclist to comply.
On the weekends there were the familiar sounds and sights of clubs rides. Roadies, kitted in their local garb, held close to the wheel in front of them and swung around traffic circles, then out of view. Other than the reversed break set up, or motorcycle style, the road bikes used the same technology seen on the bikes in Boulder County.
Even the fixed–wheel bike couriers of the CBD were familiar sites. Their bikes, adapted to the mostly flat topography of Sydney, were break-less and riders dawned the same Pro-Tect helmets as their coworkers.
Bike lanes were carved out of the main roads and bike racks were available for commuters to secure their bikes. Even the ferries had designated bike-parking for the commute into the city.