I'll let you in on a little secret... I'm a little bit in love with the girls from The Deadly Nightshades.

Why? Well, their Toronto based (Torontoan? Torontoist? Torontonian? I dunno... someone let me know what the correct term for a Toronto resident is...) bike gang has to be one of the coolest out there. The girls are artsy and craftsy and have a whole bunch of bike love. Plus their gang colour just happens to be my favourite colour, seafoam green! Ummm, are long distance gang memberships available?? 'Cause I want to join!

Their film FABRIC BIKE recently premiered at the New York Bicycle Film Festival, and I'm so excited that it's showing as part of the Urban Bike Shorts programme at our very own Sydney BFF. I can't wait to see the full thing, but until then here's the trailer...

FABRIC BIKE Trailer from The Deadly Nightshades on Vimeo.

There is sooo much happening in the next few weeks, bike and BFF related. It's going to be a busy month, can't wait!



The Great Helmet Debate


 Oh helmets. To wear or not to wear. Ever since getting back on a bike again I have been confused over the pressure to wear helmets in Australia. Compulsory helmet laws prevent a lot of people from taking up bikeling as a means of transport, after all who wants to end at their destination battling helmet hair? Yes, this is more true for females but it's not vanity so much as looking respectable while out in public, something men's short hairstyles allow for but women's do not.

Pic sourced from www.funcage.com

There is plenty of research for and against helmets. But I believe in personal choice especially in a situation where only I am affected by my choice, I am not putting anyone else at risk. 


For me, I never wore a helmet until I recently started commuting to work. Why? Well because I was nervous about commuting and didn't want the extra worry of looking put for police or park rangers on a power-trip. 

However now I am comfortable with my route, and with riding longer distances everyday and can't help question my choices regarding headwear. Previously when riding bare-headed, I have been at the receiving end of yells from cars and pedestrians shouting "Wear a helmet". This is such a bewildering behavior, and is almost a tourette-like, people who would other-wise be minding their own business suddenly scream at you and then continue on with their day. I am sure the same people do not yell at random strangers otherwise and find it quite amusing why helmets bring this out in people.

So I decided I would stop wearing my helmet for my work commute and to see what reactions I would get. It was an interesting experience. I got the normal abuse, and I do believe people are quicker to yell at women on bikes then men. But I realized what a helmet meant to me - a great safety placebo! And most interesting was the reaction of other cyclists. Helmet-less riders are not taken seriously by fluro or Lycra-clad cyclists alike. Never mind if your bike is decked out with lights and you are wearing a reflective sash, it's all about the helmet. Apparently the helmet will give you a veneer of cycling-respectability in Australia.

Here is an example of conversation I recently had with a helmet-clad cyclist while helmet-free:

Her: Hello
Me: Hello
Her: Did you know you should be wearing a helmet?
Me: Yes, I am aware of that.
Her: Oh but did you know it's illegal?
Me: Yes, but I believe in personal choice.

The light goes green and we ride off, her and her partner (also wearing a helmet) followed by my partner and I who are not. We have to merge into traffic as we get through the lights and while we used hand signals to let the cars know our intentions, they did not and just changed lanes. At the next lights I could not resist...

Me: Did you know you should use hand signals?
Her: no response.

So what's more important here? Obeying road rules, using common sense or just relying on the bit of foam strapped onto your head to provide all the protection you need?

The other conclusion I came to while on the receiving end of car-abuse (this happens if you wear a helmet or not in Sydney generally), is that people in cars over-estimate the protection helmets give cyclists and therefore do not give you adequate room on the road. Car drivers want cyclists to wear helmets so they feel better about not leaving a metre or nearly hitting you.

 Cartoon sourced from www.prash.net

So at the end of it all, what conclusion did I come to? Well sometimes I don't mind wearing a helmet and sometimes I do. When I wear my helmet it will not be to make others feel better. To the car drivers who yell out their window - if you are so concerned for my safety you will give me the space I need on the road. To the people who yell and rant at me on the street - you may want to look at your own behavior after all you are screaming at strangers in the street. To the other cyclists - wearing a helmet can be a choice and I will respect your decision so please do like-wise.

Happy bikeling!

Pish Tosh xx


Bicycle Songs of the Past

S-boy with his on-going quest to know every song ever made that's worth listening to, helped me discover this beauty to add to your playlist to ride. The video is not great but the song is and is definitely up in my top five!

Here is the only pic I could find of them. Why weren't these guys more popular?

Pish Tosh xx

Bondi Beach Cruisers

So I know, I know! It's been a while... Our adventures have been few and far between this wet, windy, busy winter. Pesky real-life gets in the way of our goal to spread the bike love across the population, like some sort of contagious disease- except happier and better dressed, on wheels...

Considering it is now officially not winter (hooray!), I thought it was about time the Feather Brigade shared the love for Bondi Beach Cruisers. If you're on the internets and like bikes, you've probably already seen this, but I feel compelled to re-blog because I love their trailer! What a great vibe! Can't wait for summer. Bare feet, wearing swimmers everyday, picnics, long evenings... Plus the CutCopy soundtrack puts me in a dancey, party mood.

Oh, what a fantasy. Bikes, beach, booze, boys... I now have crazily high expectations for this summer.

Go here for Bondi Beach Cruisers.

Go here for more CutCopy.

Come back here for more bike love. I promise it won't be so long until next time...