There’s nothing I love more than bike riding in Sydney. I love soaring with the 5.00am bats. I love ballet dancing past traffic jams. I even love cruising through the wars and road rage of Oxford Street.
However, just because I’m a bike-riding simp, doesn’t mean that Sydney is perfect. And I’m not just talking about the occasional motorist who has tried to kill me. Sometimes, the bikers around me give us all a bad name. They ride in ways that endanger themselves, me, and our neighbours.
So, to help these pro cyclists become better people, I have come up with some Cardinal rules for cycling in Sydney. It’s my sincere hope that these rules will someday become the basis for our biking culture.
Here’s how to ride a bike through Sydney.
Rule One: Thou Shalt Not Run a Red Light
This rule should be an obvious one and yet every single day that I’ve ridden, I’ve witnessed a bike rider running a redder.
And to this, I say, yikes. What a cringe-worthy move. The odds of them hitting a pedestrian or a car are phenomenal. Their influence on the road is bigger than what they might realise.
Additionally, bike riding through reds is illegal. If you get caught doing this, you might be fined $425.
Therefore, if you’re cycling in Sydney, take it down a notch. Your Tuesday spreadsheets can wait. Your behaviour isn’t cute, you’re not a pedestrian, and a life is worth more than impatience.
Rule Two: Thou Shalt Thank the Pedestrians You Zoom Past
Manners are free, but they mean everything. So, if you’re bike riding down a shared path in Sydney, and a pedestrian moves onto the grass, say thank you. ‘Cause they genuinely didn’t need to do that. They could have forced you to cycle behind them. They could have slowed you to the speed of a sloth.
Now, I understand that saying thanks isn’t always an option. If you were to say that to everyone while biking around Town Hall, you’d be arrested for public harassment. However, if you’re in a park or a suburb, a thank you goes a long way. You might just make someone’s week.
Rule Three: Thou Shalt Wear a Helmet While Riding
As of 2023, Sydney is littered with Lime bikes and Beam bikes. Both of these brands offer e-bikes that you can rent with an app. Yet, while this concept is neat, not every one of these bikes has a helmet perched on its handlebars. This has led to an influx of helmetless bike riding taking place across Sydney.
However, bike riding helmetless is against the law. If you do this, you could score a fine of $319.
What’s more, doing this in Sydney is a disaster waiting to happen. Every pedestrian doesn’t notice you, and each car is a Skull Squisher 3000. Bike riding helmetless is divine, until you go screaming over the handlebars.
So, if you’re bike riding in Sydney, please wear a helmet. You don’t want to get fined, And I don’t want to scoop your head juice off the pavement. Both of these options could ruin an Oxford commute.