Sunday, 3 March 2013

Bare bones bikers

As Councillor Voss emphasised during her stirring address to the crowds of tens today, Port Melbourne lies at the intersection of the Beach Road, Sandridge Rail Trail and (loosely) Westgate Punt cycle routes. It has also only recently dropped from four to, a still impressive, three bike shops. However you have to wonder how many of the helmeted hoards that brave the treacherous Ingles Street crossing of the rail trail each day, actually live here.
If there are hundreds of cyclists in our midst then they kept a low profile, with there never being any danger of the substantial festival infrastructure becoming stretched. Perhaps they were at the Sydney Road Street Party, or the Bright & Sandy Food Festival, or even the Melbourne Didgeridoo Festival ... that all managed to be picked for Only Melbourne's weekly What's On e-mail. For those that did attend, much like with the city's White Night, it wasn't exactly apparent what the point of it all was. This osteopath's contribution being one of many weird elements all topped off by the surprise arrival of the nudie army. Perhaps it can all actually be summed up visually by Bay Street's puzzlingly car-shaped bike-parking.
However, despite the loose alliance of two-wheeled causes, and the empty rows of bike racks, one thing became abundantly clear. With cars daringly diverted away from Bay Street, the town suddenly seemed able to breath a whole lot more freely. Pedestrians who normally march, promenaded instead. Cafes spilled out onto the street and music reverberated between the buildings. Whatever the merits of the cause, let's hope that this type of event wasn't a one-off because briefly, for the day, Port Melbourne showed a soul.

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