I grew up in the Sunshine State and I must be one of the few Melburnians who actually prefers the weather in this cold, windy, rainy city.
That is, except when it’s National Ride to Work Day. As I pushed my bike out the door dressed in a vintage coat, jersey dress and black suede stiletto heels (quite usual cycling garb if you know me well), I applauded myself for not being a fair-weather cyclist. That was until the pitter-patter turned into a torrential downpour en route to Federation Square.
Every year on National Ride to Work Day Bicycle Victoria offer cyclists free breakfast, hairdressing services and bike engraving at Federation Square. When I arrived I was surprised to find that quite a large number of people dressed in flourescent wet-weather gear were tucking into Vaalia yoghurt, bananas and Bakers Delight rolls (including a bizarre cake/bread/muesli bar baked product), while picking up a collection of useful bike accessories like fluorescent Velcro brands and flashing red lights (I put mine on both side of my helmet like Mickey Mouse).
It’s a pity the rain probably deterred some people who might have tried to cycle to work for the first time, but the vibe of Federation Square was still quite celebratory, like we were all part of a special tribe. Kudos to those who braved the weather! And to my workplace for arranging for me to access some secure bike racks a day before National Ride to Work Day.