The battle of bikes

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If I can, I will ride my bike to wherever I have to go. It is faster, squeezes in a little extra exercise into the day, economical, clears the mind but best of all where-ever you arrive you feel so refreshed. Not to mention always starts a topic of conversation…
I own two bikes; a Schwinn cruiser step-in that I was given for my 21st and a old-style-but-new metropolitan road bike.

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The Schwinn is cream with dark brown leather seat with baby pink stitching (now more beige-brown), nice phat seat, wide-set handle bars and a wicker basket attached to the front. The ungrooved paddles make shoes optional and the basket is of best convenience if I am getting groceries  The downside is that the bike is heavy and has only three gears. This makes it a definite challenge if you’re riding out of the Bondi-bowl. If you don’t know the area, a large 1.5km steep incline hill cradles Bondi beach… there is no escaping it.

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My other bike is made by metropolitan bikes situated somewhere south of Sydney  It was gift from my boyfriend 24th birthday. I love equally with my Schwinn although i do admit it is used a lot more. It is also yellow-cream colour with caramel brown leather details, three gears, flat handlebar but more importantly is much lighter. It also has a straight bar so shorts or pants are a must unless flashing is a non-issue. Additionally shoes are a must, leather straps hold your feet into place and the spikes on the peddles are harsh without something – i manage pretty well with flip flops. I use my metro for all trips into the city (8km) or to the junction (longest hill in the world) or anywhere in between  I increasingly find myself riding it to the shops and balancing the shopping on the handle bars.

 

Depending on my feelings and how I want to be positioned on the road also determines which bike I use. The differences in seat and handle bar style has a huge impact on which muscles you use and your relationship with the road. On the Schwinn I am perpendicular to the road straight up tall and usually level with car drivers. Legs are mostly in front of the trunk so the ‘push’ by the upper thigh does most the work to get the momentum going. On any incline the back kicks in and gets a work out too. On the metro my back is straight but at a 45 degree angle with the road. You are leaning forward and your head is much closer to the road. With your legs more directly under your torso (like the gym bikes), all the muscles (including your bum) get used in the push, drag, lift cycle. Your bum also definitely gets a workout – I guess all of these larger muscle groups being used makes it the easier way to travel. Additionally, the straight handlebars cause your elbows to tuck into your trunk  engaging your abs. So the Schwinn  legs, back, arm and the metro: abs, bum, legs. Meh, just as long as I get from a to b with no accidents and not too much sweat I am happy.

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My bikes give me plenty of happiness and make getting in and around the Sydney metro which is pretty easy during the day. However occasionally if going out, or buying something bigger than my basket, I usually drive or cab. Public transport was usually my third preference however this year, 2013, I have a new years resolution to increase my public transport use. It is scripted in my little black book that I will try to use more public transport especially on Friday and Saturday nights – well at least on the way out. On the 3rd of January I caught my first train in very very very long time. It was my moms farm in Richmond, NSW,  it took 3.5 hours from Bondi… It takes only 1.5 hours in the car – I had good intentions but never doing will I train it on the rural lines… I think my 2013 train resolution will have to be within the Sydney metro lines because that was just not worth it. However… I did discover that  2013 cityrail tickets are RED !

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[whilst at school there was always a conversation about the new colour of train ticket… Unfortunately I do not think I could even tell you what colour 2012 was].

 

Because I want your home to be beautiful too

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Pure and General.

P&G found in hidden between the trending suburbs Potts Point and Darlinghurst (they call it Rushcutters Bay) and is one of my favorite homewares stores in Sydney. The store is in constant cycle of one off pieces sourced from all around the globe. The quality of materials and design is guaranteed such as leather boxes hand made in Florence, untreated wood utensils from south France, ceramics from Spain, wicker from morocco, glassware from Brazil. Whenever I go in this store, I want everything, yes – I want the 100 wooden spoons stuffed in over sized white milk jugs to adorn my triangle based untreated cedar table. When I need to look at beautiful homewares, this store is always satisfies my crave.
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P&G is also by ‘go to’ whenever I need an emergency gift. Without fail you can find an amazing cookbook personally signed by the artist or a antique hanging lamp or a linen hand sewn bed spread … There is always something to suit anyones home and everyones style (and suprisingly everyone budget). Although never being short of options has its downside… I can never decide what to buy.
P&G

My other Sydney favourites:
Blueprint: Shop 3, 46a Macleay Street, Potts Point
Becker Minty: 81 Macleay Street (via Manning St) Potts Point
I like birds: 14 William St, Paddington
Top3: L5 Bondi junction Westfield (also at crows nest and moore park)
Hub : 66-72 Reservoir St, Surry Hills
Shelf/Life: Shop 1, 50 Reservoir St, Surry Hills
Planet: 114 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
Koskela: 85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery (stop for lunch here and remember to check out the zimmerman warehouse store around the corner)

Get your coffee from and a sweet treat from La massione

Good reading…

Richmond, NSW

Richmond, NSW

As I was flicking through blogs of food, fashion and life I came across this article. I stopped and read the entire thing. Then I realized, how many times do I catch myself skim reading? I look like I am reading, my eyes are darting across the screen, words are being read but I know within five minutes whatever my eyes just passed would and could not be recalled. There are moments when skimming is appropriate but there are also times when everyone should stop, sit, be still and be in the moment that is present. Have a read and see what you think…

I also like the idea of becoming the character you are in everyday living, doing your supermarket shop as if you are a fugitive – too fun.

Thankyou Sila House.

Remember the good ones too

Whilst studying psychology at university I learnt that an unfortunate trait of human nature is to remember bad experiences over the good and it is easier to be cruel than to be kind. This tutorial has always stuck with me as I have been able to relate both statements with everyday experiences. Being a big coffee drinker it was easy to relate the bad experience over good. No matter whether I had five great coffees at a single cafe, once I am victim to a burnt milk or watery latte, this is the experience that will come to into my mind first when I see the cafe. A single bad coffee experience has stopped from going back to a cafe all together or gives me that extra push to walk 200m to another barista in fear of a bad coffee.

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Likewise, I can relate to the ease of saying pesimistic comments over more positive. It is easy to pick out something wrong than it is to search for the position. I am defintely a glass half full girl but when I become tired (or hungry) whining, complaints and cynical comments escape my lips more frequently than the optimisitic, creative ones. This has since changed, or perhaps I am just more aware, but ever since this class in 2008 and a lot of practice, I beleive I have managed to stop myself before I speak antagonistically. For example a girl that has not dressed for her figure or skin tone would be target to many negative comments but I always try to find the positive; the beautiful colour or print of the dress, the bag, the makeup, the hair.

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This one psychology tutorial has had significant impact on what I say and I often try to pass on this experience to others. Once some things are drawn to your attention it is hard not to think of them and I beleive these two statements should be known for all.
Be conscious that your mind has control of how you think, what you say and how you act. This also works in reverse; when working with the public whether its retail, hospitality or another service, the success is determined by the comsumer experience. Aim high.

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For more info read:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/your-money/why-people-remember-negative-events-more-than-positive-ones.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
or
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-the-consumer-mind/201210/how-memories-experience-influence-behavior