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].

 

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