Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Electra - a classic! and other cheery stuff

Once upon a time, in a land of wimples and pig-tails, where the muted sounds of lawn mowers and daisies babbled through the open sashed-windows on sunbeams, I opened my greek literature 'O' level exam paper (carbon-dating eat your heart out!!!!) and was presented with my first client for defence, the noble Clytemnestra. The problem question was very much couched in terms of 'prosecution' but here was a mother who had been coaxed to send her daugher to join the child's father out in the mediterranean, only to receive the news somewhat later that the bastard, Agamemnon, had ruthlessly murdered Iphigenia all for the sake of a puff of wind and the "Troy Cup" - mitigating circumstances for sure!

But what has this got to do with bicycles??? Well! on the weekend, I am going to buy an "Electra" (big 'sis' to Iphigenia!!). This "Electra" is a beautiful Dutch bicycle and I have spotted it in Wooly's Wheels, Oxford Street, Paddington. This beautiful Dutch bicycle comes with 3 gears, mudguards, skirt guard and chain guard, and the latter 2 features have flowers painted on them!!! bliss! - I am going to look so pretty!! Ahh! the classics - who says we don't need them?

...and talking of classics, I have just found a beautiful chocolate brown, 'mushroom-shaped' felt hat, relegated to the back of my wardrobe - it is my new favourite piece of bicycle gear. A milliner friend made it for me years ago, and I wore it to a couple of Scone Cups (if you haven't done a "Scone Cup" you haven't lived!!!!), but as with "Puff the Magic" dragon, my old hat had no longer been 'frolicking in the autumm mist'. BUT that is all about to change - it is the perfect cycling hat for a hot Australian summer because it is similar to wearing an umbrella - I am completely protected from the sun, and the magpies are cool with it, the tasteful creatures that they are!!

...and talking of hats, after pondering about my 'comment' being removed from the Foreign Correspondent guestbook, I have since received a lovely email from the producer - in fact it was so nice I probably ought to eat a hat (not the new the 'fav' one though!). The producer acknowledged the helmet issue here and the helmet position in Denmark, and helpfully provided me with Jan Gehl's contact details should I wish to contact him further on the matter. I really appreciated the contact, and the fact that someone had taken the time to read what I had to say and respond - thank you again, Foreign Correspondent!


  1. Dear Sue

    With a brain thatt can educate about ancient Greek history, Dutch bicycles and Millinery to top it off it NEEDS good protection.

    I am not sure of the ethics of compulsory helmet wearing but having seen peoples mashed heads and faces in casualties over many years it seems sensible to protect such a sensible and in your case well educated organ.

    Of course the first priority is not to crash but in my short tenure riding my road bike I have fallen off once and run into a poor defenceless car ( thankfully at low speed) .

    I was wearing a helmet on both occasions but should have been wearing knee pads.

    I also painfully recall as an adolescent slipping off the seat and collecting certain areas on the frame.

    So perhaps we should add knee pads for all and a cricket box for blokes to our protective gear.

    I love the passion involed in this so best of luck with the campaign

    Les W

  2. aaaah, Les, you are such a charmer!! but you'd have to agree I ought to have the right to choose for myself one way or the other, like I do regarding issues pertaining to waists, hearts and the like! - in fact even other brain injuries, because if I want I can drink myself silly at any time of day or night and you would definitely have seen a few of those staggering through your casualties over the years!!

  3. Sue, what a wonderful post - from the wastelands of Troy and the madness of Agamemnon to sun-bleached Scone and high street Paddo in one foul swoop - just sublime! Have a fabulous time in Sydney getting the new bike and be sure to check out the new Paddington Reservoir Gardens ('Walter Reid Reserve') on Oxford Street whilst you are there - just fabulous. The Eastern Suburbs are my old stomping ground and how I miss it!

    PS Clover Moore's offices are on Oxford St too - maybe you should go and chat to her about the need for the cycle helmet laws to be relaxed in Oz before somewhere like Sydney can even THINK about having a cycle hire scheme...

    Looking forward to seeing lots of pics of the new bike soon - Scone Cycle Chic anyone?

  4. Dear Sue
    I am not really sure how this thing works but it is interesting reading.

    Fantastic letter to Kevin 07 and many others which i just read.

    However I ride a bike with the assumption any minute a random truck might hit me . Perhaps a random dog will come from nowhere so wear a helmet . I would prefer a bike with airbags but sadly none available.

    It must have been an interesting experience for police on the day you were booked !

    Shame RDA NSW did not get a chance to use this extraordinary passion.

    As I said before I may not agree with your stand on helmets but I love the passion

    All the best and as I said I am a cyclist who would do all possible to protect all parts

    Les W

  5. Mark, i shall and i might just pop in and see Clover next week!

    ...and Les, RDA NSW had all the passion they needed with you!!