January 7th, 2011

Cargo-Bike Library for Sydney

Great news. If you are a City of Sydney or Marrickville resident, then a one off payment of $10 will let you borrow a cargo bike any time that you like, from The Watershed Bike Library, and thus live truly car free! 

The Watershed Bike Library contains a fleet of specialist cargo bikes and trailers to allow cyclists to carry things that might otherwise require a car - from shopping, to kids, household items and more
Cleaning up on council cleanup day, at council's expense.

All you will need to do is leave your driver's license as security, or, if you really want to live car free and don't have a driver's license, you will simply need to leave a two hundred and fifty dollar deposit. You and I both had to read that twice to be sure: "Refundable deposit: $250 or Drivers Licence".

While I fully understand how only someone with a valid car license is sufficiently invested in life as we know it, to not head for a pawn shop the moment they got out of sight of the bike library, I do wonder if some dispensation might not be conceived, to better accommodate the needs of those living the car free life that The Water Shed was conceived to enable. Could one not leave their first born son, for example? Or the deed to their house? Would their solar roof panels suffice? Or is this yet another feel-good scheme, conceived by and for Gen-Y types with names like Nat-a-a-r-sha and Flynn, so they can ponce around on the weekend at rate payers' expense, hoping to greenwash that fat from their middle class souls?   
Natasha and Flynn (left) and world womens road cycling champion (right) deigning to ride aluminium bikes from multinational bike moguls, Gazelle. 

As wearisome as these birth pains can be, I accept that change filters from the middle class down. Though the sexual revolutionaries of the 60s mostly all came from wealthy families, few now would ask for a tightening of the mores that they worked to loosen. Feminists in the 1970s were likewise from privileged backgrounds, and while they could be dismissed as indulged and indulgent, they nonetheless made headway on behalf of all women.

The line I have held to throughout with this blog, is that bicycle goodness comes from angles that many would find questionable. My own sin is over expenditure on bikes and associated clothing, in a way that presents cycling in a more prestigious light, than, for example, driving a luxury car. That line of thinking has led me to the view that conspicuous expenditure should also go on buildings for bikes. Sure, trend spotters hopping on the bike craze as quickly as they'll hop off, I do find personally irksome. But they are making bikes a more visible presence. Watershed, if you would please sort out that mixed message you're sending with your policy regarding deposits, we'll agree to coexist peacefully. I might even help you get funding to build more extravagant premises, with big espresso machines, polished terrazzo, stainless steel benches, WiFi, plywood, and those things you like.