Push bikes, plucky and practical.

Pumpin' it in pink, a hasty bike re-branding in a land far, far away.

Please do not ride this bike (until Sunday)...

...or the cycle cops might swoop on you as fast as they can chase whilst still riding on the footpath at all times. And I don't blame them (for eschewing certain roads). In Perth Mall they were swarming lest the nearby Colour Gangs threatened to get frisky.

Please do not ride this bike... unless you are the perfect modern Mulga Bill. 

 Darby Street, Newcastle. I'm pleased that a warmly co-operative Mr Red Beard is happy to pose for a snap as I explain that I blog about cycling, and other things. Well, I blog about me, really. My adventures. I don't want to slow the flow by seeking more even lighting.

I try again after his extra-ride-just-for-me. The only thing separating Mr Beard from my timeless Mulga Bill fantasies is the compulsory foam hat. OK, and the mirror shades. 

The steed is safely secured. The impression created of a pile of bikes almost evokes my Netherlands travel.

Cogs akimbo.

Riding tall in the saddle.

Shedding shoe leather around Perth while on tour, I notice the Yagan Square development's Utopia-style politipix.

These generic people come from an enlightened land far, far away (although Perth is quite far, far away) where foam hats are as foreign to cyclists as they are to pedestrians. Observe Euroman - the mild-mannered superdad who is man enough to ride a sit-up city bike with a basket on the front. If this is the future, I want it now. 

Under no circumstances is Euroman to be regarded as a sissy boy (a fashion shop I spied in The Netherlands, where the men are man enough to shop at Sissy Boy).

The future is now in The Netherlands. Dutch leaders' foresight in the 1970s sought to turn back the tide of seemingly inevitable car dominance in city centres. Deliberate policies and changes restored and ensured an enviably functional cycling culture. After three extensive tours as a performer, I feel I'm entitled to channel my Inner Dutchie as I find ways to ride practically for transport in Sydney. I never go far, I never go fast, I never wear lycra.

Utilitarian cycling, normal clothes - my kind of ride. Surly stare at camera-wielding pedestrian - gratis. 

Even Sinterklaas pedals a pushie in The Netherlands.

But back to the Yagan Square illustration - alas, Perth's reality sports contradictory fare...

...which is safely and very reasonably contravened. The 'fines do apply' line is the scariest aspect if (like me) you're eternally programmed for parsimony.

SARS-cycling in Brisbane. A G20 security initiative perhaps?

I never though I'd witness handlebar hand warmers in Sydney. Fleece-lined handlebar handmuffs actually do exist in the Netherlands, although gloves would seem a more practical choice.

These eccentric add-ons seem more trouble than they're worth. They could be for sun protection, I suppose. Curious. 

I've done my darndest to find my pictures of Dutch muffs (not what you think) to no avail - but they do feature in my little film: The Sedentary Cyclist Salutes Dutch Cycling.

My own trusty steed and piano tuning bags. I don't usually carry the bag with the orange trim (containing stringing tools) when cycling. It depends on how far I'm going and whether or not I know the piano. It all just fits in the milk crate (the backpack is usually on my back).

Behold, the bike that may finally be ridden by a fine musician planning to shed kilos onstage. Not quite a hurdy-gurdy, but a pedal-powered plectraphone. The brain-child of  Jon Rose the plectraphone recently featured in Ensemble Offspring's Ghan Tracks. I was part of the multi-element performance team, playing the sousaphone, which is suitably steam punk.

A series of pulleys, cogs, chains, ropes and assorted hardware minutiae convert the stationary cyclist's energy output to cause this clever plucker to oscillate from side to side to strum the strings. Marvelous - and no foam hat required.

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