Melbourne comedian Catherine Deveny only started riding seriously in 2010 when she got what she describes as an “old dutch grandmother style bike”. She says that this bike changed her life, not only because it made her want to ride, but because it made her want to find gorgeous frocks to go with it.
She prefers to cruise about town in 1940’s inspired floral, accessorised in red to go with her polka dot panniers and black Lekker step-through.
To the ever-pragmatic Catherine Deveny, however, cycle style is less about what you are wearing and more about how you act on the road – a sentiment that I applaud wholeheartedly. So, without further adieu, here are Ms Deveny’s 5 tips for stylish cycling:
5. Look hot
It is a simple truth that when you look hot people are going to notice you faster, which is excellent news if you want to be seen by drivers.
4. Be predictable
Use hand signals, get into the turning lane early, and just generally let other road users know what you are up to. A confused driver will get flustered and angry whereas one who can tell what you are doing (and gets a smile and a wave of thanks into the bargain) will have a smile on their face.
3. Assume you’re invisible
It’s undeniably true that bikes are harder to spot than cars, so it’s safest to assume that other road users probably haven’t seen you. For me this translates to keeping my hand on the brake lever at all times and a constant eye on the road conditions.
2. Maintain your line
Swerving all about the place is going to contradict rule #4, it is also going to freak out drivers in much the same way as a herd of kangaroos – you just don’t know when one of those things is going to smack into your bonnet. Choose a line, signal your intention, and don’t change your mind.
1. Own the road
It’s official, bike riders have every right to own their lane. While this doesn’t mean obstinately riding in the middle of the road wherever you go, it does mean riding in the middle of the lane when you believe it would be unsafe for a car to pass you or where the risk of being car doored is high. If you have stuck to rule #5 and look hot then any driver shouldn’t mind cruising behind you for a while.
This Sunday March 2 Catherine Deveny is hosting Pushy Women South, a speaking event where eight of Melbourne’s fiercest and fabulous women present their take on being a women on two wheels. It is being held at Gasworks Theatre in Albert Park at 4pm, which gives you the chance to take a spin by the lake in the sunshine beforehand. Presented by The Squeaky Wheel and City of Port Phillip, tickets cost $35 or $25 concession.