It’s rare that you roll up to event only to find the bike parking full, but that’s what happened at Sunday’s Pushy Women South speaking event. Cyclists descended upon the Gasworks Theatre to hear eight of Melbourne’s biggest babes share their stories about bikes and life.
“The only sport I ever felt good about was BMX”
– Nelly Thomas
Presented by The Squeaky Wheel and the City of Port Phillip as the first event of the ‘She Spoke: Southside Women on Wheels‘ line-up, it was clear the spirit of celebration was well and truly alive, as evidenced by the number of women walking around with a glass of bubbles in hand.
There were a few common themes running throughout the many hilarious stories told by the speakers. I am happy to know that I am not the only one who feels like the star of her own movie while cruising around the city, Catherine Deveny and Karla Burt feel the same. It also seems that being impaled upon one bicycle part or another as a youngster is fairly common: self-described ‘crummy mummy’ Bev Killick bloodied both her foot and vagina before the age of 12, while Nelly Thomas got a pedal through the stomach in her attempt to jump the triple at a BMX showcase race.
“I had to wheel it to the local bike shop & get a patronising young man to fix it for me”
– Monica Dux
Tracy Harvey was my standout speaker from the day. It started with her riding her colourful pushie, Grease Lightning, onto the stage and ended with her riding it away sans underwear. There was a song, a billy full of the Australian bush and a shoe in the face for an audience member in between. I can highly recommend going on the Pushy Women Excursion with Tracy Harvey, especially if you could do with a laugh. As Catherine Deveny said of Tracy, “She’s just sunshine walking around in a body isn’t she?”
Musician Kate Miller-Heidke regaled us with the dramatic and heart-wrenching story of the theft of her Mongoose bicycle, taken from Indooroopilly McDonalds the very same day that she received it. Her story was accompanied by soulful chords from the guitar of Ben McCarthy.
If you missed Pushy Women South don’t despair, Pushy Women North is happening March 16 at Thornbury Theatre, it will feature a different line-up of fabulous speakers (apart from Bev Killick, who we could all do with seeing again), buy tickets here ($35 full, $25 concession).
My photos of the southside event are below.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The Squeaky Wheel allowed me to attend the event for free, tickets normally cost $35.