|Jessica on a City Bike when she first arrived in Adelaide|
When 24 year old Jessica Eccles made the move to North Adelaide in June, she wasn’t quite sure what she was in for. Arriving without her car, she soon found herself with a helmet and an Adelaide City Bike. To her surprise, she was soon seduced by Adelaide’s cycling culture.
“Cruising around on a city bike gave me a real sense of freedom that I hadn’t felt in a long-time,” explained Jessica.
“I was hooked.”
Next thing you know, Jessica decided that her car would not make the journey west with her.
“At first it was a tricky decision,” says Jessica.
“Now I’m used to the idea of a car-free life-style. I’m not what you call a cyclist. Sometimes I take the bus, sometime I catch a cab, and sometimes I ride my bicycle.”
Sadly, Jessica’s story is something of an anomaly in Adelaide, where just 1 in 5 people riding bicycles is female. The latest Australian Cycling Participation Survey shows that just 12% of Australian women have ridden a bicycle in the past week compared to more than 20% of males. Our European cousins see the opposite holding true. In cycling meccas like Copenhagen there are more women on bikes than men.
The question is why?
And while Jessica has yet to have an accident, she feels that safety is probably the biggest barrier preventing more ‘heels on wheels.’
“There’s no doubt that cycling in Adelaide can feel scary. My advice is for new riders is to take the back road and choose quiet routes,” says Jessica.
“Remember that it’s not a race,” laughs Jessica, “I always choose style over speed. “
Jessica will be riding the River Ride for Gear Up Girl SA. You can join her her on Sunday 24 November by visiting www.bikesa.asn.au/gearupgirlsa :
Does anybody else live an Adelaide car free lifestyle in Adelaide? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.