Posted by: Mike Rubbo | November 22, 2009

Doctor On a Bike

Dr. Ian Charlton and I made this film over the weekend.

I think it’s probably our most important video in terms of what he and I feel about the future of urban utility cycling in in Australia.

Ian’s main interest is in the obesity epidemic we face. How to get people exercising more, using public transport more so as to avoid obesity and all the life style diseases which go with it.

This vimeo film about Ian may take a while to download. Please be patient, do something else.

Here’s the same on YouTube which may download faster

We face a challenge. How to shift our cycling culture from the present leisure and sport based culture, to one that makes more use of bikes as transport. There is some utility use, here, but it’s nothing like in Europe.

For starters, our everyday getting around bikes probably need to be a different sort of bike, not flat bar road bikes , not racers, but the classic sit up type of bike which you see all over Europe.

Next , we need different rules for these slower, safer, bikes so that the Bike Share schemes can work here. These are now sweeping the world, like Velibs in Paris and Bixis in Montreal.

At the moment, Bike Share is blocked here by our compulsory helmet laws since it’s impossible to economically rent a tested, sterilized, helmet along with these bikes on the street.

If we want Bike Share, seems like our laws must change.



  1. Another great video Mike.

    It’s really a shame that in Sydney there is so little infrastructure for cycling.

    For example, at my local train station, there is no bicycle parking. So even if you wanted to ride to the station you wouldn’t know where to put it. Most trip to the station are less than 5 km. It takes almost the same time on a bicycle as a car, especially considering traffic jams.

    That trip to the local train station could be a small amount of exercise for many people. It can also help them save money, as many people by a second car just to go to the train station.

    Same thing for shopping centres. Typically a short trip less than 5 km. Huge amounts of overcrowded (and often jammed up) car parking, no bicycle parking. If you are not buying a lot, you can fit your shopping in a bicycle basket. A bicycle can have 2 baskets, one in the front and one at the back.

    People who live less than 10 km from their work can easily ride to work as well. There is still little bicycle parking in the Sydney CBD though.

    If we used a bicycle for most trips below 5 km, our level of health would be much higher. The human body was designed for regular exercise. Idleness breeds all sorts of ailments.

    We are really being let down by the lack of infrastructure, especially bicycle parking & bicycle paths.

    It’s a real shame because providing bicycle infrastructure is much cheaper than the health care bill of our obese population.

    There’s a lack of leadership & planning from our state govt here.

    The City of Sydney has started to take some good initiatives to set up cycling infrastructure through.

  2. Hi Mike

    I’ve had some thoughts on this – see

    Do you have the same ‘only bicycles’ thing in Oz?

  3. lovely movie, mike! – as of monday, i have a new dutch bicycle which is to live in sydney as the train was way too tricky to transport my one from scone – had great fun in sydney cycling to Parliament House and back to newtown – boy! do those buses come close!!

    (& PS my exams are finished yay!!)

    • thanks for the praise, Sue. Ian is certainly good on camera. Mike

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