This is my 1000th blog. Strewth.

Posted on March 18th, 2014

I wrote my first blog post June 28, 2009. I had no idea what I was doing. I still don’t. I was filming Masterchef at the time and needed something or someone a little more cerebral to engage with. So I chose, um, you lot!

Image via A Well Travelled Child Tumblr.

Image via A Well Travelled Child Tumblr.

Like many things that I try, if it feels right, I keep going and going. I questioned why I blogged every single day. I still do. But something compelled me to keep writing.

Mostly the comments fueled me from post to post. So did the people I e-met a long the way, some of whom I started up pen pal-like relationships with (I’m talking about you Shauna and Aran). My blog forced me to get real about what matters to me. And called me to account on slippery issues like cash for comment (you can see my policy on advertising here). It also encouraged me to be more generous and less precious about myself. The online world needs to operate that way and I learned that nothing I shared was new or “mine”.

And then it became my livelihood and I started employing People I Wanted To Be Around, starting with Jo.

And here we are today, 999 posts later. I don’t like fuss. But I thought I might celebrate a little and hand over 10 x ebook packs (each pack includes a copy of all of my ebooks) to 10 commenters on my site. Some from right back in the early days and some who’ve contributed a lot of their time and thoughts along the way. Thank you Ian Acheson, Mia Watson, Anthony Porter, Laura Valerie, Jo at Living Savvy, Mike Wilde, Sassi Sam, Liz Wiggins, Jules Eyre and Sarah at Inner Beam (you’ll be receiving an email from us shortly).

I’m also giving away an additional 10 packs to new friends…see below.

Also, since I get asked this a bit…

Some of my pivotal posts:

1. My first I Quit Sugar post. It all started here, as a gentle experiment (and mostly because I was short of a topic for my Sunday Life newspaper column).

2. The post where I first shared about my autoimmune disease. Read more

is it OK to kill cyclists?

Posted on November 20th, 2013

Apparently so.

Did you happen to read about the recent cyclist killing in San Francisco where a woman was killed by a motorist, sparking a protest when the driver wasn’t prosecuted due to police not finding any surveillance footage of the incident? Phew. That was a sentence! And how the police officer in charge parked his squad car in the exact same bike lane where the killing happened when he came to berate the protesters? Which then led to the protesters digging up the footage themselves in less than 10 minutes that showed the driver was in the wrong?

Image via Sydney Cycleways

Image via Sydney Cycleways

Well, it sparked a lot of discourse in the US about cyclists’ rights, highlighting this extraordinary fact:

there’s not been a single prosecution of a driver for killing a cyclist in the US to date, outside of cases where the driver was DUI or did a hit and run.

In other words, where a driver was in the wrong, but wasn’t drunk and didn’t flee, but killed a cyclist, they got off with – at worst – a $42 ticket for an unsafe lane change. Seriously. How can this be?

The bad blood with cyclists is so ingrained that police don’t want to investigate the crimes, juries don’t want to convict and the general population want the whole issue to go away…and to just blame the cyclist and deem us all a bunch of righteous granola-chewing pains in the asses.

Which is just plain dumb. As I tell anti-bike people, why are you complaining? Every cyclist on the road is one less car holding you up at traffic lights! Cities can’t sustain any more car traffic. Bikes are the future. They have to be. As a New York Times columnist wrote last week,

“Cycling isn’t sky diving. It’s not just thrill-seeking or self-indulgence.
It’s a sensible response to a changing transportation environment with a clear social upside in terms of better public health, less traffic and lower emissions.”

The blind-sidedness of our culture is illustrated by this, too. New York cyclist Casey Neistat was recently fined $50 for not riding in a bike lane. He made the point that the bike lane was clogged, but the policeman told him he “ALWAYS” needed to be in the bike lane. His point was ignored. So he made this incredibly powerful video

This is kind of what cyclists are having to do – make their point, so that the atmosphere can shift. We have to do it ourselves because the rest of our community is moving too slow.

This means building a good impression, too. This video by Sydney Cycleways inviting us to cycle graciously is right on. Cyclists can’t be expected to be taken seriously if they don’t play the car game.

I also do this thing. It’s possibly a bit naughty. But a point needs to be made in the absence of a police force or culture that’s happy to support me. When I get cut off in a bike lane or by (invariably) a cab turning left, I bang the car with my fist. Loud and hard, although not enough to cause damage. From inside the car it sounds like I’ve been hit. Ostensibly I’m alerting the driver, “back off”. But I know I’m Read more

How I travel: New York on a bike

Posted on August 6th, 2013

I don’t like flying. Or driving. I’ve always ridden. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve owned a car for seven years  of my life only. The rest of my adult life, I’ve ridden a bike to get around. Indeed, just three weeks ago I became car-less again. I really do prefer it. My tendency to attract parking tickets means it’s a particularly expensive habit. In fact, cars have always felt like way tooooo much collateral.

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 2.08.21 PM

Hot New York chic on bike. LOVE the saddlebag. Which sounds weird, I know.

I landed here in New York a week ago (boy, it feels longer!), jetlagged to …Frankston (or some other end-of-the-line zone), and a waitress with leg tattoos said to me,

“We are not meant to travel faster than horseback.” 

Or pushbike. The Ayurvedic tradition teaches this. Our cells are meant to move at a gentlemanly pace. At a pace that our breath can keep up with, I think.

My first day here I signed up for the Citibike scheme. I did the same in Paris last year. And Copenhagen. Do you know how it works? You insert your card. It costs $25 for a week for unlimited peddlies. You can pick up a bike pretty much every second block. You dart from spot to spot. It’s all above ground with fresh air in your hair. I don’t have wifi here (the dumb expense! the dumb expense!). So I look up my destinations for the day on Google Maps using the hotel wifi (or Starbucks’). Using the “bike” icon I get an exact map of where to go, timed to the minute, and download it on my phone. And on I ride, door to door. Read more