Feel like you’re stalling at the start of the steep incline that is true love while everyone seems destined to whizz by you effortlessly on a multi-speed bike, hand-in-hand, as they fall deeper into infatuation and bliss?
Well, Cycle Speed Dating might just be perfect for you – especially if you dug that tired biking analogy. It’s happening as part of the massive Sydney Rides Festival, a month-long celebration of our two-wheeled, non-polluting friend: the humble bicycle, which is a very real and cheap solution to rising fuel costs, pollution rates, and the general annoyance of trying to steer a heavy-terrain vehicle in a city simply not built for such traffic.
Anyway, the dating portion of this festival offers “the chance to chat before a relaxed ride and matchmaking” in Surry Hills, but if you’re unlucky enough to have already found your soulmate (In the same town as you! What are the odds?!) there are loads of other bike-related joys for you to explore.
Ever wanted to ride over the Sydney Harbour Bridge sans-traffic? You can do this on October 15. Enjoy the idea of BMX displays within the same vicinity as free yoga, an animal petting zoo, and NRL kids clinics? October 7 is your day. Halloween-themed celebrations and a twilight ride to boot? Mark down October 28.
Suit Ride and Try A Bike session – 4 October
Join us for the official launch of the 2017 Sydney Rides Festival with a bike ride in business attire for city workers and the chance to take part in the try-a-bike event over lunch in The Domain, Mrs Macquarie’s Road, 12pm–1.30pm.
Sydney Rides Photo Exhibition, Paddington Reservoir Gardens – 3–29 October Explore Sydney’s secret subterranean park with a photographic exhibition in Paddington Reservoir Gardens, showcasing bike-based adventures and favourite rides. Paddington Reservoir Gardens, Oxford Street, 8am–8pm only.
The Big Adventure – 7 October
Jump into a day of family fun at one of Sydney’s biggest green spaces with activities like biking, running, dancing and free yoga. Enjoy a food truck feast, animal petting zoo, kite flying workshops, AFL and NRL kids clinics, BMX displays and roving entertainment including a ballet performed on bikes. Sydney Park, St Peters, 9am–4pm
Chocolate Rides and Foodie Rides – 14 and 21 October
After a sell-out in 2016, the almost calorie-neutral Chocolate Ride will return this year with a bike tour of Sydney’s tastiest chocolatiers, gelato and confectioners. The Foodie Ride promises participants a glimpse of cheesemakers, smoke houses and delicatessens, led by expert guides along cycleways, shared paths and quiet backstreet routes. Bookings essential at sydneycycleways.net
Spring Cycle – 15 October
A once-a-year opportunity for beginners, regular riders and lycra lovers to cross the magnificent Sydney Harbour Bridge by bike and cruise across the Cahill Expressway and The Rocks historic area, with the routes all car-free for the day. The 10km Sydney City Ride ends with a family-focussed event in Pirrama Park at Pyrmont. Participants can also join the 16km River Ride, 50km Classic Ride or ride alongside Australian tour legend Robbie McEwen on the 105km Challenge Ride to Sydney Olympic Park. Departing from St Leonard’s Park from 6am. Pre-booking essential at springcycle.com.au
Overnight bike camp on Cockatoo Island – 21 October
Pack your bike on the ferry for a sleepover at Sydney’s most picturesque campsite, then explore Cockatoo Island by bike after Sunday morning breakfast. Cockatoo Island.
Mechanics Challenge – 25 October
Stop by Martin Place for lunch to cheer on the fastest mechanics in the land, with inner tube changing races, chain greasing sprints and a tyre pumping challenge. From 12.30pm, Martin Place main stage.
Cycle Speed Dating – 28 October
Forget swiping right, speed-dating by bike is the new way for singles to mingle! Already a success in London and Queenstown, Cycle Speed Dating gives Sydneysiders the chance to chat before a relaxed ride and matchmaking. Starts in Surry Hills, 5pm.
Light The City – 28 October
Sydney’s two-wheeled twilight event returns to a traffic-free Mrs Macquarie’s Point for a Halloween-inspired community celebration. Friends and families can fancy dress to impress and enjoy spectacular harbour views, gourmet food trucks, epic illuminations and the popular silent disco as the sun goes down and trees light up. Bike hire is available on the night. Mrs Macquarie’s Road, the Domain, 6pm–11pm.