re Cycle Style I – North vs South of Yarra theory

All Season Cyclist from

All Seasons Cyclist ready to ride

Naked Bike Ride Melbourne

Naked Bike Ride Melbourne

A couple of weeks ago All Seasons Cyclist  posted about crazy cold weather cycling gear such as the amazing ‘Talus Outdoor Technologies ColdAvenger Expedition Balaclava complete with ventilator!

Naturally I expressed my admiration for anyone mad enough to go cycling when it is -40F – (which peculiarly is also = -40C ) and ASC asked me what people in Melbourne wore when cycling when it is + 30C – like it has been forever this summer.

The fact is, we even have a naked bike ride in Melbourne so it can be pretty casual.

Any way I thought this would be a good photo assignment to test the North vs South of the River (ie the Yarra River) theory in Melbourne.

The theory goes that North of the River is full of students and hipsters and South of the River is full of other types of people who earn money.

So if this was true – this should be reflected in different cycling style and bike types.

Basically this is the theory:

North of the Yarra you will own a fixed wheel or retro bike and ride in casual or  vintage dress which you will have extracted from a pile on the floor in the hallway of your share house before leaving for work / Uni .

You will swan in casually to work / Uni – so cool you will have barely raised a sweat.  After work you’ll stop for a drink at the Napier Hotel (or similar), see a movie at the Rooftop Cinema, catch up with your mate’s late gig at the Worker’s Club on Gertrude St, drink more, get home at 2am

If you live South of the Yarra you’ll have a racy branded cycling machine and have selected the correct de-rigour cycling gear replete with full Fluoro lycra / bike shorts etc.

You will have your suit at work and you will shower and be smart and clever all day before redressing to ride home. You will pick up some sushi or other suitable low fat food items and settle onto the couch to watch your plasma telly in your monster longeroom after a dip in your outdoor pool.

The exception to this is if you live in St Kilda, which is South of the Yarra but for which the North of the River code may also apply.

A fuller expose on this theory can be read in A City Divided / North or South of the Yarra by Natalie Craig. I love this so much I have it hung up in the shed.

My gallery so far….seems to bear out some of the theory although I might have been selective!


Just to note that my kids said it was a bit creepy photographing people and not asking permission properly (artistic motivation is so misunderstood),  so i’m just posting up long & blurry shots or shots of people’s backs – just in case there is anyone who could be identified here and get done for outstaying their visa or not paying their Uni fees etc.

Anyway you can see how fabulously hot and sunny it’s been in Melbourne lately.

I will brave up and ask permission to get some better cycle style photos next time as people do wear some pretty stylish things and their bikes are super cool -even saw one guy whose bike had been yarn bombed (which is a whole other thing).

For fantastic shots of proper cyclists Leanne Cole takes exceptional photos around Melbourne at events and races – so see her work if you can. You can read about the naked bike ride in the Huffington Post article by Andy Campbell – (but watch – they are starkers.)

4 thoughts on “re Cycle Style I – North vs South of Yarra theory

  1. Great post! Very informative for a Yank like me.

    Fascinating that there seem to be many similarities in our cultures, despite the great distance that separates us.

    Hipsterism, for instance, is HUGELY popular right now, from Brooklyn, New York all the way to Portland, Oregon.


    • Hi I so want to believe ‘hipsterism’ was born in Brunswick / Fitzroy – at least this is the natural habitat for this branch of beings. Probably traces back to the bohemians of Paris and the Romanian Gypsies and then who knows. Sure there’s a PhD in this for some one in Melbourne.


  2. I’m all for nudity and getting your kit off but somehow a naked bike ride doesn’t really appeal to me. I can’t help thinking of those sweaty bike seats for starters!

    I loved your photos and you idea behind taking them though I’m now itching to know what yarn bombed means?


    • Hi Lottie – we saw the naked bike ride go through the city one year and the thought of those parts for which a little bit of friction protection might be important did make your eyes water – but it looked so good natured and fun you had to smile!
      I think there’s a link on the yarn bombing. Basically the yarn bombers knit stuff and then wrap trees and lamp posts and cycle racks in an act of passive guerrilla warfare!


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