We sold this bike, a Surly Long Haul Trucker, to a customer back in 2008. Fifteen years later it is still going strong. It has been ridden across four continents, covering over 150,000 km, in every imaginable environment. It’s on its third wheel-set, fourth saddle, third set of handlebars and has consumed countless tyres, brake pads and drivetrains. It now even sports a fancy 14-speed Rohloff internal gear hub instead of a conventional derailleur system. The steel frame and fork, as well as the crankset are original though, and the customer is now the accountant at True Wheel Cycles. 

We’re sharing the story of this Surly because Saturday is World Bicycle Day, and figured it was a decent excuse for a bit of bike celebration. Five years ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 3 World Bicycle Day recognising “the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for two centuries”. It described the bicycle as “a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation, fostering environmental stewardship and health”. What they didn’t say is that a human paired with a bicycle is the single most efficient way that any animal has ever moved through space.

Another UN resolution last year noted how the pandemic had reinvigorated cycling in many cities and it implored member states to “integrate the bicycle into public transportation, in urban and rural settings” and “to promote the bicycle among all members of society.” 

If you’re reading this, you’ll likely be familiar with the Northern Rivers Rail Trail, the opening section of which opened on March 1 this year. Tweed Council rapidly transformed the 24km stretch of derelict rail corridor between Murwillumbah and Crabbes Creek into a bike and walking trail, allowing access once again to this public space. Byron Shire council has resolved to try and develop the rail-trail between Crabbes Creek and Mullum but seems in no great hurry, despite the overwhelming success so far of the Tweed section. 

We love the rail trail and are eager for Byron council to get moving on its section. Although bicycles require minimal infrastructure and can be ridden virtually anywhere, improved infrastructure makes cycling more accessible for more people which helps develop the cycling culture. Something to think about on World Bicycle Day.