I’m a documentary filmmaker in Adelaide who is making a film about the pedal-powered revolution happening here. I’m also a climate/environmental activist and someone who wants to see more sustainable solutions in Australian cities.
My core film idea is to show the people behind some of the many cool bike-variants, pedalecs and other people-powered clean energy transport. The results of the film will aim to inspire people out of their cars and onto these sustainable forms of transport. Ideally, I’d like to get the local/state/national governments to get behind some of these initiatives and enact laws that promote sustainable transport.
The main film will be based in Adelaide as I’d like to keep the film localised and showcase a city in transition, especially since Adelaide has so much potential. The film will certainly cover cycling in all it’s forms, showcasing anyone who commutes, carries cargo, shuttles families around and just rides for fun and style.
What I’m looking for is unique pedal-powered ideas and solutions that you know of. I have spoken with Daniels Langeberg about his EcoCaddy (an Adelaide company using Singaporean EV trikes) and the folks at Organic Transit in the US, and would love to find out if there are any backyard inventions that someone is getting off the ground or unique bikes from other parts of Australia or globally that would be suited well for Adelaide roads. I’d also like to hear from car-free people who have made cycling a core of their lifestyle and how they manage their daily activities around using a bicycle (or pedal-based variant).
If you have any interesting ideas to share, relevant and inspiring people I should talk to, story leads or anything that you would find useful, please start a conversation here or message me directly. Thanks!!
Around the 1970s, a group in Adelaide designed and made long bikes for carrying their cargo. Some bikes might still be in use. Check the Central Market and a market down south.
Thanks for the tip Heather! I'll keep an eye out and see if anyone knows of them there
One TDU I met the blue bike owner at Willunga, so definitely try down south.
If you're interested in pedal powered sustainable transport, then why not focus on people using simple bikes/trikes. The problem I see with EcoCaddy and Organic Transit, is they seem to be trying to replace motor cars with pedal cars. This then starts to diverge from some of the sustainable advantages of bicycles, such as economic sustainability (those pedal cars are not cheap), sustainability of the built environment (how big does the bike lane have to be for a pedal car), etc. Also, these high end products are socially limiting, as they will only appeal to the financially capable, the physically capable etc. They are difficult to incorporate into multi-mode transport, try getting onto a train with an EcoCaddy.
Stick to simple stories of people who have made behavioural changes to become car free or less car dependent.
Maybe even stay away from terms like care free, I describe myself as largely living an active transport life. I use bicycles, primarily a long tail bike for transport (we can fit the whole family, me, my son and partner on the bike). I supplement this with walking and public transport. We don't own a car, but occasionally use taxis, hire cars or the GoGet car share scheme when needed (although only my partner drives as I've never had a license).
Show people how they can transport themselves and their family with minimal reliance on car ownership. This is more of a change in thinking and behaviour than the adoption of gimmicky bicycles.
Best of luck with the project.
Thanks for the reply and thoughts Mark.
I'd certainly be interested in seeing your long tail bike in action that fits the whole family! Sounds pretty impressive to be sure.
I think that the points you make and the type of efforts your family are making are the kind of thing I'd like to look at as you comprise the type of people who are more on the "highly dedicated" end of the spectrum of eco-bike-warriors :) I definitely don't see the EcoCaddys and ELFs as "gimmicky" as I believe that there is a strong need to find not only a transition vehicle for petrol-heads who would never give up their car for a bike, plus vehicles that can achieve things that regular bikes (even long tails!) cannot.
While these pedal-powered EVs are more expensive, they pale in comparison to the financial, resource and upkeep costs of EV automobiles, so they can be an attractive step away from considering even a cheap petrol-powered car. If you check out the feature set on these vehicles plus the type of users and the way they are used, I think there's a strong argument (particularly in car-centric Australia) for getting people to move to this sort of vehicle.
I love the idea of getting more people on bikes and then more cities being truly bike-orientated, but this won't happen any faster than getting people eating less meat so we need transition technologies/mindsets IMO.
If you're at all interested in being involved in the new year at least so I can check out how you guys have adopted your bike-centred lifestyle, I'd love to chat. Let me know.