Fremantle is becoming very bike friendly and has a strong emerging bike culture, but this Easter weekend it was very prominent during the Fremantle Festival. I came across the most amazing person on a bicycle on High Street – the street was closed to vehicles and given back to people including people on bicycles. I spotted Jessica in her red spotted frock as I walked down from the Round House in Fremantle and along High Street, the exact location where the streets were closed for the Fremantle congestion photo in 2013 (showing people on bikes, pedestrians and people using public transport vs the space taken up by cars being used or parked).
Jessica Arpin showed that you can ride in a frock on a bike in Fremantle for the Fremantle Festival. She was a fantastic performer, originally from Brazil but explores the world and offers a unique approach to exploring the boundaries between theatre, circus, cabaret and street performance, in the language of the place. She wove a marvellous story about choosing prospective husbands and setting tests to see how fit they were, hearing their declarations of love and getting them to ride a bike. Two prospective mates volunteered from the audience and instantly became integral parts of the story she unfolded. Jessica showed her bike skills in a frock and heels and wowed us all with her trick cycling.
I was spellbound as were many others in the crowd. I don’t think that I will be trying out Jessica’s tricks but I know I will be riding in a frock more often and adding heels. I might even get a red polka dot helmet, shoes or dress…
People on bicycles had comfortable seats for viewing performances and were able to get around to see the various performances in Fremantle easily. Bikes were also parked everywhere as people went shopping, bought lunch, consumed drinks and generally do what people on bicycles usually do. It was so much more pleasant in Fremantle with less cars and more space for people to walk, ride, gather and play.