Australian endurance mountain bike medal winner Sam Wormington pedals an impressive 17,000 km around inner-Sydney as a courier each year – the equivalent of cycling from Sydney to Perth and back again, twice.
It’s a workout that has put the cycling enthusiast and rickshaw business owner in good stead to take on his latest challenge of cycling foodies around Haymarket on a rickshaw sweet treats tasting tour for Chinese New Year.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the food tour on a brightly decorated rickshaw was a unique way to experience the Sydney celebration of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and Korean food and cultures.
“Sydney’s Chinese New Year is the largest and most exciting Lunar New Year event outside Asia, and a vibrant event for all of the communities that celebrate the Lunar New Year,” the Lord Mayor said.
“This fun food tour is just one of 80 events that will offer food and art lovers, families and visitors a wonderful taste of Sydney over the Lunar New Year from Saturday 28 January.”
A local bike enthusiast and owner of Sydney Eco Cabs, Mr Wormington, is looking forward to offering people an unusual way of touring local cafes, restaurants and hole-in-the-wall shops on the tasting tour dubbed ‘Rickshaw Tales’.
“Rickshaws are a stress-free, efficient and environmentally friendly way of getting about,” Mr Wormington, the owner of Sydney Eco Cabs said. “I’m looking forward to taking people on this ride it’s a novel way to enjoy this vibrant part of town.”
As well as riding in a rickshaw during Sydney Chinese New Year, people can also join a guided walking tour that will take in eateries serving much-loved Asian sweets. The walking tour and rickshaw ride will include information on the history of the area and its eating houses.
Supported by the City, Rickshaw Tales is the brainchild of local award-winning gallery, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Gallery director, Mikala Tai, said the idea was to fuse food and art to help people discover the area’s hidden treasures.
“Chinatown and the surrounding area is a dynamic area that’s constantly evolving. From a food perspective, there are great new cafes and patisseries creating fusion sweets popping up alongside traditional eateries that have been drawing crowds for decades,” Ms Tai said.
“Lunar New Year is a perfect time to get people to Chinatown to experience the area again. As a gallery, we love the idea of sponsoring a moving and colourful piece of art that people can literally get on board with and enjoy.”
The rickshaw has been decorated by young Australian-Chinese artist Louise Zhang, who splits her time between Sydney and Beijing. She drew on the elaborate costumes and headdresses popular in China’s Tang Dynasty to create the head-turning carriage.
“It’s bright and elaborate and a lot of fun, but with many layers and cultural references. I’m thrilled to think people will be travelling around Chinatown in this moving piece of artwork trying local delicacies along the way,” Ms Zhang said.
The rickshaw rides will be available for weekend and Thursday night tours, plus a Valentine’s Day edition, from Saturday 28 January to Tuesday 14 February. Those on board the rickshaw will watch a food adventure video made for the ride. Included in the ticket price is a sample snack at every location. Those taking the walking tour will follow the same route with a personal guide and visit local eateries.
For families, there is a ‘Rickshaw Tales’ weekend program at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, Haymarket. Running all day on 4 – 5 February, for just a gold coin donation, families can decorate their own life-sizedcardboard rickshaw with Louise Zhang’s Chinese New Year motifs and enjoy an artist story-walk.
The Rickshaw Tales video is also available online for those who want to follow the trail and learn more about the people and skills behind one of Sydney’s top food destinations. Rickshaw Tales tour bookings are open now, with limited walking tour tickets still available: 4a.com.au/rickshawtales/