His favourite rides around Sydney vary largely depending on his headspace and legs. It can be a mid week Eastern Suburbs Real Estate ride, with a healthy representation of his usual crew of friends or an early Saturday ride up through Church Point and Akuna Bay which is more often than not a solo ride.
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Pete Scotton has lived in Sydney for twenty-eight out of his forty-seven years. His wife, Tiffany, is a Sydney girl. They are now firmly settled in Sydney’s inner west, Petersham, with their daughters, Amelia, ten and Poppy, 8. They have called it home for the last twelve years. The girls attend the local school, and Pete and Tiffany both operate small businesses from their home.
Pete spent his first twelve years up on the Northern Rivers of New South Wales in the regional city of Grafton. He learnt to ride a bike as everyone did, in the days before overly observant parenting, which meant he gained a healthy degree of mobility and some independence.
Boarding school during the mid-eighties provided Pete with his first taste of Sydney, however it wasn’t until he returned after studying Urban Planning in New England that Sydney became truly accessible to him. His professional interest quickly went from planning to heritage planning to conservation architecture. He started work in a small conservation practice, commenced studying Architecture, joined Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club and began to learn how to crew on boats bigger than a windsurfer. Fast forward twenty something years, two cycling clubs and two more architectural practices later, he continues to love his riding. When other obligations and responsibilities permit, he walks on and off a yacht with no possessions other than what’s in his bag.
Pete is now reveling in self-employment. His business, The Archivist, specialises in the documentation of buildings of significance. Either for the purposes of recording for posterity or in the preparation of base plans for conservation management reports or consultants working drawings. It allows him to spend time in the field experiencing the tactile nature of our heritage. It is the very tangible nature of the work that appeals to him. Whilst he enjoys witnessing intelligent contemporary design that can be playful or folly, he opposes change for changes sake and focus for the latest fad.
The rapid degree of change currently occurring in Sydney both excites and concerns Pete. He fears the working and gritty bones of the city are often being whitewashed over with something of less substance. Art reflecting life perhaps. Sydney has constantly had cycles of being reworked however and this is just one of those times.
He is a tragic nostalgic and that works well with his interest in conservation. He struggles to put his old bikes on the market, much to Tiffany’s chagrin, and therefore bike-hanging space is at an all time minimum. He is also in the habit of collecting amongst other things, vintage Homburg hats and Italian coffee machines. There’s typically a machine that is hot and ready to make a brew, the process of which is as important as the end product. Cycling culture as it stands amuses him, and he recognises that he is somewhat of a caricature of it.