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words by ben stephens
As a visitor to the Big Apple and London, there is nothing like jumping on a city bike and seeing the local road rage, face to face.
Thankfully, in a bid to better themselves over Sydney, back in 2010 the City of Melbourne put the together Melbourne Bike Share. An initiative that now plays home to 51 bike stations across the city. With an average of 12 bikes per station, that totals over 600 bikes on the road.
Shortly after the launch of the program, when usage targets weren’t being hit, the Victorian State Government realised that due to strict Australian law, helmets must be worn by all riders of bicycles, making the idea of having to purchase a helmet, less sexy to the riding public.
The introduction of helmets attached to the handlebars of the bikes didn’t see too much of a rise in usage numbers, however spotting the average Fitzroy cyclist sporting a brand new head protector grew, largely.
After travelling around different international cities, I would say this program should be embraced a little more.
If you walk out of the 20ft copper doors of QT Melbourne and take a tight left, head down the half a block to Bourke Street, left again and about midway down the block you’ll see the nearest bike station to QT.
Handy to note that this one is an easy drop off point, over the Fed Square station. Anywho, do the whole credit card thing and voila, after wrestling with your chosen steed, it’s yours.
I know you like a neat little slice of direction, so from me to you, here are some biking adventures that you can undertake with a bike that will only set you back $3.
From Bourke Street, you have the city at your feet – there has never been a truer statement. But from here, head down Bourke, take a left, maybe a right. Over there you’ll see a café, which one? That one. They do really good Espresso Martini’s. Now venture down that laneway with street art – this place is amazing. Look up! How’s that skyscraper! Wow… Are you lost yet? Probably not, Melbourne is a grid, you’ll be fine, get out there and get lost. Then find your way home. Good Luck.
City to the Sea
I would recommend this one for a late afternoon, during golden hour for that gram’ that you’ll need to take. Go for a cycle over the Yarra and head down the Promenade, it’s nice down there. When you see Cookie Monster playing bagpipes, smile and take a left, you’ll be on Clarendon Street. You’ll also be enjoying peak hour traffic if you took my first slice of advice, be safe, have fun. Once you get to Albert Road, take a little right and then you’ll spy the ocean or Port Phillip Bay as the locals call it. Once here take a left and you’ll end up in St Kilda for dinner and sunset – Perfect.
A post shared by Yarra River Melbourne (@yarrarivermelb) on
Smith Street Adventures
This is an adventure that will leave you loving Melbourne. Make your way for the street that splits Collingwood and Fitzroy down the middle. Here you’ll find a two-way street that seems to go on forever. When you spy a bar that you feel at home at. Stop. Have a little bite to eat and wash it down with a little something. Then keep going. Do the same thing again. Or don’t. Smith Street has something for everyone, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, you’re not looking hard enough.
A post shared by Gage Roads Brewing Co (VIC) (@gageroads_vic) on
Safe biking ?
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