Posted on 27 April 2018
There’s been a tremendous shift in the world of two wheeled transportation. Cycling is no longer exclusively for tri-athletes, Tour de France enthusiasts, and middle-aged men in lycra. Cycling has become a recreational activity, inclusive of everyone, and a culture that’s growing every year. There’s also been huge growth in commuters taking a greener option, and with Melbourne’s mostly flat terrain, it’s the ideal destination for commuters, racers and sight seers alike to hop on the saddle.
Image courtesy of @justpedal_au
The inside scoop
To get an insider’s guide, we spoke to Josh, owner of St Kilda’s favourite bike store, Just Pedal. Josh tells us that everyone’s getting in on the act, with men and women, young and old, getting involved. Having opened in January 2017, he’s seen a spike in new bike owners. More and more people are buying a first-time bike or getting back on the saddle after some years away. In fact, there were almost half a million more bikes sold in Australia in 2017 compared to 2016. The guys at Just Pedal even offer a bike school service as well as teaching customers how to care for their beloved bikes.
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But, he says – the best thing to do is to just get on your bike and start pedalling – explore the extensive bike paths and trails Melbourne has to offer.
Josh’s Top 3 bike trails in Melbourne:
– The Bay Trail: Starting in St Kilda, this trail takes you along the beautiful coastline of Port Philip
– The Capital City Trail: For the tourists, follow this trial to take in the sights of this wonderful city
– Main Yarra Trail : A beautiful stretch that takes cyclists on a journey up along the Yarra river
Beat the rush
Josh also tells us that commuters make up a huge portion of his clients – all you have to do is take look at the bike lane on St Kilda road during rush hour to see the hundreds of commuters who have traded the bumper to bumper roads for the free-flowing cycle tracks. 16% of traffic arriving in the CBD each morning is of the two-wheeled variety and both the cyclist and the environment are healthier for it. Sure, you might raise a sweat, but you’re saving the planet and improving your health, so it’s worth it!
Ride with style
But it’s not all about function – the good old-fashioned push bike can be fashionable too. They can be a trendy accessory that reflects their owner’s personality and style – from the sleek matte-black road bikes and the popping pinks and yellows of the loud and bold racers to the understated vintage, army-green one speeds, there’s something for everyone.
Hit the ground pedalling
Whether it’s recreational, fitness, or a greener alternative for the trek to work, cycling has something to offer everyone, and Melbourne is catching on. So, jump on the saddle and go explore what this wonderful city has to offer, and in the process, as Josh likes to say, “feel happier, live longer.”
By Andy Browne