There are not many times that a city will make a mark on me – I often enjoy many places I travel to; then there are some that I visit, were I when I leave, I think, I could live there (that happened when I first went to New Zealand – I ended up returning to live there for over 2 years).
Melbourne in Australia is one of these cities. I have visited three times already, and each time I’ve stumbled upon something new, and exciting, or just enjoyed the old places I had been to before.
During my first trip (in 2012), I stumbled upon a little place called The Humble Vintage a company that hires out little vintage bikes to explore the city, which sounded awesome.
I love to discover places by foot or bike mostly, as I think you get a much better experience, and have the freedom to detour if you want to – so I got in touch with Matt, the owner of the company, and arranged the hire of a bike for the day.
At the time of my trip (October 2012), the cost of a one day bike rental was AU $30, but the 2015 price is AU $35
What is included with the bicycle rental
It is illegal to cycle in Melbourne without a helmet, so this is provided, along with a chain lock, and a vintage map with route ideas and information about what you can discover in the city.
What are the bicycles like?
Super cute is my first thought, but also very practical. There is a cute little basket at the front, so you can chuck your things in them as you ride. They are also comfortable to sit on, and felt easy to ride.
Is cycling in Melbourne safe?
Melbourne is a very cycle safe city. Everyone cycles there, and there are many cycle lanes, with cars being very respectful to those on bicycles. The city has a bike share scheme, like in many other countries, but they aren’t as attractive as the humble vintage bikes of course!
During my hire period, I cycled on main roads, and busy streets, and felt very safe when turning into side streets.
Where did I cycle to?
During my 24 hour hire period, I felt like I covered the whole city, from discovering the quaint laneways covered with graffiti, to cute little markets, and eventually making my way out to St Kilda and Bright beach. I calculated that I did about 50 km in the whole time.
My favourite area to cycle to was the beach – the cycle back was even more beautiful, as I was cycle toward the city, along the boardwalk, with lots of commuters on bicycles heading out past me, it made me think – I could easily commute to work this way on a regular basis.
I had a really great time riding around the city, and it is definitely something you should consider if you are in the city – a totally different way to see the place, at your own pace; plus the exercise is good for you!
Check out the Humble Vintage when you are in the city, for a more unique view of the place.