Melbourne has the largest tram system in the Southern Hemisphere. Cool fact, right? You can hop on the tram or train and get pretty much anywhere in the city. However, there are other ways to get around, the coolest and most fun option being by bike. Melbourne is a city that loves its bikers, which is rare, so my advice is to take advantage of the multitude of bike lanes and trails around the city and its surrounds.
Step 1: Know how to ride a bike
Step 2: Search Gumtree listings for a cheap but usable bike for sale in the area (or buy a new one if your heart desires)
Step 3: Buy a helmet. It’s the law to wear one at all times when biking
Step 4: Ride like the wind!
It really is that easy.
While I was at RMIT I found a bike for $60, plus I replaced the front tire for about $30 at Ray’s Bike Shop on Sydney Road (the cheapest place close to the city).
I cannot tell you how much faster and easier it made my daily commute. I lived about a 15-minute walk away from campus, but cut that time down to maybe 5 minutes at the most with heavy traffic.
Not only is it faster and obviously healthy for you, biking is a great way to see the city and explore the farther out suburbs and roads that have no tram. By the time I left Melbourne, I knew my way around like a local. Taking a bike ride with no destination can lead you to some very cool places. All the photos in this blog post are a result of some sort of biking adventure.
Most of the time, I would just find a bike lane and ride it until I wanted to change course or it ended. I learned a lot about the city on my bike and I would recommend it especially as a study abroad student. RMIT even has a cycling club if you get really into biking around and want to find some friends to ride with.
Some of my favourite scenic routes
From RMIT University to St. Kilda via St. Kilda Rd 7.3km (4.5 miles)
From St. Kilda Beach to Brighton Beach via the coast 7.8km (4.8 miles)
Capital City Trail 29km (18 miles)
Be safe and happy biking!