Riding in the city is becoming not only a stylish option but a smart one. Increasingly, cities are reducing speed limits or taking cars off the road in their CBDs to hand the advantage back to pedestrians and push bikes. Jordan Baker, a student living in inner Melbourne, recently took up cycling and is now adamant jumping on two wheels in the city is better than all other options.
Travelling on public transport can cost anywhere between $40 a week in Perth to $60 a week in Sydney, and even then you are at the mercy of your bus/tram/train/ferry which may be/often/always running late.
While driving can cost $100 in petrol and then much more in more-than regular car services, jumping on a bike costs little more than the price of the bike and a few accessories. A quality bike can be under $300 and it’ll last for years.
“Trams and buses are expensive. The other day I was caught without money on my Myki or with any cash,” Baker says. “Luckily, the bus driver let me go, but usually, I would have lost 15 minutes finding somewhere to top up.”
Park (almost) anywhere
We’ve all spent far too much time circling the streets on the search for somewhere to park our car, only to find a park 15-minutes walk away. Then we have to pay for the privilege too!
With a good bike lock, parking our bikes besides the pub, cafe or office entrance is a breeze.
Sydney’s Tropfest has even made bike best by introducing valet parking for two wheels.
If you live too far from the city, park in a suburban street halfway and enjoy the ride in.
Make the most of every fitness opportunity. Pilates on the train is difficult and a little annoying to your fellow passengers but you can still get a workout on your bike.
Now, cycling in Melbourne’s CBD has become a fantastic option, allowing you to go door-to-door in your commute. Those familiar with Melbourne will have recognised the new 40kmph speed limits in the CBD, removal of cars from sections of Swanston and Bourke Streets and new paths and traffic lights dedicated to cyclists.
“I was initially a bit concerned about riding in the city but you feel more comfortable when you’re actually out there,” says Jordan. “I thought I would be riding up against cars but I actually had my own space.”
Plus, there are heaps of options to take shortcuts through the lesser-driven back streets.
Grabbing some good lights and reflective wear can ensure you’re never caught in the dark out on your wheels.
Do it in style
Mix and match some coloured wheels with a brightly-coloured helmet and personalise your ride. Then you can cycle with a smile on your face as you ride around the traffic jams and past those at the train station enduring another delay. There’s something deeply satisfying with whizzing past bumper-to-bumper traffic knowing your active commute is doing both your physical and mental health a favour.