Melbourne by Bike

Melbourne is a bike friendly city with rental bikes scattered all over town. For under $3, you can have access to a 3 speed bike all day, as long as you check it in every half hour. We used a credit card to purchase a ticket, and they give you a code which has to be pushed on the bike of your choosing. Every time you return and pick up a new bike, you swipe the same credit card and receive a new code. The bikes are durable and the seats incredibly adjustable. Even though my husband is almost a foot taller than me, we both could find bikes to fit us. As with most rental bikes, the seats are probably more comfortable for younger riders...but who can complain when it's such a great deal. It was a bit inconvenient finding a bike helmet. They are required by law, but they aren't readily available at the bike racks. Instead they have an address posted for a nearby store that sells a lovely blue Melbourne helmet for just $5. It's yours to keep, so if you have room in your luggage, you can take it home with you.  We had to walk the bikes about 3 blocks to a convenience store where we found the helmets by the cash register in a large bin.  They only had 2 sizes, but it was good for us.

Once we were outfitted with the proper gear, we found a local who pointed us in the direction of the bike trail to the city center. It was about 2 miles and an easy ride with few street crossings, which was a good thing because we were still having some trouble remembering to stay LEFT when riding. Abdul had a few near miss situations when he was looking the wrong way when crossing. We parked the bikes and walked along the river taking in the scenery before hopping on a free city tour bus. We only rode about halfway when we got off at the other side of town where we enjoyed Carlton gardens and the State library. The library had 2 floors of exhibits and a viewing deck that was well worth the visit...and it was FREE! We had sandwiches at their cafe and walked a bit down Swanston street before picking up bikes again and riding back to the harbor via the scenic botanic gardens and then through Albert park. The homes in the Albert park area were pretty- each house has a bit different decoration.

Along the way we passed city hall and found a lovely surprise- all the trees had been outfitted with knit or crochet panels!  This was a fun effort done by Yarn Corner.  You can read more about it and see more photos and videos at their link on facebook.

We managed to find our way back to the ship via the bike/pedestrian lane that runs the entire beach.  It's a great way to see the water and get some exercise, with the bonus that there aren't any cars crossing in your path.  We really enjoyed the day!

One of the many bike stations
The State Library as seen from the viewing deck
Loved these trees that were decorated with knits!

Look closely and you'll see the many trees with knitting

One of the many bike lanes- remember to ride LEFT!

a sample of homes in Albert Park neighborhood


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