My name is Thom, i’m an irish guy, living in Scotland, and in a couple of weeks I’m coming back to Oz. Staying in Sydney for a couple of weeks, then down to Melbourne for the month of July. My girlfriend has a uni/work placement there, so i get the pleasure of sitting around from 9-5 for 4 weeks waiting for her to finish work.
Thanks to your countries amazinly tight visa regulations I’ll be classed a tourist and not allowed work. I thought i’d put a positive spin on things and use my time to explore the city and surrounding areas. I’ve been to Melbourne a few times but never fully got stuck into it.
I’ve been riding my fixie in Glasgow for coming on 2 year now. Wind, rain, sub-zero temp 9 months of the year, hills, pot holes big enough to lose yourself in, and the ability to be invisible to 99% of motorists, riding my bike is still the most fun i have anyday.
I was hoping to explore Melbourne in the same way, me, a fixie, my camera and sketch book. I’m absolutely fucking skint, so this is pretty much my only option.
I thought i’d drop a line here, say hello and see what you lovely folk have to say. I’ll be over in July, I’ll be hoping to pick up a bike somewhere, preferbly borrowed or rented, or if all else fails i’ll have to fork out.
what is the city like for a fixie rider, what are the laws like, do you need a brake or helmet. how are the cycling lanes and motorists? any help, advice or chat would be appreciated.
Well, I’d like to first start off, by saying welcome! (for July). I think you’ll find the weather here in July to be a lot more forgiving than the weather back in Scotland. This city isn’t that bad for riding. There’s quite a few fixed riders going around these days. With laws, you will need at least one brake (usually front), and a helmet. The cycling lanes are pretty spread out across the city, and most of the motorists are bearable…most of the time. Just keep your eyes out for the Taxi drivers. There’s always stuff going on, so dropping down to some things like the Wednesday Night Ride* could be a good way to get acquainted to the city, and mingle and get to know some of the cycling community. Everyone’s really friendly, and they’ll no doubt be very happy to fill you in on what’s going on around town. Hope you have a great time when you’re down here!
*Here’s a link to the things that are organised in Melbourne. Melbourne
Your laws really suck, well actually there probably how it should be here? Helmetless and brakeless is all i know. I just can’t seem to find a helmet that fits, or even looks like its fits my massive head. (i’m 6’6", so it is proportional to my body) But i’ll be sure to check out some of the events when i arrive.
What up with this chaz guy then? did he break your heart HeavyMetal???
Thought about bringing my bike, but its more hassle than its worth. I’ll be roughing it through Asia before and after I arrive in Oz, it’ll to tough enough carrying both my own and my gf’s bags nevermind the added weight of a 64cm steel frame! At the end of the day i can always buy one and sell it before i leave. My sister lives in Sydney, i could leave it with her to sell. (I’m secretly keepin my fingers and toes crossed that i find someone with a bike they need kept warm when i get over.)
Dave, the wisk(e)y will prob be done before i get to Melbourne, but if its not, there’ll be a wee dram for you!
You will probably find that, helmets being a legal requirement here, there is a lot more choice for the big headed gentleman. Also, it should be noted that although it is illegal to ride brakeless, many people here indulge in the NOBR AKES habit.
This is waaaay off thread, but I just put a velo orange bell on my bike and have become the biggest ringing menace- I’m loving it. The no lights crackdown makes more sense than a brakeless crackdown if they’re going to do anything. I almost cleaned up a dude riding lightless and wearing black on napier st last week. I thought it might have been a ninja but he wasn’t that stealthy.
yep a brass one. I’m so into it at the moment, chasing the kids around the house dinging it at them. I’m gonna get another one for the road bike. It was so dark i couldn’t see a damn thing and i was trying to think of something smart arse to say but came up with nothing.