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Published October 14th 2015
Get out of your car, get on your bike and get fit
Explore Fremantle by Bike for Free Fremantle is a great city to explore by bike because most areas of the city, the surrounding beaches and the Swan River are on reasonably level ground. Cycling around Fremantle is also safe and easy, thanks to dedicated bicycle lanes throughout the city and shared cycle paths running north to south and along the river.
Bike riding offers many benefits; it's more environmentally friendly than driving, it's cheaper and less stressful, and you get to exercise your body. But the best thing about riding around Fremantle is that you avoid the worst thing about the city, which is finding a parking spot and the cost of parking. The Fremantle Train Station is centrally located, so why not catch the train to Fremantle and hire a bicycle to explore this lovely city.
Get on your bike!
Any time is a perfect time to visit Fremantle … so get out of your car, get on your bike and get fit. This article provides all the information you'll need to get your wheels sorted, starting with the best option for your pocket … free bike hire.
Free Bike Hire
Free-wheeling Fremantle is a free bike hire service operating from two venues: 1. Fremantle Visitor Centre, King's Square (Tel: 9431 7878). Bikes can be hired from here Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm; Saturday 9.30am to 3.30pm; Sunday and public holidays 10.30am to 3.30pm. 2. E Bikes R Us, Shop 76 E Shed, Victoria Quay (Tel: 9430 5500) Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm.
Free bikes at the Fremantle Visitor Centre
All the bikes are in good condition and locks and helmets are provided. To hire a bike from Free-wheeling Fremantle you need a current driver's licence or passport as ID and a bond. Usually a credit card imprint is taken for the bond, which is $200 for a standard bike or $500 for a cargo bike or electric bike.
Bikes can be hired for as long as you like but must be returned by the end of the day. There are a limited number of free bikes available and they cannot be pre-booked, so I'd recommend getting there as early as possible. If there are no free bikes available, there are a few bike hire places around Fremantle, which you can find details about in the following sections.
Bike Hire Shops
1. E Bikes R Us - besides being part of the free-wheeling bike scheme mentioned above, E Bikes R Us also rent bikes out. Their rates are $20 a day for bicycles or $20 an hour for electric bikes.
2. South Beach Cycles 408 South Terrace, South Fremantle (Tel: 9335 4408).
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm; Saturday 9am to 5pm; Sunday 12-4pm.
Although this venue is at the opposite end of South Terrace to the train station, you can catch a free CAT bus from the station to within 200 metres of the shop. The cost of renting a bike from South Beach Cycles depends on how long you hire it for. For example, it costs $25 a day, $35 for two days, $60 for a week or $170 for a month. All prices include a helmet and lock.
South Beach Cycles
Urban Steed has a couple of bikes available for hire at each of three locations around Fremantle:
1. Lenny the Ox, 20 Wray Avenue (Tel: 9433 3851)
Opening hours: 6.30am to 5pm every day.
2. Ootong & Lincoln, 258 South Terrace, South Fremantle (Tel: 9335 6109)
Opening hours: 6.30am to 5pm every day.
3. Compendium Design Store, 49A High Street (Tel: 6420 2417)
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm (only one bike is available here at the moment).
Hiring a bike through Urban Steed costs $15 a day. The bikes are very sturdy and are also low maintenance with no gears, built in lights and fully covered chains.
Urban Steed bikes are very sturdy
You first need to find an available bicycle at a participating business. Then you complete the hire form on your smartphone before getting a helmet and key to unlock your ride. After that you're free to explore the city and return the bike to the same shop when you've finished. For more information call Urban Steed on 6215 0001 or go t urbansteed.org/
Spinway Bike Hire
Spinway have automatic, solar powered bicycle stations, at two locations in Fremantle:
1. The Esplanade Hotel, Essex Street (Tel: 9432 4000)
Opening hours: the concierge desk is open 24 hours a day.
2. Sweetlips Fremantle, 8/47 Mews Rd, Fishing Boat Harbour (Tel: 9430 6902)
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 10.30am to 7.30pm; Friday to Sunday 10.30am to 8pm.
Spinway bikes outside The Esplanade Hotel
The bicycles at these stations are available 24 hours a day, but helmets and locks can only be picked up and dropped off when the venues are open. However, if you have your own helmet and lock you could use this service at any time.
The bicycle stations are simple to use – just insert your credit card, take a bike, collect your helmet and lock and ride. When you've finished you return the bike, helmet and lock to the station you took it from. A central computer system tracks each bicycle's data.
The cost of hiring a bike from Spinway is $11 for an hour, $22 for 4 hours, and $33 for 24 hours. Any extension over the rental time will cost you $11 an hour (capped at $66 a day) and if bikes are not returned within 24 hours of rental, replacement charges will be applied to your credit card.
Road Rules & Bike Maps
If you're not from Western Australia or haven't ridden a bike for a long time it's best to familiarise yourself with the basic road rules for cyclists in WA. In a nutshell these are:
wear an approved bike helmet
don't travel too close to the rear of a moving vehicle
don't hold onto another moving vehicle or be towed by one
bicycles can't be ridden on a freeway
don't ride more than two bicycles abreast on a road
use the correct hand signals to turn left or right and to stop
don't ride in a pedestrian mall
don't ride on a footpath if you're over 12 years old.
The Fremantle Visitor Centre has bike route maps, including Fremantle to Perth, a Sunset coast ride, and a ride around the rivers. You can also find them on the Department of Transport's website, along with more information on cycling rules and safety www.transport.wa.gov.au/activetransport/24022.asp