Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Published April 18th 2013
Update February 29th 2016
UPDATE: From the official website:
Mr Spokes Bike Hire has been purchased by the ACT Government as part of the City to the Lake project.
The Canberra Region Visitors Centre can provide advice on recreational activities around Lake Burley Griffin, including where to hire bikes and watercraft. The customer service team are available 7 days a week on 1300 554 114.
Click on the link below for more information about the City to the Lake project.
Beautiful Canberra is just made for cycling - with kilometres of well maintained, largely flat and wonderfully scenic bike paths. A real boon for visitors, they are also well patronised by locals commuting to and from work, regardless of the weather or distinctive local 'hazards': In Magpie season (spring) - check out some of the fabulously wacky (and effective) head gear - with plastic strips protruding madly from helmets to keep the marauders away. Don't let that put you off though - if you're in town, or have visitors coming but don't have enough bikes to go around, think about hiring some, and make the most of these terrific trails - and particularly those around Canberra's beautiful Lake Burley Griffin.
There is a great bike hire company set up in the perfect location: on the shores of the at Barrine Drive: Mr Spokes. From here you can cycle around the 23km full lake circuit which takes you past most of Canberra's tourist attractions and is a great option. There are also lots of shorter routes, for shorter or less energetic legs, which Mr Spokes Bike Hire details on his website. If you have younger kids, you can hire one of the quirky Italian pedal bikes, which take up to three adults and to 2 toddlers. They are a bit like driving a truck in terms of their turning circle, but are a LOT of fun (and provide plenty of exercise - especially for your abs and thighs), but you do need almost-adult sized legs to reach the pedals. The shaded canopy is a bonus on Canberra's hot days. Pedal cars are only allowed on a set route, to the Carillion and back, but believe me that is MORE than enough to wear you out!
Bicycle hire starts at $20 an hour for adults, or $40 for the whole day. A whole family of 2 adults and children under 16 (all living at the same address) can be on the bikes for $115 a day, and if you have a child too small to cycle themselves, tag along trailers cost $15 (flat fee). The pedal car bikes are $40/hour. Mr Spokes also organises rides for corporate and tour groups and school packages for visiting schools which start at $12 for an hour.
Mr Spokes is open most days 9am to 5pm, but is usually closed on Tuesdays outside of school holidays. Opening hours do vary according to the season, so it's best to check on the website or call in advance to check so you are not disappointed.