Cars, busses, and taxi and too fast and walking is too slow and tiring, hence the bicycle is the perfect medium to see a city. The tour of Melbourne city on bicycle can seem petrifying to some especially if they have spent some time in Asia. Compared to most of the Asian cities the Western cities are bicycle friendly, especially European cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Drivers in these countries are accepting of cyclists in all situations, and most are cyclists themselves. We are all aware of the benefits of riding a bike but the human nature of greed, luxury, and societal status pulls us away from this magnificent machine.
So, I decided to undertake this adventure along with my best friend in Melbourne. Having lack of confidence as a car-driver and having not ridden a bicycle in over six years, I trembled. While walking towards the bicycle store my mind kept replaying the Skyfall song by Adele ' this is the end. Hold you breath and count to ten'. We finally reached our destination Rent a Bike at the Federation Square on Swanston Street. We were geared up and briefed on the use of bicycle gears.
A very friendly and old guide lead us through the streets of Melbourne starting from Federation Square then to Melbourne cricket ground following it with Fritzroy garden, Parliament, St Patricks Catheral, Getrude street, Smith street, Brunswick street, Lygon street, lunch at Queen Victoria Market and ending the tour by riding through the alleyways of the city.
The positive aspect of the tour was a wise and well-experienced guide, Bryan Gordon, who stopped at every important destination and gave us not so politically correct but correct information about the Historical sights. Then, we were lead to the best cake shop in Melbourne called Brunetti on Lygon street (Little Italy); followed by a lunch at Queen Victoria Market where he bought the best sea food and Borek for us. Now and then he would take a de-tour at a stray alleyway and allure us with distinct street art. Although, it is a known fact that Melbourne's street art tells a tale but to listen to these tales one needs all eyes.
The most important feature about the tour was that 60 percent of the ride was downhill and hence, even after four hours of riding I was not tired. Another reason could be the fact that the streets took our breath away and distracted the fatigue.
For all the people who are still unsure to do it or not to do it I would say it's worth the money. Firstly we learn about Melbourne from a local who not only tells us about the past but also about the present; the best cake shop, the best shop to get a fascinator, the best place to get a coffee, streets to stay away from at odd hours; cakes and coffee at one of the best coffee shop of Melbourne (included in the tour); not having to chose at the massive QVM market for food but still get the best sea-food for meat eaters and a tasty Turkish Borek for vegetarians (lunch inclusive tour). Last but not the least even though the guide was on the bicycle himself not once did any one of us feel insignificant.
For booking the tour call 0417 339 203 and for more information visit the website.
I'm from Toronto, Canada and our city can learn a lot from Melbourne and their bike-friendly city. It seems like such a beautiful city, want to visit all the places you mentioned.