Bicycles in Melbourne

IMG_7635I always find it interesting to see how different cities cater to cyclists, both from the viewpoint of how it might provide ideas for Newcastle, and just to observe what it is like to cycle in a different city. The photo above shows the best type of cycling infrastructure there, the central part of the road has the bike lanes, totally separated from traffic and trams. It is a two way cycling track as you can see, tree lined and pleasant for cycling. Further out from the cycling track are the tram lines, which look white in this photo, then beyond that are the car traffic lanes, which are grey.IMG_7727Of course, not all of Melbourne is bike-idyllic like that, and sometimes cyclists have to compete with both trams and cars for space on the roads, but even in those circumstances, it seems to work pretty well.IMG_7729Multi modal travel is common, this being the sight outside a train station. Notice that there is even a scooter locked up among the bikes. Many people also take bikes onto the trains.IMG_7673It was great to see the bike share scheme there, though I didn’t see anyone riding one of these bikes. It is rumoured that the helmet laws have prevented this scheme from becoming a success. I didn’t see any helmetless riders there, unlike in Newcastle and Sydney, and talking to some locals, it is just accepted that you have to wear a helmet or you get booked, simple as that, and the locals don’t seem intent on trying to change that. Pity for the bike share scheme though … I also asked one local if he gets much flack from motorists on the road and he said no, that is quite a difference from Newcastle there, too.IMG_7730This was a typical sight: all the bike racks full. Bikes seem to be just a part of life in Melbourne.IMG_7737Newcastle is noticed in Melbourne, though, with the local MX running a double page spread on it on the day I was in the city, Newcastle being featured as one of the top 5 hipster cities in the world (I think I have mentioned this fact elsewhere on this blog, but just in case you missed it ….)

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