Slow cyclist

I had a great time on Ride to Work day. It was really easy to get a blue Melbourne bike — in fact, it turned out to be free on Ride to Work day. As I was riding, people along Bourke Street called out to me.

‘Hello cyclist! Do you want free breakfast?’ They pointed to a neat pile of brown paper bags in front of their cafe.

‘Hello! No thank you. I’m going to my company’s free breakfast,’ I said as I slowly wheeled by (it’s uphill coming up to Parliament House).

Free breakfast is one of the rewards of Ride to Work Day.

Now I’ve signed up for a one year subscription. It’s $50 and I get to ride the bikes for free for the first 45 minutes of each trip, which is longer than the standard 30 minutes. I have a blue stick that I put in the bike stand, then I can get whatever bike I want.

I rode to work today. The trickiest bit is Swanston Street. I had thought that Swanston Street would be the easiest — it has lots of cyclists and is closed to private cars during the day. However, this morning I found myself trying to squeeze between a parked truck, a street sweeper and a tram. The other cyclists seemed to be able to do it but I was too scared. Luckily, whenever I feel unsure about something, I can just hop off and wheel my bike on the wide pavements of Melbourne.

Here I am with the official Melbourne bike helmet. There were a whole row of bikes with helments attached so I took one of them.

Preparing to ride to work
Preparing to ride to work

As you can see, I don’t need to wear any special riding gear, just my work clothes. My commute takes 15-20 minutes for around three kilometres. I am a very slow cyclist. Every bike overtakes me. But that’s okay. I am obviously a baby bikist, with my clunky public blue bike, upright sitting position and impractical clothing. I don’t feel embarrassed about slowing the cycle lane down.

And look what I spotted! This is the second time that I’ve seen this mysterious yellow bike. I wonder why it’s yellow?

Mystery yellow Melbourne bike
Mystery yellow Melbourne bike


  1. Brad says:

    When I get back I am planning to ride a Melb bike from the train station in North Melb to the uni. I lobbied (not very hard mind you) to get a bike station at North Melb. I hope the systems stays in place so I can at least give it a go (and also be overtaken by folk in lycra on flash bikes).

  2. joanium says:

    Yeah, I’ve been a bit worried that the lack of patronage would lead to the scheme’s retirement. How long are you away?

    I feel more hopeful that it will grow. I’m seeing more people riding around, now that the weather’s better. I see probably three people a day, in addition to me.

    Three people asked me about it today. Carrying the helmet around, I’m a walking advertisement. I try to smile when I’m riding so it looks like I’m having fun.

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