I hate to say it, but Melbourne is the best city in Australia to be a cyclist. They have an awesome network of rider friendly roads and bike paths, with only one point of caution – tram tracks! Having said that, I reckon that this bloke from Ballarat might have come up with the solution. So whenever I get to travel down there, I try and get out for a ride. It is cool too, because I get to ride with my Brother who now lives down there with my Sister In-law. My recent work excursions have given me more opportunities to go for a Melbourne spin, but I have not been able to bring my bike. Solution – take my lid (helmet), shoes, gloves, and gear down with me and borrow my Sister In-law’s bike. She has a Giant Defy aluminium road bike which is a cool little ride. It looks pretty funny when I travel with the rest of the business crowd in our suits on a Monday morning and I have my lid slung around my work bag as I check in on the flight.

Riding Melbourne - #1After spending the day at the office, I rushed over to the Melbourne Yardin’s residence with my gear in hand. But before we could roll I had to rig the bike to fit me. This involved adding the Garmin mount, tensioning off the SPD pedal clips, and most importantly swapping out the women’s seat for a man’s saddle and adjust the seat height. I had to lift up the height of the seat post a further 3 times within the first 2km of our ride because I didn’t get it right before we started rolling. Big tip – if you borrow someone else’s bike, measure the length on your own bike between the centre point of the crank and the base of your saddle to get the seat height right. My Sister In-law is a few inches shorter than me, and her bike is one size smaller (it was a 53.5cm frame and I normally ride a 56cm). It felt different, but not uncomfortable. In fact, while it was heavier than my carbon road steed, I was surprised how responsive the bike felt under steering. I was able to clock up just under 50km/hr going downhill and I felt very sturdy on the bars and pedals.

Riding Melbourne - #2The ride had a few gremlins in it, with my brother copping a flat as we climbed up Alma Road in St Kilda East. Unusually for Melbourne glass was sprinkled everywhere on the route we chose for the evening.

Melbourne Riding - #3

It took us a while to change the wheel, and we were getting hungry. So we kept spinning with a time limit on the clock, but decided to ham it up a bit. King Edward VII sitting on his horse has got nothing compared to a man in lycra on two wheels.

Melbourne Riding - #4

In the end, we were gone for only just over an hour, but at least we are now rigged to roll again. I am looking forward to getting out on the wheels again this week and this time put a few more kilometres down. When we got back to Melbourne Yardin’s place, the two bikes had their own romantic interlude under the butterflies – as if to remind me that I was riding my Sister In-law’s bike and her bike was already betrothed to another. Haha, good times!

Riding Melbourne - #5