Four wonderful days in and around Melbourne, mainly catching up with friends, sight seeing and the odd pootle.
Day one – 01/10/10 :
We got up and put our bikes back together, no damage to them bar one scratch on Peli’s bike :( I think it must have been her cassette that have been pressed to the frame while being put on the plane, as the boxes did look a bit battered.
We aimed the GPS towards the Melbourne Cricket Ground and set off for a little pootle around Melbourne. Very wide roads, plenty of space for us cyclists, and very flat, I wonder why the fixies haven’t taken off more. We also saw Melbourne’s version of our Boris bikes, sad to see that most stands are full. More about cycling in an other post later on.
We then went into Albert Park, where the sun was out but then wind a bit cold, and headed to St. Kilda. I spent three days there when I was in Oz last some 16 years ago. The place didn’t look so run down as I could remember and we had two massive bowls of potato wedges and three bowls of dips. Nom nom.
We then headed back into to town via the beach, I’m sure that this place would be packed in the summer. In the central bit of Melbourne we met up with Chris who then took us out to the Docklands where we had tea at the Degani bakers. A bakery chain that now is sponsoring a cycling team along with having a tea and bicycle shops joined together. We waited for Fi to get off work and then we cycled along the Yarra river nearly all the way home to our hosts.
Day two – 02/10/10 :
We got up only to find that my back had gone. 20 + hours on a plane and sleeping two nights in a bed that is softer than what I’m used to. Had seized it up in my lower back so getting on and off the bicycle wasn’t the most fun. Though riding the Tank (Surly LHT) was easy and I felt nothing. So we decided to keep the long distance and hard ride to the end of our stay, and set out for a pootle around town.
Chris had see that there was a car boot sale for bicycles on that Saturday morning in Fitzroy area of Melbourne. All the hipsters and fixie riders was there an some very nice frames was going. Peli was rather taken by the deep Bordeaux colour Coppi frame. How much would it cost to ship home?
We then crossed a river and hit one of the few steepish hills in Melbourne and joined the “Boulevard” for a leisurely ride and a great view over the city. We then joined the river and cycled along it, criss crossing underneath the highway or freeway as they tend to call these things down under. This took us right back into town again. And the crowds were gathering for the final of the Australian Football League. So after a quick walk about town we headed back to our host for some yumyum food and managed to see the last few laps of the women’s final (road cycling) in Geelong.
Day three – 03/10/10 :
Yet another glorious day down under, our host kept telling us that it was not normal as they had a wet winter.
We headed out south along the shore front down to Altona where I got a yummy ice cream and Peli got eaten by biting bastards. The route took in the river under the freeway again and some wetlands and small parks. Most of the paths were shared and people gave each other plenty of room. What really struck me was how clean it was, if this was the UK you would see plenty of garbage scattered all over and the odd burned out scooter along the route.
We arrived home and had our first Australian BBQ, sausages, burgers and halloumi until we were stuffed.
Day four – 04/10/10 :
An early start to catch the train out to the Dandenongs National Park, for 30km fantastic riding. The train took us out through the suburbs, the more we see of Melbourne, the more we seem to know it, as in the areas of Kew, Camberwell, Box Hill and Burnley etc, but they are not in the same place or look the same. It is odd to see such familiar names in such unfamiliar places.
Our host called this ‘the bush’ but we could only see beautiful forest. Two long winding hills and a long downhill swerving up and down. In Sassafras we stopped on the way back and had our lunch and I found a rather nice banana, chocolate and pecan cake which we enjoyed before heading home.
That gave us in total 120 miles in and around Melbourne, gpx route etc will be on the blog when we are back on the top side of the world.
A special thanks goes to our host, thanks and you are very welcome to crash at ours any time.
Click here to see all the photos from our Melbourne trip : Around Melbourne