If it's been a while between rides, the Christmas break can be the perfect time to jump back on the bike and carry healthy habits into the new year.
We've compiled some information below to make sure you're ready to roll.
FINDING A BIKE
If you don’t have a bike you don’t need to break the bank getting one – there are heaps of perfectly good second hand bikes on websites and forums, and some people even find them in hard rubbish!
A bike shop is still a great place to start though. If you do want some advice there are loads of friendly bike shops in Melbourne who can help you with your choice – Google your local.
Before you go for ride do the A, B, C check:
- A: make sure there is air in the tyres
- B: make sure the brakes work well
- C: make sure the chain is running smoothly
If it has been a long time since you have ridden your bike you can do an ‘M’ check.
It’s called an M check because you follow the frame of the bike from one wheel to another in an M shape.
In an M check you can make sure the chain, gears, seat, pedals, handlebars and wheels are all working well.
WEARING A HELMET
It’s important to make sure your helmet fits well and doesn’t sit too far forwards or backwards on your head.
Make sure there are no twists in the straps, the helmet doesn’t shake around, and you can fit two fingers on your forehead between the helmet and your brow.
WHAT TO WEAR
The good news is you don’t have to wear lycra and dress up like you’re taking on the tour, you just need to be comfortable!
Some people get around in their house painting clothes, others in footy shorts and singlets, but most just wear normal clothes like a t-shirt or summer dress.
If you’re going on a longer ride it can be a good idea to wear special bike shorts with padding at the back, but you don’t have to.
WHERE TO GO
Bicycle Network is always asking for more bike lanes and places to ride, but there are still plenty of great places to go in Melbourne and Victoria.
The Capital City Trail is a great 30km loop around inner Melbourne. It’s fully sealed, off road and goes past everything from the Botanic Gardens and Olympic Park to the Zoo and Collingwood Childrens Farm.
There aren’t many bike paths around the world where you get to see both footballers and farm animals!
The Capital City Trail connects to other off-road paths in all parts of the city, including the Upfield Path in the north, Gardiners Creek Trail in the east and Footscray Road in the west.
If getting to the trail on a bike from where you live is difficult you can also take a train – there are plenty of stations along the way, including Flinders Street.
Victoria is also Australia’s rail trail capital. There used to be many more railway lines than we currently have operating in the state and now many of the disused lines have been repurposed into off-road bike paths.
The famous Murray to Mountains Rail Trail can take you from Wangaratta to Bright via many wineries, cafes, pubs and towns.
GETTING THE KIDS INTO GEAR
A bike ride is a great way to spend family time together and this year we’ve set families a little test – the summer screen time cycling challenge.
For every hour spent on a screen during the week, we’d love to see it matched with an hour of bike riding!
Some children are averaging 10 or more hours of screen time a week and not enough are getting their 60 minutes of daily exercise.
Take on the summer screen time challenge, start riding and get ready for National Ride2School Day in March!
NATIONAL RIDE2SCHOOL DAY EVENT INFORMATION
- What: Bicycle Network’s National Ride2School Day
- When: Friday 13 March 2020
- Where: Primary and secondary schools around Australia
- Who: 350,000 students plus parents and teachers
- How: Schools can register at ride2school.com.au and receive a free resources pack with posters, stickers and a count sheet to tally the number of students who ride. Ask your school to get involved!