Melbourne is BIG, nay—YUGE. And while it’s a cracker city to have a wander in and a gander at (when it’s not raining hail stones the size of ramekins), it can be tricky to get around (un-airconditioned trams, hook turns and zillion dollar parking, we’re looking at you).
So let’s just say we’ve heard your cries of “why isn’t the Craigieburn train ever on time”, and we’ve come back to you with a solution that’ll have you listing your Myki on Gumtree before the day is through. Forget the crowded bus or packed train and arrive in style and without the sweat-factor on an eBike with the ultimate pedal-assist system.
Bosch eBikes—man’s second-best friend, AKA. the BMW of the bike lane. These two-wheeled electric stallions are the transport solution you want, the street cred you need, and the extra boost up Anderson Street you crave.
Just because our nifty/streamline/state-of-the-art/super-sleek eBikes are conserving our sweet time and energy doesn’t mean we don’t still need to flood our veins with the lord’s sweet nectar—cawfee. There are plenty of caffeine options on Domain Road, but—quelle surprise—we swung past the takeaway window at French fave, Entrecote. Grab a seat though—no one likes a sipping cyclist.
Next up was a culture hit at the NGV. It was a zippy four-minute cycle from our caffeine stop, which meant damage to the blow-wave was minimal and there were plenty of places to park and lock up our eBikes. There are literally floors of things to see and do (and apparently not touch or something) at the NGV, but if you’re heading there between 28th April and 9th of July you can catch a fantastic exhibition by a little someone called van Gogh.
It’d be rude to not make the most of how cycle-friendly (FLAT) Melbourne’s CBD has become, so you’re best to swing through the centre before making the most of pedal-assist up a lane. Flinders Lane is our personal fave because you’ll be able to spot plenty of Insta-worthy street art (keep on eye on those alleys, that’s where the magic’s at).
Cycle north to Lygon Street for a hit of little Italy. For the best bookshop in the world (fact, not fiction), pop into Readings and peruse them word catalogues to your heart’s content. Then when you’ve worked up enough of a mental sweat, stop in at Brunetti’s for a
thousand calories pastry while you’re in the area. You’ve earned it, galfran *hi-fives*.
Next, turbo-cycle with pedal-assist, one suburb over to fabulous Fitzroy, Melbourne’s heart of culture and really good cheese toasties. There’s plenty to see and do in this treasure trove of a suburb. Head along Gertrude Street and stop in at any local design shops that take your fancy (i.e. all of them, however Megan Park is our favourite) before hitting Brunswick Street and heading north to Rose Street. If you’re exploring on a weekend, you’ll be tickled pink to find a market with vintage budget finds galore that you’ll be able to afford now that you’re not spending $6,000 on public transport every week.
Head across to Yarra Bend. MADE for cyclists, it’s the perfect place to feel tranquil (and crack out that turbo mode again). Enter the path via Gipps Street and wind your way along the riverbank to Collingwood Children’s Farm before making your way back again.
Stop in at Three Bags Full for another hit of coffee, it’s probably only been about seven and a half minutes since your last one because pedal-assist has made your adventure so easy, but hell, treat yo’self. If all that cycling has burnt a whole in your stomach, you should also get the eggs benny, it’s honestly one of the best in the whole goddamn city. Actually, get it even if you’re not hungry, it’s totally worth it.
Not so much a stop, but more a drive-by—head along Lennox Street and then via Church Street, where you’ll find all the best furniture stores in Melbourne. It can’t hurt to window shop, right?! If you want to just go slowly and walk, Bosch’s eBikes have a very handy little ‘walk assist’ mode…. Made specifically for window-shopping.
Continue on down Church and then Chapel Street, and go alllllll the way to the end, where you’ll find yourself in St Kilda. Yes, you’re in St Kilda. You went from one side of the city to the other without smelling a single armpit or vacating a seat for someone who’s probably only three days older than you. This is the magic of Bosch and its pedal-assist ebikes. Feel it. BREATHE it in. And then switch to ‘touring mode’ so you can take your time soaking up the hustle and bustle (and money) of Chapel Street.
When you get to St Kilda, cycle along the boardwalk until you reach Paperfish. Order all the fish and chips in the world; sit on the beach, and then destroy any calorie deficit you may have just achieved. Because you’re worth it.
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Image credit: Michelle Jarni for The Urban List