Saturday, October 19, 2013

Biking Adventures in Melbourne

Last Saturday was a full day of biking adventures.  I am part of a running group here in Geelong, Victoria, and Saturday was the celebration of 1600 runs.  Imagine that, 1600 runs have been done by the group.  Granted the group started back in the 1980s, but still, quite a milestone.  The group marked the occasion by planning a bike day in Melbourne.

We met up at one of the member's houses early on Saturday morning to load our bikes into the back of a large truck.  The bikes were driven to Melbourne by one of the group members while the rest of us (about 20 people) jumped on the train.  The train to Melbourne was a pretty good deal - $15.60 for a two-way ride, and then you can use your train ticket to get on the metro and trams.  We didn't do any of the public transport, but it was nice to use the train system once with the group so I can feel more comfortable doing it on my own in the future if I like.

Loading up the bikes
Arriving in Melbourne

After we got off the train, we quickly met up with the bike-truck at Mission to Seafarers.  It's an old mission from the 1800s located along the river that provided a place for people at sea to come and stay, as well as send letters communicating with their family.  The mission is now just more of a public house, and the group booked the back patio area to use.  The plan for the day was to ride our bikes along a trail and then end up back at the mission to eat.

Headed out for the day

The group started off on the trail - we followed the Capital City Trail, a 30km trail that was a great loop trail within the city.  The trail started off by the river in the downtown area and weaved through park areas.  We even biked past the Melbourne zoo.

Most of the group

The event was nautical-themed.  I'm not sure why they chose nautical, but lots of people dressed up in either sailor outfits or pirate gear.  I didn't have a costume, but luckily someone brought extra pirate hats so I was theme-appropriate with a hat.


We'd ride for an hour or so and then the bike-truck would meet up with us and we'd take a break with snacks and drinks.  It was quite a leisurely ride, not too taxing, but we did more than just the 30km loop.  In order to meet up with the truck, we had to get off the trail to a public road, so the 30k trial ended up being more like 40-45km, but it was still a great ride.

Enjoying a break along the way

When I heard that we were going to do a bike ride through Melbourne, I imagined that we'd be biking through metropolitan areas with a park every now and then, but that certainly wasn't the case.  The trail took use by multiple rivers and streams, as well as through so many parks.  We did eventually go through some metropolitan spots but it was only for very short parts.  Overall, the ride was very scenic and enjoyable.  We were super lucky to get great weather for the day.  And after working indoors in a lab for the entire week, there's nothing like getting outside to enjoy the sunshine :)

Everyone had a great ride, and there were no injuries.  We met back at the Mission to Seafarer and enjoyed a great BBQ meal before heading back on the train.  The day was an absolute success, and I spent the entire next day relaxing after such a fun day.  I hope to enjoy more trips to Melbourne in the future!!

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