The biggest reason I ride bikes (and started my own bike shop) is community. The friends made, stories shared, high-fives slapped & experiences lived are more valuable than anything I’ve ever done before. The Riding Way Father’s Day was a prime example of this fact. Holy Moly, what a treat!
Waking up on this particular Sunday, I was delighted with clear blue skies and knew we’d have a few people joining in on our ride. All up, there were people from 4 different families and ageing from about 2 years old up to over 65 years young with a good mix in between. On top of that, especially once we returned, there was a few comments about wishing people had invited their parents. Perhaps next time, my friends.
It’s a really simple concept; a bunch of people meet at the Poath Rd store and ride a few K’s, have a play on a playground, turn around and ride home. As the bike path starts behind the shop here, we started right away by riding through Boyd Park and over the biggest hill for the ride, crossing the Monash Freeway to join up with the Gardener’s Creek Trail. Then following the bitumen for a while, we stopped for the kids, myself included, to have a play on the playground near High St Rd before turning around and pedalling home.
The Gardiner’s Creek Trail is maybe the best way to travel into the city by bicycle, or like us, have an enjoyable Sunday ride with the whole family. Like I said previously, the biggest hill we hit was the foot bridge over the Monash Freeway so you know it’s a ride that will suit most fitness levels and be a fantastic way for new riders to get started on building theirs, too. It’s about a 17km ride when starting from Poath Rd to make it all the way to Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne and there’s plenty of places to stop, have a picnic and enjoy the scenery. While the viewing has nothing on the Warburton Trail, it’s still nothing short of amazing. Flowing water the entire way along the ride with regular duck sightings, plenty of trees and a plethora of friendly pets all help keep the most hyperactive of kids occupied.
Melbourne, and the local councils, are all making good roads towards a bicycle friendly city and Glen Eira is one such council. After a good friend informed us recently, we kept an eye out for the new repair station set up for cyclists in Boyd Park. What a treat. Including all manner of tools from a pump, screw drivers, allen keys, tyre levers, even a place to hang your bike up to work on. Obviously not quite up to what you’d find at a professional bike workshop, but still they’ve supplied Park Tools, probably my favourite bicycle specific tool brand so they’re not far off it. If you’re handy with the ol’ bike maintenance or need a quick adjustment on your ride, these council provided repair stations are a good fix. I’m sure we’ll see more of them in the future, if we look after them.
Our ride for Father’s Day was very informal but provided some good motivation for us all to get out and experience one of Melbourne’s great bike paths. Not only that, but it was a great, bordering on educational opportunity to see what Melbourne councils are providing for cyclists all while masquerading as a family fun bike ride. We all had fun, made new friends and slapped some sweet high fives. With the better weather is starting to show it’s glorious face, we’ve now started on making plans for the next Riding Way bike ride. Hope to see you there!