I have managed to keep on cycling to work through winter, averaging 4 days a week at the moment. In fact, I miss it a bit if I don’t ride in now.
I must say, having the folding Dahon bike helps. Somehow it’s just more fun, even if I don’t always get around to folding it up when I get to work. The ride takes about an hour and is mostly on bike paths.
I start out down the St George’s Road path in Northcote. The terrifying traffic roundabout at the bottom of St Georges Road now has traffic lights and new bike lanes and joins onto the new “pipe bridge” over the Merri Creek. I used to then follow the Capital City Trail along the creek, but lately I’ve been riding through Clifton Hill instead – wide streets, bike lanes and not too much traffic.
Either way you end up at Dight’s Falls where I usually stop to catch my breath, and there’s a water fountain if you need to refill the drink bottle. Here’s a pic I took back when the weather was warmer. You often see people fishing from the weir and there are lots of water birds, ducks, geese, even swans.
From Dight’s Falls the path follows the bends of the Yarra River then goes past the Collingwood Children’s Farm. If you get caught short there are toilets in the cafe here, and you can stop to say hello to the cows, horses, sheep and goats. This part of the path feels like riding through the countryside but you’re actually in inner Melbourne. I am amazed every day I ride along here.
Around the bend is the old Abbotsford Convent, then a little further on you have to get you bike up the dreaded Gipps Street Steps – soon to be replaced by a new bike bridge across the Yarra which will start back near the convent.
After taking the footbridge across the Yarra you then face the climb up The Boulevard before heading down through scrubland and across the Walmer Street footbridge which comes out near IKEA in Richmond. Following the Main Yarra Trail to Hawthorn Bridge, it’s a short ride through mostly quiet streets to Swinburne in Hawthorn.
Part of the Main Yarra Trail is being rebuilt so I’ve had to detour through Richmond for the past couple of weeks. Then last week a sign appeared advising that the Walmer Street Bridge is closing for 2 months for repairs from today!
So, going home on Friday night, I tried to map out a way to get around the closed bridge. Unfortunately I took a wrong turn somewhere and eventually ended up around the back of the IKEA car park, so had to ride down busy Victoria Street, Richmond then around past the CUB Brewery to rejoin the Yarra path at the Gipps Street steps. Just a little bit scary!
I’ll try to find a better way next week.