OPALs on the Capital City Trail

In wandering around Melbourne I was envious of the infrastructure for cyclists that I had observed and I felt the need to try it out. My constant whining to Ruth that we needed to get on a bike finally wore her down and on 2 January 2018 we embarked on our first bike ride of the new year and our first bike ride of our current travels.

A bit of research had uncovered a 30km circular trail around Melbourne called the Capital City Trail. A little more research revealed that there was a bike shop that offered rentals a mere few metres (well, quite a few) from our apartment. They specialised in the Dutch built Lekker bikes.

Would they be open at this time of the year? We set out a little under-prepared expecting them to be closed for the holidays. However, we were wrong and before Ruth could say “hang -on I am having second thoughts”, we were saddled up on two very sensible Lekker bikes. We were certainly not MAMILs (middle aged men in lycra) but most certainly OPALs (old people on Lekkers).

After about 15 km Ruth commented that she was beginning to think that she had died and gone to cycling heaven. It was easy riding, away from motorised traffic, pedestrians were well behaved (did not wander all over the place and did not get offended when you tinkled your bell) and the big plus for Ruth – NO HILLS .

So if you happen to be in Melbourne and want to see a little more than the CBD, we highly recommend this ride – one of the better urban rides we have been on with a great mix of scenery.

Ruth gave it a 9.9 out of 10. She deducted 0.1 because she spotted several signs warning of snakes. Being navigator, I was surprised to have managed to get around the circuit without getting lost. That was despite not having a map and the trail signage getting a little patchy in places. Maybe defining ourselves as OPALs made the difference – we are not just maturing as adults but also as cyclists.

Enjoy the photos of the ride.

Ruth struggled to get a helmet that fitted her head. She ended up looking a little like an extra in Star Wars.
The Volvo Ocean race boats were in town and were about to depart on the next leg as we biked past their base in Docklands.
I hate taking selfies – here Ruth looks like she should be riding an Olympic Eventing horse rather than a Lekker – not sure what my problem was – photo was in the Port area
Our Lekkers on the promenade on the south bank of the Yarra
Weaving through the pedestrians in the busy south bank area was an acquired skill.
But we were soon blazing upstream away from the CBD.
OPAL 1 in full battle kit.
Oh oh – the first snake warning sign.
The further up the Yarra we ventured the more serene it became.
Eventually there were even rapids on the river.
and you would not have even thought that you were in a city as we ventured to our furterest point north. Ruth was getting a bit converned at this point that I had missed a turnoff somewhere. There were plenty of snake warning signs here. I had to put on my best ‘I know where we are ‘ performance.



    1. We have not been tempted onto the free bikes on offer in Chiang Mai. It appears as the complete opposite of the Melbourne ride. However, we do have a longer countryside ride planned for the next couple of days. Ruth is dubious but the thought of visiting a craft vilage seems to have swung it.

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