CYCLING around Melbourne certainly has its benefits for both locals and international students. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Josephine Simon, Jimmy Chen and Wan Hui find out what makes Melbourne’s cycling culture alluring.
Among the many aspects of Melbourne life that make this city one of the most popular study destinations for international students, its cycling culture ranks highly.
As one of the ubiquitous modes of transport, cycling is popular not only among locals but also for international students.
To get better insight why international students and locals enjoy cycling in Melbourne, we spoke to a few and found out what motivated them to cycle everywhere they go.
A long-time cycler, Stephanie started cycling in Melbourne because she wanted to stay fit. She finds cycling in Melbourne nice and safe, especially since cyclists here have their own lanes.
She usually cycles around Richmond, where she lives, and has since discovered interesting places in her cycling trips.
Stephanie recommends other students to cycle as much as they can.
Jin Sung (South Korean)
Korean student Jin Sung chose to cycle because he found it more convenient than getting around with Melbourne’s public transportation system.
“It is [better] than having to wait for a bus or a tram,” he said. “It takes much less time. [And] we don’t have to top up [Myki] cards!”
When asked about safety, Jin Sung said that drivers here are generally aware of cyclists although this does not mean that accidents never occur.
Jin Sung recalled a time when a car had bumped into his friend’s bike when she was cycling. Fortunately, the accident was not fatal as the car was going at a slow speed.
“The driver was constantly apologising as he said he wasn’t paying attention to the road. There was a dent on the bike and the driver actually paid for the repair and continued to show his concern until everything was over,” Jung Sun said.
For Janusz, he cycles to work because he finds it inconvenient to drive a car in Melbourne. He also cycles to keep in shape.
As an experienced Melbourne cyclist, he recommended new cyclists to cycle in Southbank.
“It is a nice place to visit as [you] can ride along the beautiful river”, he said.
Janusz said that one thing cyclists often forget is to watch out for cars parked along the streets as some may suddenly have their doors opened. This can result in unwanted injuries and in some extreme cases, even death.
Basic tips for first time cyclists in Melbourne
For first time cyclists, it’s important that they stay alert and obey the rules of the road to minimise the risk of accidents.
Ways in which students can do this include:
- Always wearing a helmet!
- When stopping or waiting at a light, hold at least one handle and put each foot on each side of the bike.
- Stay in the designated lane for cyclists. If it is a shared lane, make sure to stay on the left and prioritise pedestrians.
- When cycling at night, make sure to wear light-colored clothes. Make sure your bike also has front and rear lights and reflectors!
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.