FAQs

Q?

What type of bike should I ride? What will I need with it?

A.

Bicycle Network recently launched their Start Riding initiative to help you in your journey. This advice is generally quite good, and covers everything you need to make a purchase, kit it out with the gear you’ll need (helmet, lights, bottle cage, etc.), plan a route, basic bike mechanics (lube your chain and pump your tyres!), and more. Additionally, Bicycle Network has a fantastic “top 10 tips” list that you should check off before every ride!

Q?

Where can I buy a bike in Maroondah?

A.

Great question! Here’s a Google Map with locations of all the bike shops in the area.

View Bicycle Shops near Maroondah in a larger map

Q?

How do I ride on the roads? What are the rules?

A.

Under the law, bicycles are classified as vehicles on the road, and as such have full access to the road as any other vehicle does. Being a vehicle, you should have a working knowledge of the road rules, regardless of the fact that bicycles do not require registration or licensing.

Vehicles are not permitted on the footpath; therefore bicycles are also prohibited - except if there is signage indicating a “shared path”. This is denoted by graphics of a pedestrian and a bicycle, typically on a signpost or painted on the path. The only roads that you typically cannot cycle on are motorways.

Never ride less than a metre from the kerb. This ensures that you have sufficient space to your left in case you need to swerve to dodge a pothole, puddle, or other hazard in the road. You want to avoid swerving to the right, into traffic.

Because a bicycle is a vehicle, you are entitled to use the entire lane of traffic. Where there is more than one lane of traffic, and at intersections, you are encouraged to position your bicycle in the middle of the lane. Additionally, you may “claim the lane” whenever you feel that it would be unsafe for vehicles to pass without making a complete lane change.

“Claiming the lane” discourages unsafe passes by requiring drivers to make a full lane change, lessening the chance that you will be “squeezed out” and left stuck between the kerb and another vehicle. It also aids in visibility - drivers are looking ahead, so riding in front of them makes you more likely to stand out from further back.

Never ride in the “door zone”. Parked cars present a danger to cyclists, as the occupant(s) may suddenly open their door into your travel line. Head check, indicate, and merge right well in advance of a parked car, ride at least 1.5m to the right of the door, and then move left as appropriate. Never “hug” the car as you go around it.

Q?

Why do cyclists not require registration, insurance, or licensing?

A.

Cycling has been a mode of transport for hundreds of years, pre-dating the motor vehicle.

Like walking, cycling does not have any “red tape” barriers to entry, because you are very unlikely to seriously injure or kill anyone whilst walking or cycling. In comparison, a driver piloting several tons of metal has a high likelihood of injuring or killing others, which is why the insurance component of your car registration is so expensive.

Insurance, whilst not compulsory, is recommended. Bicycle Network and Cycle Alliance Australia provide excellent insurance options if you wish to insure your steed!

Q?

Do I need cycling clothing to ride?

A.

Absolutely not! As discussed above, the type of bike you ride depends on the type of riding you’ll be doing.

If you’re planning to commute to work 40km away on a road bike, then specialised clothing may be appropriate as it helps with sweating, as well as improving the comfort and speed of the ride. However, if you’re riding for recreation, to get the local shops, or if you work locally, all you need is lights and a helmet.

Fashion is no barrier to riding, especially for women; low-step bikes are great for when cycling in a skirt, and it’s much easier to ride in high heels than it is to walk!

Q?

Maroondah is so hilly and it’s such hard work!

A.

You aren’t wrong! In particular, areas such as Loughnan’s Hill in Ringwood North and the suburb of Croydon Hills can be quite challenging due to their terrain.

When you start riding, climbing hills may be a challenge. Try to find areas that are relatively flat to start with, building up your fitness and expertise. The Mullum Mullum Creek Trail, Taralla Creek Trail, or Dandenong Creek Trail are all relatively flat and easy rides for a beginner.

Next, consider whether you are riding the right kind of bike, and whether you are selecting the right gear? Go down gears as you go up the hills.

Finally, “no pain, no gain!” - it gets easier every time you do it. Start small and work your way up; pretty soon you’ll be climbing hills like they’re nothing! (Yes, it’s true, and it’s possible!)

Q?

My question hasn’t been answered here?

A.

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