Melbourne is well known for many things: Superb coffee. Colourful laneways. Middling weather. Confusing hook turns.
If you’ve not heard of hook turns, they are the most Melburnian of curiosities, requiring one to make a right turn from the far left lane of traffic when there is a tram line running down the middle of the road. It is the bane of some, and the pride of others, those who have successfully executed one without putting themselves in danger or generated honking horns. Hook turns aren’t the only confusing or misunderstood of road rules, and this is particularly true for cycling.
That brings us to our photo. It shows two happy, attractive folks cruising around town on their Beetle Blue Tern GSD. Not a care in the world.
But take a closer look. Maybe they wouldn’t be so carefree if they knew they are about to be scrutinized In the eye of the Melbourne’s bicycling laws. Think you know your rules of the road? Here are 4 rules that you may not know.
1. Take your seat.
Luckily our happy passenger is sitting down, because in Melbourne it is illegal to dink someone who is standing up. The law is unclear about riding side saddle, so whatever keeps her comfortable and safe is all good.
2. No hands? No thanks.
The gentleman is content because his powerful Bosch motor is helping him cruise along despite hauling a passenger. An ebike cannot help him steer and keep balance, however, so he’s using both hands. Which is good, because it is illegal, and frowned upon if you are the girl riding on the back, to ride no handed.
3. A dog of an idea.
They’ve left the dog at home for this outing, which was probably a good choice because walking your dog while riding your bike is also not legal.
So far, so good. But unfortunately this is where their pleasure outing runs into some potholes.
4. 13 is your lucky number if you want to ride on the footpath.
Our duo look to have just ridden up onto the footpath. In Melbourne, only kids under 13 and parents with their kids are allowed to ride on the footpath. You are also allowed on the footpath if your kids are passengers on your bike or are being pulled behind in a trailer. I don’t think the girl on the rear can pass for a 12-year old, so this might be a problem…
And finally, although we do love their hair, our two friends could run afoul of the law for being without helmets. One must wear a helmet when bicycling, and that’s the rule not just in Melbourne, but Australia-wide.
But you already knew that one, didn’t you?
Are there any other good ones you think we may have missed?