Yoshi in Melbourne: All-in-One City Tour organised by Freddy’s Bike Tour

As a cyclist mostly riding a bike for leisure, I had wanted to explore Melbourne by bike. I started searching bike hire shops after I had booked flights and bought the Sports Writers Festival tickets, I found Freddy’s Bike Tours offered rental bikes at reasonable prices. Also I discovered they operated bike tours.

 

Having thoughts of going to St Kilda Beach and Footscray on my own, then my mind changed. Why not join the tour and meet people? Positive feedback by their clients helped me to make a decision to join the tour.

 

Amongst some tours provided by the organisation, I picked the 4.5-hour All-in-One City Tour because it would be good to get to know the new city and the length of time was ideal. The tour had been booked for my second day in Melbourne (Thursday, 26 October).

 

Watching Jane Bunn’s weather forecast on Seven News previous night, it would be 17 degrees in the afternoon with possibility shower on the touring day. But I wore a t-shirt with a Nick Riewoldt’s guernsey on top and a shorts.

 

But I felt a bit cold. Having flat white at a cafe on Finders Street warmed me up and a lady at the cafe was a Sainter while the gentleman who served me was a Richmond supporter.

 

Turned up the shop around 10.30 am, I shook hands with Freddy who took us places. He also barracks for the Tigers.

 

Chatting with an American guy joining the tour, Freddy and his female colleague, I enjoyed the company.

 

After we picked a bike and a helmet, Freddy started talking the history after Europeans arrived in Australia/Melbourne, in front of the shop on Rebecca Walk.

 

Then the 16-kilometre bike tour started with a bit shower. Riding alongside the Yarra River and then through Kings Domain, we got to the Shrine of Remembrance. Climbing up a small hill, but we all were fine and comfortable.

 

Freddy’s tour guiding there was about Anzac’s first war fight in Gallipoli, Turkey in 1915 and what Australian diggers have done. We all had 30 minutes to go up the roof to see the city view. The weather started improving that made us happy.

 


Me at the Shrine of Remembrance

 

We left there just after midday and rode through Royal Botanic Gardens and saw the captain Cook Cottage. Freddy informed us bricks to build the cottage were brought from Yorkshire in England. I had a familiar feeling – I went to York in February/March this year.

 

Then the group of sport venues were our next destination. Stopping bikes at Melbourne Park, Freddy talked about Australian sports mainly AFL and Melbourne Olympic in 1956. He mentioned us the swimming pool at Olympic Park was renovated as Collingwood’s training ground, now named Holden Centre. He showed his passion for Richmond Football Club and suggested an English schoolgirl who was planning to undertake a medical university course in Australia or the US not to support Carlton if she came back to Melbourne for her study.

 

We went through Fitzroy Gardens after riding alongside MCG where I would tour more the following day, and then stopped at the Parliament House. His storytelling was how the Parliament House was built with the history that was influenced by mining. Taxing was needed to run the state, that’s why the State Parliament was established. As I had heard some political news on the plane from Tokyo, my curiousness to know if there was a hot debate or not came up.. Reflecting back, no debate seemed to happen. Later on the day, Brendan Donohue, the State political editor on 7 News, delivered the news of sky rail on their 6 pm news bulletin.

 

Riding up Brunswick Street, we got to Grub Food Van, the cafe in Fitzroy for lunch. They offer nice lunch meals in reasonable prices as well as wide ranges of drinks. I ordered the daily lunch special of omelette and flat white. I could have a bottle of beer, but chose to stay sober for the further bike ride. Other reasons to get coffee were 1) coffee is the identity of a cafe, and 2) to warm and wake me up.

 

We enjoyed chatting – talking about Australia and travels. It was good to hear other people’s travel stories and interesting to meet people from various countries. And the lunch there was lovely. Please note that the lunch is not included in the tour fee.

 

Backing to the city, the Old Melbourne Gaol was the first stop on the post lunch. Freddy told us it was the first prison in Melbourne and the story of infamous Ned Kelly.

 

Then we had a brief stop at AC/DC Lane and Duckboard Place for seeing graffiti and then Federation Square to see some architectures. The former was too crazy and the latter was extraordinary, for example, the SBS Building, in my perception, but these are reflections of different cultures. I was in the city of multiculturalism.

 


Me with graffiti

 

Riding back to the shop alongside the Yarra River, we all enjoyed Freddy’s entertaining guides and exploring the city of Melbourne.

 

The roads were flat basically with some small hills. A girl at the shop asked me if the tour was boring for me or not (she had known I owned a bike here in Kyoto), but I responded as it was okay and I enjoyed his informative and interesting guides as well as meeting other travellers.

 

Their city cruiser bikes have seven-gears so it’s easy to ride the bike during the tour. Freddy also instructed us how to cross the tram tracks and that we had to stop when trams stop for picking up and setting down passengers.

 

An Englishman in the group has done great works for us as he was in the back of the group making sure no one in the group got lost.

 

The tour is highly recommended for everyone who visits Melbourne and loves riding a bike. I like their slogan “walking sucks” and bought their t-shirt two days later before heading to the Sports Writers Festival.

 

You can find more details on their website.

 

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This week, I was awarded two free bike rentals by joining their Facebook competition. Thanks Freddy and the team! I hope to see you guys in July next year.

 

At this stage, I am planning to attend following footy matches next year.

 

Round 17:
St Kilda v Carlton (Friday, 13 July, 7:50pm, Docklands Stadium)
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs (Saturday, 14 July, 4:35pm, MCG)

 

Round 18:
St Kilda v Richmond (Friday, 20 July, 7:50pm, Docklands Stadium) Essendon v Fremantle (Saturday, 21 July, 4:35pm, Docklands Stadium)

 

I look forward to the games and seeing you (again for some of you and for the first time for others) in Melbourne.

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

A Japanese Saints diehard with huge passions. The Western Bulldogs won the flag in 2016 and Richmond followed in 2017, so why not St Kilda in 2018? Like my St Kilda, I strive and work hard to achieve my life goals both in profession and my private life. Sadly I missed watching footy while my favourite Nick Riewoldt was playing and when St Kilda had Anzac Day clashes in Wellington. But I am excited to be back in Melbourne in July 2018 for two St Kilda matches. Now I am a player for the Osaka Dingoes Footy Club.

Comments

  1. Yvette Wroby says:

    Well done with the competition Yoshi.

  2. Cat from the Country says:

    Thanks Yoshi it is good to see our city through different eyes. Glad you enjoyed your journey to Melbourne

  3. Hi Yvette and Cat,

    Yvette – Thanks :-) I got more excuses to go back to Melbourne.

    Cat – I really enjoyed staying in Melbourne. The city is so interesting and exciting. Can’t wait going back there next year…

    Thanks

    Yoshi

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