Spring has definitely sprung, so this month we decided to take our Bromptons for a seaside ride along Port Phillip Bay to Brighton, and the colourful line of beach boxes at Dendy Street Beach. The beach boxes are a tourist icon of Melbourne and prized possessions of the locals who own them (you have to be a local rate payer to be eligible to buy one).
Melbourne’s had beach boxes for privacy-conscious bathers almost since founding. While a little more colourful now than in the 1800’s, today’s huts are possibly not much more glamorous on the inside as they are neither powered nor serviced – they are not meant to be beach-side shacks that you can live in, after all.
We met at Federation Square once again. Bromptoneers participating in today’s ride were: Stanley and Elsie, Cory, John and Angela, Stephen and I.
Our very simple plan was to follow the bike trail to Port Melbourne, then turn left and keep going until we reached Brighton. The bike path continues the whole way down; occasionally it’s a shared path, most of the time it’s a separate bike path.
Naturally we stopped for group photos – once we were breaking new ground. Last time we rode down this way we only went as far as the St Kilda Pier. The Brighton Beach Boxes were that far again along the bay. We were riding at a very steady pace – no need to rush on a wonderful day like today!
Not rushing meant opportunities for Brompton detail pics, too!
South of St Kilda, the stretch along Elwood are very pleasant. Less traffic, separated bike paths from pedestrian paths, lots of parkland. Very nice indeed.
On reaching Brighton the separation between the cycle and pedestrian paths does noticeably reduce, but again, we weren’t in a hurry and riding to conditions is always sensible. Despite the extra mindfulness required for mingling with foot traffic, it’s still hard to miss how huge the houses are along this strip. They’re mansions! No photos though – I thought it better to keep both hands on the handlebars along here.
Having arrived at our destination, Dendy Street Beach, we set about getting ready for the photo shoot!
Mission accomplished. After farewelling John and Angela by the beach the remaining 5 of us rode back the way we came.
The hill at Point Elwood is something of a landmark, made more obvious by the weather station at the top. We rode up there on the way back and found the weather station is no more – merely the outer casing surrounded by a safety fence. But the view from the hilltop – especially north to the city – is really quite lovely.
Nothing much happened on the way back until… Elsie spotted someone sitting on the seawall. It was not so much how the lady was sitting that made me give her a second glance, but the fact that she had an attendant whose sole job at that time was to hold a shade above her (it was a sunny day and quite warm).
Elsie’s reaction, however, was only understood at first by Stanley – it turned this person was Zoe Tay, Singapore’s greatest actress of all time!! To describe Elsie as ‘over the moon’ after this meeting would be something of an understatement.
Peddling on, with one extra-excited club member now…
We stopped for a photo with The New(ly renovated) Spirit of Tasmania in the background. Here Stanley had to leave us, so we were down to 4…
By this time an ice-cream stop was well overdue. We had decided to go to one of the places at Southbank – fortunately not that far away now!
The queues for ice-cream on this warm spring day were long, but it was worth it! Funnily enough, the queues disappeared shortly after we’d ordered… damn Murphy and his laws!
This ride was about 32km (return) – plus however long it is to get home means it was a decent day out. Keeping the ride at an easy pace meant we all really enjoyed ourselves!
Thank you to @baudman and @stanleytankh for their photos they have permitted me to use in this post. Credits in photo titles.
Stay tuned for information about our October club ride, but before that comes about Melbourne’s Brompton Urban Challenge (#BUCMEL) will be upon us! Saturday 10th October 2015! If you haven’t registered by now, time is running out so please get to it this week. We’d love to meet more Bromptoneers (not that everyone needs to have a Brompton to participate – please visit brompton.com to find out more details, including how to register) and have a great time on the best scavenger hunt this city has ever seen!