Planning an Urban Bike Ride and Exploring New Local Spots

Conditions have picked up in Melbourne for me to plan for more bike rides. I have discovered that the trick is to plan my bike rides on days when the forecast isn’t too inclement with plenty of time to explore. I found a free Sunday in my schedule earlier this week and I successfully planned an urban bike ride to enjoy the milder weather.

There were also a couple of eating spots I wanted to experience within, what I like to call, “doable” bike riding distances from my house. The secret to having a fun and relaxing bike ride – without the exhaustion – is knowing and respecting your physical limits plus calculating an achievable return trip distance.

These eating spots were located perfectly along my planned bike route. I’d always wanted to stop in at The Gully Market at the foothills of The Dandenongs for a dosa. Babaji’s Kitchen has been serving up Indian Street Food from their stand at the market for a while now and was pinned as the halfway mark on the bike ride. This stop doubled up as a lunch break to refuel my body. I also needed to pinpoint a stop on the way home for extra rest. Two Cats Espresso Bar in Boronia was declared my mini-stop. I must admit I wanted to stop in and try their daily vegan cake special, too!

Before my bike ride, I made sure that I had a trip buddy – my husband. We made sure that our bikes were ready to ride a couple of days prior. Tyres, gears, brakes and helmets were all checked a readied. A small backpack was packed with some fruit and smaller snacks (for any needed energy boosts), water bladder with fresh water and light rain jackets in case the weather turned. I dressed in comfortable layers that could be peeled back if I became too hot. Pockets were packed with a small wallet, house keys, camera and phone.

I’m lucky that my area is filled with lots of bike tracks. We had jumped online the night prior to map out our route. Our path mirrored our local railway line and doubled up nicely as a back-up transport choice should our bikes or bodies failed us. Another upside was the local wildlife and nature we could spot along the way.

The terrain proved to be manageable for me and we stuck to a relatively flat bike path with an occasional hill climb or bridge crossing. It felt so invigorating to ride these local tracks and fill my lungs with fresh air while stopping to admire cockatoos feeding. It was no wonder the appetite kicked in by the time we reached Babaji’s Kitchen. We ordered a pea and potato dosa and a samosa chat to share; watching the dosa being traditionally cooked before our eyes – in suburban Melbourne – was a treat. After refuelling our bodies it was time to head back in the direction of Boronia. 

A yummy slice of vegan Black Forest cake and a pot of peppermint tea at Two Cats Espresso Bar meant I could kick back a little longer to rest the legs. We also sparked up a conversation with a fellow bike rider treating himself to an espresso. One thing I love about Two Cats Espresso Bar is it’s tucked away from Boronia’s busy roads where I can reflect on the journey and contemplate the final leg home.  

All up, it took us three hours to complete the 22-kilometre round journey. Yet the payoffs were worth the time and effort – delicious new food destinations found, energising exercise and getting back to nature. With only very little fore-planning and minimal cost, an urban bike ride is one easy way to get you travelling.              

Have you been on a fun urban bike ride recently? Did you find a new haunt? I’d love to hear about your urban bike riding adventures in the comments below.


Did you feel inspired by my urban bike ride?

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