In a word: bike
There is nothing quite like the feeling of freedom. It’s a most liberating state of being. Like when you finish your final uni exam (School’s out for summer!) or when you’re alone in the house and it dawns on you that, yes, yes you can walk around naked (booyah!) or, I imagine, when the children leave the nest and you can finally convert their rooms into a man cave or sewing room or meth lab…wait, what?
Whatever, the point is, freedom is great. The best. And what better way to experience it than by the simple yet elegant and all-encompassing mode of transport: cruising around on the bike. That whole care-free-wind-in-the-hair-powered-by-your-own-pedal-power-thing is legit. Really gets the dopamine going. It’s dope. And there’s free, convenient parking all around the city too!
Two wheeled transport triumph. The bicycle. One of man’s, and I use no hyperbole here, greatest inventions ever.
Greatest. Inventions. Ever.
It’s up there with spoken language, peanut butter, music, the biro, tents, the condom, penicillin, surgical tape, pocket knives and the safety pin.
Now, there are many variants of bike enthusiasts. A bike rider is different to a cyclist, for example. A bike rider does not wear lycra, nor do they wear cleats and sometimes do without the helmet altogether, avoiding all inclines as much as possible. It’s a leisurely affair, suited very well to very flat environments such as Denmark and the Netherlands, or Braddon (Lonsdale Street hipster spotting is a fun past time) and Kingston Foreshore (where the very hip hipsters are…RIP Kingston proper). A cyclist on the other hand is more interested in skin tight, junk-exposing attire and shoes that make click clack with the ground. It’s a question of function rather than form, I’m sure…I hope.
Luckily for avid cyclists, and even lowly bike riders, Canberra offers a multitude of wonderful bike friendly habitats.
Cycling around Lake Burley Griffin is a Canberran rite of passage. The West Basin loop is particularly welcoming in summer with shaded pine tree paths and wafts of sweet pine perfume in the warm air. The East Basin has a neat little bird land interlude (actual land for birds, not the song) and there’s no going past the classic bridge to bridge. Even still, it’s difficult to avoid (not that you’d really want to) the city’s charming hills and mountains; Red Hill, Mt Pleasant, Mt Ainslie, Mt Majura, Black Mountain and Dairy Farmer’s Hill. All challenging, and fun, options. Further afield the Cotter and Tidbinbilla loop offer breathtaking views, and a great glute work out!
The wheels are in motion. Such a wonderful revolution.
Bikes and freedom…and a touch of lycra.