Why I mountain bike

There are a few reasons why I ride my mountain bike to university, work and what-not everyday:

1) I give a middle finger to the state government’s treatment of International Students. They pay full fare for transport. I refuse to pay $97 a month for a Zone 1 monthly ticket. How am I different from local students?
2) My mountain bike is an expensive toy, and leaving it at home serves me no purpose. Might as well use it.
3) I am tired of fare evading. Sitting next to a ticket validator, trying to stay awake to catch a Metlink inspector boarding the tram or travelling with this fear in my head is simply not worth it. I am better off paying $97 a month. But I refuse to treated like a second class citizen. Read 1).

So on Wednesday, I was mountain biking to uni. I’ve just turned out from my little street, and was riding along the pavement. A bloke in uniform stepped out of nowhere, flashed his badge and told me that bike riding is prohibited along the pavements.

I honestly am not aware of this rule – who is around to enforce it in any case? The sign is small, discrete and hard to spot and many riders flout the rules anyway.

Turns out a bunch of ‘pavement inspectors’ are having coffee in a roadside cafe. They must have spotted me riding. I got off with a warning, but not before I sneered at them from across the road.

Pfft, kiss my ass.

So now, I can’t take the tram, and I can’t mountain bike to the CBD via the pavement.


11 Comments so far

  1. iceCube (unregistered) on March 31st, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

    Dude Adrock! I do the exact same thing for precisely the same reasons.

    >>travelling with this fear in my head
    I know what you mean, I KNOW…

    …have been doing it for good 3 months now… and have saved almost twice the amount I spent on purchasing the bike.

  2. Henry (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 12:51 am

    Yeah Adrock, was also wondering the same thing about riding on pavements… apparently you can’t ride on pavements as its not a “shared” pathway. Walkers have priority unless the pavement says “Shared zone”. Just more examples political correctness (or is that incorrectness?)

    lol wtf is up with the inspectors anyway?

  3. Darren (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 1:07 am

    It doesn’t only happen here. In Singapore, you can get fined for cycling on the pedestrian paths. However, the local police usually pretends not to see, ie. in local terminology, “close both eyes”.

    “If caught, such cyclists can be fined up to $1,000 or jailed for up to three months.”

    I’m not too sure if the law is still in effect, but last I heard it still is.

  4. Darren (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 1:13 am

    Oops. Hit the post button too quickly.

    Add: I think cycling on pavements shouldn’t be outlawed. There should be tougher punishments for those who drink-and-cycle, who are cycle-speeding, and for those with bad cycling-manners… but punishing courteous cyclists is just unnecessary.

  5. Brett (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 1:30 am

    Speaking as a pedestrian — “political correctness”? Wtf? Maybe it’s because cyclists are a danger to people walking along narrow FOOTpaths.

    Here’s what the Victorian law says, btw — unless you’re under 12, disabled, or a postie, you have to ride on the road:


  6. Neil (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 11:59 am

    Yes biking on the pavements is illegal and dangerous as I’ve been hit almost twice with a bike as a pedestrian.

    I’m a daily biker by the way and use bike lanes or use the road as you are supposed to. There are shared pathways such as Carlton Gardens perimeter but you can not bike in the park.

    That said, you must have some bad luck as I have never heard of a biker ticketed for riding on a sidewalk.

    And international students=regular fare. Get over it. Either go back to home country and pay farely for your public transport or apply for PR/citzenship here. Why should Australians pay for international students to use the tram cheaply especially as the majority of international students are here for a short time and then go back to their own country?

    Why do you get to pick and choose laws to follow?

  7. Angela (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

    I can’t agree more with #1. And I now walk to school most of the time instead of getting on the tram: save the money for tram, and save the money for gym since it’s been a good exercise to walk 45 mins to school…

  8. Janice (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

    Well, I care about cars hitting bikers than bikers hitting people. Usually bikers who are riding on the pavement are not going to fast and are aware of the presence of pedestrian. I know two people who has been recently hit by a car while riding their bikes. To think about my pretty small social circle in Melbourne, the odds are definitely not too good.

  9. adrock2xander (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

    “Why should Australians pay for international students to use the tram cheaply especially as the majority of international students are here for a short time and then go back to their own country?”

    And why should International Students pay more just because they’re here for a few years? We are the ONLY reason why 95% of Australian universities still exist; we’re already paying exhorbitant rates as it is. We contribute to the Australian economy, we pay our taxes and we give Australia a different outlook and insight. We’ve paid our dues. In fact we’re long overdue some kind of compensation with the way we’re being abused as a cash cow.

  10. Darren (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

    This is becoming a debate.


    Biking on footpaths – good to apply some common sense – if the path is narrow with plenty of blind spots for little hyperactive kids to dash out from, hit the road. If you’re having to cut into the path of a pedestrian and cause him/her to move out of the way to avoid you, something is wrong. I agree with Brett – it is a footpath, and it is against the law, if you’re doing it, show some courtesy and say please. Likewise, Neil has a very strong point – pedestrians should never have to feel harmed by a biker since it is, after all, their right of way.

    Now… How did this suddenly turn round to the international students tram fare bit?

    IMO this is a good way to look at it – yes, I’m pretty blah that I don’t qualify for concessions, but at the same time, it’s a fact that most transport systems in the world are just major loss-making blackholes and rely on government (taxes, taxes) to stay afloat – I’ll be pretty miffed as a local if I’m having to pay additional taxes for foreign students to enjoy my benefits.

    It’ll be hypocritical to say, “Oh, just let me have cheaper rides,” if I’m going to be pissy about it when I’m filling up my tax papers every year. So, okay, like all good international students should, I whine about it (with hypocrisy all intended), now and then.

    And then I validate my metcard. If I ever, ever get a concession, woopie. If I don’t, well, that’s it, too bad. Sorry, int. students will never get over it, but just bear with the lot of us that do actually pay the fare… At the end of the day, I’ll just blame the *&@# exchange rate.

  11. iceCube (unregistered) on April 1st, 2007 @ 5:12 pm

    >>…reason why 95% of Australian universities still exist

    And I wouldn’t be surprized if a significant percentage of public transport income is coming from international students as well.

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