Melbourne bicycles, people and things...

I’m loving being in the centre of town in beautiful Melbourne. The CBD area is much more concentrated and focused than Sydney’s (whose larger area has always lacked focus, to me). Federation Square is a wonderful asset.

I walk, pace, stroll, saunter - and periodically point the camera. I should walk briskly, to offset the large amount of tour-stress comfort eating I have done, but I rarely do. Sticky date cookies have been my latest ‘thing’, but I cannot ration a packet (six, large) to last more than a day. But I digress – bicycles, cyclists, people, city spaces, eateries, keywords!

In the centre of town there are several banks of Melbourne Bike Share bicycles – and they do seem to get some use… although it seems to be more by tourists than others, but still. Helmets are the big stymie to both general cycling and bike share schemes in Australia, but there is some provision for the ‘need’ for them, and signs all over the place announcing that $5 helmets are on the way. I haven’t read the fine print, but the cycle hire seems affordable. This, in part, may explain why I have seen a reasonable amount of Melbourne Bikes in use. I wonder how complicated the sign-up method is. In Brisbane, the ‘Lipton Bikes’ (as I call them) are docked similarly in the CBD and other areas – but I have NEVER seen one in use, and I stay in inner Brisbane a lot! 

OK, so this is a 'thing', a meme, if you will. Faded and degraded, here's a chalk-enhanced pedestrian crossing on Flinders Lane. If only chalk came in the vibrant colours we desire. These 'happenings' are in memory of the pedestrian crossing near Taylor Square in Paddington, Sydney, which I happened to photograph just days before it was unceremoniously torn up overnight by the NSW State Government.

Now here’s something that seems prevalent in the centre of town - parked bicycles acting as signs. Some seem to move, others don’t. I doubt many are ridden far (if at all). They are one step up (across) from fake-flower-laden, wicker-basket-ed ‘decoration’ bicycles that draw you to trendy shops. Clearly a clever way to evade signage rules, it's not dissimilar to iPodded Epsilons wearing sandwich boards (which seem more a Sydney thing). Epsilons - perhaps a little harsh, but fun!

Fellow Melbourne International Comedy Festival performer Dandyman seems to have several parked bikes on the go in pertinent locations. At first I thought it was the one bike moving, but then I realized - different bikes. I'm sure they DO move, as well - I'm a seasoned rule-bender/breaker, so moving them at least a little would seem an essential detail, to me.

I'm sure this one does daily duty here, or near here. Milk crates are the preferred sign support. 

Although I’m fairly sure this one is here every day (possibly every night).

Here’s an interesting twist… it’s not the bike that’s for sale, but some exotic East Gippsland locale.

It intrigued me slightly to see many folk wearing Melbourne Bike Share helmets, but riding other bikes. Do they buy them - steal them? Who would know?

A 'Melbourne' helmet parked with a 'regular' bike (a bit hard to see it in this photo, but trust me).

With the thought that folk probably steal them filling my head, I then saw a bloke take one...

...and brazenly put it in his backpack...'They do, they steal them...' I thought, 'The barefaced nerve!' as he kerfuffled away secreting the helmet. Then... (as I practiced stealth-photography for the sheer fun of it)...

...I realised he was possibly simply travelling the 'Melbourne' helmet while he used his own... Still - why travel the 'Melbourne' helmet? Is it a rule? Why not just put it on another bike share bike? The jury is still out!

Pan-and-shoot. I'm (almost) behaving the way I do in Holland. I have thousands of cycling photos (from three tours) and I plan to make some themed slideshows on YouTube, since I've been dabbling in very basic video editing.

Seriously, some bikes around here are just too ridiculously try-hard trendy for their own good. Utterly immaculate, this one - is it advertising something??

Seriously, some people around here are just too ridiculously try-hard trendy for their own good - but there are enough comedians hipster-bashing to keep me satisfied. But there are also a lot of hipster-comedians - hmmm, I'm conflicted.

Again, it's hard to know what is bloody trendier - the bikes or the people! Well, perhaps I'm just slightly maligning this fine young chap for the momentum of my narrative. But seriously, I was a Young Melbourne Thing once, I was never like the ones you see now. What's with the rage for non-prescription spectacles, by the way?? I've never seem more of them than in recent days. Face-props, I call them. Some don't even have lenses - you could scratch your eye by inserting a finger through the overly-thick frames. Right, back to bikes...

Oooh, almost Holland-style. Can you see the kiddies? Again, who could carry this up the Sydney Harbour Bridge Stairs?

Southbank seems to be the Balloon Precinct.

Pop-ular, eh?

I'm intrigued as to how this may literally be so. Of course, we understand it is the notional 'contract'. I've heard of futuristic sensors under cars. Are they here? I'm paranoid about all this as it is, and there's often no way to know these days - digital documentation has (largely) replaced 'chalk' on tyres, but you never know when, how, or where. Gah!

Alternating neon sign in an alleyway. Cold beer I understand...

Hot beer I do not, but perhaps there's something I'm missing here.

Coming soon, more Melbourne photos... Here's a little film of the Street Piano in Federation Square. I made it for fun (and as an exercise in basic video and audio editing, learning new software on a newer laptop). The fact that I will be able to upload it at home is nothing short of a miracle - remember, I only just upgraded from a 28Kbps dial-up steam-driven internet connection. There is possibly no-one on the planet more patient (or selectively thrifty) than I. I have no proof of either of those things.