Riding the waves across Port Phillip Bay
Home to Portarlington, VIC; 65km total
We took a couple of days off after Easter and decided to take a trip over to Portarlington on the ferry from Docklands. We cycled down the bay path and were able to get to the ferry dock right in front of the newly named Marvel Stadium via a new bit of the Capital City Trail; it was good to keep out of the traffic all the way.
The weather was not too promising at this point, it tried to rain and was pretty overcast. The ferry does two trips a day, so we boarded the 9.30am departure. The crew were really friendly and helpful. We were a bit worried at first when they pointed us towards the rear of the ferry and said that there were bike hooks (we were imagining trying to lift these 30kg monsters!) but in fact they just secured the bikes by ropes to the back of the boat. Ours were the only two bikes going over, coming back there was another Leitner eBike; we are certainly seeing a lot more of them about.
The crossing was calm and took about 80 mins. An interesting journey through Docklands, then the docks and then out into the bay. We stood behind the pilot, and looked at all the gadgets. When we got to Portarlington, the weather really improved, and we ended up have a really nice sunny ride around to St Leonards on a gravelly shared path. We saw pelicans, and heaps of black swans, plus gulls, herons and curlews. We had a great picnic lunch of egg mayo sarnies, crisps and a local beer; Blackmans Standard Ale (which is one standard unit per can; clever).
We cycled back along the Esplanade road to get a closer look at some of the houses, as it was pretty quiet. We will definitely do this again; next time we’ll go round to Queenscliiff, stay over, then maybe back via the train from Geelong. All in all it was a great day out. It was weird that the weather suddenly turned again as we were just about to get on the ferry back at 3.45pm. It definitely looked like it was raining on Melbourne as we approached. The lights really came into their own on the ride back home; super bright. Tour mode all the way. Nice.
A few more thoughts about the bikes.
They are definitely head turners and conversation starters. Which feels a bit odd to a couple of introverted Brits! When we sit having a coffee or beer, we see people look, then look again more closely, and quite a few then ask us about them, or electric bikes in general. Pretty much everyone comments on them, almost all positive. We did hear one person say as we passed them on a cycle down to Cerberus on the bay “that’s cheating”, which we thought was an odd thing to say. Cheating at what? It’s not like we’d entered a race…
There is no denying that they are heavy beasts and a bit cumbersome to manoeuvre in tight spots, but we are getting the hang of it. For me (Ali) it’s good to think of it like a moped, which I suppose is close to what they are. But we get to ride them on bike paths and shared paths. Anywhere really. Once we get on them and riding we forget about the weight, the ride is so comfortable and smooth and easy. Even in Eco mode they make the kilometres fly by. For this trip we just took the one battery, and had 19km range left after doing most in Eco, then Tour for the last 17km.