Northcote is known for its strong bike culture. In fact, there are events here and there that are specifically catering to bike enthusiasts. The local government is supportive of this as they have free monthly bike checks not only for the Northcote community. This initiative is co-funded by the Victorian Department of Transport.
But really, what draws people into biking? Here are some possible reasons:
- It is a good physical activity.
- It is a good transportation option.
- It builds a sense of community.
In Northcote, there has been a long-running bicycle club. Northcote Cycling Club was founded in 1921 and is still very active up to the present. They are affiliated with Cycling Australia, Cycle Sport Victoria, and UCI.
But make no mistake, cycling is for everyone, even beginners and those who are intermediate riders training to be better at the sport. There are several groups near Northcote that you may join if you are interested in biking. The list is available at KeepActive.
With more and more people getting into cycling, an initiative from private citizens was born out of their sense of community through bike kitchens.
What are bike kitchens? Bike kitchens are maintenance workshops providing the community with the necessary help in keeping bikes safe and in top condition. Sometimes, bike kitchens also accept whole bikes and parts donations. Volunteers fix and transform them into fully functional bikes. Bike kitchens do this to contribute to sustainability while helping other people obtain a bike of their own.
In Northcote, we also have our own bike kitchen: WeCycle Melbourne. WeCycle Melbourne is a not-for-profit bike kitchen in Northcote. Their noble objectives are:
- Providing low-cost bicycles to marginalised members of our community
- Reducing landfill by repairing and recycling unwanted bicycles
- Providing access to cycling and bicycle maintenance as a sustainable means of transport and to reducing pollution and traffic congestion
- Helping members of the community to keep fit and healthy
- Empowering women to gain access to an independent means of transport
- Offer opportunities to enhance community connectedness and social inclusion
Communities with walkable streets and safe roads encourage their residents to live an active lifestyle. More bikes also mean fewer cars which can lead to a safer road environment. People from all social statuses can benefit from safe roads. So whether you are a single professional or a couple looking into having children in the future, safe roads and walkable streets are something that should be on your list when considering a suburb to settle in. In Melbourne, Northcote is the top choice when it comes to these criteria.