Can I still ride my bike outdoors?

Last updated: Monday 3 August 2020

There are a lot of changes in our lives at the moment and restrictions on what we can and can't do, but the good news is we can still go for a pedal.

We've got information about bike riding for people who live in metropolitan Melbourne, regional Victoria and the rest of Australia.

Some of the restrictions that are in place may seem tough, and for people in Victoria, a bit of a kick in the guts after previous lockdowns, but we need to stay strong and consider ourselves the lucky ones who can still get a little bit of what we love.

Bike riding is one of the great stress relievers – plan your trips, use them as something to look forward to and ride on.

Guidelines for metropolitan Melbourne

If you live in metropolitan Melbourne you can ride a bike for exercise but must stick to these rules:

  • You cannot travel more than five kilometres from home. This is measured as the crow flies in any direction from your home.
  • You can only ride between the hours of 5:00am and 8:00pm. Melbourne is under curfew outside those times.
  • You can only exercise (e.g go for a ride, walk, run etc) once per day and for a maximum of one hour.
  • You can exercise with one other person you live with, or with one other friend or family member, however neither of you can travel more than five kilometres from your respective homes. You should also stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • If you have a child or dependent person who cannot be left at home alone they may join you on a bike ride.

You can also ride a bike for transport if you need to go to work or the supermarket.

  • If your workplace is more than five kilometres from home you may still ride to your workplace. Curfew hours also do not apply if you are going to or from work.
  • If riding to the supermarket you can only do this on your own and once per day. If you have a child or dependent person who cannot be left at home alone they may join you.

When riding your bike you must always carry a mask or face cover and should wear it as much as possible, like when passing others on a trail or riding at low intensity.

How far is five kilometres?

The Age newspaper has created an interactive map that can show a five kilometre radius around your home.

Type your address into the search bar and a circle will appear showing your five kilometre radius. You can ride on any road or trail and visit any supermarket within that circle. For handy access, you can take a photo or screenshot of your map to check it whenever you're out.

Interactive map by Richard Lama and Mark Stehle for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Bike servicing and sales

Victorian government stage four restrictions say that vehicle repair, servicing and maintenance can continue in Melbourne as long as COVID-safe plans are in place for on-site work.

This means you can still get your bike repaired or serviced if need be. However, we do need to limit our contact with other people. We suggest checking out our guide for maintaining your bike so you can avoid breakdowns and do minor repairs at home.

If you need to get your bike worked on please do the following:

  • Use a workshop that is within five kilometres from home, even if this is different to your usual bike workshop
  • Contact the workshop before bringing your bike in to make sure they are operating and have a COVID-safe plan
  • Make sure your drop-off and pick-up is contactless

Bike parts and accessories need to be bought online. Many bike shops are offering local, contactless delivery while larger, online retailers are still operating with traditional postage and courier options.

Bike maintenance guide

Rest of Victoria

Regional Victoria also has some restrictions on reasons for leaving home that will apply from 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August. You will still be able to ride a bike, however only with people you live with or one other person.

While there will be no time or distance limits on bike riding, Bicycle Network recommends following these three steps to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

  • Cover up: Make sure you have a mask with you and pop it on whenever you’re near other people.
  • Stay local: Keep it local where you can. Go to the bike path nearest your home or start your road ride from your front door.
  • Keep your distance: Only ride with people from the same house or one other person. And make sure you keep 1.5 metres apart.

When you get home feeling amazing  please don’t forget to wash your hands.

If we do the right thing, the sooner we’ll be riding on to a better normal.

To help you identify local paths and trails in your area, we've put together a list of riding routes and key bike riding maps.

Rest of Australia

  • You can go for a ride with other people but each person should maintain physical distancing and stay 1.5 metres apart.
  • No more than 20 people can ride together in New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Riding with your family is allowed 
  • Riding a bike to the supermarket, chemist or work is allowed and a good thing to do.
  • When you do go for a ride you should avoid sharing equipment and be mindful of where you place your helmet, glasses, gloves etc. Keep them with your bike or on your person rather than placing them down somewhere.
  • When you return from a ride, wash your hands thoroughly and wipe down your bike, helmet and any gear.

If you’re self-isolating and feeling well, set up a stationary bike with an indoor trainer if you’ve got one.

This advice has been pulled together from relevant health, government and sporting bodies. If this changes, we will update it as necessary.

State guidelines

Bicycle Network's guidelines have been taken from current government documents or websites. Please always refer to information from your home state to make sure you are doing the right thing.

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