Christmas wishes

This holiday season take the opportunity to dust off your bike, scooter, pram (however you roll!), get outdoors and share some time with family, friends and neighbours.

Libby Dale - Just having fun riding

Libby riding over the Eastern Freeway overpass

Libby Dale used to be like any other regular rider who started off riding with our Southbank pilot in February 2019, but she has now become an essential part and an expert in community riding. She has been an active member of Neighbourly Ride and can often be seen catching up with the rest of the riders. But, there’s more to Libby’s story than just a catch up.

Owner of the Bike Riding Club

Southbank location
Initial Southbank location ride

Libby’s initial objective was to gather some riders in her building and set off on a social ride at 8:30am Sunday mornings. Among the many clubs in her building, she owned the Bike Riding Club channel.

The aim was to help the neighbours in her building to get to know each other better through riding together.

Unfortunately it became difficult for the same ride leader to run a ride at 8.30am in one location and be in another location by 10am. Without another ride leader, it was difficult to keep running the Southbank Neighbourly Ride.

Fortunately the Carlton Neighbourly Ride wasn't too far away and this became part of her regular Sunday morning tradition.

Exploring with riding

The bouldering wall underneath the Monash Fwy - Burnley
The bouldering wall underneath the Monash Fwy - Burnley

Libby believes that riding is an excellent way to explore more than you can do by foot. A bike certainly gives you a greater advantage over a stroll.  As a person who is working hard to develop and grow her own business, she usually doesn’t get much time to explore the wonderful areas of her town. She likes riding as it gives her the chance to visit more places in less time.

Catching up and coffee

Enjoying a coffee at Code 21
Enjoying a coffee at Code 21 - Brunswick

Libby loves to meet up with other members of Neighbourly Ride as it reminds her of her childhood, when she used to go riding with her friends. After a good, long, relaxing ride, Libby now loves to listen to everyone's interesting stories while sipping a cup of coffee.

Riding is meditating

Now here’s another great reason for Libby to be attracted to community riding. For her, it's like meditating, where you can jump on your bike, clear your head and start pedaling on the roads with nothing in your mind but just the trail and its surroundings. After coffee and talking, she pedals back home. For Libby, it’s an amazing way to spend a couple of hours.

Staying inspired

Riding in North Fitzroy  with Phiplip
Riding in North Fitzroy with Phiplip

Often, things get crazy at Libby’s end and she isn’t able to ride for a couple of weeks. But amongst her community of riders, there’s a 78 (Annette) and 80 (Philip) year old, who are regularly seen on the rides. This highly motivates and inspires Libby to make the time to ride. 

All geared up

Edinburgh Gardens with shaggy dog
Staying warm and dry

Riding takes preparation too. Before setting off on a bike route, Libby ensures that she has all the necessary gear including wet weather clothing just in case the weather turns. 

Keeping herself in shape

The ride home along Swanton St - Melbourne Town Hall
The ride home along Swanton St - Melbourne Town Hall

Libby rides from North Carlton to Southbank which is almost 6 kms and then rides back which adds up to more than 6 kms. In addition, there is a route of almost another 8 kms which she rides with her community. So overall, Libby rides for almost 20 kms, which indeed helps her to stay in shape.

Why Neighbourly Ride?

Exploring the back streets of Fitzroy - Lume patisserie.
Exploring the back streets of Fitzroy - Lume patisserie.

When asked about her decision to ride with Neighbourly Ride, Libby says that she loves the exploratory style of the rides. For Libby, it’s so much more fun to tag along with a group of riders. When there is someone to organise the ride and take care of all the details, riding becomes more amusing and delightful.

Southbank Neighbourly Ride at Docklands
Southbank Neighbourly Ride at Docklands

Libby Dale discovered the joy of riding with community and the associated benefits. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but once you taste the fun, it certainly turns into a habit. Also, one certainly cannot deny the life-shaping skills community riding provides. So, if you haven’t yet tried it, do it soon.