Melbourne: Build your own Recycled Bicycle
Get There: The Bike Shed, CERES Community Environment Park, East Brunswick (on the banks of Merri Creek – main entrance on the corner of Roberts and Stewart Street).
Cost: Between $50 – $70
In Melbourne these days, ticket inspectors outnumber hobos by a ratio of more than 10 to 1, making tram travel effing expensive. Not only that, but fall asleep and innocently plop your spotlessly clean Converse on the seat opposite you, and you may be whacked with a $212 fine, despite making the plea that you’re just a country bumpkin Queenslander who is new to the big smoke. At the end of the day, what you really need is a bicycle. Enter the bike shed. This nifty craft haven allows you to choose your own recycled bike frame, have a bike mechanic tell you what’s wrong with it and then have a bike mechanic vaguely instruct you how to fix it and where in the shed to find the parts. It took me five hours, three shifters, two derailers, a set of brakes and my sanity, but for just $50 in total, I rolled out of CERES a certified grease monkey with a revamped pink mountain bike that runs like a dream. I’d like to say there was an immense sense of self achievement that accompanied the feeling, but it was more just a massive realisation as to how much I suck at anything hands-on other than giving wristies. All the bike mechanics are volunteers and are absolute legends though, and as long as you’re really patient and look at them beseechingly when they tell you to get a 15mm wrench, they’ll usually do most of the work for you.