Cyclists walk their bikes past the town hall in Swanston St.
Hundreds of cyclists silently walked their bicycles down Swanston Street this morning protesting for safer cycling conditions along the busy inner-city route.
- Ride to Work Day - Hundreds join protest - 'Safe cycling' demand
Traffic police instructed trams, vehicles and pedestrians to wait as a column of about 700 cyclists made its way from the state library to Federation Square.
The protest was organised by Jeremy Rawlins, whose wife Carolyn died in an accident while cycling down Swanston Street last month, and coincides with National Ride to Work Day.
Mrs Rawlins was hit by a tour bus on the corner of Bourke and Swanston streets after her bicycle slipped over on tram tracks as she cycled to work on September 18.
There were several tour buses parked on the corner where Ms Rawlins died this morning, even as the protesters, led by Mr Rawlins,made their way down Swanston Street.
Some of the protesters carried signs reading: "Make Swanston Street safe for cyclists".
Fellow organiser Michael Frazzetto said Melbourne City Council is responsible for building a safer bicycle lane.
"We are calling on the experts in Melbourne City Council to fix up the street. The council has a duty to provide safer conditions," Mr Frazzetto says.
Meanwhile, hundreds more cyclists were taking part in official Ride to Work Day activities at Federation Square.
The day is jointly sponsored by the government, health groups and cycling advocacy groups and aims to encourage non-cyclists to try cycling into work by offering free breakfast and peer support. Over 1000 people arrived at Federation Square this morning where they were offered advice on helmet hair, free reflective ankle straps, free massages and breakfast.
Most people at the breakfast said they cycle to work and into town regularly.
Stuart Schnaars of Diamond Creek, who cycles for an hour into work three to four times a week, says organisation is the key to commuting by cycle.
"People probably just cannot be bothered," he said.
"You have have a change of clothes and all your showing gear at work because it is too far to ride carrying all the extra luggage".
Andrew Libby from Rosanna says he started cycling into work regularly four or five years ago because he was sick of sitting in traffic each morning.
"The traffic is so bad, it is quicker for me to ride home than drive," Mr Libby says.
"If I drive home, leaving at 6pm, it is an hour and a half because the traffic is just so bad everywhere you go."
Michelle Milton from St Kilda says she finds the on-road routes too dangerous at peak hours, so takes a longer route to work.
"I go all the way through Albert Park to stay away from cars because even though there is a bike lane for cyclists, cars just do not give you the privilege to ride down the roads," Ms Milton said.
There was a lot of lycra, fluorescent clothing and helmets walking around Federation Square this morning, but Ms Milton says the cycling `uniform' is all about safety.
"There is a lot of fluoro, but you want to be seen on the roads."
Victoria Police were also on hand to engrave bicycles with identification numbers so they can be returned to owners if they are lost or stolen.
A spokesman for Victoria Police said the engraving service is available throughout the year from all police stations.
There were some non-cyclists who had been encouraged to cycle into work for the first time by friends and work colleagues.
Hung Chau, from Oakleigh, says he cycled in with colleagues.
"It is my first time today, although I cycle into the city on weekends," Mr Chau says.
"I might cycle more regularly if I get fitter," he joked.
Martine Ward was also encouraged by friends to cycle into work from her home in Fitzroy for the first time today .
Ms Ward says she was primarily motivated by environmental issues and borrowed a bicycle from a work colleague for today's ride.
"I would cycle in again if I had my own bike," she said.
"It was an easy ride, about 25 minutes, but I was a bit wobbly at first" she giggled.