Cycling around town during the coolest days of Melbourne Winter might seem like a ridiculous proposition to some, an activity you would be reluctant to recommend to an out-of-towner.

But if you‘re not keen on guiding your guest through the arm-pit nuzzling adventure that is Melbourne’s public transport system, you could rent a town bike from The Humble Vintage and take them on one of the riding routes featured in Winter 2010 edition of Melbourne for Visitors and Casual Cyclists.

Adding another fine touch to this humble bike rental operation, founder Matt Hurst releases a publication each season with routes tailor made for interests such as pedaling to cafes, architectural sights, art galleries and the like.

Inspired by the aesthetic of old Russian newspapers, the A3 guides have an illustrated map of Melbourne, marked up with the bike routes on one side. The reverse is covered with written content - reviews, opinion pieces and event listings - that provides commentary along the way.

The Winter edition is hot off the press today and features a whole new suite of ‘Things You Can Do in Winter’ (chaperoned by your bike). A ‘Hidden Heritage’ contributed by National Trust architectural historian Rohan Storey, sheds new light on the surroundings we often take for granted, and a Northside Vintage Shopping route fulfills Hurst’s most regular requests.

The guide is produced in limited runs and is available for purchase for $3 from Readings, Metropolis, The Paperback and the NGV Bookstore, but comes free with rentals.

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Rental prices start at $30 for a day or $45 for two. Weekly rental is $80, monthly $190. Helmets and locks are included.