This is an extract from the official cycleways map of inner Newcastle. The offroad cycleways are marked with green dots and as you can see, the network is very disjointed. The onroad cycle lanes are marked with heavier grey lines, but they are not always the best routes to take. (I tried to put markers on this map to mark the areas I want to pinpoint but they did not show up on this online version, unfortunately.)
Unmarked routes I often take in my daily life are:
- From the end of Fernleigh track (second from the bottom left), to get back to Adamstown, I turn right into a small network of laneways and back streets around Sixth St and Bourke St.
- At Broadmeadow station (near the centre and marked with a yellow dot) it is possible to walk your bike under the railway line, this can be a handy shortcut.
- To get to the hospital (marked on the left of the map with three H’s), it is possible to take a back street called Carrington Parade. It is unnamed on the map, and it has a small break in it and this break is a staircase, which you have to push and carry the bike up. This is a much better way than the main road to the right of it, Russell Rd, which is steep and scarily narrow in places, with fast traffic.
- Running parallel to Parry St (on the right side of the map) and between the school and the unmarked drain, is a short off-road path, which leads to the sports ground and this path plus the sportground are a very handy way to cycle to Union Street, completely off-road in a busy area of town.
Cyclists know these shortcuts, as they use them all the time, they are not shown on the map above, which is the official cycle map for the area (and which I do not think is very clear), but cyclists find these shortcuts, and they are often much safer and quicker than the official marked routes.