Riding the Sydney Cycleways

Yesterday I had cause to go to Sydney and decided to take my bike and ride from Central Station to Kogarah, which is where I had my appointment.  I had a copy of the Sydney Cyclways map with me and which I needed to consult many times. I have lived in Sydney in the past for eleven years so was reasonably familiar with the areas I had to go through, though I had not ridden them by bike before.

The route I took on the way out took me through the Inner West suburb of Newtown where I used to live for many years. Apart from this stretch on Wilson Street, I rode on the road with the carsFrom Newtown, I had to find my way to the Princes Highway, and this bit I found tricky as I was not so familiar with the area, especially by bike, so I was off the bike looking at the map often. Once on the Highway, the designated route is along the footpath, and I would certainly not have wanted to ride in the fast six lanes of traffic. It looked pretty much like this the whole way  and was not a pleasant ride with all those car fumes, not to mention cars and trucks parked on the path … 
The one respite from the traffic was this park beside a river ….On the way back, I took a slightly different route through Botany, which meant that I did not have to spend so much time on the Highway, instead, there is a lovely track that goes through an industrial area and beside a canal …I was then able to join the southern part of the Bourke Street bike path, then back through Redfern to central…A nice touch near Central station is the coloured walkway in Prince Alfred Park, where the pressure of the tyres on the path causes quirky tunes and noises to be played from the bollard speakers as you pass by …

My impression of riding in Sydney is that it was fairly easy in the central part and the Inner West. Newtown has a reputation of being the riding mecca of Sydney and I found that to be the case, it is where I would go to see interesting bikes and riders. Once out of that area, the signposting for riders was patchy to say the least. On the Princes Highway, it was unpleasant and I was not surprised to find that there were no other riders there. I did not feel unsafe at any time in this journey, which was about a 24 kilometre round trip.

I did not get heckled by car drivers, although I saw one other bike rider being beeped at by a motorist. I had two pedestrians call out to me, though. One in Newtown said “Where is your motor?” I replied that I didn’t need one and slapped my legs. The other one said “Nice bike, much nicer than mine!” to me on the Princes Highway. This is the sort of thing I enjoy about cycling!

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