Ok, so my uni holidays are coming up so my time to ride will be greatly increased and as a result I want to do a bit of commuting to and from work. Well I work both tuesday nights and 9-5 at my other job basically whatever weekday I want but it means I'd be riding during peak hour mornings and afternoons and also riding late at night. Oh and for the time being, I'll be riding my mountain bike, but I'm not fussed about lack of speed because of the amount of spare time I'll have...
Anyway, because of where I live I have to drive half way and then commute and I have to go from around beecroft/pennant hills area to the city. I'm wondering where are good routes to go such as M2 or victoria rd or epping rd or wherever, keeping in mind I'd rather safer routes with less cars as I won't be riding fast. Should I also park at somewhere like cheltenham and ride in or somewhere closer to the city as I'm really unsure as to what the distances are yet. My reasoning for around cheltenham area is just that from about the start of the M2 on Beecroft Road the traffic is ridiculous so it'd be great to park before that and just right on past. But ideally I'd be looking at starting maybe 15-20km ride each way and increase it from there as my fitness isn't too bad at the moment because I regularly ride off road for ~30kms abot 2-3 times a week already.
Oh and also I have no idea in regards to safety laws besides wearing a helmet. Anything else I'd need? Also, what's the minimum amount of tools and equipment for my bike I'd need incase of something going wrong with my bike?
Advice on this is hugely appreciated
Mmm, thats a tough one. I know the roads into the city from Gladesville bridge or Chatswood and the road from and including Gladesville bridge is better than they are from Gladesville. What I don't know is the roads from Pennant Hills to these locations. Theres a rider whose working in the same building as me in my current location of North Sydney who lives is Ryde and she cycles south over the harbor bridge and then west to Gladesville.
Now the route from Gladesville bridge is to follow the official bike route thru Droymone and then go over Ironcove bridge on the bike path. When you get to the end, you go down the stairs and under the bridge and then ride thru the park to a minor road in the former Rozelle hospital, you turn left up the hill and ride upto Cecily st, down Cecily st and left onto Lillyfield rd. Theres a back street shortcut half way down Cecily st, so check the map, avoids a hill. Lillyfield rd to the end and over the foot bridge at white bay and onto Anzac bridge.
A helmet saved my life
I know the direct route by road to gladesville bridge as I drive it everyday. I would go from epping station and just follow blaxland rd down to victoria rd and then go along victoria to gladesville. I'm just unsure of any other paths for safety reasons and also the distance I'd be looking at. I actually drive through ryde so I'd be interested to know which way that rider in your building goes.
I don't know by memory, but does the bike path from gladesville bridge to iron cove bridge just follow victoria rd? I know some of the backstreets to the left of victoria rd when driving to the city as I drive there during morning peak hour because it's a lot faster. However, I'll keep an eye out for the bike path when i drive tomorrow.
Hmmm maybe I'll start at the city side of gladesville bridge first just to get used to commuting although the ride just to the city (either near wynyard station or sydney uni) isn't that far at all.
I think I know a few backroads that run to the side of the suburb before gladesville bridge (can't remember the name but might even be gladesville ) so maybe I'll check them out with my brother one weekend.
check out these
Inner west bike map
RTA sydney routes
bikely sydney bike maps
Just a warning on the bikley maps, different riders have different opinions on whats ok to ride and whats not.
Now, the route thru Drummoyne, is the back streets between Victorial road and the Harbour. Its sign posted, but check out the RTA maps, it must be there. The second half is clearly seen on the innerwest bike map. You can also see the Cecily st diversion.
A helmet saved my life
The crash hat is all you need though the brighter your clothing without feeling like a complete git the better - drivers don't always look but it pays to help them see you if they do.
Tools. This depends on your bike to a large extent.
You will need everything to fix a flat and I'd suggest a spare tube plus a puncture repair kit - the spare tube because that's so much better than mucking about with repairs on the side of the road but a puncture repair kit as well because they are both cheap and small so the added layer of protection is easy to get. You'll need three tyre levers, a good pump (lots of mini-pumps that bolt on under a drink holder) and whatever is needed to get a wheel off. You don't have to remove a wheel to fix a flat so if you've got nuts rather than quick release hubs, you don't have to carry a spanner though this makes it impossible to change your tube.
Now, get out your trusty allen key set and go to every allen key'd bolt on the bike - place the appropriate allen key to one side. Once you've gone to every bolt on the bike, have a look at your collection of allen keys - there'll probably only be three or four and you should be able to buy a cheap set with just those. Carry them.
Now go over everything else that turns on the bike. Seat bolts for example. Get the appropriate tool and put it in a pile. Once you've covered everything, make a few decisions. For example, to commute in the city, you don't need a half inch spanner to tighten the seat or a spoke key however, you might want to include them on a ten day tour into the boondocks.
You'll need a small screwdriver for derailleur adjustments, but I do them with my pocket knife which is always in my pocket.
So with tools, it's just a matter of making a pile of everything needed to do everything to your bike, then deciding what you want to be bothered carrying. If one day on the side of the road, you find yourself needing something you don't have, consider adding it to the kit.
Personally, I carry a mini-pump, a spare tube, puncture repair kit, three tyre levers, four allen keys (one of which I don't need but it's on the ring), my pocket knife and my mobile phone. At the moment, I need to add another allen key because I don't have the size that adjusts my panniers.
Well, to my surprise and delight, according to my cars odo I'm looking at roughly 20km +/- 2/3km from the Cheltenham point I was thinking of commuting from. I really expected it to be a lot further than that. It has the bonus of being at a train station so I can train it back to my car if I'm too exhausted to ride or need to get back quicker. As well there is a concrete path covering the whole distance to the city and not too many hills at all. Currently I ride ~30km for fun and it takes me about 3 1/2 hours including the huge hill that is too steep and gravely that I have to walk for 20 mins so I'm guessing I can ride 20km on road in maybe 2 1/2 hours (maybe a little less? ) but we'll see how it goes once I begin. Once I start riding, I'll plot it out on bikely and then we can see if theres a few other shortcuts that are on my way.
From what I know, unless indicated on the pathways, we're legally supposed to ride on the road aren't we? If so, has anyone ever, or heard of someone who's actually been in trouble for riding on the paths? because there's no way I'm riding on the road for a while.
Mikesbytes, I'll definately check out those routes once my time eases up after exams but they sound really good.
looks like I'm going to have to do some shopping for a few tools. I have the bare basics at home but nothing I'd be willing to take with me. I plan to ride with my trusty camelbak which is good because the bag I have will fit all my tools, a 3L bladder plus a spare change of clothes, it even has velcro loops designed just to hold a bike pump .
In terms of night time riding, what are the rules on lighting? I know we're required to have some sort of lights but I'm not sure what exactly?
I think you'll get the best advise from the cycling group for your area, and that's BikeNorth. They have a commute page with buddy link-ups. This allows experienced riders to guide new riders on their commutes. Check it out.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
It will be s slog at first, but after 3 - 4 weeks it will become dramatically easier. Later on it will become second nature, easier than catching the train.
A helmet saved my life
You are required to have lights and, although reflectors work, you're a mug to rely on them. Lighting needed depends on where you're riding and how often you need them. The modern battery powered lights are fantastic and on most roads, there's enough street lighting to allow you to see the hole you're about to fall into - this is why when you go into your bike shop, they'll ask if you want lights to see by or to be seen. The wee headlight I've got on the Black Beast has four AAA batteries and can either be set for a solid beam or to flashing, depending on the road (flashing makes you more obvious). The rear light I've got just clips into a loop that's already on my tool bag and is again, battery powered. Should be all I need but I'll be using them rarely (like tonight ).
at the moment (well, pre-"big accident involving stitches") I was riding around 30km 2-3 times a week off road, so I'm hoping that doing 20km on road will be a lot easier and maybe I'll cope...we'll see
I regularly commute through some of the areas you're considering (but the other way), from Surry Hills to Epping via the CBD, Rozelle, Drummoyne, Gladesville and Ryde. The route I use is mostly back streets plus a few cyclepaths, but it's still fairly direct. I put it on Bikely a few days ago,
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Surry-Hills-to-Epping-AAO, it might give you a few ideas. The return route I use is slightly different, but I've not Bikelied that yet.
I've personally found the BikeIt! Sydney book to be very useful for route planning if you're not wanting to use major roads. For the inner Sydney areas covered by its maps I'd highly recommend taking a look at it.
hotdogs, that bikely map did show quite a few useful routes that I'll definately be keen to try out. For simplicities sake, I'll be riding pretty much from epping station as there is only one route from cheltenham station anyway to get to epping. I figure I'll just ride on the footpath down blaxland road, or I'll take some back streets I know in the area.
Now that I've checked the cecily st route, I know the area it's in and I'd have to say it's definately a route I'll be trying out first because I know how much of the hill you avoid. That'll be good for a startup like me!
All I need now is my exams to be over and to start working one week so I can buy a bike lock then I'm on my way. I plan to do some scouting work first... hopefully next weekend to check it out!
Well I'm off to do my first test run of my commute path today with me brother!
Wish me luck!
I carry a spare tube (in a ziploc bag with a bit of powder), a couple of 'glueless' tube patches (in another little bag, tyre levers, and a mini multi-tool in one of these http://www.deanwoods.com.au/store/prod966.htm - the medium one. If it looks murky, I can fit a spray jacket in it as well (because it expands). My mini-pump snaps on to a mount under the down tube bottle holder, and I'm set!
I bought a Blackburn battery-powered light set - both front and rear have constant / flashing modes - but they're really only enough to be seen by rather than to see by. I'm debating whether to take Torpedo7 up on the light set thay have on special at the moment.
ps. I usually put my mobile phone in the seat bag - no call is so urgent that you can't stop and call back!
pps. I also keep emergency money in there too.
ppps. don't forget the little square of tarp to sit on while you're changing your tube.
So, did you take a vegemite sandwich and thermos? Just to really do the 'commuting' thing. And, of course, you need to practice your growling at drivers even when they do deserve it
Is there value in keeping the spare tube in a separate bag? Protection? Keeping it powdered? Prevent rubber degeneration?
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
Well... what a crazy day but the ride was heaps of fun with many dramas haha. We went riding just with a camelbak full of water and some home made maps and no tools (except the one riding my bike and his brother ) After 10 mins of riding while waiting to cross the road at some lights, my brother and I saw a pretty big rear ender accident. the front car a four wheel drive bmw had the rear bumper fall off and the rear was some bomb of a wagon had the whole front end cave in... was pretty crazy and both were p platers haha.
Then after we reached about 7km, my rear derraileur decided to just turn into a pile of cr@p and I had only just picked it from my service an ONE HOUR BEFORE!!!! arrghh so i rode my brothers bike back to the car which is a bout 2 frame sizes too small for me and a kmart special huffy. we went back to the bike store and you know what it was? on of the parts the holds the cable in the line along the frame had come out of position so it lost its tension, something absolutely simple requiring no effort or thought. I was annoyed, embarresed but thrilled that i could still ride. so we drove back to the point that we had stopped and continued on.
Stopped for a hearty and healthy meal at maccas in ryde. then continued on. Took some happy snaps under the gladesville bridge. great views from there and the bridge wasn't as hard as i thought.
ME (my brother is hopeless at photos, note the finger in the corner haha):
So we continued on, and once we crossed pyrmont bridge decided for fun to just go across the bridge at darling harbour and then across the harbour bridge just because its fun to ride on bridges. halfway across the harbour bridge it starts absolutely POURING down all over us. by the time we reached the other side we were drenched from head to toe. haha that was fun but the rain obscured the view from the bridge. Anyway we caught a train back but because we had parked in a different spot to the original which is near a train station, we then had to ride a further 30mins from eastwood station to our car! what a day!!
So much fun and I really can't wait to start commuting!! All I need now is a good lock or two, all my tools and lights! I plan to do the run each weekend with my brother until that happens and hopefully it won't rain so we can go both ways. I was very dissapointed that I didn't get to ride back. but what a great day!
Hey Shannon, you could aviod Victoria rd west of Gladesville bridge by heading to the hunters hill overpass, going straight accross and immeadiately right into the first side street. At the end is a footpath that leads into the footpath beside the bidge that takes you to Gladesville bidge.
Thru Dryomne, you can follow the posted bike route and not ride on Victoria rd at all. At the bottom of Gladesville bridge, you cuck a u-ie and go backwards along the side road and then turn right at the T junction. Follow the signs and you eventually end up at Iron Cove bridge.
Edit: Watch out for the beast on Anzac bridge
A helmet saved my life
Sorry, Mike, have been trying to work out what you mean with these directions but my brain just can't seem to work it out. I'm not too familiar with the are so that may be why. Oh by the way, that Cecily st bypass you suggested worked great. thanks for that!
Wow, uniformed cyclists! LOL
At least I can now throw out a "Hey Shannon" if I happen to pass you. The singlets give it away.
Happy commuting. I can't wait till you get your Road bike, then we'll be in for a whole heap of new threads from you.
i commuted a few times from Eastwood to City and found the inner west route preferable to the Vic Rd route. Vic Rd is Hilly and polluted.
Most of the guys in Bikenorth all prefer the inner city route, some head out from carlingford etc....
You just head down along the train line if you are coming from pennant hills, then via eastwood station, down thru meadowbank via rhodes into olympic park. Then you cut through Concord near Majors Bay Rd out the back to Canada Bay, then through to Bay Run. Up Lilyfield Hill onto Anzac Bridge etc. Alot more pleasant, less hillier.
Thanks, I'll definately check it out. Vic rd route is definately crazy with the hills. I'm starting to have preference to the M2 at the moment, its such a nice run but the dheli rd hill to north sydney is somewhat intimidating at the moment with my slow dualie mtb.
A bit of intimidation never hurt anyone, it's finding out it was justified that hurts
I moved to Squidley in '79 (or was it '80). Had my lovely old white tourer shipped over from Adelaide. Rode her for about a month before giving up in sheer terror. Mind you, I was nuts about MGs in those days (still am) and was busy finding excuses to take my first B type for a run. I kinda miss that old bike. No photos of her. Don't even know what brand she was. It was one of those inspired purchases - I was dragged out shopping by my Mum and found myself outside a bike shop with this beautiful white beastie in the window. I walked in and fell in love. Bought her on the spot. Commuted 15 km to uni for two years on her but sold her soon after the experience in Sydney To be fair, Adelaide's traffic was like a big country town in those days whereas Sydney was manic.
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