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Melb bike paths

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:16 am
by aufdermaur
Hi,

I'm moving to Melbourne in about 2 weeks. I will be living in Richmond and working in Scoresby. From Google maps it looks like it will be about a 30km ride one way. I think it would be quickest to take the Monash path.

What are the bike paths like around and in between these areas? In particular are they bitumen or concrete paths or is there also some gravel. Should I get a road bike or rather a flatbar road bike with thicker tyres (28-32mm)? I'd be carrying a laptop during the commute. Haven't cycled much since my early 20's (currently 29) but used to like going fast although I've only ever owned a hybrid.

Any advice or comments will be appreciated.

Also, if anyone knows of a good bike shop around Richmond give them a shout out.

Thanks.

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:35 am
by clackers
The straightest way is Gardiner and Scotchman's Creek trails, but you get some ridiculous hills before your destination in the Wheelers Hill/Jells Park area.

You might find swinging further south by Wellington and then Stud Roads more forgiving on you and your load, especially as in any case you're probably looking at two hours each way. You could be forgiven for every now and then putting yourself and the bike into a train and getting out at say, Yarraman Station. :smile:

You may find a flat bar more comfortable for such a long commute, along with its mounts for a rack so you don't wear a backpack 20 hours a week, have mudguards and plenty of places for lights and reflectors to deal with Melbourne winter evenings, etc.

Not sure about good places to buy bikes in Richmond itself these days ... the Victoria Gardens Bikeforce has undergone a restructure. Abbotsford Cycles is a top place for repairs and service, though.

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:58 pm
by il padrone
aufdermaur wrote:Hi,

I'm moving to Melbourne in about 2 weeks. I will be living in Richmond and working in Scoresby. From Google maps it looks like it will be about a 30km ride one way. I think it would be quickest to take the Monash path.

Hi and welcome.

Hope you're fit because that's going to be a long haul to commute daily. Another option could be to put the bike on the train to Glen Waverley then ride out through Jells Park and along the Blind Creek Trail to Knoxfield/Scoresby. A road bike should be fine along most of the Gardiners Greek, Scotchmans Creek and Blind Creek trails.

aufdermaur wrote:Also, if anyone knows of a good bike shop around Richmond give them a shout out.

One of the best in the whole of Melbourne - Abbotsford Cycles, right next to the entrance to Richmond railway station.

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:12 pm
by aufdermaur
Thanks for your replies.

Some great info, as I was banking on it only taking me about 40-60 minutes each way. I was not expecting it to take 2 hours each way! Luckily I won't be commuting every day as I'll spend about 30% of my time interstate, and when I am back in Melbourne I'll hopefully be able to work about 50% from home.

From both of your comments I definitely think a flatbar road bike is the way to go given the lights, fenders etc l'll need. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.

Might see you on the trails

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:53 pm
by misterhorsey
aufdermaur wrote:
From both of your comments I definitely think a flatbar road bike is the way to go given the lights, fenders etc l'll need. Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.

Might see you on the trails


I hope I'm not getting spammy with my surly/cross check love, but steel cyclocross is an option to flat bar. Very adaptable frame set. Carting along stuff in your panniers one day, change to slicks and its a training type road bike the next

http://forums.mtbr.com/surly/cross-chec ... 39505.html

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:52 pm
by TraceyG
Two hours for a 30km commute sounds a bit long. I was doing 25km in 90 minutes when I started out and since getting fitter and stronger, am now doing 30km, including some good hills each way in 67 - 75 min.

And I am a fair bit older than 29....

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:14 pm
by aufdermaur
TraceyG wrote:Two hours for a 30km commute sounds a bit long. I was doing 25km in 90 minutes when I started out and since getting fitter and stronger, am now doing 30km, including some good hills each way in 67 - 75 min.

And I am a fair bit older than 29....


Yeah, I was thinking 2 hours seemed too much. Only one way to find out though.

What sized tyres do people in Melbourne usually run for commuting?

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:28 am
by DavidS
The hills might make it more like 2 hours, also remember the amount of time you lose at traffic lights. I would suggest giving it a go first.

I commute on a flat bar and run 28mm tyres, they work fine. I run Marathon Supremes, quick and haven't had a puncture yet. They don't look like they will last as long as Marathon Plus though.

DS

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:57 am
by VRE
aufdermaur wrote:
TraceyG wrote:Two hours for a 30km commute sounds a bit long. I was doing 25km in 90 minutes when I started out and since getting fitter and stronger, am now doing 30km, including some good hills each way in 67 - 75 min.

And I am a fair bit older than 29....


Yeah, I was thinking 2 hours seemed too much. Only one way to find out though.

What sized tyres do people in Melbourne usually run for commuting?

I commute between Ringwood North and the CBD daily, which is probably a similar distance to your planned commute. The 27km ride to work along Maroondah Hwy takes 60 mins and the 33.5km home commute (along the Main Yarra and Koonung Trails) takes 90, but I'm not particularly hurrying on that one, because more time on the bike is extended enjoyment for me :) . I use a Vivente tourer with 28mm tyres for commuting, and it handles both the roads and unsealed trails pretty well. There's no unsealed trails on my commute home, although I sometimes follow the Main Yarra Trail out to Tikilara Park, then swing south to Ringwood North, just for a bit of variety.

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:31 pm
by aufdermaur
VRE wrote:
aufdermaur wrote:
TraceyG wrote:Two hours for a 30km commute sounds a bit long. I was doing 25km in 90 minutes when I started out and since getting fitter and stronger, am now doing 30km, including some good hills each way in 67 - 75 min.

And I am a fair bit older than 29....


Yeah, I was thinking 2 hours seemed too much. Only one way to find out though.

What sized tyres do people in Melbourne usually run for commuting?

I commute between Ringwood North and the CBD daily, which is probably a similar distance to your planned commute. The 27km ride to work along Maroondah Hwy takes 60 mins and the 33.5km home commute (along the Main Yarra and Koonung Trails) takes 90, but I'm not particularly hurrying on that one, because more time on the bike is extended enjoyment for me :) . I use a Vivente tourer with 28mm tyres for commuting, and it handles both the roads and unsealed trails pretty well. There's no unsealed trails on my commute home, although I sometimes follow the Main Yarra Trail out to Tikilara Park, then swing south to Ringwood North, just for a bit of variety.


I'm hoping to do the commute in under an hour. When I used to commute back when I was at uni I used to drop the hammer each and every ride till my legs went zub zub.

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:34 pm
by VRE
aufdermaur wrote:I'm hoping to do the commute in under an hour. When I used to commute back when I was at uni I used to drop the hammer each and every ride till my legs went zub zub.

I deliberately hold myself back from doing that, because my commute is just over 300km per week, and pushing myself hard over that distance every week is a bad idea. I occasionally push myself harder, but try not to make a habit of it.

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:52 pm
by marty_one
As an option you might want to consider finding a way to malvern road, from there you can get to waverly road, batesford road, and the follow the residential streets until you get to the glen waverly train line, and just follow along there until you get to glen waverly, after there you can follow the rail trail to blind creak bike track which basically puts you into Scoresby.

I ride along that way every time I commute to work, but im heading the other way. Ferntree Gully to Caulfield North (after next week will be St Kilda).

Here is a map

Keep in mind there are some hills through syndal, glen waverly areas which are a pain if your not used to them, i am slowly getting better at them though. Going this way it takes me about 1 hr and 10 minutes on average to go from home to caulfield north using this route.

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:05 pm
by clackers
aufdermaur wrote:
I'm hoping to do the commute in under an hour. When I used to commute back when I was at uni I used to drop the hammer each and every ride till my legs went zub zub.


Good luck to you, ADM! :grin:

Especially to averaging more than 30km along the busy and at times narrow and twisty Gardiner Creek trail.

There would be people happy to get 30km to work by car in less than an hour! :-)

Re: Melb bike paths

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:16 pm
by VRE
clackers wrote:
aufdermaur wrote:
I'm hoping to do the commute in under an hour. When I used to commute back when I was at uni I used to drop the hammer each and every ride till my legs went zub zub.


Good luck to you, ADM! :grin:

Especially to averaging more than 30km along the busy and at times narrow and twisty Gardiner Creek trail.

There would be people happy to get 30km to work by car in less than an hour! :-)

I'd also recommend you don't try to go too fast on the shared paths, because you won't make any friends that way. Not trying to be rude, but these shared paths aren't designed for faster cycling.