I am looking to start cycling into the city as my daily commute. I recently got onto a bike for the first time in about a decade (formerly rode to high school) and attempted to ride into the city early on a Sunday morning, the 25km wasn't bad and I managed to do it in about 1hr25mins on a Mountainbike.
If I managed the 25km trip in 1hr25mins (~18km/h) on a Mountainbike, is there a rough guestimate of how much quicker it would be on a roadbike? Is it easy to say that I would be able to average 20 or 22km/h ?
What is traffic like on the bike paths along the freeway? I've heard from numerous people that you have a lot of cyclists that are a menace on these paths and I figured with two-way traffic on these bike paths I can't imagine overtaking being too easy if there is a lot of bike-traffic on these paths.
Does anyone have a bike shop in my area that they speak highly of? I will most likely check out Bikeforce in Beeliar as my first stop to organise a bike.
You'll be fine on there mate.
As for Bike Force in Beeliar, its owned by a good mate of mine with great staff too.
Reckon you would easily manage 22-24km/h on a road bike and will see that gradually increase with time Enjoy!
Yes there's a problem with bad rider behaviour (and separate threads about this) but also with bike ninjas and glass. Make sure that you have spare tube, pump and patch kit, lights in case you get caught out (better lights will pick up the ninjas before they buzz past) and look for good puncture-protected tyres like Gatorskins or Armadillos. If you run into trouble on the commute there's Canning Bridge Cycles and the Lakes Bikes shop at Cockburn Central (a little closer than Bikeforce Beeliar), of course there's always the train outside of peak hours.
Biggest areas for glass are around Beeliar and Berrigan, Canning Bridge and the CBD. There is still detours around South St and Leach Hwy but if you're riding north/south only the traffic lights at Leach affect you currently. Once you get to Mt Henry Bridge in the morning you will be amongst walkers and heavier path traffic until Canning Bridge. On the return journey you may experience windburn until just after Canning Bridge, if this is a pain you can always deviate from the Narrows down Labouchere Rd, right at South Tce then Melville Pde then pick a pedestrian crossing to get back onto the freeway path. Or politely ask if you can draft behind someone else.
Otherwise the rest is just enjoyment. Watch for dolphins in the mornings, red sunsets on the way home.
Congrats on getting back on the bike
A road bike will definitely be faster. It's the narrow, harder tyres, the improved riding position, etc. 20-22km/h is easily achievable. (If your mtb has knobbly off-road tyres on, you can speed it up by fitting semi-slick tyres. All bike shops have these, at around $25 ea. Obviously you wouldn't bother if the new road bike is just a week or two away.)
You will get faster and faster as time goes by. E.g. it's 18km to the city from my place, and it takes me a touch over 40 mins. It would be quicker, but there are 5km of fiddly back streets to navigate before I get to the PSP. As a comparison I've been riding for 3 years now, after a 20-year gap, and I use an old road bike (good quality, not a heavy steel junker)
Re the traffic, in the morning they'll all be heading in the same direction (North), so it shouldn't be a problem. Passing pedestrians while other cyclists are charging up behind you can be an issue, which is why I have mirrors on all my bikes. Going contra-flow is more hair-raising.
It's an easy track you will find.
Don't be too put off with the various issues raised bout the path or behaviour. Overall it is good.
Other than those few bits just exercise reasonable caution until you know the path.
Yeah Baby! hate the headwind.
I ride to work from Farrington Road to the Thelma St overpass. Its a good ride and a great feeling when you see cars stacked along the freeway like a giant carpark as you whip past.
I do the ride on a flatbar (soon to have my first roadie this Saturday: I don't expect any speed improvement as the flatbar with skinny tires gets along well) and its easy to pedal away at 25+ kph without any lungbusting (where it is safe to do so).
Colin and the others covered everything else. Enjoy.
You'll hold that 25kph a lot longer though.
So many people who do not ride drop-bars in heavy traffic feel that you LOSE vision. That it is the wrong configuration. Far from it, a great advantage of sitting on the drops in traffic is that you can glance your blind spot past your shoulder or under your arm without the barest instant of taking your eyes off what is in front. Something that can't be done in a car or so well on a bike that you are sitting up on.
+1 all of the above plus Mt Henry Bridge to Canning Bridge ride on the Esplanade road for faster commute.
thanks for all the tips guys.
I'm hoping that with a bit of practice I'll be able to do the 25km from Beeliar to the City in 1hr, but I'm guessing averaging 25km/h might be pushing it a bit. From my house its 6km to get onto the bike path at Berrigan Drive, so hopefully on the remaining 19km I can average a decent speed.
A few people here have mentioned puncture kits or spare tubes, do you simply replace the tube or bother patching an existing one on a roadbike? how much does a new tube set you back on average.
I am going to budget $1,500 for a bike and ~$300 for accessories if I do end up getting a bike, will a newbie actually notice the difference between a $900 and $1,500 bike?
Great idea. How much time do you save?
I patch on the road but it is far easier to do so at home with the light, the comfort, the tub of water and so forth. Many riders these days just carry a spare tube and levers. You can always take the punctured tube home for patching. Pls dump any waste in a bin.
I carry two spare tubes and half a dozen self-stick patches, plus levers. I don't bother patching tubes, not unless I run out. It's a bit different if I'm riding the hybrid with loaded panniers though - easier to fix the tube on the rim without taking the rear wheel out or turning the bike over. Plus the pressure is lower.
I get tubes ten at a time on Ebay for about $40-45 including postage. There are eight to ten bikes in regular use in my house, and that many expensive tubes would add up to more than the cost of a bike. I've had no trouble with the cheapies - have probably replaced half a dozen in total in the past twelve months, and the four members of my family do 10 to 20 thousand km per year between us.
I've been doing this recently, not sure how much time it saves but its a far nice ride. The road is a much smoother surface than that section of path. Plus you dont have to take on the MT Henry Bridge wind tunnel!
I commute from Kwinana to the city 3 or 4 days a week along the PSP. Been doing it for 7 years but only increased the frequency last year, as I use some of the ride as training for racing (which I just started)
I will use the section of the PSP from Thomas Road to Farrington for interval training, very little traffic, though I am a little cautious around Berriagan & Cockburn Central due to pedestrians. Use the Farrington to Mount Henry Bridge for recovery, due to detours, road crossings, pedestrians, etc. At Mount Henry, if I want to do another interval, I will take the Esplanade on the Mt Pleasant side, if tired and short of time, I will take the PSP but cautiously (ie ride on the hoods, hands on brakes, speed around 30kph) as there are too many pedestrians when I ride it between 7 and 9am, visibility is poor and the road surface is poor.
The difference for me is less than a minute, while the Esplande is longer by about 400m, I only lose the time getting back on the PSP and then going under then over Canning Bridge.
And while some may disapprove, I will often use some/all of the section Canning Bridge to City PSP from 1st "footbridge" from Olives Reserve until Millpoint Road as my final interval session. As there is very little traffic and visibility is good. Yes some days it gets interrupted or even aborted, slowing down to pass bikes/pedestrians with oncoming bikes/pedestrians. But it is not that often, this morning passed 10 other solo riders, probably all weighted down with the free breakfast I was too late for, without needing to slow or make any adjustments, just swing out and pass.
It is a lot easier to ride the PSP on a weekday morning than after 9 on a weekend. Just exercise common sense and a little care and you will be fine. Plus read and memorised Colin points.
Tubes, depends, my training wheels and singlespeed, I usually buy decent quality tubes (name brands, 90g or less), online in bulk for $4 to $5 each. My race wheels have expensive light weight 50g tubes at $12 a pop.
You speed will improve over time, fairly quickly at first, 25kph average on the PSP should be doable as a beginner, you should get 28kph in a few months, ride regularly enough and 30kph will be yours within 12 months, from there who knows
I would dispute the faster ride. However it is not a great deal longer, is far less boring and, early in the morning - sorta 6:30 - will expose you gently to riding in traffic without a lot of danger even for a novice. Good drivers along there early.
I think by "faster ride" he meant you can cruise at 35km/h+ in relative safety rather than dealing with the lower speed path + obstacles.
It certainly feels faster...maybe a couple of minutes for me... the road is safer for maintaining top speed, less turns, light traffic, no pedestrians to negotiate, more relaxed ride, much better scenery etc...
When I get onto the path behind the rowing shed I take it easy and go at a slow pace under and over Canning Bridge.
That is quite a bottleneck, but one is better than many.
I got myself some gear last night (pump, lights, helmet and lock) and did the trip into the city on my bike this morning.
It was pretty awesome and I'm definitely keen to do it again on Monday. Will have a serious look at some bikes this weekend between the $1,000 and $1,500 mark, if anyone has any suggestions of decent deals at the moment let me know.
Does everyone just tough it out in the cold in the morning? I wore a jumper for the first 6km so I don't get too cold and took it off once it got a bit warmer outside (It was under 10 degrees when I started riding). I didn't see anyone else doing the same thing
Does everyone leave their lock on the bike itself? like under the seat while riding? I bought this one but its fairly clunky and large, not sure if I should have gotten something else: http://www.mandurahsbikeman.com.au/ecom ... o-lock.jpg
Why do the people with the more 'pro' bikes not have bells on their bike? I thought this was fairly standard for everyone to have so you can warn the cyclist/pedestrian in front of you that you're coming to overtake
There's a circular argument from time to time on this forum about whether you should ding when passing or not. As both a ped and a cyclist I much prefer if you do.
Keep in mind that the law requires you to have a working bell on your bike (not necessarily to use it though) so the 'pro bike' guys are not complying with the road rules. When police enforcement on cycling behaviour is essentially nil, I suppose it doesn't matter.
Bells are not Euro and do NOT conform with THE RULES
Personally I'd go straight to gumtree : that is where i got my current bike, and while it is not breand new, its about 1/2 the price that it cost brand new.
As long as you know what you are getting, you can get good deals buying 2nd hand, but if you buy a bike that is the wrong size, has a damaged frame or even just needs a new chain and cassette ($200 at your local LBS for Ultegra) are you really getting a bargain.
If you don't know a lot about bike fit/sizing and mechanics, you are better off buying from a bike shop that wants to keep you as a long term customer, so you get a bike that fits and that you will keep riding, getting services and upgrades from their shop.
Locks - I have secure parking at work, so I have a heavy duty lock + cable on the bike rack, like most the other regular commuters. Do need to carry the extra weight, only need to lock bike at one spot.
Clothing - I was planning on riding this morning it was going to be undershirt, short sleeve jersey + arm warmers. I would of removed the arm warmers before the half way point.
It was bloody cold out there this morning eh Nic.
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