Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Just wondering if people ride mostly on the road or shared paths when commuting to work?
I tend to use a combination of both depending on how busy a particular road is or how crappy the shared path.
I know some people who would never cycle on the road because of the a concern about crazy/careless drivers.
To work, I ride all road now. One of the reasons I changed my route was stupid cyclists on the northern PSP. I now have cut out all the path riding from the new route, riding all road, including one short busy section.
The ride back has a small section of path due to the hassle of turning right on West Coast Highway near Scarborough around peak hour. Have to put up with a few peds for a short section through Scarborough.
I only use the shared paths if they are likely to be fairly vacant, otherwise I believe it is safer on the road. The peds, dogs, children etc are so unpredictable and you have no recourse if they cause you to crash as there doesn't appear to be any laws governing their behaviour on shared paths. On shared paths you can only lose in many ways.
Shared path for me because its shorter than the road. Well, either that or the Graham Farmer Freeway, except I don't think you're allowed to ride on the freeway.
Anway, its cool for me coz I don't ride too fast and its not that busy.
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For me it's road for 5km, then freeway shoulder for about 15km and shared path for the remaining 7km. There isn't really a viable onroad alternative to the shared path through Lane Cove inbound as it's mainly uphill (Mowbray Rd is but the first hill climb is a bit painful with no shoulder a narrow lane). The shared path is poorly designed as many are with stopping and starting at every cross-street plus idiots who don't check for bicycle traffic when entering/exiting service stations but it's better than fighting Epping Rd traffic or buses uphill with two loaded panniers of work clothes.....
2011 Avanti Quantum, 2010 Specialized Tricross, 2010 Salsa Casseroll
I always try and use a shared road. 9 out of 10 times the roads smoother, less traffic/obstacles, tighter corners, and there made for cycling.
The only time i would prefer the road is riding peek hour in the city. Something about it I can't explain, I need to try alleycat racing!
2009 Bottecchia Altavelocita
1939 Malvern Star (unknown model, 1 star)
1999 Specialized TJ Lavin 415 Vegas (BMX)
im all roads now ... much to the disdane of my GF ... the paths are up here in tropical qld always seem to have broken glass, random dogs and children and those walking groups that can only walk 6 abrest sick of playing chicken with them
so im on the road. now all i have to do is pray that im given a little respect. here in townsville the city is very cycle friendly we have cycle lanes next to most roads and even specific lanes at most intersections. now all we have to do is awaken the car community!
mind you after the not so recent floods i seem to be slalom riding on most of the lanes as the debri and craters are pretty bad in some locations
"I know its a buget 'cause its got lots of numbers in it!" GWBush
I can understand your choice of shared path there. In Perth I think it is fair to say there are shared paths and then there are shared paths
On my roadie I stick to the roads unless it makes more sense to be on a track/SP. This means that, in general, the only track/SP I ride on is the Naremburn to Macquarie Park, although unless it is raining properly I will ride on the road from the beginning of Epping Road to Moore St which is safer than the track (as boognoss also says).
My roadie is out of action at the moment, so I have been riding my MTB which I have difficulty keep up with the traffic on so have been using all the paths and designated cycle routes on my commute which are a few mins slower, but give me more exercise - until my front gear cable snapped last night that is and I had to ride home using the 24t chainring , of course it started raining heavily as well just to rub it in, but my expensive gortex jacket has proved its worth though. Oh, and I have reaffirmed that bells on bikes do not seem to work on peds in the Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches.
The cyclists and joggers on the shared path along the Graham Farmer Freeway are very well behaved and I've not had problems. Not like the run from Mill Point to Canning Bridge. Is there an alternate road route through South Perth/Como?
Next time I am down that way I would like to check it out.
Also forgot to mention if there is a choice of a shared path or decent (safe) road I will ride the road over the shared path.
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its all road until I get to the river then shared path while I do my loop. Much prefer to look at the rear end of pretty girl cyclist and runner than some beatup old ute
Ever since the vasectomy...I mostly ride fixed.
I only ride on shared paths - they are reasonably good in canberra, and I can do 32k return in 90 mins all using these paths.
I refuse to ride on roads, because when I am a motorist, I see the attitude fellow motorists have toward cyclists and its pretty dangerous, not to mention dissapointing.
I must commute much the same route as you. The Graham Farmer Freeway path is pretty empty, few road crossings, except the stupid racecourse traffic light that is always red and everyone ignores. Have found a nice set of backstreets from Kewdale to the freeway. The best bit being the underpasss under great eastern highway, avoids trafficlights, and you get to ride on nice empty roads because cars can't get through.
The cyclepath along the railway through the city has more pedestrian traffic, but I prefer slowing down for walkers to the traffic lights which are the alternative.
I might see you disappearing off in the distance some mornings or afternoons. I also do the quiet backstreets in Kewdale and under Great Eastern Highway. I see a few other cyclists doing the same. I was following some guy yesterday arvo for quite a while but he dropped me on the hill after Great Eastern Highway (heading home).
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What came first, the pole or the path...?
Most new shared path are designed by car drivers and rubbish, they have to many
crossing , en they are designed to slow you down.
Another example , footscray road.
I'm way WAY faster on the road then when i'm using the 'shared path' that is complete rubbish and i only use it if the roads are way too busy.! (to many trucks)
So depending on conditions , i do both .
At the moment 90% is shared. and 10% is road.
But it has been 100% road before...
The dutch have one word to describe the aussie MHL, this word is ;
Road/path/lane/schoolground whatever blows me hair back that ride.
+1 on Footscray Rd path, much smoother and faster on the bitumen when there's less trucks, say 2100 to 0400. Can't stand the constant "budda budda budda" of jointed concrete, not to mention the nearly 2" stepup joint as you swing left to go under citylink westbound
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I normally take the cycle path route over the Anzac bridge which is usually good, not too many peds. This is mixed with normal road riding mixed with cars, usually fine on the quieter roads. Battling with buses in the bus lane on George St isn't that fun sometimes.
I ride the bus lane all the way from Longueville Rd to Mowbray Rd when I switch to the shared path for the uphill to Delhi Rd. Return I use the shared path all the way. A key reason for the safety (or lack thereof) is the cross streets. Going west all the turning cars are coming from behind you (not good), while going east you can see all the turning cars in front of you (much better). Another factor is that the twists and debris mean that parts of the path are unsafe because you can easily loose traction while braking and turning for a cross street (in particular the downhill west-bound past the Shell servo is very poorly designed as it is steeply downhill and wiggles around a bus stop). It is a sad day for bike path design when one has to say that Epping Road (admittedly in a Bus Lane) is safer than the 'dedicated' cycle path beside it.
That said, I have found the shared path from the Pacific Highway to Naremburn to be pretty good. Pedestrians, by and large, stick to the assigned lane. I think the width and provision of three lanes, two notionally designated cyclist only and one pedestrian only helps as does the lack of cross streets. By contrast the shared path by the Willoughby Leisure centre, which is narrow and has two shared lanes, is dangerous, more so after dark. I quickly stopped riding on it and found alternate road routes because of that.
Just today as I was driving past (wussed out a lot this week ) on the way home a cyclist came down the hill heading outbound and an idiot in a car pulled out in front of him. The car stopped with it's right quarter hanging just into the bus lane and the cyclist would have been killed if a bus had been in the wrong place at the right time . That was all I saw as the cyclist stayed in front of the car having almost fallen right into the bus lane and gave the driver a decent looking serve.
Stupid design and stupid driver aside, you do have to be careful riding down there (to take into account the stupid design and stupid drivers). There should be MUCH better signage to advise vehicles leaving the servo about where they're meant to stop (for the idiots among them).
2011 Avanti Quantum, 2010 Specialized Tricross, 2010 Salsa Casseroll
My commute (and my preference) is mainly road, but my morning route has a few k of shared path.
I am lucky though, it has very well trained pedestrians, probably becasue the number of cyclists is high so the pedestrians are trained by pavlovian processes of multiple reinforcement of the need to keep left and listen for bells. Most of them are friendly too , its really quite pleasant but isn't your typical shares path experience IMO.
Mine is mostly roads. Riding up from Manly Vale in the mornings I take the Burnt Bridge Creek shared path, and the pedestrians are all well-educated. We always smile and wave and say g;day to each other.
However, riding on the way home I avoid this path in the dark: Had a few near misses with cyclists coming the other way without lights on the wrong side of the path. Been a few times where I've had pedestrians behave badly in pm daylight as well.
There was one woman talking to her girlfriend, the pair taking up the entire width of the path, both sides of the centre line. Woman on right heard my call "passing on the right", turned around, looked at me, refused to budge. "Pedestrians have right of way" as I slowed down to walking pace and took to the grass to go around. There was no riding around her on the path - despite the spandex, her butt was so big she needed a "WIDE LOAD" sign. Urrrgh - my eyes!
Quick comebacks always elude you when you need them, but I believe the appropriate response is "Courtesy is free".
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