Commuting Sydney

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Commuting Sydney

Postby Lta54 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:12 pm

Hi all.
I’m moving to Sydney from London in a few months.
I cycle quite a lot but largely on the weekend. I commute by bike occasionally.
What area, if any, would you recommend for a commute into the CBD? Ideally not more that c. 45 Mins each way...
I’ve read some shocking things about commuting by bike in Sydney - should I be concerned??
Thanks very much in advance!

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Re: Commuting Sydney

Postby find_bruce » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:54 pm

Welcome outside. Plenty of places within a 45 minute ride of the CBD, even if you're as slow as me, it really depends on what you are looking for. While it may not have a great reputation as a cycling city, there are still thousands that commute to the CBD every day.

Sydney is divided by lots of rivers & creeks, which means your choice of route depends on the locations of bridges. The main roads are mostly built along the ridge lines which means that you are either following the main roads or up for a fair bit of climbing. It took me a while to realise that the main roads are ok to commute along, principally because while the traffic is heavy, it is slow, with average motor vehicle speeds of less than 20 km/h.

From the north, you will need to cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which requires climbing 50 steps. From the east, Oxford St or Anzac Parade, from the south along Bourke Road, from the west across the Anzac Bridge.

Google maps has a decent bike path layer, or there is the fairly clunky NSW Government’s Cycleway Finder

Check if you are looking at a particular road though as some places listed as having "dedicated lanes" are hard up against parked cars & some drivers will open their doors without looking - cyclists refer to these as car door lanes & mostly avoid them.



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Re: Commuting Sydney

Postby brumby33 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:56 pm

I guess it depends on where you'll likely to work eg: In the City or in the oustskirts.
If you're a single person, youngish....the Eastern Suburbs is not too bad to cycle in, easy access to City Via bicycle or public transport, you've got Centennial park that many use for cycling....about 3.5kms circuit, it's not cheap accommodation wise but if it's only you, many look for house share-mates in the East but coming from London, it's probably comparable in prices.
We've got a lot of bike shops in the East as well so you can imagine how popular cycling is in that area.
Suburbs I recommend are: Randwick, Paddington, Kingsford, Alexandria, Surry Hills and Redfern.
If you like a good morning workout.....Coogee Beach is a nice place too but you need to work hard to cycle out of there....lots of climbing but on days you don't feel up to it...lots of buses out of there too.
Cycling in the city itself is not too bad, the speed limit in the CBD is 40kph but you've really gotta watch riding in amongst buses that need to pull in/out of bus stops and especially taxis who will pull in without warning as soon as they see someone scratching their nose thinking they want a cab....since Uber has been operating in Sydney...they've become even more desperate :lol:
The City CBD is in a bit of a mess right now due to the construction of the Light rail and the main Street (George St) is limited even on a if you can avoid going this area,it'd be wise.....others who commute regularly through the mess will be better to advise you. Around Central Station is also a mess but a little easier to navigate.
I guess it depends also if you're a City person or a Suburban person too...Sydney caters for everyone pretty much!!

Anyway.....a lot of other members will have their own advice to give you so I'll hand it to them.


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Re: Commuting Sydney

Postby tcdev » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:27 pm

It's great that you're organising to live within cycling distance of work, but I'd also keep in mind that different areas of Sydney cater to different personalities and lifestyles, so you may want to factor that into your decision as well. It would also be helpful to know exactly where in the 'CBD' you will be working as it may affect the commute time/location as well.

If you thrive on hustle and bustle and the cafe scene then areas like Paddington, Surry Hills, Redfern, Newtown, Glebe and similar inner-city suburbs would be ideal. You'll be living on top of other people, always fighting for car spaces (few residences have their own), and having Sunday brunch perched on a stool and tiny table on the street outside a small cafe. Don't expect friends who live in the outer suburbs to visit you very often. ;) If you don't want to own a car, these are the places to live.

The Eastern Suburbs is just as crowded, possibly more expensive, but further from the CBD and people who live there spend half their lives sitting in cars getting into or out of the area. You'll also battle for car spaces if you don't have your own off-street parking, though it's more likely you will here than inner-city suburbs. And you may even have to pay for the right to park on your own street!

To the North I'm not an authority; I lived in Neutral Bay for 7 years but on the odd occasion I commuted to the CBD I caught a ferry (and that was nice). Again, everything is expensive there from rent to groceries. A bit farther out places around St Leonards and slightly further north are still quite nice and leafy and more-or-less devoid of the "bustle" of the aforementioned areas - and still quite accessible via cycle - from memory St Leonards to the bridge is only about 12 minutes by bike.

South-west of the CBD, outside the inner-city suburbs, are areas perhaps less desirable; at least those within a 45 minute commute from the CBD. Further out again, along the Bay & Georges River are 'nicer' suburbs but you're looking then at a 1hr commute just to the southern side of the CBD.
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Re: Commuting Sydney

Postby caneye » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:35 am

Macquarie Park/Lane Cove is another option.
Lots of brand new apartments.

Adjacent to the Epping Cycleway for commuting into the CBD.
Plus .. has access to trains ..
And .. at the door step of some great weekend rides (at the nearby national parks).

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Re: Commuting Sydney

Postby CXCommuter » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:28 pm

Concur with Caneye (Live in Lane Cove North). But if I was young(er) the east is great.. and flatter.

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Re: Commuting Sydney

Postby Lta54 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:22 pm

Wow guys thank you all so much for the detailed replies and top tips. I need to read through and consider in more detail I think but the tips on cycling in the city have reassured me somewhat.
I’m coming with my fiancée who will probably also cycle on some days, but is determined that we need a back up plan! Price may prove to be most significant altho London isn’t cheap either so I have my fingers crossed!
Anyway I’ll take a look at this properly and let you know what we decide!
Very excited anyway :D

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Re: Commuting Sydney

Postby Ruffred » Wed May 23, 2018 1:30 pm

Kicking this back into life again as I didn't want to start a new thread and a search for "Bourke Street" came up with nothing . Anyway , What the F is happening at the airport end of Bourke Street / Coward St , I was through there this morning (cycling from South to North) , by geez it is messy . Some very dodgy crossings , parts of it are blocked forcing you onto the other side ( afew times) heaps of construction ( yes I know all of Sydney is like that currently) . Not being familiar with the area , I was relying on the cycle route signs , some are excellent , others non existent .
I understand in whatever area you cycle in you get used to the roads and the routes , but as a sort of first timer , it was quite an experience . By the way , I turned off in Alexandria (?) and headed up to Erskineville and Newtown and beyond . I'm interested in anyone's comments as I'm looking to take some visitors on a Sydney cycling ride soon - roughly Cooks River cycle way toward the airport , Coward St / Bourke Street , up through Erskineville / Newtown , then through Annandale Leichhardt , and out to the Bay run and beyond . All of it is OK for us except for the parts described above

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