I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

birdwatcher
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I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby birdwatcher » Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:33 pm

Hi all,

I am a girl in her 20s, very new to cycling, and fitness generally (two months) and have a lot to learn (and a lot of practice to put in) but have caught the bug. I’d like to get more time on the bike into a busy schedule so want to start commuting using the Western Freeway/Centenary Cycleway then connect in to the Bicentennial Bikeway.

The only problem is I am a bit nervous about the only road section on the route I need to navigate in Toowong - Sylvan Road/Land Street (road riding at all intimidates/scares me, and all the posts here about close shaves just makes it worse). I’ve been looking at maps and blogs online trying to work it out - and will also do a drive by later this week - but think it would help me conceptually to see another cyclist do it so I’m confident where to go and can concentrate on being safe - so have a favour to ask. Anyone who commutes regularly using this route and has a helmet cam, would you mind posting a vid of this section? (Ie, coming off the centenary and then getting on to the bicentennial - already searched YouTube and can’t find what I need - just another close shave vid!!). I would be very grateful and you’d be helping someone else get over the nerves, out of the car and onto the bike!

(Second favour is if in the next couple of months you see a slow, unfit girl panting away at sub 20k along the route, please be patient and give me a wave and a smile as you pass!)

Ta - E (birdwatcher)

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RonK
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby RonK » Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:18 pm

The route is quite straightforward and easy to follow. My suggestion is rather than relying on video, go there and ride it early on a Sunday morning when traffic is light and there is no time pressure on you.
The points where particular care is needed are when crossing Dean Steet and Miskin Street on either side of the bus depot.
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Waccofozzy
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby Waccofozzy » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:48 pm

Here's a link to the ride in reverse from some time ago for what it's worth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWZs4_SGjGU
I have OFS - Old, Fat and Slow

Waccofozzy
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby Waccofozzy » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:11 pm

Or this one which is in the right direction for you. I think the bit that you're interested in starts around 23 minutes in, but as Ron says do it early one weekend morning you'll see that it's not all that bad.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCWoVa0-kS0
I have OFS - Old, Fat and Slow

birdwatcher
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby birdwatcher » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:12 pm

Thanks, Ron. Yes, planning on a few weekend rides first to test it out. And thanks Waccofozzy - exactly the sort of thing I was after :D

RobertL
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby RobertL » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:58 am

Sylvan Rd/Land St has been a bugbear for Brisbane cyclists for some time. It is truly the "missing link" in between two great pieces of infrastructure and people like you are the exact target audience for why a bike path should be built along it.

Having said that, however, it's not too bad. The part-time parking restrictions (peak hour no parking on the "busy" side of the road) have helped, and there are lots of cyclists commuting along it so there is a definite "safety in numbers" aspect to it.

In general, don't worry about being slow. You will get faster, more quickly than you'd think.

I don't know what sort of bike you have, but the best advice I've heard is to make sure that you have a bike that you enjoy riding. It doesn't matter what sort of bike you use - you can commute on basically anything - but if you enjoy riding it then you will do so.

Where are you going at the other end of the Bicentennial? Do you want any advice on that part of the trip?
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birdwatcher
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby birdwatcher » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:36 pm

Thanks, Robert. I’m sure it will be fine; just have to give it a go.

The other end isn’t a problem - very close to an exit, from what I can see, so should be able to just walk my bike along the footpath a hundred metres or so if the road looks beyond my comfort level.

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bychosis
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby bychosis » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:34 am

You can ride the footpath in QLD can't you?

Despite the stories here about bad motorists, they are a way of venting for the poster and we often don't post about mundane rides where nothing happened! I find the majority of my road riding uneventful as far as close passes etc. Of course finding a better route is the best option, but not always practical. Once you get out there a bit more and gain some more confidence it will become easier.

Enjoy the outdoors!
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

birdwatcher
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby birdwatcher » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:51 pm

Theoretically can ride on footpath - but in my very limited riding experience, footpath in Brisbane is often quite clearly made for feet, not tyres. (Rode to my aunt’s house recently along the footpath of a major road and realised I probably needed a mountain bike to jump over some seriously bad joins...unfortunately the other option was the road with a “disappearing” bike path that cut in and out at random)

jasonc
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby jasonc » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:49 pm

Bird watcher - message me. Maybe I can meet you one day and ride it with you?
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birdwatcher
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby birdwatcher » Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:04 pm

Hi Jason, thanks for the offer! As it happens I have started commuting the past few weeks and now know my way - problem now is to get strong and fit enough to do it more than two days a week (which is what I’ve managed so far). But enjoying it despite the cold and the hills - and will keep plugging away till I can do it more regularly, comfortably and quickly. (I passed ONE person ONCE, which is what I keep reminding myself as I suffer away as far left as I can manage with everyone passing me. I lie to myself they’re all on ebikes, haha.)

But again thanks - and if the offer still stands in a few months when I can actually manage a conversation while cycling, I might send you a message. :-)

jasonc
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby jasonc » Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:10 am

birdwatcher wrote:As it happens I have started commuting the past few weeks and now know my way


great to hear. yell when that fitness goes up. I run some social rides that may interest you on weekdays
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RobertL
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Re: I’d like to start commuting - Help from Brisbane people?

Postby RobertL » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:06 pm

birdwatcher wrote:Hi Jason, thanks for the offer! As it happens I have started commuting the past few weeks and now know my way - problem now is to get strong and fit enough to do it more than two days a week (which is what I’ve managed so far). But enjoying it despite the cold and the hills - and will keep plugging away till I can do it more regularly, comfortably and quickly. (I passed ONE person ONCE, which is what I keep reminding myself as I suffer away as far left as I can manage with everyone passing me. I lie to myself they’re all on ebikes, haha.)

But again thanks - and if the offer still stands in a few months when I can actually manage a conversation while cycling, I might send you a message. :-)


Well done! Keep plugging away. Try adding a 3rd day per week and then a 4th as you get used to it. You will improve rapidly - in 12 months time you will look back and laugh at the things you currently think are difficult.
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