Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
13 posts • Page 1 of 1
Hi guys I'm an international student and now study in sydney. i plan to have a cycling tour from sydney to melbourne. but I have never cycled in Australia before. I'm not sure whether i can cycle on highway or other road if there is no bicycle lane and hard shoulder. I see some people also cycle on highway but when i ask the bicycle store staff, he told me if my bicycle is an on-road one then you can cycle on highway because ur speed may up to 50mph but my bicycle is an MTB (also loaded) so that the speed may not be very high and will block the vehicles from behind. in this case i am not allowed to cycle on highway. that day when i tried my new bike on princes highway near Rockdale i got scolded by the drivers from behind, which was really embarrassing. now I'm quite confused... really wanna get some helpful advices from bicycle pros in this forum. Thanks in advance!!!
In Australia, a bicycle is a ROAD vehicle. You are allowed to ride it on any road where there is not 'no bicycle' signage. There is no differentiation amongst types of bicycles and their loads.
Bear in mind that the average australian driver is extremely poorly educated on road rules, does not have to pass further tests after they are 18 years old or thereabouts and is just plain ignorant of the rules regarding bicycles anyway. The more ignorant they are, the more likely they are to honk horns or yell stuff at you. Hell the more likely it is that their rego isn't paid up and their licence is suspended anyway.
Use the breakdown lane/shoulder when its clear, continuous and usable, use the road lane where it isn't. Make certain your visibility from the rear is good (can just put a highvis vest over a backpack or whatever if you need to). Give way when you are changing from the shoulder to the road lane, ie don't surprise anyone by moving out. For a 110km/hr divided highway, you should always have a breakdown lane, but it might be pinched over bridges. I generally wait for a gap, and ride over the bridge with my right arm out to make it clear I'm using the lane for that area. Be particularly wary of trucks, because you can't see whats attempting to overtake them on a multilane road from behind. I've stopped at a bridge on more than one occasion to let them past, just so that I don't have to deal with the unknown on their right side.
For 100km/hr 2 lane country road, you'll often have to ride inlane as the shoulder is poorly maintained or may have a stepdown lip due to resurfacing. Its best that you are clearly in lane (ie left wheel track) as things approach, you can move further left as they get close - but you should start them out with the notion that you are in the lane so that you get more clearance, and not tracking perfectly straight actually helps your visibility. I tend to conserve energy to speed up a bit through S bend curves and the likes, so that I pass the areas of really short visibility quickly.
Obviously you need a lightset if you intend riding at dusk or dark.
Wow thanks zero!! thats a lot of helpful information from your reply. once I asked the bicycle store staff whether i can just basically consider myself as a motorist when cycling on the road he said i cant. now guess he's wrong, at least he's wrong when there is no bike lane or shoulder. maybe i should be more "confident" when facing yelling drivers because i really feel sorry when i cycle in front of them, slowing them down. Thanks again zero for such a detailed reply!!
tony - don't feel bad, they only have to slow down for a very short period of time and it doesn't increase their journey time. You have a right to use the road, just as they do. Some just need to learn to share.
Also once you get away from the capital cities, you may find traffic is much more tolerant.
Xtracycle, Surly Long Haul Trucker, Bike Friday New World Tourist, Giant TCR, 9:zero:7
If you get a good driver Tony, let them know it. A friendly wave tends to make a difference as well
Good luck with your planned trip!
The only good Cyclist is a Bicyclist
Huge fan of booted RGers who just can't help themselves
Thanks for your encouragement jet!! I'm full of confidence right now! i'll yell back at those impatient drivers' face just kidding ~
You are right Womble. we still need to be thankful for those kind drivers
Best approach is to wave and blow kisses, tony Send them on their merry way with good wishes.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
yea that's right padrone ill bear that in mind
Too late now - he has more than 1 post up .
1975 Peugeot UO-8 - daily commuter along the Liverpool to Parramatta cycleway (and back again )
**Now living south of Campbelltown so commuting with the help of Mr Cityrail.
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