Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby Dimis » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:57 pm

defy1 wrote:Just did my first ride.. from Glen Waverley, up 1 in 20 and back. Not very fast, 29 mins lol. Hope to improve it over time.
It wasn't too bad traffic wise, and there were a lot of cyclists about, but it was cold and windy.


Well done, and congrats!
I hope you enjoyed the ride.
You now have a baseline time to aim for.

Ps: Not a bad guess less than 3 mins out.
I guess I won the poll by default, no other times posted.
Prize for the poll was a set of new Reynolds 46 carbon clincher wheels rrp:$2999
I guess I'll have to go treat myself.
Haha.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:12 pm

defy1 wrote:Just did my first ride.. from Glen Waverley, up 1 in 20 and back. Not very fast, 29 mins lol. Hope to improve it over time.
It wasn't too bad traffic wise, and there were a lot of cyclists about, but it was cold and windy.

well done, its a great little climb the 1 in 20. You should keep going to olinda and then to sky high. The descent down into Montrose is the best on the mountain imo, smooth road, nice corners and you dont need to use your breaks.

I hope now you have a taste of the hills you will be back, and in the spring and summer its gorgeous
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby djw47 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:57 am

il padrone wrote:Sunday afternoons up the 1 in 20 and on the main ridge of the Dandenongs is not very nice - way too crowded for pleasant cycling. Emerald can also get a bit busy at the same time. Other parts of the Dandenongs and out to Gembrook, Monbulk and surrounds are much nicer. Do yur ride on a Saturday or anytime in the earlier morning and you'll have a great time.

A key advantage of riding in the hills - the winding roads generally slow drivers to a maximum of about 60-70kmh, so passing traffic is much less of a threat.


Have to disagree, Sunday afternoons are no worse than any other time at the weekend in the Dandenongs, in fact it can often be quieter because the majority of cyclists seem to go out in the mornings.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby djw47 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:03 pm

jules21 wrote:
dalai47 wrote:
il padrone wrote:Sunday afternoons up the 1 in 20 and on the main ridge of the Dandenongs is not very nice


Interesting to see peoples differing opinions. I ride in the Dandenongs at all times and never find it an issue...

there are a lot of sections in which overtaking is unsafe. when it gets busy, such as on sunday afternoons, you can build quite a following of cars. i'm amazed to hear that they are all so patient with you. i wouldn't say it was dangerous, but some of the locals have 'had enough' with cyclists.


I don't agree that locals have had enough of cyclists. I am a local in that area and a cyclist and if cyclists are courteous towards drivers and try and accommodate them then they will in the vast majority of cases be absolutely fine. What does piss people off in cars is where there are bunches of cyclists who ride up two or three abreast thus blocking the lane entirely (and as you say overtaking can be unsafe anyway without having to negotiate cyclists who take up the entire lane), or where the cyclist sits in the middle of the lane, again blocking the lane for overtaking. I find if you move over to the left or onto the shoulder (and on the 1 in 20 there is a generous bitumen shoulder most of the way up) and let motorists past or wave them through when you can see it's clear, motorists in the Dandenongs are fine.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby michael_w » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:15 pm

djw47 wrote:I don't agree that locals have had enough of cyclists. I am a local in that area and a cyclist and if cyclists are courteous towards drivers and try and accommodate them then they will in the vast majority of cases be absolutely fine. What does piss people off in cars is where there are bunches of cyclists who ride up two or three abreast thus blocking the lane entirely (and as you say overtaking can be unsafe anyway without having to negotiate cyclists who take up the entire lane), or where the cyclist sits in the middle of the lane, again blocking the lane for overtaking. I find if you move over to the left or onto the shoulder (and on the 1 in 20 there is a generous bitumen shoulder most of the way up) and let motorists past or wave them through when you can see it's clear, motorists in the Dandenongs are fine.

Hear, hear. As another local cyclist and motorist I agree with djw. Those sentiments are also voiced by many other non-cycling motorists that I come across.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby jules21 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:32 pm

djw47 wrote:I don't agree that locals have had enough of cyclists. I am a local in that area and a cyclist and if cyclists are courteous towards drivers and try and accommodate them then they will in the vast majority of cases be absolutely fine. What does piss people off in cars is where there are bunches of cyclists who ride up two or three abreast thus blocking the lane entirely (and as you say overtaking can be unsafe anyway without having to negotiate cyclists who take up the entire lane), or where the cyclist sits in the middle of the lane, again blocking the lane for overtaking. I find if you move over to the left or onto the shoulder (and on the 1 in 20 there is a generous bitumen shoulder most of the way up) and let motorists past or wave them through when you can see it's clear, motorists in the Dandenongs are fine.

that's exactly what i do. everyone has their own approach to roadcraft and some cyclists are more assertive about their position (i'm assertive, but judiciously - i will take the lane when i feel the need, and keep left otherwise).

but in my experience there are some angry drivers in the 'Nongs - more so than elsewhere. what you describe about being courteous applies everywhere. that's just my experience - i wouldn't dictate that it must be everyone else's.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby michael_w » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:34 pm

Probably worth remembering than a lot of drivers in the Dandenongs are visitors as well
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:21 am

djw47 wrote: What does piss people off in cars is where there are bunches of cyclists who ride up two or three abreast thus blocking the lane entirely (and as you say overtaking can be unsafe anyway without having to negotiate cyclists who take up the entire lane), or where the cyclist sits in the middle of the lane, again blocking the lane for overtaking. I find if you move over to the left or onto the shoulder (and on the 1 in 20 there is a generous bitumen shoulder most of the way up) and let motorists past or wave them through when you can see it's clear, motorists in the Dandenongs are fine.


I don't entirely disagree with the tenor of your comments, but you must be talking about a different 1 in 20 from the one I ride up :? ???

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Most roads in the Dandies really demand that a cyclist sticks up for their required road space, in order to ensure that drivers slow down a bit and overtake safely, at a safe location and allowing sufficient room. Riding the line is laying yourself open to being hit. I know, as on more than one occasion I have been close-shaved, even scraped along the side of a car, because I rode too far left (trying to give room). Not any more!!
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby djw47 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:33 am

il padrone wrote:
djw47 wrote: What does piss people off in cars is where there are bunches of cyclists who ride up two or three abreast thus blocking the lane entirely (and as you say overtaking can be unsafe anyway without having to negotiate cyclists who take up the entire lane), or where the cyclist sits in the middle of the lane, again blocking the lane for overtaking. I find if you move over to the left or onto the shoulder (and on the 1 in 20 there is a generous bitumen shoulder most of the way up) and let motorists past or wave them through when you can see it's clear, motorists in the Dandenongs are fine.


I don't entirely disagree with the tenor of your comments, but you must be talking about a different 1 in 20 from the one I ride up :? ???

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Most roads in the Dandies really demand that a cyclist sticks up for their required road space, in order to ensure that drivers slow down a bit and overtake safely, at a safe location and allowing sufficient room. Riding the line is laying yourself open to being hit. I know, as on more than one occasion I have been close-shaved, even scraped along the side of a car, because I rode too far left (trying to give room). Not any more!!


The 1 in 20, yes the same one you're talking about, has lots of parts that have plenty of room to the left of the white line where you can ride out of the way of traffic (generally where they put in the crash barriers a couple of years ago and in the bottom third where there are houses). You're maybe unluckier than me, but I can say I've never had a problem with cars driving too close to me on the 1 in 20, or anywhere else in the Dandies, but maybe I'm just incredibly lucky. Riding the line may well leave you open to being hit but then riding the centre of the lane leaves you liable to pissing off the motorists behind you, which is detrimental to every other cyclist who uses the roads up there.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:07 pm

djw47 wrote:but then riding the centre of the lane leaves you liable to pissing off the motorists behind you

the idea isn't to ride in the centre, leaving a trail of cars behind you. rather, the idea is to stay in the middle long enough to ensure they slow down, then move over to let them past. it's the speed of overtaking that is the real risk (something which has been completely overlooked in the passing distance law debate).
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby VRE » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:06 pm

jules21 wrote:
djw47 wrote:but then riding the centre of the lane leaves you liable to pissing off the motorists behind you

the idea isn't to ride in the centre, leaving a trail of cars behind you. rather, the idea is to stay in the middle long enough to ensure they slow down, then move over to let them past. it's the speed of overtaking that is the real risk (something which has been completely overlooked in the passing distance law debate).

Exactly. Stay in the middle of the lane long enough to let them see you, then move aside to let them pass. I do this often in the Dandenongs while descending (when I'm more likely to be claiming the lane), typically waiting until there's a straight spot up ahead, then moving left and waving motorists past with my right hand. A significant proportion of them show appreciation for this :) .
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:03 pm

jules21 wrote:
djw47 wrote:but then riding the centre of the lane leaves you liable to pissing off the motorists behind you

the idea isn't to ride in the centre, leaving a trail of cars behind you. rather, the idea is to stay in the middle long enough to ensure they slow down, then move over to let them past. it's the speed of overtaking that is the real risk (something which has been completely overlooked in the passing distance law debate).


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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby il padrone » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:09 pm

djw47 wrote:The 1 in 20, yes the same one you're talking about, has lots of parts that have plenty of room to the left of the white line where you can ride out of the way of traffic (generally where they put in the crash barriers a couple of years ago and in the bottom third where there are houses).


Well, I have noot ridden up into the Dandies for about 8 months or so (injury, then overseas) but what I know of the climb is that the bottom third of it is the narrowest section of the lot, with no sealed-shoulder space at all. This Streetview shot may be out of date, but I doubt it.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby djw47 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:22 pm

il padrone wrote:
djw47 wrote:The 1 in 20, yes the same one you're talking about, has lots of parts that have plenty of room to the left of the white line where you can ride out of the way of traffic (generally where they put in the crash barriers a couple of years ago and in the bottom third where there are houses).


Well, I have noot ridden up into the Dandies for about 8 months or so (injury, then overseas) but what I know of the climb is that the bottom third of it is the narrowest section of the lot, with no sealed-shoulder space at all. This Streetview shot may be out of date, but I doubt it.


In the interests of not getting into a lengthy debate about it, let's agree that there are sections which have enough space on the left to ride on and keep out of the lane, trust me they're there and have been for at least since they put in the crash barriers, and there are areas where it's narrow and not possible! :D
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:35 pm

had another great ride in the nongs today. I was out & about a bit later than usual today and WOW there are a truck load of cyclists riding in the hills. Must say I had zero issues with traffic, I even had a lady happy to follow me all the way down the montrose descent. I did give her room at first but once I worked out she wasnt interested in overtaking I owned my lane.

Not sure how any of the bunches went but as I said I had zero issues and it was good not to be rugged up as much as I have been lately :D
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby snark » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:56 pm

I had my first ride in the region today. The hells500 crew had a ride from Warburton up to Mt Donna Buang the back way (a lot of unsealed roads!). Although there was a fair bit closed to traffic, we had zero problems with cars as well - can't say the same about my legs :)

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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby dalai47 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:17 am

snark wrote:I had my first ride in the region today. The hells500 crew had a ride from Warburton up to Mt Donna Buang the back way (a lot of unsealed roads!). Although there was a fair bit closed to traffic, we had zero problems with cars as well - can't say the same about my legs :)


I rode Marysville to Reefton return * 2 yesterday instead of my usual Donna threepeat due to the Hells 500 ride. Traffic was heavy up the Marysville side till the Lake Mountain turn off due to the snow traffic. All gave me plenty of room.

The Reefton Spur was surprising quiet. But from what I've read the motorbikes are riding elsewhere since the speed limit has been dropped to 80 and enforced.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby djw47 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:26 am

yarravalleyplodder wrote:had another great ride in the nongs today. I was out & about a bit later than usual today and WOW there are a truck load of cyclists riding in the hills. Must say I had zero issues with traffic, I even had a lady happy to follow me all the way down the montrose descent. I did give her room at first but once I worked out she wasnt interested in overtaking I owned my lane.

Not sure how any of the bunches went but as I said I had zero issues and it was good not to be rugged up as much as I have been lately :D


It was a great weekend for riding in the hills, perfect weather for getting out and about. I managed to go up Mt Dandenong 5 times over the two days, felt great on Saturday, broke a couple of my PBs for the Wall and 1 in 20, struggled a bit yesterday though, probably owing to over eating and over drinking on Saturday night I reckon!
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby clackers » Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:58 am

One of the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club's day rides yesterday was a loop out of the Launching Place pub, up and down Donna through Warburton and back, but of course, this was exactly the same as the Hells500 with a different starting point.

At the top, where last year the ground was full of snow, there was the surreal sight of tables of cupcakes on layered stands, porcelain teapot, hot chocolate from gas burners and scones warmed up in a microwave oven running off a nearby generator.

I had to take a picture of these generous people or my wife wouldn't have believed it.

Behind them is the quite nasty last kilometre climb up to the summit.

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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby clackers » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:15 pm

And as you make your way up to the top from the Healesville side, you pass by this hangliding ramp.

As Il Padrone observed, there's not much leeway if there's a crosswind. You'd better get this right.

(Extreme downhill MTBers, don't get any ideas!!!)

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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby snark » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:30 pm

clackers wrote:At the top, where last year the ground was full of snow, there was the surreal sight of tables of cupcakes on layered stands, porcelain teapot, hot chocolate from gas burners and scones warmed up in a microwave oven running off a nearby generator.

[ ... ]

Behind them is the quite nasty last kilometre climb up to the summit.


And the cupcakes and a nice hot chocolate definitely helped with that last kilometre :).
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby clackers » Mon Aug 12, 2013 7:12 pm

snark wrote:
And the cupcakes and a nice hot chocolate definitely helped with that last kilometre :).


We were definitely not bound by UCI feeding rules in the last k's of a climb, Snark. :smile:

A real morale booster.

No farms around on the heights, either, so my bidons were refilled with the water pouring off the rocks you can find at a couple of bends.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:20 pm

djw47 wrote:
yarravalleyplodder wrote:had another great ride in the nongs today. I was out & about a bit later than usual today and WOW there are a truck load of cyclists riding in the hills. Must say I had zero issues with traffic, I even had a lady happy to follow me all the way down the montrose descent. I did give her room at first but once I worked out she wasnt interested in overtaking I owned my lane.

Not sure how any of the bunches went but as I said I had zero issues and it was good not to be rugged up as much as I have been lately :D


It was a great weekend for riding in the hills, perfect weather for getting out and about. I managed to go up Mt Dandenong 5 times over the two days, felt great on Saturday, broke a couple of my PBs for the Wall and 1 in 20, struggled a bit yesterday though, probably owing to over eating and over drinking on Saturday night I reckon!

I missed saturday, I was spewing after seeing the weather but life got in the way

Its been a while since I hit the hills hard and after doing the 1 in 20 twice and the wall up to skyhigh my legs were jelly. I went no way near PB's but I am really ramping up again and in a months time I expect to get stronger, I am hoping the weather will get better but this weekend is not looking good :(
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby dalai47 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:19 am

Always surprised to see almost no other cyclists in the Dandenongs of a week day evening. Once again rode my weekly 1 in 20 threepeat last night and saw only one other rider descending the whole session!

I find making the base around 7pm that the traffic is light and motorists give plenty of space as my flashing tail lights stand out from a distance in the dark...
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:16 am

life stops me from riding up there during the week, between work, wife & kids I get a window saturday mornings (unfortunately sick kids and a working wife kept me home this morning :( ) and I can usually negotiate a longer ride window on Sunday mornings and plan to be there tomorrow, weather looks good enough http://www.weatherzone.com.au/vic/melbourne/olinda/detailed-forecast
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