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

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

Postby il padrone » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:38 pm

djw47 wrote: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

Having just ridden up the 1 in 20 today for the first time since I got back from Europe (and probably the first time since about the same time last year), I see there are new crash barriers. Very new as I don't recall seeing them ever before, so probably less than a year old. And there are sections of sealed shoulder. A few points about this 'cycling facility':

1. They are intermittent and not overly wide. Some sections do not extend right to the crash barrier - half sealed and half loose gravel
2. You can barely see the loose gravel as the sealed shoulder is covered (between 50% and 110%) with sticks, bark, leaves, branches, and any other debris. Obviously there is no sweeping program.
3. The sealed surface is the usual design - rougher than the road surface and fairly bumpy
4. Sealed shoulder only on the climb, nothing at all on the descent. Just as well really as the last thing I want when descending at 40-45kmh is to have motorists expecting me to ride way off to the left. I'll take all the space I need thank you very much.

So in conclusion I'd rate this sealed shoulder, as a 'cycling facility', to be a fail. I won't be using it, except in an emergency.



As a comparison for what could be done, Adelaide has a real cycling facility on the road into the hills, Mt Barker Rd. It looks like this. They don't have such a deep forest there with so many trees dropping bark and branches, but still it has taken a different outlook on cycling to achieve this.

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by BNA » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:18 pm

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

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:18 pm

would be a bit hard to turn the 1 in 20 into that

overall I would say the 1 in 20 is safe as with the rest of the dandenongs

I am hoping the rain stays away until the afternoon :D I have had my leave pass confirmed so I am planning to go up and down a few times
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby cyclotaur » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:22 pm

il padrone wrote:....
So in conclusion I'd rate this sealed shoulder, as a 'cycling facility', to be a fail. I won't be using it, except in an emergency.

As these road safety improvements were most likely not undertaken as a cycling facility, any rating as such is irrelevant. Use as much of the road as you like - I find a reasonable combination of assertiveness and courtesy works fine.

And that Adelaide comparison is 'apples and ornages'.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby il padrone » Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:50 pm

yarravalleyplodder wrote:would be a bit hard to turn the 1 in 20 into that


cyclotaur wrote:And that Adelaide comparison is 'apples and ornages'.


For sure, it would be a challenge to build such a lane on much of the 1 in 20 (although there is actually room for one on much of the climb). I too don't really regard it as necessary. My point is about the attitudes involved towards making provision for cyclists, on what is in both cases an outer suburban location. And the attitudes that cyclists should use such a sub-standard sealed shoulder as a psuedo-bike lane to get out of the way of the annointed ones, the motorists :roll:

Someone in Adelaide cares a bit about bicycles in the hills. No-one much in the Yarra Ranges seems to.


A pertinent point - these new safety barriers are turning into a great bark and kindling trap. If this is what they're like after just one year, I wonder what sort of a fire hazard and skid-pan they'll be after 5-10 years :? :roll:
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:11 pm

well another morning out in the dandenongs, a bit more traffic out & about but no issues to report, everyone gave me a wide berth and waited until it was safe to pass.

The only issues I had today was me forgetting to hit start on the garmin after a short break robbing myself of a few km's and climbing meters and then a flat on the way down into montrose. Used Co2 for the first time and wow how easy is that.

Looking forward to next weekend :D
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby dalai47 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:45 pm

How was the wind today? I rode my last threepeat of Mt Donna Buang yesterday before I leave for the States. Numerous recently cleared trees from across the road, plus much covered by bark and branches made the descent especially challenging. Biggest surprise though was passing a recently squashed ~1m long snake... It's only August! :shock:
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby kb » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:04 pm

Wind was mostly ok - a little hairy on the exposed sections of Devil's Elbows descent. The spot of (almost horizontal) hail on the way back was definitely not appreciated, but pretty short lived.

Trying to make this a regular ride but it's still a bit of a stretch for me
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby dalai47 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:13 pm

Solid circuit kb!
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:47 pm

Thats a hard day in the saddle, well done kb
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby djw47 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:54 am

il padrone wrote:
djw47 wrote: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

Having just ridden up the 1 in 20 today for the first time since I got back from Europe (and probably the first time since about the same time last year), I see there are new crash barriers. Very new as I don't recall seeing them ever before, so probably less than a year old. And there are sections of sealed shoulder. A few points about this 'cycling facility':

1. They are intermittent and not overly wide. Some sections do not extend right to the crash barrier - half sealed and half loose gravel
2. You can barely see the loose gravel as the sealed shoulder is covered (between 50% and 110%) with sticks, bark, leaves, branches, and any other debris. Obviously there is no sweeping program.
3. The sealed surface is the usual design - rougher than the road surface and fairly bumpy
4. Sealed shoulder only on the climb, nothing at all on the descent. Just as well really as the last thing I want when descending at 40-45kmh is to have motorists expecting me to ride way off to the left. I'll take all the space I need thank you very much.

So in conclusion I'd rate this sealed shoulder, as a 'cycling facility', to be a fail. I won't be using it, except in an emergency.



As a comparison for what could be done, Adelaide has a real cycling facility on the road into the hills, Mt Barker Rd. It looks like this. They don't have such a deep forest there with so many trees dropping bark and branches, but still it has taken a different outlook on cycling to achieve this.

Image


I don't believe the hard shoulders were ever there for the purposes of cycling on, but they do provide space to move over if you're holding up traffic which was why I mentioned it in the first place. I rode up last week and I'd say that for about 35-40% of the length of the hill you can move over if needs be (on the ascent). I take your point about the twigs and leaves but if you use it as a quick hop off to let traffic past, it's really not a problem and I have seen it cleared out albeit rarely - might be worth contacting the council to advise.

I think the solution in Adelaide would be fantastic but I doubt there's room for something as extravagant in the Dandies and it would likely become a gutter for all those branches!
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby djw47 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:02 pm

il padrone wrote:Having just ridden up the 1 in 20 today for the first time since I got back from Europe (and probably the first time since about the same time last year), I see there are new crash barriers. Very new as I don't recall seeing them ever before, so probably less than a year old. And there are sections of sealed shoulder.


http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/genera ... ing/30259/

The barriers have been there for about 2 years. The shoulder was definitely complete and rideable in early 2012.
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby michael_w » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:47 pm

il padrone wrote:[snip]
Someone in Adelaide cares a bit about bicycles in the hills. No-one much in the Yarra Ranges seems to.

A pertinent point - these new safety barriers are turning into a great bark and kindling trap. If this is what they're like after just one year, I wonder what sort of a fire hazard and skid-pan they'll be after 5-10 years :? :roll: [/snip]

As a resident of the Yarra Ranges, I can tell you it's not just cyclists that don't rate with the Shire. It's pretty much everybody. :|
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Re: Cycling in the Yarra Ranges/Dandenongs: Is it safe?

Postby yarravalleyplodder » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:59 pm

michael_w wrote:
il padrone wrote:[snip]
Someone in Adelaide cares a bit about bicycles in the hills. No-one much in the Yarra Ranges seems to.

A pertinent point - these new safety barriers are turning into a great bark and kindling trap. If this is what they're like after just one year, I wonder what sort of a fire hazard and skid-pan they'll be after 5-10 years :? :roll: [/snip]

As a resident of the Yarra Ranges, I can tell you it's not just cyclists that don't rate with the Shire. It's pretty much everybody. :|

yep I would second that, we are just there to pay the rates, heaven forbid if we ask for services in return :shock:
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