I'm probably moving to Sydney in the next couple of months with my work. Naturally my biggest concern in this move is cycling. Living in Adelaide I can come home from work, jump on my bike and I'm in the Hills in 15 minutes. Or I can get up early and head down the beach and bash out 50 odd kms and come home for breakfast, all without any major safety issues or road rage, generally.
I'm planning on living somewhere around the Ryde/Drummoyne/Meadowbank area with work being in North Ryde. Is commuting to this area suicidal? Is it feasible to expect I could head out after work for some hill runs? Are there any decent climbs in this area?
I can count the amount of times I've been abused by drivers on one hand while living in Adelaide...should I expect to need 8 sets of hands by the time I'm living in Sydney?
If you are working in North Ryde and living sort of local to that area (Ryde/North Ryde/Meadowbank/Marsfield/Eastwood), you are well placed for doing the 3 Gorges (Galston Gorge, Berowra Waters, Bobbin Head). Commuting from Meadowbank to North Ryde is not too bad, likewise for Ryde (though it will depend exactly where). Drummoyne is not so convenient for commuting to North Ryde, but it is not impossible. You'll just have to deal with some poor infrastructure getting over the Gladesville Bridge and then climbing up through Lane Cove.
If you want some more details, drop me a PM. I used to live in Marsfield (near Macquarie University). These days I commute from the North-West and come through North Ryde on my way to North Sydney. In general, most of the "hilly" terrain in Sydney is on the North Side of the harbour. There is some pretty nasty hills between Meadowbank and North Ryde too
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
I work at Macquarie Uni and have commuted from various areas around here over the last 10 years. The riding is pretty good as long as you find an appropriate route, there are many roads I wouldn't ride on but there's a good network of quiet road and off road bike paths around the area, you can usually find a good route that's a bit longer but a lot safer.
You should check out the transport options where you're going to live. Ryde is serviced by busses but has no train, Meadowbank has the train and ferry and good access to the riverside bike trails up to Paramatta and in to the city - also very close to Olympic Park, great for training rides etc. Other suburbs around here along the train line (West Ryde, Denistone, Eastwood, Epping) are well connected and all good places to live. We've just moved to Telopea/Dundas Valley which is a bit further from the trains but well placed for busses and has good road connections.
There are likely to be hills on your commute unless you end up in Eastwood or Marsfield. You can choose steep climbs or make it more gentle by taking a longer route, it's up to you what you prefer.
Check out Bike North, the local advocacy group, they have links to some of the local council bike maps and a great roster of rides around the area that they run. It's a good social group and can provide a good introduction to some of the local rides. There are some great routes north, into the national park if you've got the legs for longer rides.
PM me if you want any more info.
I live in newington and used to work in north ryde. Tried cycling to work once, the ride to meadowbank/west ryde is fine, back streets and bike paths. From there though the options are limited. Ride on heavily congested major roads, or footpaths, which is illegal, dangerous (drive ways and side streets), and slow. there's no really nice ways to weave backstreets in the area.
and trains aren't much better, you'd have to head to strathfield then back to epping then up to north ryde, many times the direct distance. buses are probably the best bet.
Eastwood would be better, you can get reasonably easily to epping road and bike path it from there, or one stop train to epping then change, but you'll have trains packed for mac uni.
Hmm, not sure whether you're talking about the West Ryde to MQ section or West Ryde to Newington, but in my experience both are pretty good and neither requires any busy roads. From WR coming from Meadowbank you can head up Hermitage Road, up to Blaxland (steep climb) then join the bike paths from Denistone East to MQ via the Shrimptons Creek cycleway. For a less steep climb go the long way up Rydale Rd through Eastwood then up Vimera Rd towards MQ. From Meadowbank to Newington is pretty easy over the shared path on the bridge and past Rhodes.
I guess the trains from Newington aren't so good because you're on the Homebush branch line, would it be faster to ride over to Concord West and get the direct train from there?
From Eastwood you'd get the bus, not the train, and busses are a lot better now that the train links Epping and MQ, much easier to get a seat in the morning.
If you're keen on early morning riding in that area, the LACC club has a number of morning rides that centre around Olympic Park. Everything from fast training rides on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, through to more sedate rides on Wed and Fri, and longer bunch rides on the weekends which head in various directions North and South.
Olympic Park is great for riding, although it can get a little repetative after a while.
There is a great hill in Meadowbank called Melville Rd. It's not very long but it does hurt at ~15%.
I ride through Meadowbank on the way to work in North Ryde, the roads around that section are actually pretty good. I go through Hermitage road and up Melville which as has been mentioned is quite a steep climb, and then along the Quarry road cycleway into Macquarie park. If you keep going north and east you can get to akuna bay and west head too which are both very scenic and somewhat brutal roads that on a weekend morning are packed with more cyclists than cars.
Or Tarrants Ave, one street parallel, which is even steeper!!
I used to live at the foot of Shaftsbury Road. Made getting to the shops at Eastwood a workout, but after 6 months, that hill was a walk in the park and I progressed to Tarrants Ave.
Nice, thanks for the replies everyone. I need to review some of these suggested routes, but first impressions are that it wont be as bad as I am imagining it to be.
Akuna Bay / West Head...is this area free from traffic lights / stop signs? It'd be good to find an area where I can put in some decent kms without having to constantly stop and start.
A few of my friends have mentioned the Olympic Park idea too, sounds like a goer while I'm finding my feet over there.
Yes, Olympic Park is good, especially if you join in the LACC rides. From my experience as a commuter with my workplace being in the middle of S.O.P., they tend to just cruise through all Stop Lights/Giveway Signs/Stop Signs so no stopping is ever required and they're always yelling something un-intelligible to each other with no quiet riding. It's a wonder they're not all out of breath with all the yelling that goes on.
There are lights etc to get to Akuna bay and west head but the roads themselves out there are more like country roads with bush either side, no traffic lights or footpaths or civilisation in general.
I've noticed of late the light stopping seems to be being obeyed. Most of the yelling is "lights", "car", "clear", etc. The slower bunches are more accomodating than the faster ones as there is an expectation that you know what you are doing in the fast bunches (fair enough given the speeds they do).
I think the volume and intelligibility are closely related to to the out of breath.
Come along and join in and see if it is for you.
I've been suffering from the flu the past couple of weeks so have been driving in. They still cruise through the Edwin Flack / Old Link Hill Rd intersection quite regularly on very AMBER/RED lights. I'm sure if they put a red light camera in, they'd be out of film every two or three days
I've been tempted in the past to join the end of a bunch but suspect my twin panniers would be frowned upon
It's not real close to where you'll be working, but worth considering the M7 cycleway. 39 km from one end to the other,
no stops, no traffic, and only very occasional pedestrians. Elevation varying from about 10 m above sea level (at Prestons end)
to 125 m (near Elizabeth drive), and undulating between there the Windsor Rd end. The Windsor Rd end can be reached
from Parramatta River area without tangling in much traffic (i.e. largely off-road cycleways).
Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
The route north is reasonably good via the bike path through Lane Cove National Park (Brown's Waterhole) which takes you up to Turramurra from where you can access a nice ride through Bobbin Head or join Mona Vale Rd to get up to Akuna Bay. Mona Vale is busy in the week but ok early on the weekend and is either three lanes or has a nice wide breakdown/bike lane most of the way north. The other option is to carry on through Bobbin Head and hit the Pacific Highway north towards Gosford - relatively quiet on the weekend apart from the motorbikes - or loop back through Galston Gorge or Berowra Waters. Plenty of options for a variety of rides.
Have a look at this route on Strava which is a loop around the northern beaches from the Epping area.
I really need to HTFU. If going to Meadowbank from North Ryde I usually go down Melville from Blaxland, but coming back the other way I detour via Hermitage Rd, Wattle St, then along the railway on Ryedale Rd until you get to Florence Ave, then take the SUP around the Denistone Station, then follow East Pde to Eastwood Station, then around the back to Vimiera Rd and through to Marsfield (where I used to live).
These days I am commuting out to Dural, so coming from Meadowbank I take the route above, but at First Ave/East Pde I turn left, then right into Shaftsbury/Midson Rd and take that all the way to Plympton Rd and then through the back streets to Pennant Hills Rd. If traffic is less crazy I will actually go via the Parramatta Valley Cycleway further west and then cut directly up through the Dundas Valley & Carlingford (Jenkins Rd/Oakes Rd).
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
From North Ryde, getting to Bobbin Head/Akuna Bay is best done through Browns Waterhole, which is at the end of Vimiera Rd in Marsfield. It cuts across the valley (paved SUP) to Kissing Pt Rd which you take up to the Pacific Hwy at Turramurra. From there you can do the Three Gorges (and beyond), or head up to Akuna Bay/West head/Church Pt. On weekends you will find that Akuna Bay/West Head is full of cyclists, often outnumbering the cars During the weekdays it is pretty quiet, but getting there and back during peak hour traffic can be challenging. Once you turn off the main road (Mona Vale Rd) there are no traffic lights to be found, and you can do the Akuna Bay loop with only a couple of Give Way signs at either end. The ride out to West Head is a great run since they resurfaced it. Ride out there and visit "The Wall"
On the weekend there is no problem with taking lane cove rd/mona vale rd all the way to Akuna and back.
or you can turn off mona vale rd on to pacific hwy for akuna and beyond.
The roads north are actually quite good. I'm in Drummoyne and ride up that way most weekends. During the week it's SOP before work
Hi all, now in Syds but haven't got a permanent place to live for another 4-6 weeks (and no bike till then either)
Where exactly is 3 Gorges? I wouldn't mind driving the roads to get an idea of the routes I'll soon be riding.
It is a loop that takes in Bobbin Head , Berowra Waters and Galston Gorge. It is entirely in the North/North-West of Sydney. Berowra Waters includes a Car Ferry, so don't be surprised by that. The ferry is free and runs 24 hours except for 1 day per month where it stops for a couple of hours for routine maintenance.
I suggest you take a look at Bike North as they regularly run a ride through the gorges and you can learn your way around.
Are you any closer to choosing where to live? Where are you for the next 6 weeks?
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