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I'm just about to get started into road cycling, based around the lower north shore (mosman). I was wondering if anyone knows of a good areas, or even a map, of places that would be good to start out? I know from driving around these parts that drivers can be a bit hectic at times (even in a car, let alone a bike). Anyone from the area have any tips for starting out / things to definitely look out for?
Google maps gives you a pretty good start, just click on the drop down where it says traffic, and tick Bicycling, and you'll see bike paths, shared paths and bike friendly roads. Then there are tonnes of other sites like Bikely, Strava, where it's pretty easy to see what routes other riders take. Bike friendly roads vary a lot, from very wide smooth roads, to roads that technically can just fit a car and bike in the same direction. It's beyond your question, but I'd also warn about sticking close to parked cars to avoid getting in the way of traffic, as cars will open a door on you, and you'll be in danger of hitting the door, or getting hit by a car trying to avoid the door. It's better to just get right out in the lane if you think it's going to be dangerous to pass you.
I mention it because, looking at the maps right now, I can tell you some of the bike friendly roads mean you'd be riding right against parked cars to be out of the way of traffic.
Mosman is a tough area, very nice area to ride around, but a lot of extreme hills for even experienced riders. I'm not sure about the south side around Taronga, but if you can counter some of the hills, the north side links up pretty well to Flat Rock Gully, which is pretty easy riding, and that links up to the freeway bike path if you want to stretch your legs a bit, goes along to Lane Cove. You could also go to Chatswood through the Artarmon park bike path.
Centennial Park is easy and safe, as long as you get there early when it's mostly cyclists and a few jiggers.
West Head on weekend mornings is gorgeous, with smooth, rolling road, few cars and lots of cyclists. Harder than CP though.
2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Felt F75, 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL, 2014 Wabi Lightning SE
A lot of where/how you ride depends on how fit you are.
Join a local bug/club and get on their rides, the social aspect is the best motivator when it comes to cycling.
Join Strava and follow local riders, check their rides out!
Thanks for the responses guys, I went for my first ride around Mosman this morning. Nice and early start it was good to see there were more cyclists than cars on the road before 7am. Had a nice small ride to start it all off, around 6.5Kms and I must say, I'm definitely feeling the workout in my legs.
Safety in numbers! Join a local ride group and learn the good routes and be protected by the group. You can go solo after you are more confident and competent.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
Or drive to Sydguy's place and go riding around Sydney Olympic Park (SOP) it's flat. Mosman is really hilly, Eastwood was impossible for me when I started, get some flat rides in first then introduce hills.
Thanks for the responses all, I've been out riding 3 times in the last week and it's been great. Taking it easy at the moment (started with about 6.5km up to 9km now) and trying to find a easier ride to start off with. I ride around Bradley's Head & Raglan Street which has an incline but it's bearable and I can work with it.
I'm out quite early in the morning so that helps.
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