27 December 2006

cycle paths

| lenny
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I was lucky enough to get a nice bike for christmas, and as I have never owned a bike dont really have any idea were any good tracks are. I was after some suggestions of good rides in canberra, pref not too hilly because i am not really that fit…
Any suggestions
Also were can I get some info on Cyclist rights on Canberra roads?

[ED – I don’t know, as a net savvy RiotACTer I’d start by doing a google search then looking here and here at Pedal Power but that’s just me…]

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I used to ride the paths but then the National Road Rules changed things. I prefer to be legal but I’m not going to dismount, simple, don’t use pedestrian crossing so I don’t use the paths any more.

Canberra Rocks for cycling infrastructure. You can get practically anywhere in a reasonable amount of time on the cycle paths, or even quicker using the stormwater drains ;-> Plenty of offroad stuff around (you can ride on any formed road in the ACT).
Just watch out for the typical bogan drivers who can’t distinguish between a cycle and a ’50 point moving target’ and the retarded pedal pushers who think lycra is a cloak of immortality.

The only real furphy in ACT laws is that if you ride a cycle across a pedestrian X-ing you have to give way to everyone else, including cars.

Wow – getting wayyy off topic now – let’s get some perspective here. I ride on the bike paths for fully 2/3 of my journeys, because the network is so good it’ll generally take you where you need to go more or less directly, and certainly in a more pleasant and picturesque fashion than the roads. for the remaining 1/3 I use the road it’s because either a. it’s a residential area where the roads are so quiet they may as well be bike paths; b. the path isn’t as direct as the road; or c. the path is in poor condition, has lots of broken glass or has lots of pedestrian and other users that I’d prefer to avoid.
Above, I think both J Dawg and V8 are arguing that risk minimisation to the lowest possible level by riding on the bike paths is “common sense”, whereas I’m arguing that risk minimisation to to the lowest acceptable level by riding on the road responsibly, safely and assertively is “common sense”. Who is right here? I reckon we could both make good arguments that’d totally fail to convince the other. So, in the absence of an agreement of what constitutes “common sense” I’ll go with the law, thanks. That way we all know what we can and cannot do.
And Lenny, if you’re still reading and haven’t already sold the bike to buy a few tanks more of petrol, you can find every bike path in Canberra and Queanbeyan either on the published Cycling and Walking Map, and available from Pedal Power and all good bike shops for about $7.50, or for free online here. Enjoy the riding – seriously, it doesn’t get much better than what we have here in Canberra.

I think that there are bicyclists and cyclists. (Most) bicyclists ride consideratly, keep to the left, use the bike paths that have cost taxpayers gazillions, don’t sneak to the front of the queue at traffic lights, don’t wear metrosexual lycra to show off their tackle, don’t ride three abreast and glare at anyone who dares chip them, and don’t think that they are elite athletes that we all must give way to.
Cyclists on the other hand….

VYBerlinaV8_now with_added_grunt1:36 pm 29 Dec 06

“They have little protection in the event of a collision and this places more responsibility on the motorist”

Legally, maybe, but not practically. When I am a cyclist I make it my business to not be in the way of cars, and to give clear signals. If I get hit by a car, I am the one who will nurse the injuries, not the motorist. Think about it.

Just because the law says they can, you’d think that common sense would prevail.

Obviously not.

It drives me crazy when bicycles are on the road adjacent to a bike path…
Cyclists and drivers Motorists must take care and show consideration when sharing the roads with cyclists, who have the same legal rights and obligations as other road users. Although Canberra has cycle paths, it is not compulsory for cyclists to use them. There are no roads in the ACT from which cyclists are excluded. Cyclists are very vulnerable in traffic. They have little protection in the event of a collision and this places more responsibility on the motorist. p 94, ACT Road Rules 2006.

Pedestrians have and should have ultimate right of way when compared to any moving vehicle, including bicycles and no matter where the pedestrians are, including cycle paths. It is just commonsense.

It drives me crazy when bicycles are on the road adjacent to a bike path, like many others, especially when they take up so much room in the lane, you need to move into the adjacent one to overtake them.

What REALLY annoys me though, is when cyclists want to stop traffic at a pedestrian crossing by simply riding straight through it. They are PEDESTRIAN crossings, and the road rules state that if cyclists wish to cross at a pedestrian crossing, they should be off the bicycle and walking the cycle across the road.

Despite widespread bad behaviour on the roads, cyclists are the first to whinge about other vehicles!

lenny, buddy, burn the bike canberra needs no more cyclist

Hey lenny, basically it all boils down to being considerate where the road/path is shared. You’ll be fine, and don’t forget to have fun!
Snarky, that horn sounds cool – and I, too, always thank the ones that give a warning. Kinda makes up for the ones that scare me half to death!

i am starting to think a bike wasnt the best gift after all!!


Majura Pines have heaps of trails – access from Majura Road or ride over the Mt Majura / Mt Ainslie saddle from the Watson side.

There’s some good riding in the Isaacs Pines – but more so for the gravity set and if you want to stick your bike in the car there’s Sparrow Hill (rougly 10km east of Queanbeyan on the road to Bungendore) and the Kowen Forest trails – needs a 8km climb in from Sutton Road but worth the effort.

Miz, also agreed. Unless the pedestrian’s wearing headphones in which case you’ve practically got to thump them to get their attention.

I use a small horn, then thank people for their courtesy as I go by. Pretty much everyone thanks me back for letting them know I’m coming past.

Morgan, agreed – there’d be many fewer cranky cyclists and pedestrians if both pedestrians and cyclists obeyed that pretty simple rule of keeping left.

And despite my unwarranted and plain nasty snark above, as a cyclist there really aren’t that many oblivious pedestrians – far far fewer than dickhead drivers. Guess that’s why they tend to stand out when you do come across ’em 🙂

Big Al, very good point re the trails. I’m in Weston Creek, so I know the ones around Stromlo. Where are other good dirt trails in the ACT?

And get a bell, to warn pedestrians of your imminent approach from the rear.

Ride where you want mate, just watch out for the incompetent shit bags on the roads – seems its a badge of honour to admit that you’re too incompetent a driver to deal with a range of other vehicles using the roads.

Most of all, have fun, get some fat tyres and try out the dirt trails as well.

I ama regular walker around the western Burley Griffin path, and I find that it is cyclists that are the fools that try to ride two abreast while my companions and I try to walk in single file when other traffic comes our way. If cyclists knew how to keep left like everyone else there wouldn’t be so many problems.

Use the bike paths or use the road – you’re entitled to use either provided you obey the rules.

Hasdrubahl, the bike path round the lake is pretty good, but like all bike paths its a dual purpose path too. If you’re out training you’ll frequently come across pedestrians and joggers out there iPodded up and oblivious to their surroundings.

Pedestrians are much more like drivers in that their sense of responsibility to others stops about an arms length from their face – just like car drivers they cannot be trusted to be aware of anything else around them, or even to be able to navigate their vehicle (car or pram) in a safe fashion.

In this situation it’s safer for all concerned to ride on the road.

I know there’s not much love on RiotAct for cyclists in general, but we’re generally aware of what’s happening around us, even when some of fools choose to act like dickheads on the road. We know there’s a lot more fuckwits in cars than on bikes, and car driving fuckwits even like to joke about killing and maiming others. Go figure, eh?.

VYBerlinaV8_now with_added_grunt9:52 am 28 Dec 06

I don’t think people would mind cyclists on the road if they took advantage of the bike path system more.

I ride my bike 10km every day from Ngunnawal around yerrabi pond and back – bikepaths all the way.

I hate the fuckers that use the road when there is perfectly usable bike path adjacent. If i cn – I dunno why they can not – I can ride from Ngunnawal to LYons entirely on bike paths and pedestrian paths. I especially hate when they run red lights all the way up gunghalin drive – then have the audacity to demand the same rights as motorised vehicle users. Fuck those fucking fucks 🙂

VYBerlinaV8_now with_added_grunt8:44 am 28 Dec 06

I think we should call hunting season open, eh Ralph?

Oh, and don’t forget your lycras with obscure euroland advertising.

Yep that’s right, ride along the road when there is a perfectly good bike path running paralel to it. Also ride 4 abreast with your mates on the roads too. And go right ahead and ride out onto pedestrian crossings, cars will stop for you.

VYBerlinaV8_now with_added_grunt8:02 am 28 Dec 06

Just don’t do what I’ve seen lots of cyclists do in Canberra where they ride on a road right next to a bike path. That shits me. And yes, I am a cyclist too.

Hitting cyclists also ruins my tyres…

Braking so you don’t hit a cyclist ruins my cars tyres.

(Couldn’t resist)

apparently the paths are pretty crappy and they ruin the bikes tyres?
well so the guy at the bike shop told me…

Well said gurunik. Can’t understand why cyclists use the Alexandrina Drive roadway when there’s a cycle track just a few yards away. Is there a good reason for this?

just stay out of traffic. use the bike paths this city is blessed with.
i wont get started……….

Without knowing your level of fitness Lenny, I’d start off round any of the lakes.

Gininderra is about 5km around, and if you go clockwise you’ll avoid one very short but evilly steep climb up to the path alongside Gininderra Drive. Should take no more than 15-20 mins.

Tuggeranong is flat all way round. Also about 5km and a very good run.

Burley Griffin offers rides from a very easy 5 km (circuit across Commonwealth Ave and Kings Ave bridges), about 17km around the western end from Commonwealth Ave bridge, also a very good path, or about 15km for the eastern end again from Commonwealth Avenue bridge. Not quite as good a path – through the Jerrabombera wetlands is a bit of a goat track, and you have to ride along Wentworth Ave in Kingston because they haven’t reopened the lakeside path through there yet, but a nice flat ride. Or do the whole lake circuit – about 30km total.

For a beginning challenge try Mount Pleasant. The ride up Northcott from Russell is a bugger, but once you’re into Duntroon the ride up the mountain itself is pretty easy, and you get a terrific view at the top, ‘specially if you’re a Brand Depot fan.

Unfortunately the nicest country ride I know that’s not too steep isn’t open any more – out to Tharwa (well, once you’re past Banks) is a really nice road. But at the moment it’s literally a cow paddock from Lanyon on.

Oh, and if you have lights I *highly* reccommend a night ride down the path beside Bindubi Street from Aranda. No-one around, no street lighting at all and the chance to spotlight a few ‘roos and bunnies at the bottom of a wild, bendy ride all the way down to the lake. I genuinely enjoy this ride – the ride back up is the only drawback.

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