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Tips for riding from Belconnen to Tuggeranong?

By meggsy - 29 January 2015 19

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Hi all

Due to machinery of government changes I’m now facing a potential work move from the City to Tuggeranong.  As I live in Belconnen and we are a one car family I’m now considering transport options.

I’m considering riding from Belconnen Town Centre to Tuggeranong Office Park each morning and bussing it home in the afternoons with my bike but am unsure of the best route or the number of kms I’d be riding. I currently ride 16km to and from the city several times a week and manage that comfortably – mostly on bike paths as I’m not keen on cycling on roads unless I have to .

Any advice or information would be much appreciated.

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
Tips for riding from Belconnen to Tuggeranong?
dundle 10:26 pm 08 Feb 15

Maya123 said :

dundle said :

I’m surprised how many people recommend e-bikes. Many of them cost almost as much as a car. They are also extremely heavy. 26km is not far if you cycle regularly.

As you can’t go on the Parkway I find the best way to Tuggeranong is via the shared paths which go past Lake BG, Woden etc. it is not very hilly and takes about an hour. Bussing back would be a pain as the bus takes probably longer, but you’d probably get empty racks starting at Tuggeranong. Of course you could leave your bike at work and bus in the next morning then bike back the next day for some changes. There are probably also some more creative routes you could figure out with Google Maps – it depends where exactly in Belconnen you are from.

No one should discourage someone from getting an electric bike. They replace getting in the car and driving. You must also have a very cheap (seen far better days) car to compare the price of an electric bike to a car. Also the car is a lot more expensive to run, gives no exercise, takes a more room on the roads and to park, makes more wear and tear on the roads and pollutes more. So don’t stop people recommending electric bikes.
I am considering one. I don’t ride as fast or as far as I used to ride and it will keep me on a bike longer.
But then again I could just get in the car and add to the congestion.

I was just surprised to see e-bike suggestions dominated the comments when OP has demonstrated they are perfectly capable of commuting 16km on a regular bike so far, didn’t ask about ebikes, is considering putting the bike on a bus and presumably doesn’t have 3 grand lying around. Given that my post was about regular bike routes for regular bikes, I’m not exactly suggesting cars.

dungfungus 9:42 pm 08 Feb 15

Maya123 said :

dundle said :

I’m surprised how many people recommend e-bikes. Many of them cost almost as much as a car. They are also extremely heavy. 26km is not far if you cycle regularly.

As you can’t go on the Parkway I find the best way to Tuggeranong is via the shared paths which go past Lake BG, Woden etc. it is not very hilly and takes about an hour. Bussing back would be a pain as the bus takes probably longer, but you’d probably get empty racks starting at Tuggeranong. Of course you could leave your bike at work and bus in the next morning then bike back the next day for some changes. There are probably also some more creative routes you could figure out with Google Maps – it depends where exactly in Belconnen you are from.

No one should discourage someone from getting an electric bike. They replace getting in the car and driving. You must also have a very cheap (seen far better days) car to compare the price of an electric bike to a car. Also the car is a lot more expensive to run, gives no exercise, takes a more room on the roads and to park, makes more wear and tear on the roads and pollutes more. So don’t stop people recommending electric bikes.
I am considering one. I don’t ride as fast or as far as I used to ride and it will keep me on a bike longer.
But then again I could just get in the car and add to the congestion.

“….add to the congestion…”?
Where in Canberra is their road congestion?

Maya123 7:56 pm 08 Feb 15

dundle said :

I’m surprised how many people recommend e-bikes. Many of them cost almost as much as a car. They are also extremely heavy. 26km is not far if you cycle regularly.

As you can’t go on the Parkway I find the best way to Tuggeranong is via the shared paths which go past Lake BG, Woden etc. it is not very hilly and takes about an hour. Bussing back would be a pain as the bus takes probably longer, but you’d probably get empty racks starting at Tuggeranong. Of course you could leave your bike at work and bus in the next morning then bike back the next day for some changes. There are probably also some more creative routes you could figure out with Google Maps – it depends where exactly in Belconnen you are from.

No one should discourage someone from getting an electric bike. They replace getting in the car and driving. You must also have a very cheap (seen far better days) car to compare the price of an electric bike to a car. Also the car is a lot more expensive to run, gives no exercise, takes a more room on the roads and to park, makes more wear and tear on the roads and pollutes more. So don’t stop people recommending electric bikes.
I am considering one. I don’t ride as fast or as far as I used to ride and it will keep me on a bike longer.
But then again I could just get in the car and add to the congestion.

dundle 5:41 pm 08 Feb 15

I’m surprised how many people recommend e-bikes. Many of them cost almost as much as a car. They are also extremely heavy. 26km is not far if you cycle regularly.

As you can’t go on the Parkway I find the best way to Tuggeranong is via the shared paths which go past Lake BG, Woden etc. it is not very hilly and takes about an hour. Bussing back would be a pain as the bus takes probably longer, but you’d probably get empty racks starting at Tuggeranong. Of course you could leave your bike at work and bus in the next morning then bike back the next day for some changes. There are probably also some more creative routes you could figure out with Google Maps – it depends where exactly in Belconnen you are from.

FioBla 5:47 pm 01 Feb 15

Wow what an interesting question.

If you’re now riding between Belconnen and the city, that means you’re already riding (very) uphill in one direction, and probably have nous about rain, tyres, clothing etc. Riding Belconnen to Tuggeranong is longer but quite easy because there’r fewer uphill rides. At the end of the ride, you’re welcomed by the Tuggeranong Lake which is nice.

I like electric bikes, but think that one is unnecessary if going that particular one way. Note that it also disallows you from using the bike racks (unless it folds, in which case you’d need a bag, and it’ll be heavy to bring onto the bus).

Personally I would not rely on bus racks in a commuting situation—i.e. they’re fine on weekends or for private trips. But I have had 3 Blue Rapids pass by without racks, I think since the newer extra long buses came into use. In your case, you’d be going home on a bus, so at worst you’ll be late home, but not late for work.

The Blue Rapid from Tugg to Belco takes a surprisingly long time since it goes via the city. But it’s reliable and saves a uphill ride.

Cycle paths exist all the way. Depending on which Belconnen suburb you’re from you can save a little time descending on Caswell Drive, and end up at the entrance of the Arboretum, but I would not recommend it.

If you go via Woden, you have the option of riding via Kambah or via Farrer. Farrer I think is easier hill-wise, but I prefer the Kambah route scenic-wise. If you like the Kambah route, you have the option of riding the cycle path through Weston Creek (see next paragraph).

Now, if you have a mountain bike-type bicycle (e.g. mountain bike or cyclocross) you could consider several firetrails. The easiest would be a detour at the Aranda Snow Gums at a signed route into Cork Plantation. That’d take you into the Arboretum. Then you can continue riding through the Arboretum (I believe it’s labelled Totara Road or River Road, and it’s a really nice ride). That’d put you north of Tuggeranong Parkway. You’ll emerge at the new Molonglo housing estate area around Kirkpatrick Street/Cotter Road. From there, a cycle path will take you to the cycleway through Kambah—either via Waramanga/Fisher (shorter), or along Hindmarsh Drive (longer). There are several other firetrail options.

In future, if you decide to ride both ways, consider a good bike. As in rack, good gear range, dropbars maybe. Dynamos are nice. Personally I’ve ridden that route on a Brompton (easier to bring on bus), which was slower than a full sized bike but doable.

Here’s an OK map: http://osm.org/go/uNlQISC–?layers=C
The firetrails are not marked.

Maya123 9:51 pm 31 Jan 15

thatsnotme said :

Maya123 said :

I’ve occasionally put my bicycle on a bus and there have been times when the bus has arrived with full bike racks already. You must be prepared that you mightn’t get on the first bus to come. The racks hold two bikes. It increases your chances if you ride to a stop where more than one route passes through.

I’ve used bike racks on buses a lot, and it’s been very rare that they’re full already. I’d think that seeing as meggsy is talking about busing home from Tuggeranong, they’d be leaving from the Tuggeranong interchange, right at the beginning of the intertown section of the run. I’d think they’ll almost always be first bike on. Nxtbus has made life easier too, because it tells you whether a bus will have a rack fitted or not, making it easier to plan your trip.

I tend to catch buses not at the end of its run, but after it might have already been to two terminals and had the chance to pick up bikes. I have never had a problem when catching a bus at an end terminal. That’s different.

thatsnotme 2:07 pm 31 Jan 15

Maya123 said :

I’ve occasionally put my bicycle on a bus and there have been times when the bus has arrived with full bike racks already. You must be prepared that you mightn’t get on the first bus to come. The racks hold two bikes. It increases your chances if you ride to a stop where more than one route passes through.

I’ve used bike racks on buses a lot, and it’s been very rare that they’re full already. I’d think that seeing as meggsy is talking about busing home from Tuggeranong, they’d be leaving from the Tuggeranong interchange, right at the beginning of the intertown section of the run. I’d think they’ll almost always be first bike on. Nxtbus has made life easier too, because it tells you whether a bus will have a rack fitted or not, making it easier to plan your trip.

Maya123 3:20 pm 30 Jan 15

ausbradr said :

I live near Manuka and enjoy cycling to Belconnen, and can’t recommend the bike paths coming from Belconnen to down here at least, enough. Not sure about going down to Tuggeranong, but it’s a very fun, scenic ride.

I know I’ve preached it often before, but I would recommend an electric bike for the 26 or so kms it will take for you to get from Belconnen to Tuggeranong. You can typically pull about 40km out of one charge (which you can recharge when you get to your office anyway). That way, you can ride, and also use electric assistance if you’re running late / low on energy. It also reduces the amount of sweat you make, so you could just commute in a suit, if you wanted to.

I’m also not sure about the buses that carry bikes, from memory they can only hold 2 or 3? What are the chances of missing out on a bike rack spot on a busy bus? Someone who catches buses more often could probably answer that.

I’ve occasionally put my bicycle on a bus and there have been times when the bus has arrived with full bike racks already. You must be prepared that you mightn’t get on the first bus to come. The racks hold two bikes. It increases your chances if you ride to a stop where more than one route passes through.

ausbradr 2:14 pm 30 Jan 15

I live near Manuka and enjoy cycling to Belconnen, and can’t recommend the bike paths coming from Belconnen to down here at least, enough. Not sure about going down to Tuggeranong, but it’s a very fun, scenic ride.

I know I’ve preached it often before, but I would recommend an electric bike for the 26 or so kms it will take for you to get from Belconnen to Tuggeranong. You can typically pull about 40km out of one charge (which you can recharge when you get to your office anyway). That way, you can ride, and also use electric assistance if you’re running late / low on energy. It also reduces the amount of sweat you make, so you could just commute in a suit, if you wanted to.

I’m also not sure about the buses that carry bikes, from memory they can only hold 2 or 3? What are the chances of missing out on a bike rack spot on a busy bus? Someone who catches buses more often could probably answer that.

Grail 10:37 am 30 Jan 15

My favourite piece of cycling paraphrenalia is a bib: basically a sleeveless shirt that has a solid front and a mesh back. This makes cycling in Spring and Autumn more comfortable since it keeps the wind off your chest without heating you up. In Winter, supplement with a couple of light layers of Polarfleece or wool, with a light-weight spray jacket or other wind stopper.

My greatest discomfort duting Winter wasn’t the cold so much as the Sun coming up half way through the ride and changing the balance of heat. This is why I recommend multiple light layers.

On the coldest Winter days I would leave the bike behind and catch the bus.

Belconnen to Tuggeranong interchanges is a 1 hour bus trip, about the same length as riding a bike.

Ezy 9:07 am 30 Jan 15

I commute all year around, at least 1-3 times a week and ride about 25km to and from work.

What others said – a quick google maps with cycling as your transport shows the start of an ideal route to follow. There are a few little changes I would make, but you will figure it out. Maybe take some time over a weekend to give it a test ride? See how your legs feel after the ride.

If you are going to be doing this ride a fair bit – I would strongly suggest investing in some quality clothing. Yes, I am talking about spandex, more so the bibs rather than anything else. Don’t go for the cheapest you can find as you will soon find out that these don’t help too much. Brands like 2XU, Rapha, Capo & Castelli come to mind. If you don’t feel comfortable, you can always wear shorts/jeans over the bibs. No one will ever know. Also a good rain jacket (breathable) and if you don’t feel like wearing matching race kit – a good merino top will work well. Don’t bother with cotton, it takes ages to dry, it’s not breathable and will start smelling bad. If you are going to ride in the dead of winter- again, invest in some good gear. You are going to need some thicker gloves, a buff is always handy, toe covers for your shoes so you don’t end up with frozen feet.

Then there are backpacks, or panniers. The more waterproof the better for these.

Basically it’s all about being comfortable on the bike. If you are comfortable you will enjoy it a lot more and won’t see it as a chore.

Good luck! feel free to ask any more questions – I am happy to help.

Hosinator 9:16 pm 29 Jan 15

Mess said :

A cursory search on Google maps suggests the route is 26.8k and would take approximately 1hr and 34 minutes. A better option would to do the bike and ride as you suggested.

1hr and 34 minutes if you’re travelling at an average speed of 17.11km/hr…that’s pretty slow. Most seasoned commuters could probably do the ride in an hour or less.

The google maps suggestion of following the bike path through Belconnen, Curtin, Woden etc is you’re best best. Fortunately there is a path basically the whole way there.

If you’re inclined to ride both ways but the distance and time is of concern, consider getting an electric bike. My wife rides an electric, speed limited to 25km/hr.
I’ve taken it for a spin over a distance of 30km, on my non electric I average a speed of about 29 to 30km/hr, on the electric closer to 35 to 37km/hr. Because the bike does all the low end work on your behalf, you then put in any extra effort over and above the 25km/hr and VOILA!!! You’re flying.

Kim F 6:53 pm 29 Jan 15

I think there is less broken glass on the bike paths than the road shoulders.
I think you have chosen the right bus direction as climbing out of the valley is a bugger as is the climb up by Bindubi St

Grrrr 5:09 pm 29 Jan 15

Like Mess said, Google Maps is your friend.

Choose Bike directions and you’ll be shown a route that is almost entirely on bike (shared) path, or for some alternatives which probably involve bike-friendly back-streets, you can choose Walking directions.

What’s suprising is that people can travel most of the way across Canberra almost exclusively on seemingly-windy bike path and often only add a few percent to the total distance to the journey compared to driving. The only real downside is having to moderate speeds for other users / furniture and give way to traffic when crossing roads, which can make travelling on-road a fair bit faster.

Mess 4:24 pm 29 Jan 15

A cursory search on Google maps suggests the route is 26.8k and would take approximately 1hr and 34 minutes. A better option would to do the bike and ride as you suggested.

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