Cycling in Sydney Australia
First post and, apologies, it may be an obvious one (as apparently Bondi Beach -> CBD is a "priority route") but had a few specific questions about this route and have not had much luck with the search function on the forum. I'm recently returned from London where I cycled everywhere so fairly confident, but getting used to the much faster traffic and less critical mass here.
I am going from the northern end of bondi beach (near the bondi beach public school) to Philip Street (north end of Hyde Park) and have been going via Birriga Road, Victoria Road/Old South Head Road (either share path or on the road depending on traffic and adventurousness), Oxford Street (through the westfield bit and then through the mall), onto the cycle path beside Centennial Park, cross half of Lang Road with pedestrians so I can join traffic turning left down Oxford, then right on Park.
Was wondering those more seasoned at this route had suggestions / thoughts on:
1. Skipping the cycle path alongside centennial park and staying on Oxford Street / leaving the cycle path early to join traffic going straight to remain on Oxford Street (or any other suggestions that are better than the half cross-with pedestrians manoeuvre).
2. Getting from the bus lane on Oxford Street into the right turning College Street lane - this seems quite tricky and the lanes are so narrow it's hard to filter up to the front of the right turning lane.
3. Any alternative route suggestions?
Apart from the Oxford Street / College Street crossing all the lanes bit, fairly happy with Oxford Street from the Lang Road / Moore Park Rd corner so not necessarily seeking back streets for that bit if they are more convoluted / slower.
Thanks very much in advance!
Welcome to Sydney!
(Which is meant as both a genuine welcome and a sarcastic comment on our state government's shitty cycling provision).
Most of the issues you mention relate to state roads that the City of Sydney and councils are unable to fix themselves. The background, and paradox, is that in hilly Sydney these roads are state roads because they have always been the most commuted, because they were chosen due to optimum grading for horse and cart, so you are unlikely to find better roads or routes for cycling, while the government neglects cycling provision due to the number of cars that use them.
Sorry I can't be much help, but to say that I personally claim the lane in such circumstances. I take the right most lane on Oxford street in order to turn right on College (usually but not always filtering to the front) and I take the middle lane on Oxford north of Centennial Park instead of the cyclepath for the same reason.
Helps to claim the lane confidently. Can't say it has any undue risk - the issue of risk in cycling in mostly in perception anyway - and in peak hour the cars are not going fast. But I certainly recognise lane claiming is not for everyone or most and the cyclepaths should be WAY better connected.
Agree with all the above, in addition I spend as little time as possible in the Oxford St bus lane west of Taylor Square following a nasty experience there a few years ago. It's pink and shiny, and hides diesel spills really well! Got caught on one once, and was damn lucky to stay upright and in one piece. Never again.
Yes. The other issue is that Oxford St is downhill at that section going west, it pays to read the traffic ahead when going at speed. Depending on your height and style of bike, its much easier to see over cars in the middle and right lanes, but impossible to see past busses in the left most lane.
Worth mentioning that on multilane roads there is no legal requirement to ride in the left most lane.
Thanks both! I can certainly see while a lot of people are dissuaded from cycling here - not especially pleasant getting close overtaken at speed in one of these freak torrential downpours! I will persevere and can see the sense in taking the lane where necessary - the lanes are too narrow to do otherwise a lot of the time and where there are multiple lanes in the same direction it can encourage drivers to overtake you by changing lanes rather than trying to squeeze past.