I thought I'd share the route I take when I'm riding to work as an example of how to not think like a car driver when choosing a route that is safe and enjoyable to ride. It isn't perfect but it is the best I've come up with so far. If you have suggestions on how to improve it let me know.
I used to ride through the Southern park lands and down Greenhill Rd but was not happy with the speed and safety. The park lands are slow and Greenhill Rd, particularly in the morning, is dangerous. There are too many cars blindly crossing the bike lane in a rush to get onto or off Greenhill. So here is my current route. Let me explain.
The first choice is easy. Old Norton Summit Rd or New Norton Summit Rd for the descent? The New road every time! It is longer but has far less traffic. It is also great to pass all the roadies coming up the hill on their morning rides. The ride back up is a great way to unwind from work and clear my head before I get home. Depending on the time of day and the weather the views can be stunning. I particularly like riding up here at night or when it is completely fogged in.
At the bottom of New Norton Summit Rd I turn right onto Magill and continue downhill. The bicycle lane down Magill is so rough it is akin to a donkey track but at the time I ride there isn't much traffic and the bike lane works for me.
The diversion I take to avoid the Magill/Glynburn intersection is the result of being squeezed too many times where Glynburn goes from two lanes to one 40m South of the intersection. Orient and Lincoln avoid this and bring me back onto Glynburn just shy of the top of Beulah Rd and are usually car free.
Beulah Rd is a well used cycle route into the city. It can see a bit of traffic but is usually fairly quiet because (I assume) of all the roundabouts. It also has the benefit of a dedicated cycle crossing on Portrush Rd.
Once across Portrush I turn left onto George St and ride the bike lane all the way to the end. It is a wide road that is normally quiet but crossing Kensington Rd can be interesting. Patience is normally rewarded with a safe crossing but you need to be quick.
Turning right onto Grant Ave rewards me with another bike lane and priority crossing at the lights on Fullarton Rd followed by the choice of two new paths across the racecourse. The most dangerous obstacles here are dogs and errant walkers but normally there are no issues as there are lots of bikes that cross here so the walkers are expecting us.
From there it is straight onto Halifax/Sturt for more bike lane riding all the way to West Tce. Riding behind the angle parking on Halifax isn't the best. You have to keep your eyes out for reversing lights. Crossing Pulteney and King William you need to look out for cars turning left at the lights. Getting out in front of the cars at the red lights ensures you are ahead of the cars in a rush to turn left.
I go straight across Whitmore Sq. I'm still amazed at how the cyclist hand rails on the Square are on the wrong sides. If I need to stop here I naturally drift across to the right hand side to use the hand rails so I can stay clipped into my pedals. If someone is coming the other way I'm on the wrong side.
At the end of Sturt you have priority lights to go straight across and onto the bike path that goes down the side of Anzac Hwy. A careful shortcut across the pedestrian bridge over the railway takes me onto Richmond Rd and with a minor amount of riding on the footpath I'm at work. After a hard day at work I just reverse and repeat with the one modification of going all the way to the end of Lincoln and turning left onto Mahar St. This lets me back onto Magill further away from the Magill/Glynburn intersection giving me a longer line of sight on the traffic in both directions on Magill.
This route is the result of trying a quite a few options and using the bikeDirect maps to seek out bike lanes and quiet streets. Over time I've made minor modifications and improvements but as I said at the start it still isn't perfect.
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