Up until a few months ago, I would not have thought twice about riding the roads up to Norton Summit, however, having a family member lose his life to a bike v truck accident has made me reasses my riding habbits.

 

90% of my riding now takes place on the bike pathways but there is very little these paths offer in terms of challenges with hill climbing besides the Southern Express Way and the freeway (yet to ride).  This really leaves me no alternative but to go onto the roads.

 

Now I know many cyclist ride around that area, but what is the traffic like?  There is no bike lane and I assume most of the roads just have dirt edges. Is safety an issue or there is so many cyclists there on weekend mornings that motorists are well aware that they are not the only ones using the road?

 

Is it safe?

 

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Hi Robert. I am sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how hard it is to get back on the bike yourself and on the roads.

I rode to Norton Summit this morning leaving Magill at about 8.30am and on the New Norton Summit Rd after the turn off at Glen Stuart Rd I was passed by hardly any cars (note this is peak hour) then up the hill maybe 3 or so? On a weekend morning sometimes none and I reckon that because there are so many riders that motorists take it easy.

If you want a really quite ride try Montacute Rd and really the climb to Crafers on the bike path and the old freeway is 90% off road (or separated bike lane)
Hi Robert,

The new NS road is fairly quiet and close to town, which is why it's so popular. Other great low-traffic hills rides in the eastern hills include Marble Hill to Montacute Rd and Piccadilly Valley (Crafers to Summertown). For a longer quiet ride, try Marble Hill via the freeway bike path, Mt Lofty summit and Ashton.
You should also try Cockscrew Road which connects Gorge Road and Montecute Road.
Hi guys, thanks for the replies. Angus, getting on the bike wasnt an issue but being more aware and taking more responsibility for my own safety was. Hence this discussion.
I now plan my rides and drive to a starting point as its not ideal cycling from home.
Now knowing that area is pretty safe im very keen to go around but reading the details and info about those hills and how tough they are, Im not sure why Im even attempting this.
Thanks again guys.
And I know I always feel safer in a bunch. Having 3-4 brightly clad people together makes us hard to overlook. Yes, I do ride alone, but look for company if possible. That's one advantage of doing Norton Summit. Even tho there isn't a bike lane, on a Sat or Sunday morning there are so many riders it's easy to say g'day and hook on to a group.

Not sure where you live, but I echo Angus's comment about Crafers. Parking at the bottom of the freeway and heading up the bike lane has to be the safest climb around.

Or if you are a bit further South, there is a wickedly steep bike path from Springbank Rd, through the bush up to Belair. Short but v.challenging..
Robert, I have been heading up New Norton Summit Rd 3 or 4 times per week usually first thing in the morning. It would average 1 or 2 cars per trip. On the weekends there may be an extra car. It seems as though the road almost belongs to 'us' and cars almost seem out of place. With the large number of cyclists, cars soon get to know to look out for you. Its a great start to any hills ride. Hope to see you up there soon.
Another aspect to this discussion of course is cycling safely. There is no reason why cyclists cant stay safely on the left riding up Norton Summit but you will see many that ride close to the white line and even weave across the road and this where you're likely to strike trouble not only with motorists but cylists coming down hill and cutting corners. I also find that Gorge road is relatively quiet and wide enough for cycling safely. The road to avoid is Nth East Road beyong Tea Tree Gully, Lots of fast cars, truck, busses and no shoulder.
yes if your in the north east a much quieter route is straight up grand junction towards houghton, a lot safer than nth east rd
I worry with Gorge rd that some of the bends are so tight that a car could come around one and be on top of you before they see you.
Just to let you know, I rode to Norton Summit via Mt. Lofty two weeks ago on a Sunday morning. It is a great ride and there were only a few cars going past.

However, coming down Norton Summit on my own I looked up ahead and a solo cyclist had just come around the bend on his way up the hill and there was a Toyota Camry sitting behind him. The car pulled out into the up (my) lane and floored it to get past him and all I could see for the next 100m or so was this car continuing to head straight for me! I tried to stick as close as I could to the left hand side of the road and it past within inches of me!! I don't think he even saw me.

I have the footage on my little videocam on my bike and was thinking I probably should report it as it shows the reg. no. of the car, as he overtook on double white lines.

Anyway, my point is that even though there is not much traffic up there early on the weekends, it only takes one car to hit you, so you must still ride with care, especially on the descent when you are going fast. I make sure I don't take the corners too wide and keep my speed down but even so not much you can do when they are in your lane! I agree with the others if you can ride in a group it is probably safer as you are more visible.
Debbie, considering you have video to support your story and the rego number, I encourage you to report this negligent driver to the police. Without re-education, this driver may one day kill a cyclist.
I would second this

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