Showing posts with label bike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bike. Show all posts

Sunday, December 06, 2009

bike, bike, bike

Australia's best bike rides |
CYCLING, in its many forms, is one of the fastest-growing participation sports in Australia and for good reason.

You can do it solo or you can do it as part of a group and, best of all, you set the pace you want to go.

Whether your preferred distance is 10km or 100km, riding a bike is a great way to recharge and forget the cares of the daily grind.

Simon Hayes is the author of Where to Ride Sydney. After more than a decade in cycling journalism, there aren't many places you can ride a bike in Australia he doesn't know about.


Where: Dandenong Ranges National Park, Victoria

You begin this climb from The Basin. If you're driving there's plenty of parking at the bottom, or you can arrive by train at Ferntree Gully and ride up Forest Rd.

From The Basin simply ride up the bends of Mountain Highway until you get to the top.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? But then you have a range of options.

Turn right into Mt Dandenong Tourist Rd and then left into Sherbrook Rd to Kallista.

Then either left to Monbulk or right to Belgrave. Then back up Sandells and Ferny Creek Rd for a leg-breaking climb through the tree ferns. Lovely!


Where: Canberra, ACT

Canberra is the city for bike riders. There is so much to do, but this ride will give you a sample.

The three peaks in question are Black Mountain, Mt Ainslie and Red Hill.

Of the three, Red Hill is the easiest and Mt Ainslie is the steepest. But you can choose your own order to ride them in.

Begin at Ainslie shops in Wakefield Gardens and ride on to Limestone Ave, turning left.

You'll see the top of Mt Ainslie behind the war memorial. Continue past the memorial, turning left into Fairburn Ave and then left into Mt Ainslie Drive.

This road is very steep but you will get a lot of satisfaction at the top.

Watch for kangaroos on the descent, especially in the early morning.

At the bottom, turn left into Fairburn and then right into Northcote Drive. Follow it across the lake.

Ride around Parliament House until you hit Melbourne Ave.

Go left here and into Gowrie Drive for the easy climb to Red Hill.

You can't miss Black Mountain with the Telstra Tower on the summit.

Head back over the lake via Commonwealth Ave, left into Parkes Way and right into Clunies Ross St. Black Mountain Drive is on your left.


Where: Adelaide, South Australia

Begin at Glen Osmond and ride up the bike path on the old freeway to Mt Lofty.

Hang a left and then take the Mt Lofty Summit Rd to Greenhill Rd. If you're short on time turn left here. Otherwise turn right through Uraidla and out to Lobethal where you can refuel.

Follow the sign of Main St to Adelaide and head to Cudlee Creek and on to the Gorge Rd. This is a stunning piece of road.

Suddenly, as you round a bend you're surrounded by beautiful red rocks and you can really fly down the hill. You'll end up in the suburb of Athelstone where you can head back into town.

If you do this ride in either December or January, you may well see O'Grady out there too.


Where: Perth, Western Australia

Cycling doesn't have to be all sweat and pain. The Swan Valley Food and Wine trail is a case in point.

This ride covers 32km and takes in numerous wineries, breweries, cafes and fresh produce stalls.

Being only an 18km drive from Perth, you have the option of a day trip or a nice weekend on the bike. This is the kind of place where you can wind back and recharge your batteries.

There aren't any huge hills, the climate is lovely and most wineries can arrange for purchases to be sent to your home, leaving you free to ride.

If you want to leave the car at home, you can access the area by train, disembarking at Guildford station.


Where: Hobart, Tasmania

The ride up Mt Wellington in Hobart is a must-do for all cyclists.

If you begin in the popular areas of Salamanca Place or Sandy Bay, you will begin at sea level and the summit is at 1271m. That's a pretty good climb by any stretch of the imagination.

For a bit of trivia, Cadel Evans won the stage here in the 1998 Tour of Tasmania. It would be nice to say you've ridden somewhere Evans has.

To do this ride you need to get on to Cascade Rd. Follow it past the brewery, making a mental note to visit on the way back, before the road becomes Strickland Ave.

Turn right into Huon Rd and then right into Pillinger Drive at Ferntree. From here on in, the only way is up.

Some advice a pair of arm warmers and a light jacket in the back pocket are a good idea. It can get very cold up there.


Where: Sydney, New South Wales

If you're out for a Sunday ride with the children you'll find kilometres and kilometres of bike paths, through mangrove swamps and along the Parramatta River.

For something a bit more fancy, why not have lunch at the Armory Wharf Cafe, a place that has to be one of Sydney's best-kept secrets. Small children will enjoy the playground above Blaxland Common.

And if it's a bit of speed that you're after, try the bunch training at 6am every Tuesday and Thursday from Murray Rose Ave.

They're guaranteed to get your heart pumping.


Where: Magnetic Island, Queensland

Yes, you did read this right. We mean that little island off the coast of Townsville.

It may seem strange, but if you're looking for a place to take the family and ride your bike, this is the place.

While there's only about 26km of road on the island, there are some short, steep little climbs that will get your heart rate up.

If you take your bike north on the plane you can easily knock over a quick 50km training ride while the family is still in bed. Get back to the hotel by 10am and you have the rest of the day with them.

If you're after something a bit longer, hop on the ferry to the mainland and ride up Castle Hill or north to Cape Pallarenda while the children go to the Reef Aquarium or the free water park on the seafront.

Trust me, this one's a winner with the whole family.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Looking good with bike

Shoes Mend Hearts |

Europeans and Brits are really into the bike riding, particularly Parisians. Given Paris is a lovely flat city and of course Amsterdam is well known for having more bikes than cars.

In our sunburnt country, most cities don't allow for the pleasure and extended use of a bicycle in day-to-day use. Melbourne is the best choice, yet we still don't have dedicated bike lanes, and most cyclists wear jerseys and those clip in sneakers. NOT fashionable by any stretch of the imagination.

So if you want to get on the bike, and do your bit for the environment, here are some options for your feet.

Of course boots work well, particularly with a small heel, as then your foot will not slip. However, in the warmer months, boots won't do.

You could try the gorgeous high heeled Dr Martens boot in either black or red - Chloe Sevigny wears them at the airport...

You'd be surprised how well a heel can work on a bike.

Some sandals can work, provided they are well fastened to your foot. I've had a slight mishap with a thong (rubber sandal if you're not Australian!), so I'd advise against that.

Sandals like these with plenty of protection will do just fine.

The only problem you may face is the slipping forward due to a lack of heel.

Either a straight ballet flat with a small heel or even a lace-up oxford will be fantastic.
Be careful with patent leather as they may get scratched.

Ultimately, adopting the bike for a fashion conscious person must be carefully thought out. You'll never see me in bike shorts, but you will see me on my bike!

And if you need any inspiration, take a look at this site - Copenhagen Cycle Chic.