Cycling in Sydney: Australia’s Busiest City

As the commentator says in one of the videos coming up today, the car is king in Sydney and cyclists need to be brave. So what’s it really like to ride a bike around the streets of Australia’s busiest city?

I have no idea, I’ve never tried and I no longer even own a bike, but that doesn’t stop me writing a post about it with the help of my able assistant, YouTube.

Cycling in Sydney

Cycling uphillCycling in Sydney, Australia takes place for recreation, commuting and as a sport. Sydney has a hilly topography and so may require a slightly higher level of fitness from cyclists than flatter cities such as Melbourne and Canberra.

Sydney depends heavily on motor vehicles where traffic and public transport operate at capacity. This means that cyclists are often competing with motorists for limited space on busier roads. There is more investment at the local government level to increase the percentage of trips completed by bicycle.

Yes, cycling in Sydney has its own Wikipedia page and they appear to agree with the commentator in our first video. And not only do you need to be brave and watch out for the cars, you’ve got hills to contend with as well.

Let’s get on with that first video.

This is more of a ‘documentary’ about cycling in Sydney than a ride around town, but that’s a good thing, it contains lots of information. It’s by a guy who has a blog about cycling in Holland and we all know that the Dutch love getting about on a bike.

Here’s what he thought of cycling in Sydney…

City Of Sydney Spring Cycle

Every year the city of Sydney has what it calls the “Spring Cycle” which is a “recreational bike ride for Australian’s of all ages and abilities on bikes of all shapes and sizes. All riders push off from North Sydney and have the exhilaration and unique experience of riding across the Sydney Harbour Bridge main deck.” – SpringCycle.com.au

Let’s take a look at that…

Looks like fun. But as I say, what do I know? So if you have ridden a bike in Sydney, maybe you can tell me about it in the comments below…

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Andy Bowles July 21, 2014, 9:11 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I commute a bit by bike in Sydney, and I have experienced quite a bit of road rage from drivers. As I am also a driver, I find it a bit odd, but I have managed to amend my behaviour to reduce personal risk. I commute along a busy road from Sydneys Upper North Shore to MacQuarie Park, heading in on the Mona Vale Road. In the morning I cycle on the main road, as it is mostly downhill, and I can keep up with the traffic, and not be an obstruction. Cycling uphill in the evening, I mainly stick to the path, although it is a footpath, so I am breaking the law and could be fined. I have also got two sets of super bright and flashing lights so I am lit up like a Christmas tree! What seems to annoy drivers is when I am at a red light and holding mu position a metre from the kerb, this means that the car behind me cannot pass until the trafic starts flowing freely again. Many drivers are straight on their horns, trying to sneak past me and getting irate, just so they can race the next 100 metres to get to the red tail lights of the queuing traffic ahead! So if this happens now, I just duck onto the path, and rejoin the road in stationary traffic. Andy

    • BobinOz July 21, 2014, 8:52 pm | Link

      Hi Andy

      This problem isn’t just happening in Sydney, pretty much every city I searched in YouTube for cycling videos also threw up cyclist/car driver road rage incidents. We have it here in Brisbane as well, car drivers blame cyclists and cyclists blame car drivers.

      It’s almost as though there is some kind of Australia wide war between car drivers and cyclists and I don’t really get why it happens, but I’m also sure it’s not restricted to this country either.

      So yes, I don’t blame you for taking measures to protect yourself on the roads, it’s just a shame that you have to do that.

      Stay safe, Bob

  • djmcbell July 7, 2014, 5:20 pm | Link

    We just had the Tour de France go through Yorkshire, and my small family managed to watch shortly after they set off. We did see about 200 cyclists whizz by in about 10 seconds, but the atmosphere was amazing. Leeds city centre was absolutely packed!

    One thing that it did do though, although we don’t have bikes yet, is encourage us to look at places to go on day trips. The Tour de France coverage on TV really did make Yorkshire look pretty.

    • BobinOz July 13, 2014, 8:29 pm | Link

      I saw some pictures of that, Yorkshire really does have some beautiful countryside, great for bike rides that’s for sure. Just a shame about the weather 🙂

  • Adrian July 6, 2014, 1:28 am | Link

    Why you say “holland” and not “netherlands”?

    Just curious, I thought “The Netherlands” was its proper and/or accurate name in English.

    • BobinOz July 13, 2014, 7:44 pm | Link

      Don’t know really, other than I have always called it Holland, I think it’s one of those areas with several identities like the UK, Britain, England.

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