MavEtJu's Distorted View of the World

Cycling: Caringbah to Greenacre

Posted on 2008-12-28 23:00:00
Tags: Cycling, Cycling in Sydney, Cycling in Australia

The part of greater Sydney where I live in is blessed with one cyclepath, which goes north/south all the way from Cronulla to Brighton-Le Sands. It doesn't go further, because the tunnel under the airport landingstrip is not suitable for cyclists: Cars are driving in rows of four, each side, through it at 80 kilometers per hour. It surely was something they didn't think about when they build that tunnel. And it is quite a shame, because now you can't cycle all the way around Botany Bay.

A second cyclepath goes from east-west from Homebush Bay to Brighton-Le Sands. If you link these two, you end up with a cyclepath between Cronulla and Homebush Bay! Or in my case, from Caringbah to Greenacre. good for fourty kilometers.

In a city where cyclists are considered second-rate citizens, these kind of facilities should be cherished. They are made for recreational cyclists, you wouldn't want to do them every day: They are way too messy and clumsy and you can't make proper speeds on them. So euhm.... what do we have?

From Caringbah to over the Captain Cook bridge, it's industrial area backstreet. If you come from Cronulla you can take the cyclepath between Shark Park and Taren Point. Between Sandringham and Brighton-Le Sands it is shared with pedestrians and often very windy path. Add constantly bumps and having to move up and down from the footpath onto the road, it is less than optimal.

From Brighton-Le Sands to South Strathfield goes via the Captain Cook river. The first part goes south past a lot of vegetable patches, then north past the St George soccer field, under the M5 and there I got lost. But after I hit the Princes Highway and went north I found the river again. Going past the river is very nice and even on a hot day like today it was cool enough. The whole path is interrupted by crossings with roads where you have to break, stop, pass first part, pass second part, and start again. But it is doable. And if you have, or your pillion has, enough of it, there are enough parks with playground facilities on the road.

The Captain Cook river, at Brighton-Le Sands it is a big river, but the further and further you go it will shrink in size, until at the end you have a small stream of water, 30 centimeters wide, floating in a huge concrete bed.

The last part of the trip past the Captain Cook river ends at the crossing with the Hume Highway / Liverpool Road in Strathfield. There you again see the Sydney you know, with its asphalt and cars. Luckily the footpath is safe, and two kilometers further we were at the home of Dirkie's Australian grandparents where we spend the rest of the afternoon.

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