My article in Where Sydney magazine http://www.wheretraveler.com/sydney about bicycling in Sydney is now out! So here is the article in entirety. Incidentally Where Sydney has loads of tips and articles about interesting things to do in Sydney and environs (like biking for instance!)
In recent years Sydney has seized the cycling momentum of other world cities. Established bike routes have been upgraded and new bike lanes have opened in the city centre. There’s something on two wheels to satisfy every biking wanderlust, from harbour saunters, beachy biketrails to city promenades. Tours and bike hire in key tourist precincts abound. So, join a tour or hire a set of wheels, and get on yer bike!
Sydney Harbour Bridge
The world’s best harbour begs to be explored by bike. Luckily Bonza Bike Tours comes to the rescue, with a choice of guided tours, including the ever-popular Sydney Harbour Bridge Ride. Wend your way through the historic back streets of The Rocks past sandstone pubs with olde English names before experiencing the totally wow moment of cycling over the Harbour Bridge on a dedicated bike wing. Zigzag the quiet backstreets of Kirribilli, a classy harbourside area, then join a harbourside boardwalk which coasts past Luna Park. Then it’s time for a final fun blat back to the city on the Harbour Bridge.
22km – easy
Manly & Beaches
Ringed by pine trees, Manly Beach with its surf, glossy cafes and easy ferry access from the city is an iconic day trip in its own right. But to experience this beachy ‘burb up close, why not do either a self-guided or guided cycling tour. Start in quiet backroads before turning the corner into a spectacular promenade that runs the length of the beach. Cruise in the dedicated bike lane all the way to picturesque Shelly Beach.
Here sip a leisurely coffee at one of the seaside cafes, keeping an avid eye on the passing people parade. Then do a heart-starting climb uphill to North Head in Sydney Harbour National Park for harbour and city skyline views.
19km – moderate
Hire: www.manlybiketours.com.au – self-guided
Tour: www.bonzabiketours.com – guided twilight tour
Sydney Olympic Park
Not every city can offer heritage and nature tracks in a former Olympics site. Homebush Bay, an easy train or ferry trip west of the city centre, was the site of the 2000 Olympic Games and has left a legacy of 30 hectares of parkland. There’s 35km of safe cycling and walking tracks, ranging from kid-friendly short rides to longer cycles. Liberally sprinkled with cafes and drinking fountains, you can choose from three main routes and a BMX circuit or create your own cycling safari. There’s excellent signage so you won’t get lost!
5km Parklands Circuit, 8km Olympic Circuit, or the 11km River Heritage Circuit – all easy
Hire: available at two central locations in Olympic Park www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au
A green respite in the heart of the city, Centennial Park, established in 1888, is Sydney’s answer to New York’s Central Park. Over 700,000 cycling trips are taken around the park every year thanks to a dedicated flat cycling track, which runs adjacent to the Grand Drive. Dubbed the people’s park, this genteel green space is a hit with joggers, horseriders, families and leisure cyclists and there’s plenty of spots to stop for a picnic as well as a café and restaurant.
3.8km – easy
Hire: available at two locations http://www.centennialparklands.com.au
Pyrmont and Fishmarket
For quiet backstreets, bars and harbour parkland, try the obligingly flat Pyrmont and Fishmarkets cycle. Start at The Rocks then hum along the harbour foreshore to Walsh Bay, Sydney’s creative and artistic hub. Stop at BarCycle, a hip bike café for a mandatory caffeine hit. Then cycle leisurely through Barangaroo, Sydney’s bold new Harbour foreshore park, on your way to the Aquarium and entertainment quarter of Darling Harbour. Still hugging the harbour, swoop round to trendy Pyrmont and past Pirrama Park for more harbour views, winding up with lipsmacking fish and chips at the Sydney Fish Market.
13km – easy
Join a Local Ride
Experienced roadriders can join Sydney locals on their regular ride with Livelo, a bike hire and group cycling service. The premise is simple. Livelo will deliver a bike and meeting point details to your hotel the night before a ride. The following morning join Sydney locals on their morning or weekend brunch ride through the city and beaches.