I’ve now been a cycle commuter in Sydney for around 4 weeks, and let me tell you, it’s a whole different kettle of fish from London. Generally drivers in Sydney are crap compared to Pommie drivers – sorry it’s a fact – no disputing 🙂
They are not used to cyclists that much, and Sydney bike infrastructure is in it’s infancy – kind of like London in 1999 before anyone bothered trying to make it easier for people. The concept of commuting to work on a bike seems a bit daft to people here – most of the people who I see riding to work are ‘sports’ cyclists – in other words it’s their hobby – they ride at the weekends, they race, they have very flash bikes and all the gear.
The cycle maps published by the RTA are absolutely, and totally useless – a weaker effort I have not seen. However, luckily the City of Sydney has published a very excellent map – required because many many roads in Sydney are so unpleasant you wouldn’t want to be on them on a bike (think North Circular Road). Unfortunately it only covers the City Centre and area around it.
Still, it’s enough to cover the route to work, which is made difficult by having a giant train station in the way, and being on the other side of the CBD from where I live.
My journey is around 8km (5 miles) and takes 40 minutes or so. You might think that’s slow, but DON’T FORGET – Sydney is covered in hills – there are no flat bits whatsoever unless you head west. Our house is on top of a giant hill. Also it’s very hot! (In summer anyway) I am a weedy London Pommie cyclist, and cycling in these conditions is hard! Also, there’s lots of traffic lights.. THESE ARE NOT EXCUSES – MERELY STATEMENTS OF FACT…