|Victoria Rd, Balmain|
We've had lousy weather here for the last week - wind, rain and enough low cloud to make it dark at noon. I had to use the "lighten" feature in my photo editing software in order to make most of these photos viewable - and by "lighten", I mean crank it up by 50%.
|ANZAC memorial and ANZAC bridge|
It wasn't a great day for cycling - once again, about the only people who were out and about were those walking dogs. It was a good day for putting on a Tour de France video and watching top athletes cycling through France in the heat of summer.
|Somewhere in the Sydney CBD - Hyde Park on the right|
|Oxford St with mad fixie rider|
|Korean War memorial|
|Korean War memorial - Kapyong|
|Somewhere in Surry Hills|
|Bourke St cycle path|
Right - after about an hour of riding, I finally round the Bourke St path. I was quite surprised - it's quite straight, doesn't have much of a gradient and it's a really nice leafy street to roll down at 25km/h. The bike path isn't built for racing - it's built for cruising, or perambulating. Going 30 km/h would be way too fast - but I didn't feel the need to go fast. It's just a really cruisy piece of work.
I wasn't even annoyed at the long wait at the traffic lights at Cleveland St. I was very chilled (and I'm not referring to the rather brisk weather).
|Some bloody big apartments in Surry Hills|
From what I can gather, the whole idea of this path is to service all the new residents in this mini-city of apartments that has sprung up at the bottom of Bourke St. This used to be industrial land - a brownfields site. It's now home to umpteen thousand yuppies. I rolled past the Bourke St Bakery, which is obviously the inner-city hipster place to buy sourdough. The queue stretched out the door and partway down the street. Everyone in the queue was a hipster - they looked at me like I was an alien - which I guess I was. I wasn't riding a fixie with stupid little handlebars and a beret and a corduroy jacket.
The overhanging trees and all that reminded me a lot of Canberra. It's a really nice area to meander through.
|Pedestrian crossing, Bourke St, Surry Hills|
Much of the squealing about the bike path centred around the loss of car parking. I'll post some video later - what I noticed is that there was no shortage of parking. Sure, a number of car spaces were obviously lost, but there was still plenty to be had. From what I could see, most of the parking was lost to build up the spaces around pedestrian crossings, like the one above. Notice the green, garden thing poking out into the road to stop people parking right up next to the level crossing? I bet that's the thing that ate the car spaces. If that's the case, the spaces that were taken were the really dangerous ones that block sightlines at pedestrian crossings, meaning they should have been eliminated whether a bike lane was built or not.
More green space around a traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing.
|Bike fuel - tastes better than diesel|
How would I describe the bike path experience?
Before I went, I was very sceptical that the Bourke St bike path was worth the bother. I regard most of the Pyrmont bike route as an expensive disaster, so my opinion of Clover Moore and her minions was not high. In fact, I'd sooner defend a group of rock spiders than Clover most of the time. No, all of the time.
Except now. I have to say that the path was a revelation. I was really deeply impressed at how good it is (apart from the opposite camber at one point). I think it's worth keeping.
Oh gawd, I've just realised that this means if the path is threatened, I'll have to go along and protest with a bunch of stinking hippies and hipsters. I knew I shouldn't have gone for a ride today.