Working and learning from home has seen many people get back on bikes after long absences from the saddle.
The time at home has also meant many people are out of the habit of getting into their cars on weekday mornings to drop kids at school and/or head to work.
Now the habit is broken, how do we help people into a new habit of riding to work instead of driving?
Finding a route to work they are comfortable with is a big start.
People who have taken up riding again will not be the most confident of riders and so will want routes to work that are more comfortable to ride on than battling traffic on busy roads.
Routes into Hobart
We’ve put together some of the main routes into Hobart that our Super Tuesday counts show are the most popular with regular commuters. If you have a comfortable riding route in that we haven’t touched on, please send it in to us to share on our webpage.
Northern suburbs such as New Town, Moonah, Glenorchy and Berriedale have the best access into the city thanks to the Intercity Cycleway.
This is Hobart’s premier bicycle route, running 14 km from Hobart to Claremont on a concrete path running next to the disused rail line. This is suitable for new riders but keep your eyes open at side road crossings.
Once you get into the city you’ll need to ride on footpaths to get where you are going, or try riding in the traffic lane in slow moving streets like Liverpool and Collins, but remember to keep at least one metre from parked car doors.
There is no trail from Lenah Valley and West Moonah, however, you can travel via back streets and footpaths to Elizabeth Street, which is a slower moving traffic street than Murray Street, which is popular with confident riders coming into work.
When riding in traffic stick to the left and if there are parked cars keep 1 metre out. It may feel uncomfortable to travel close to the middle of a traffic lane, but it is safer for you to be visible and away from car doors.
Augusta Road is the most popular route connecting into Elizabeth Street but maybe too busy for some new riders.
A mix of shoulders, painted bike lanes and quieter streets make up this route into Hobart from Kingston, Bonnet Hill, Taroona and Sandy Bay.
Channel Highway does not have an official bike lane, but it does have bicycle signage and sealed shoulders; there are some pinch points and parked cars that will push you out of the shoulder and into the traffic lane.
Sandy Bay Road has painted bike lanes which are comfortable to ride in, except when next to parked cars when you’ll have to ride close to the outer edge of the lane. From Wrest Point Casino the bike route switches to the footpath until Marieville Esplanade.
There are route signs through Battery Point that get you to the waterfront. This is a suggested route based on quiet streets, the speed limit is still 50 km/h but narrow streets and light residential traffic means cars are travelling slowly.
The Tasman Bridge is the main route into Hobart, although some fit riders may cross at the Bowen Bridge.
The Tasman Bridge has a very narrow path on both sides of the bridge that you can ride on but be prepared for strong wind and having to stop to pass other people riding and walking.
The Foreshore Trail follows the coast from Geilston Bay to Howrah. It’s a good separated path but is a recreational trail so can be meandering and not always the quickest way to access the Tasman Bridge. This is the way to go if you are a new rider or not confident in traffic.
For riders who don’t mind riding on quieter streets, from Howrah you can take a shared path alongside Rokeby Rd to Clarence St where you can ride on the road or footpath or drop down to the Foreshore Trail then up to Riawena Rd to get onto the bridge. Clarence St and Riawena Rd are not designed for bike use, have 50 km/h speed limits, but are wide enough to ride on for confident riders.
The Hobart Rivulet path is a gravel and sealed path that extends from South Hobart into the edge of the city to connect with Collins Street, it provides a good connection for new riders not wanting to ride fast.
As the Rivulet Path is shared and not suitable for all bikes, some people who are more confident may prefer to ride in along Cascade Road and Macquarie Street. It’s not that uncomfortable to commute along this route as traffic is moving quite slowly, can change lanes to avoid you and it’s mostly downhill so it’s relatively easy to keep up with peak-hour traffic speed. You could then ride home along the Rivulet Path as riding up Davey St is not comfortable.
If you know someone thinking of riding to work, please share the Bicycle Network website advice with them as it’s there to support people wanting to ride more often.
And for Tasmanians worried about riding through winter: www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/newsroom/2020/05/19/keep-riding-through-winter-its-a-breeze/