I’ve been on two wheels for too long and decided to keep the wheels spinning down under. Full speed ahead!
- Walking goes dead slow. Public transport goes too fast and you might miss some of the fun.
- Bicycles are scarce, so are bicycle lines. And you have to ride on the wrong side of road.
- Although a bicycle helmet is mandatory by law since 1991, no one really seems to care about it. No worries!
While some of my colleagues are flying to Melbourne for the weekend, I decided to first explore Sydney. There’s a plenty to do on your own doorstep.
When I initially arrived on this huge island, my hierarchy of needs was: phone, shelter and transport. After checking the box next to the first two, I got myself a secondhand single-speed bike. Since my weekends are set aside for cycling.
The city is not yet adjusted to cyclists. The manhole covers can be simply lethal. The spacing between the grating is too large making it possible to catch your wheel. Furthermore, the direction of the grates should be perpendicular to the direction of travel, not parallel. Caution is advised, but the pros outweigh the cons.
Walking puts a severe limit on the distance you can explore. Cycling increased my exploration range by 300% and makes me independent of Sydney’s public transport. This post summarizes the five best locations I spotted in Sydney and its surroundings.
1 Watching the sunset at the Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Incredible view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Additionally, the Darling Harbourside fireworks light up the sky around 9 pm.
2 Although flagged as incredibly touristic, Bondi Beach does fulfill its expectations as a surfer’s paradise. Spectacular waves, surfers and outlook on the Tasman Sea. Ideal spot to enjoy an extraordinary curry and take a dive after a day glued on the saddle. Unfortunately, no clear sky pictures. A valid reason to go back!
3 The Sydney Harbour Bridge by bike. The bridge is divided in four lanes: trains, cars, pedestrians and bicycles. I started on the wrong one. I was cruising next to cars when I quickly understood something was not right. I returned and found the bicycle lane over the Harbour Bridge. Probably one of the most spectacular bike lanes.
4 Up north and slightly more hilly: a ride to Mosman. The urban jungle disappears and gives place to parks and Balmoral Beach with a magnificent view on Rocky Point and Hunters Bay. Not the best pictures, but I will include them in my post on Sydney’s beaches.
5 A day in Vaucluse with its numerous bays and beaches. I was surprised to see the first anti-shark beach (iron fences in the water) at Blackburn Cove and caught my breath after a long ascend in the shady Blackburn Gardens. Hungry? The Clarke Reserve has the best picnic bench. Ever.
Finally, I discovered Watsons Bay with the rocky Sydney Harbour National Park.