In terms of off-road cycling, and indeed on road cycling, facilities in Adelaide have always, in my opinion ranked very poorly. I should say that I live in Canberra where we are absolutely spoiled in terms of dedicated off-road cycle paths.
By off-road I mean proper cycle paths (main picture) with reasonable quality, mostly sealed surfaces. I am not referring to mountain biking.
Over the past few years, though, things have noticeably changed and quite a large number of on-road cycle lanes (eg below) have appeared in the Adelaide area.
I could be cynical and suggest that these have just been marked onto existing (often already narrow) roads so that the city can claim that it has so many, and an increasing number, of kilometres of cycle paths – something now necessary for any trendy city to have. Adopting the less cynical approach, what’s happening here is a move in the right direction, to such an extent that I now occasionally take my bicycle with me when I visit.
In general, unless you head towards the hills, Adelaide is a relatively flat city and conducive to cycling for those not seeking out hills.
To date, in addition to shorter ride I have taken a couple of longer ones both of which I thoroughly recommend. These were:
• Adelaide’s longest path at around 40kms one way (100% off-road and sealed) – the River Torrens Linear Park Trail which takes you from the foothills of the Adelaide Hills (‘the mountains’) though the City Centre and on to the coast at Henley Beach. This ride follows the Torrens River.
• A coastal ride. This can be as long as you like though, splitting the part I chose to do into two, I rode from the Outer Harbour to Brighton. You can ride further south beyond Brighton. Ride 1 was from Henley Beach to Outer Harbour return (approx. 40 kms) and ride 2 was from Henley Beach to Brighton return (approximately 28 kms). While there were short sections of both these rides on on –road cycle paths the majority of each ride was on sealed off-road paths.
You can, naturally, chop and change these rides as you like, subject to being able to get to starts and from finishes.
On each ride, which I did for leisure and sightseeing as opposed to breaking a speed record, the distances mentioned above include slight detours for sight seeing purposes.
You will note that in referring to the River Torrens Linear Park Trail I indicated that it went from ‘the mountains’ to the coast. It also (lest you were wondering!) goes the other direction and riding this would not present a major problem for a person of reasonable fitness. If doing it in the other direction I would probably break it into two separate rides with a stop in the City Centre. The coastal rides are pretty much flat.
Some Rules: When cycling in Australia
*Cyclists must wear an approved helmet and must use a bell, horn or similar warning device when necessary
*Lights must be used when riding at night;
*Children in a child carrier seat or passengers in a trailer towed by a bike must wear an approved helmet;
*Cyclists have right of way on green cycling paths on roads; (DO NOT assume you will be given right of way and ride defensively)
*Clear hand signals when turning or changing lanes are required.bicycle helmets are compulsory and pedestrians have right of way on shared paths.
The rules relating to cycling on footpaths varies from State to State. In South Australia cyclists CAN (from 2016) ride on footpaths.
For those without cycles, have a look at my separate transportation tip – Get a free bicycle for the day.
Bicycles are permitted on trains but not on the Glenelg Tram nor on buses.
While I have restricted comment here to slightly longer rides, cycling is a feasible option for sightseeing in the City centre area though personally I would recommend doing this on foot and using the free bus and tram services available should the need arise.
Overall cycling is now a thing to do in Adelaide. Note that walking part, or all, of these trails is also very feasible option.
This is my last Adelaide – NON AREA SPECIFIC review.
For other ADELAIDE reviews click HERE.