Exploring Canberra by bike – the Red Book

For those who know I have joined Pedal Power the ACT equivalent of Bicycle NSW. I have been able to get a couple of rides with Pedal Power in on Saturdays. These rides are similar to MASSBUG rides with the riders being a mixture of ages and led by an experienced ride leader.

Like the MASSBUG rides the leader has planned the ride weeks if not Months in advance and has been able to take us to some interesting places. On the first ride we went to Reid and saw the Turkish memorial to the ANZACs and their service in Korea along side troops from New Zealand and Australia.  Last Saturday we went to the ACT bushfire memorial to the fires that happened in 2003 and destroyed most of Mt Stromlo and several suburbs.

The Saturday rides all finish at a cafe. On the first ride it finished at a cafe in Dickson and on the last one we finished at Weston Creek.  I have enjoyed these rides although they are not as fast as the rides with Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club. I am still considering joining either the Tuggeranong Vikings Cycling Club or the ACT Vets Cycling Club. I will make a decision as soon as I have been able to get in on a training ride.

I have also purchased the famous Red Book of  rides which outlines some good places to ride in Canberra. On thursday I went on a ride to Belconnen and back to Civic after work. The day was hot and dry. The temperatures were in the 30s so I was drinking water most of the day to keep myself hydrated for this ride. I was able to get a good ride in although it was just a exploratory ride, the route was mapped out in the Red Book and it used a lot of the ACT’s bike paths to Belconnen. I started from Weston Park where I rode to after work. I then went through Yarralumla past the Governor General’s residance and then around the lake and Scrivenor Dam.

I then took the path that lead to Parkes Drive near the ANU and got talking to some rodies. It is interesting here in the ACT given that a lot of people ride road bikes  (not just the guys in clubs wearing lycra). The riders are also friendly and when I stopped to check things out they did ask if I was allright or needed directions. I rode along the bike path under Parkes way and then encountered what would normally be a slight rise. I say this because it was either the heat or the lack of preparation that really sapped my strength. I was riding the Katana and lacked the range of gears that either the Trek, Red Hybrid or Black Magic has. I continued on however and got to Belconnen way.

After a wrong turn I got back on to the route suggested in the Red book and went up Benjamin Way. I then took the path around Lake Ginninderra and noticed the transition from urban suburb to what would be almost European farm land (yellow not Green however). I rode around that lake and would have gone on past the University of Canberra but took a few more wrong turns and wound up back in suburban Canberra. I rode through some of the northern suburbs. Some of which resembled housing commission suburbs in Sydney.

I finally found myself on familiar territory when I got to Lyneham. When I got there I took the bike path I know leads to Dickson and then took myself up Northbourne Avenue back to Woden via Adelaide Avenue. It was a really good ride but one I will have to repeat again to make sure I get the benifit of the good landmarks.

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