If the objective of the National Ride 2 Work Day is to somehow encourage me to ditch the car in favour of my two-wheel ride – I’m afraid my verdict is still – No. This is my third participation to the Ride 2 Work Day event, although my last one before today was when the M2 cycle lane was still open. I have never cycled to work following the M2 cycling lane closure in 2007 and the introduction of a detour which added at least 30 minutes into the ride.
Next year, our office will transfer to a new building which has limited parking space. Everyone is currently considering alternative ways to commute to work. The Ride 2 Work Day is an opportunity to try cycling to work. As an added bonus, the company is shouting breakfast for the cyclists. I wasn’t keen on cycling back home in the afternoon, so I left my car at work the day before and took public transport going home. The train I was catching was cancelled. It took 2 hours to get to the Blacktown station where my daughter came to pick me up. The next day – it took me 2 hours 20 minutes to cycle from home to office. It could have taken me 2 hours to cycle back home too as there are no detours going back. Clearly, cycling is as fast – if not faster than public transport.
National Ride 2 Work Day – my commute today http://t.co/hKX4LQ8Wcc
— Rommel Pascual (@artipax) October 16, 2013
If we discount the usual excuses of not cycling to work – like: It’s too dangerous to be cycling in a highway where cars, trucks and busses are all flying at over 100km/hr or what happens when it rains or you have a puncture – etc. Four hours in a bike everyday is mad. My ideal option is to be able to park for free or for a reasonable fee anywhere within a 5 to 10 km radius from the new office then cycle the rest of the way. It would give me the excuse to invest on a Bike Friday (folding bike) – something that I wish I had but can’t justify the cost because how infrequent I ride.
Oddly enough, what had kept my ride today interesting is the detour from Pennant Hills. I planned this part of the ride using the Garmin Basecamp Software and the M2 cycling detour guide published by RMS. I was looking forward to a turn by turn guidance using my GPSMap62 but alas – it didn’t work. I ended up navigating using detour signs pointing to Epping. After Epping however, there were 3 other signs: to Macquarie Uni, City and North Sydney. I followed the Macquarie Uni but eventually – I realised that it is not the same route as the map I studied to go to North Ryde. I double backed and tried to locate signs to North Sydney. Instead, I saw signs heading towards Eastwood, until I saw no more signs and realised I am lost.
I kept riding, checking my GPS for directions to main roads. I also recognise the area from previous rides with Bike North – way back when I use to be an active weekly cyclist. Eventually – I saw Balaclava Road, and took another turn and soon saw Herring Road. From there I knew exactly where I was and how to get to our office.