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Ride 2 Work 2013

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.

Pennant Hills M2 Detour

Alternate route from Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills to Delhi Rd. North Ryde

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.

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