All of these are valid excuses, BUT there is a better way! Have you ever considered the train? Every 20min or so Sydney trains departs the city for Yagoona. It takes 38min from central, and then you have a 3 km 15min back street roll to get from Yagoona to the track. This method is Sydney traffic stress free and you get the added bonus of warming up before you get to the track! You will be winning at both life and your division in no time.
*disclaimer* this is what I do, along with several other track riders. Riding on the road without brakes is dangerous and illegal. I recommend fitting front brake (if possible and remove it at the track) and taking caution when approaching intersections. Also, bring lights, a bell and your helmet!
Getting to the track
Jump on a train get to Yagoona. Read this for top tips on taking Sydney trains with a bike.
Put Trip View on your phone if you don’t have it
Here is the route
- Exit the train station and turn right down the hill towards the traffic lights (Highland Ave) as you are riding on the sidewalk, give right of way to pedestrians.
- Cross at the lights onto Highland Ave.
- Make a right at the roundabout onto The Crescent. You can speed up, the road ends with an uphill so slowing is easy.
- Make a left turn at the end of The Crescent onto Dutton St.
- You will be taking the first right onto Glassop St. Take caution when approaching this intersection. It’s a state black spot area. There are stop signs, but cars don’t always see/give way to cyclists.
- Once you turn right, there is a hill! Smash it up.
the roundabout at the top is usually quiet, but you’ll be going slow, so no need to worry about your stopping time.
- The next 2 intersections are down hill/flat, but quiet. Look both ways, and prepare to stop.
- The next two intersections are the hardest to navigate to get to the track. Proceed on the bike with caution. Glassop and Edgar is a very busy roundabout at the bottom of a down hill section. Approach slowly, as you will not be able to go through right away.
- Once through that round about, Glassop continues downhill, with a stop sign at the Avenue.
treat the stop sign as a yield, The Avenue isn’t a busy road, with a clear view of traffic as you approach.
- Once across spinnnnnnnnnnn! The road goes down then up. There are 3 intersections, watch out for cars. But they either have yield or stop signs for traffic on Glassop. This bit is easy going.
- It’s a little uphill to the next roundabout (Saltash st) go straight, and continue to the end of Glassop. Turn right (Bertram St)
- Go to the end of that and turn Left (Neville. This bit is flat and easy to control. Once you get good at riding a track bike on the road, you can take the entry of the corner wide so you can pop out tight to the curve (and not have to look for cars until half way through the turn)
- The next 2 roundabouts are on an uphill/flat ish road, so easy to control
- Slow for the next roundabout, Thornton Ave. It’s blind to traffic from the right, and on a downhill. It’s not too busy.
- Sweet Home stretch! Follow the road around, then you’re at the roundabout at the track. Most cars will be making a left turn, so you can blast through this roundabout. If a car has a bike on the top, it will be making a right turn. Don’t blast through then.
- Congratulations! You made it!
- Ride with a mate. It makes calling clear or not clear on intersections easier.
- Use clinchers, save the thin tubs for indoors. Either get a mate to bring them (in their car. Sucker!) or strap them to your back.
- The last train into the city is 11:41. Leave La Rivage by 11:25
It’s mostly the same as getting to the track, but in reverse. The ups are down, the down are ups, and the busy roads are still busy (but a little less because it’s later at night)
- Take Neville St to the end (Saltash st) there is a nice down followed by an up so you can get speed, and then use the up to slow down and check out the right hander you’ll be doing at the end.
- The busy stop sign and round about on Glassop are now on the uphill, exponentially easier to stop.
- *CAUTION* between William St and Dutton St it is a steep hill. Walk this bit. Then first left, first right, first left (500m all up) and you are at the lights at the station.
There is usually a bunch of us riding back from the track at the end of the night. Feel free to join and learn the route.
See you at the track!