Mosman Bay to Fremantle Bridge - Town of Mosman Park and City of Fremantle

Start point is Manners Hill Park / Keanes Point / anywhere in the vicinity of Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. Head south and stick to river. After politely meandering along Johnson Pde south of RFBYC for about half a k, you face a short awe inspiring hill. Most riders are advised to dismount and walk their steeds up it. Alternatively retrace your steps and turn west on Johnston St, then 1st left on Bay View Tce, for an easier climb. Either way once you reach the Mosman Park Bowling Club at the top of the hill the worst this ride has to throw at you is over!

The path east through Bay View Park offers one of the best elevated river views in Perth. If you fancy a biscuit break park yourself under one of the big sugar gums right down at the SE end of the park and take in the goings-on at Point Walter Spit.

From here around to Blackwall Reach you're mostly on the road or the footpath. Follow Owston St south and then Wellington St east. Near the bottom of Wellington on your right there is a narrow paved trail through some bush restoration. A detour down Caporn St and Chidley Way takes you to Chidley Point where you can watch stink boat wash erode a pretty little beach.

Follow Marshall Road south around Blackwall Reach, as it rises away from the river keep an eye out for a path to your left. This path takes you across a cliff front on a boardwalk and then drops you dramatically down into Minim Cove Park. From here you're on paths for a couple of kilometers around Rocky Bay. Follow the path as far as you can, it finishes at the end of Rule St in North Fremantle. Take the second left off Rule St and then right onto Corkhill. Another dramatic drop puts you back down at River Level near Pier 21. Heading west along John St takes you past Gilbert Fraser Reserve where you can often stop to take in a spot of local football or cricket. If you prefer to stay off the road you can get around the front of Pier 21 by turning left onto John St instead of right. There is public access along the foreshore but no path, so expect to walk your bike some of the way.

Almost there! a couple of little timber bridges take you through a tidal wetlands on the upstream side of the Stirling Bridge (AKA "New Bridge"), then you're under the bridge and heading across the fronts of the Northport apartments.

If you're going to carry on round the river you can chuck a right as soon as you're under the new bridge. A hundred metres up the path is a hard right turn that puts you on the bridge path. I strongly recommend ignoring that for the moment and completing the journey to the old bridge. For one you can see the stumps of Stick Bridge, the bridge that predates either of the extant bridges. For the other, the narrow plank walkway under the old bridge takes you halfway out into the river. If you're lucky enough to be here when the tide is running it is a wonderful reminder of power of water. You can also watch boats negotiate the narrow under-bridge passage at close proximity and get a reasonable view of goings on in the inner harbour.

Getting there. Crikey! you're spoilt for choice... By car. There is a reasonable amount of parking available around Manners Hill Park and RFBYC, it does get busy when the weather is warmer. Street parking and the carpark opposite Jabe Dodd Park are alternatives. Parking in Northport between the bridges is limited also. There is some parking available near Gilbert Fraser Reserve. If you don't mind starting a little further afield there is parking at Port Beach (just follow Tydeman Rd to the bridges) or across the river at East St Jetty.

By train. From the north end of the ride hop off at Mosman Park Station. Cross Stirling Highway at Glyde St and head north up the footpath to Stuart St. Head east on Stuart, 1st left on Monument, 1st right on Willis, left on Harvey, right on Swan, go to the end of Swan and then left on Palmerston and right on Johnstone St. It's the flattest, quietest route to the start point. At the other end, North Fremantle Station is the closest, but it has the disadvantage of being a kilometre up Stirling Highway. Better to cross the highway at Tydeman Road, head across the old bridge and head for Fremantle Station. Once over the bridge turn toward Freo and cross  at the first set of traffic lights and then turn right. 150 metres to the south west is the railway underpass, once on the other side you get cycle path almost to the doorstep of Fremantle Station. Alternatively cross on the new bridge, head for the river and follow the riverside or on-road path round to the rail underpass.

In addition to the arriving by train directions, if you're arriving by bike, you can come in from the The Esplanade on the north side.

For those that fancy a nibble before, during or after the ride you have so got it made. For icecreams, chips and other classic caff fare you can't go past the kiosk on Freshwater Bay. Post race chips and beer up at the yacht club bar are pretty good too. You'll have to dig considerably deeper (and maybe make a reservation) for lunch or dinner at Mosmans on Johnson Pde or Harvest on Harvest S N Freo. In North Freo you can also enjoy a gourmet burger at Flipside, (quality takes time so don't be in a hurry) or pub fare at the Swan Hotel. You'll be tripping over free barbecues thanks to generosity of the Town of Mosman Park; find them at Keanes Point Reserve, Jabe Dodd Park, Bay View Park (tucked away south of the carpark), Chidley Reserve and Minim Cove Park. Facilities like these and Mosman Park's clean toilets are notably absent once you cross the border into North Freo. Gilbert Fraser Reserve has toilets and a playground.

Sunset Coast - Port Beach to North Mole - City of Fremantle

Brave.

It's what you need to be to cross Port Beach Road and head south to the lighthouse at North Mole. The cycle path south of the Tyrdeman Road intersection has recently been extended by about a kilometre but it still ends well shy of the harbour heads and its primary function is not to allow safe passage of cyclists and pedestrians but as overflow parking for surfers, fisherfolk and live export shiploaders keen to wash themselves of guilt. 

Ride here and you will find yourself in the domain of the double B. It's all about inbound containers and outbound sheep down here. Diesel smoke, Coke bottles, cyclone fences, dust and urgency inhabit the spaces left between the bright stacks of containers.

The lighthouse at North Mole is the logical end to a ride down the the so called Sunset Coast. Getting there under pedal power is no mean feat though. Fremantle Port Authority have done their utmost to claim the last couple of the last couple of k's as private property. Get through that and you face a few hundred metres of single lane road to carry all the motorised sightseers out to the lighthouse. And back. The delicate patina of rubber coloured circles in the hardstand east of the lighthouse welcome the traveller to North Mole. All that remains to do is check out the lighthouse and passing marine traffic, and maybe throw a line in. 

For the brave and determined;

The closest train station is North Fremantle. Hop off and head to the sea (you can't miss it), turn left.

By bike either come down Tydeman Road or Curtin Avenue, both through North Fremantle, both have bike paths adjacent to them.

There's a car park associated with Salt on the Beach Restaurant, as well as beach amenities like showers and toilets. There's no need to go hungry in this neck of the woods; aside from Salt on the Beach who operate a classic beach kiosk as well as the restaurant and bar, you can mix it with the truckies down at the Rous Head Café or chow down on more deep fried fare at Northport Ferry Terminal.

Rous Head is home to one of the ferry terminals servicing the biking paradise that is Rottnest Island. If you're planning on riding to the ferry you'd be better advised to depart from C Shed on the south side of the harbour.

Herdsman Lake - City of Stirling, Department of Environment and Conservation

Though some of the paths around Herdsman Lake are paved you'll see the best of it on the dirt. On the north east side there are a few very pretty stretches of path through paperbark and eucalypt groves. The entire circuit is flat making it a cruisey ride for novices and children. Distractions are plentiful for those that like to stop to catch their breath and enjoy the scenery. Expect to cover about 8 km if you explore all the little side trails on the circuit.

Birdlife on the lake system is abundant and there are several hides around the north and east of the lake as well as a pedestrian only boardwalk associated with the Herdsman Wildlife Centre. The Gould League run bird walks from the centre on the 3rd Saturday of every month at 8am

The West side of the lake is dominated by large grassed areas. This side, once home to market gardens and stables, was controversially "reclaimed" for residential real estate in the 1980s. The contrast between the east and west sides of the lake is pronounced to say the least. Trees seem to have been outlawed in Floreat Waters!

Settlers Cottage was rescued and relocated when Pearson St was widened in 1991. It is operated by the National Trust but is currently closed.

Access by bike and car couldn't be easier.

By bike; there are so many entry points to the path that it doesn't make sense to list them, just enter from whatever direction you're coming in from. The sealed cycle path adjacent to Jon Sanders Drive is part of the Perth Bicycle Network Continuous Signed Route NW9.

If you fancy getting there by train, Glendalough station is very close. Head west over the pedestrian bridge at the southern end of the station, then south on the bike path to Powis St. Powis St west takes you straight to the section of the NW9 route mentioned above.

By car - the main roads around the edge of the lake are Herdsman Parade, Jon Sanders Drive and Pearson Street. From freeway south take the Powis Street exit to Jon Sanders Drive. From freeway north exit at Cedric Street and take Ellen Stirling Boulevard, Scarborough Beach Road and Stephenson Avenue to Jon Sanders Drive. Other main roads into the area are Hale Road from the west and Selby Street from the south.

There are car parks and playgrounds around the perimeter. No free barbecues though and, despite assertion to the contrary on the City of Stirling website, there are no public toilets. Doubtless the Herdsman Wildlife Centre has toilets, however they will only be accessible during their weekday opening hours

http://www.wagouldleague.com.au/about.htm

http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFiles/active-transport/at_CYC_map_Stirling_Swan.pdf

Thanks to Thoglette on the BNA Forum for suggesting this ride

Karrakatta PSP - High Art or High Desert? - City of Nedlands

High art

Public art is a contentious issue for local government authorities at the best of times. The City of Nedlands has has managed the design and commissioning of its most recent installation very carefully and the result is a powerful piece laced with meaning. It is at once massive and expensive and yet it recedes in the urban landscape revealing itself to only the most rigorous scrutiny.

 

The work is the largest and most expensive public artwork in Western Australia brought to fruition in some years. That it was not without it problems should not be overlooked, however the City of Nedlands are to be congratulated for their singleminded pursuit of what is surely destined to become a cultural icon.

 

The piece itself masquerades as infrastructure, 360 metres of shared pedestrian and cycle path, flanked by, and floating above, the a pair of unusually curvaceous roundabouts. From the air they could be hips or breasts, the railway line forming a backbone. The path viewed from this Godly angle can only represent a severe inflammation of the spineless. And that is not where the Godliness of this magnificent piece ends. Its proximity to the dead centre of Perth, its altar-like aspect aloof from traffic, its inaccessibility underline a deeper message. 

At street level it is surprisingly understated. It is rare that its pristine tarmac is sullied by the foot or cycle traffic that it pretends to serve. The secret is not in securing the work by ordinary means such as fences but simply by making the course too short and isolated for it to be of any use or interest to the public.

 

The depth of the artwork is stunning. The artists have stopped at nothing to ensure that its incorporation into the day to day life of the city is complete. It is a rare public art installation that is not neatly encapsulated within its own tidy world, be it a public lawn, the centre of a roundabout, the pea gravel forecourt of the council offices. Karrakatta PSP unashamedly explodes these polite social mores. Work is seemingly never complete around the piece; the on-road cycle lane is removed one month, cycle lane ends signs are posted another. Curious diversions are set up round the Irwin Barracks entrance. Most intriguing is a pile of mullock and rubble left by a storm drain for months on end. While other works have ceased for the interim this pile of crud creates a ghostly air of expectancy and serves to remind the viewer nothing is ever complete.

 

The illusion extends from the infrastructure, if you will, to verbal and written exchanges with the council. Any enquiry made to the Artists at the City of Nedlands is met with Kafka-esque responses in writing on the City’s letterhead. Denial of simple measurable facts and mysterious “replies” to what appear to be unrelated correspondence rapidly create a maddenly delicious and elaborate tangle of bureaucratic irony. There is poetry in witnessing a master of their craft at work. To involve and engage and, even frustrate, the interested viewer in the (ongoing) creation of a significant work is nothing short of genius.

High desert

 

The high desert is an environment of extremes: it is the driest and hottest place on earth. Strong winds of incompetence drive all but the bravest of souls back. On the rare occasions that they subside the careful listener may hear the periodic sigh characteristic of an expiring political career.

Few animal species are found in Nedland’s high desert environment. While the Karrakatta PSP Notional Park has a good profile of extinct individuals, evidence of life up here is confined to snakes in the grass. Occasionally lost council workers or cyclists are found in wandering some parts of the high desert. No sightings of whitus collari staffenati or councilloramus have ever been made in the area.

This area, once a safe corridor for the cyclist is now dominated by urgent motor traffic.

Goodwood Parade to Garvey Park - City of Belmont

“City of Opportunity”(!) a couple of constructivist silhouettes optimistically proclaim at points around Belmont and its subsidiary suburbs. This mostly flat 8k ride is actually a pretty good advertisement for the best that Belmont has to offer while neatly managing to avoid the worst. 

 

The best of it should be obvious from even a disdainfully fleeting glance at the map; it follows the mid reaches of the Swan River as it wanders aimlessly across the flat of the coastal plain. The path ducks in close to the river now, then briefly climbs up and back for a cinematic panorama. 

 

Marvel at the way invasive bamboo has taken a chokehold here. Be enchanted by habitat restoration underway there. A patch of remnant native bush opens to reveal pretty jetty that is a wedding photographer’s dream.

 

This part of the river is close and sheltered making it a favourite haunt of rowing teams in training. I deduce from the presence of fisherfolk in dinghies and on shore there must be the odd fish of size still left poking about. At the upstream end round where Redcliffe Bridge crosses you may spot some rather larger critters bobbing about in the drink; Belmont is home to Ascot Racecourse. A good two thirds of this ride is in Ascot, the suburb, and Ascot, the suburb, has a higher population density of the genus equus than is usual in the Perth metro area. 


The path is dotted with interesting oddments of local history. The most dramatic are the old brick kilns and their associated chimneys south of the racecourse. In a brickie sort of vein there’s also Bristile Park which once was home to display panels of roof tiles. A cute gnome size brick house remains. Unoccupied it seems. 


The path for the length of the ride is mostly concrete or tarmac in good condition. A stretch of narrow boardwalk at the south end of Garvey Park provides comic relief. The few hundred metres of street riding to the east of Ascot Racecourse is well enough sorted with a good on road painted lane. Motor traffic here is light and accustomed to frequent horses and riders so it’s about as safe as street riding gets.

 

The only real drama is crossing Grandstand Road between Ascot Waters and the racecourse. Cyclists are let down badly by signage here. For those on a meandery sort of a day, blunder your way through Ascot Waters admiring the ghostly Stepford perfection of it all and cross to the north of the junction of Waterway Cr and Grandstand.

 

Once on the northeast side head northwest on the footpath toward Garrett Road Bridge. The cycle path heads east around the north side of the racecourse just south of the bridge. Travelers coming from Garvey Park should cross Grandstand as soon as possible and either go through Ascot Waters or down the footpath on Grandstand.


If you’re looking for a shorter ride simply turn back when you reach Grandstand Road from either direction; you’ve come about half way along anyway.

 

Weekday mornings and evenings, the southern half of it particularly, (from Ascot Racecourse to Goodwood Pde) is a commuter run. There are some sharpish and blindish corners so it pays to be somewhat less than witless on this stretch at these times. It’s a great out and back ride manageable by just about anybody owing to its mostly flat nature. There are a couple of short steep parts half way between Hardey Park and Cracknell Park.


If cycling picnics are your bag you're in for a treat! There are free barbecue facilities at Adachi Park, Gould Reserve (at the end of Epsom Ave) and Garvey Park. Garvey Park is huge and shady (lots of dog walkers though). It’s the home of the Ascot Kayak Club and also a jolly good kiosk which is open 5 days from 8 am. There are toilets at the boat-ramp, Adachi Park, The Esplanade and Garvey Park, though the day I rode the only one that had any loo paper was at Garvey Park - you have been warned!

Start Points are easy peasy

Western end


By bike (yes!), you can come at the downstream end from the city via Windan Bridge (Graham Farmer Freeway) or from points south o’ river from Burswood or through Lathlain (cross the freeway at Riversdale Rd)


Closest train stations are Belmont Park (not all trains stop there though), Claisebrook on the  city side or Burswood.


By car, take the Victoria Park Drive exit from either direction on the Graham Farmer Freeway, stay on or head to the east side of the freeway and park at the Goodwood Pde boat-ramp. Which, by quirk of history and urban renewal, is actually on Balbuk Way not Goodwood Pde.


Eastern end

There’s a bike path from Guildford that comes down Fauntleroy Ave.


Car access is Fautleroy Ave with plenty of parking at Garvey Park.


Trains run rather inconveniently on the other side of the river.

 

Bikely Map Link