01 November 2013

Riding in Darwin not for the faint of heart

Ticked off another cycle last evening.  

As I didn't venture out until quite late it was a pleasant, albeit action packed, hour of spin, spin.

First up my favourite bike path is now inaccessible due to the commencement of road widening works along Lee Point Road.

Given that this stretch was closed for months not that long ago while pipes were laid, it was disappointing to be locked out again from my normally most convenient cycle route.  

The road in that section is now very, very narrow  with temporary fencing up and rather than brave the evening (read drivers coming home from drinks after work) traffic, I opted to skirt around the back of Leanyer and head across Vanderlin Drive at the Hibiscus lights and brave the traffic coming out of the shopping centre (done with fingers crossed).

Darwin motorists are pretty notorious.  They tend drive like there is no tomorrow and they like park as close as possible to where ever they wish to go (even mounting nature strips, driving on bike paths and crossing over in front of oncoming traffic to park if that is what it takes to get a centimetre closer to where they want to be). 

They even hold on to fridges while they drive as this NT Police photo published this week shows:

And they are so clever they can talk & text as they drive and even park in shopping centre car parks one handed and not miss a beat in the conversation. 

Not sure how but there is one less taxi on the streets after a two car collision on McMillans Road that I happened across not long after it occurred.

It had the typical Darwin "how the hell did they manage that" look to it and unfortunately a number of people were injured. 

Had to negotiate around the crash on the bike, all the while thinking I was lucky not to have been ten minutes earlier.

Then as I rode up the bike path approaching Rapid Creek Bridge a moronic driver decided it was ok to drive up the path and park under a nice tree. Car parks - who needs those when you are in Darwin.

And don't get me started on those that park on the incorrect side of the road and are happy to pull out in front on oncoming traffic. 

Hearing about a number of cycling fatalities this week has made me continue to very safety conscious and while I can, I'm sticking as much as possible to the bike paths.

We cyclists are not always perfect but here in Darwin riding your bike is not for the faint of heart. 

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