Slightly different commute today - son down from Sydney, needed to borrow my car for the day so:
Ride in: Mixed mode commute, ride folder to Eltham (from Briar Hill) train to Heidelberg, hop off and ride Heidelberg Rd to the city. Sort of overlaps my usual commute.
Ride home: Figured I'd try the Main Yarra Trail & Plenty River trail route after a decent look-see on Google Maps. Coming out of CBD, ended up on Smith St Collingwood for about 500 metres, not the bike-friendliest road. Missed the right entry onto MYT, jagged it by using the Merri Creek trail for a bit. City end of MYT interesting, I'm not sure I'd like to try the pipe bridge on a wet day and the climb heading away from it, well, tested the legs. Once I reached the more familiar bits around Fairfield, quite enjoyed all of that, pootled along the Yarra Flats, jagged up the incline after the bridge at Templestowe.
I've never ridden the Plenty River Trail before, decent climb away from the MYT, steep concrete paved section, then looooong grind on good gravel surface up the hill to the Banyule silos. Had to walk a bit here, legs protesteth too much. Rolled along without too much incident after that, although nearly got cleaned up by a MTB (maybe electric-boosted) powering up a gravel incline with a few blind corners, me under brakes coming down. Senior gent riding the MTB barely maintained control as he zoomed past. Near Lwr Plenty Rd, sealed surface following the creek, good ride until my exit onto para Rd. Then the climb up the hill to Montmorency shops and onwards. One hour forty ride time, 28 kms. Total time about the same a my usual 16 km ride - 11 km drive commute.
Observations / comments:
Some sections of MYT really not great quality infrastructure for what is / should be a significant bicycle commute route from the north east, specifically the steep, narrow climb/dive under the Templestowe bridge, and the broken surface from there to the beginning of the paved section outbound from there. Riders accessing the underpass from opposite directions would need to be extra careful, and conditions dry, to pass safely I reckon. Not sure how many bike-bike collisions happen as a consequence.
Is there a plan to pave the Yarra flats section sometime this millennium?
Cheers (Merry Christmas)