Because I come from the east of Sydney, I was never excited about riding on the western side of Redfern to get to the Cooks River cycleway. Unfortunately the few times I travelled through that area over the years, I just got hopelessly lost and gave up. My only success was learning how to get to Sydenham station so that I could catch all the express trains. My interest in this area has grown in the last year because Wilson St is one of the most popular places for cyclists in all of Sydney.
On my return from holidays a week ago, I pushed myself and studied the maps and headed to the streets because I knew there would be good council signs to cut a path from Redfern to the Cooks River. Once I had a good trail worked out, I decided to do a loop via the Bourke St cycleway so that I could compare the two options to Wolli Creek. The resultant trail is shown in the map below and here are stats.
Redfern to Cooks River at the end of Mitchell Park via the Wilson St is 7.2 km and 8.8km via Bourke St. That’s an easy win for Wilson St.
Redfern to Wolli Creek pathway next to Kendrick Park is 8km in both directions. Time wise it was 28mins via Wilson St and 30.5mins via Bourke St Cycleway. The difference I put down to slow crossings like Gardiners Rd.
Safety wise should be an easy win to the Bourke St cycleway because most of the trip is off road. Unfortunately the cycleway is covered in building dust and debri and there are a lot of obstructions along the way. The trail west of the highway is 50% road riding as I like Wilson st so much I will call it a cycleway. A slight win to Bourke St depending on your distaste of road riding.
Summary: If you are a Bourke St rider and are comfortable on roads, give the Wilson St trail a shot on a Sunday. It will take you a couple of try’s to get right. If you are a Wilson St rider, try Bourke St in 2019 when hopefully it will be cleaned up. Otherwise do what I do a lot, catch a train to Wolli Creek or simply take your bike in a car and park at the Tempe Recreational Reserve which always has parking.
16km loop for this test. No hills. Suited to all bike types.
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