Flatlining Sydney – The train and weekend is your friendMarch 4, 2021
When it comes to cycling in Sydney, I cheat a lot. I drive my car to favourite car parks and catch trains a lot. How else can you do a 40km loop that is a 60km return journey away. Here are some of these rides
Flat Liner 1 – Redfern to Glenfield
A lot of this ride is on shared paths and back roads suited to cycling. From Summer Hill to the Cooks River trail in Strathfield is all roads. Also roads is Regents Park to the Georges River.
Return to Zetland or Central via the train from Glenfield. This is a fast train as it is express from Revesby to Wolli Creek
Flat Liner 2 – East Hills to Zetland
So today I meant to get off early in the car but didn’t. The traffic was building so I decided (at the last moment) to do a flat liner. This is a ride where I catch a train to somewhere else and ride back to the first station. In this case I was experimenting with some new roads in Revesby area so that’s where I headed.
The journey today involved a train to East Hills from Zetland. East Hills is one of the best places to start riding in the south west of Sydney
Finding All These Rides
I am keeping a layer on the Sydney jigsaw map of long flat liners and and other super trails of interest like the trail around Sydney. I hide this layer but here is what it looks like if you turn the layer on in Google maps. Find the map here or find the RideWithGPS collection here
Flat Liner 3 – Cherrybrook to Redfern
Cherryrbrook is one of the highest points in Sydney, so expect steep hills. Trail uses a little forest track to get to passable point on the Pennant Hills rd. Sutherland St depends on there not being recent heavy rain to go under the M2. Then its Epping rd cycleway till Herbert St and cross thru the terrific Wollstonecraft and Milsons Point.
Cumberland Forest is terrific but is ridiculously steep. A very hilly track and uses back roads a lot early.
Note the strava has a couple of errors, the Google My Map link is a better path to trace.
Flat Liner 4 – Clovelly to Croydon
From the coast to the inner west staying north of the railway. If you live in Sydney, this trail should be your homework at least as far as the Hawthorne Canal near Summer Hill. Its tricky to follow but there is a lot of good cycling infrastructure from Centennial Park through to Stanmore.
Flat Liner 5 – Bankstown to Waterloo
This trail starts on roads in Bankstown and by Punchbowl it settles into back lanes and back roads. Its useful for commuters or those wanting an urban ride. Pretty bumpy in spots.
Roads 6 out of ten Difficulty 5
Distance: 19.5 km (I have shown the full ride from the Narwee Station).
Flat Liner 6 – Wentworthville to Mascot
This cross city ride starts at the end of the M4 Cycleway in South Wentworthville. You follow the cycleway along the edge of the freeway in its various urban forms of good shared path, old wide footpaths lined with shopping trolleys and a few not so easy road crossings .
In Auburn cross over to the railway down Station St. It was remarkably unbusy at 3pm on a Monday. Nip through the south side of Lidcombe and then Rookwood and you are onto the Cooks River cycleway. You follow this to Mascot.
Flat Liner 7 – East Hills to Kellyville
This is a truly great run on old shared paths from East Hills to near Fairfield. Then it gets a bit messy until the other side of Fairfield. Then the old shared paths wind along the grubby creek in a really cool windy pattern. You arrive as Prospect Reservoir and then follow the Prospect Highway shared path to Blacktown where it crosses the road and becomes the Sunnyholt Drive shared path. The section till Kingspark is kept away from the traffic by the dedicated bus lanes. The final section of Sunnyholt Drive past Parklea Markets is on the edge of the busy road but decent shared path. You arrive at the Metro and follow the shared path to Kellyville Station or even Rouse Hill. Yep its all shared path.
I did this south north because I had an eBike and the trains heading to East Hills in the morning (even peak) are empty and the ones heading to Epping in the morning can be busy. I used the metro to Epping from Kellyville then the express train to central to return.
Flat Liner 9
Sydney Parklands trail
A really good straight line trail (see purple below) that you probably would start at Leppington Station. It follows the Western Parklands trail north except that it avoids the steep downhill from Moonrise Lookout and the awful Horlsley Park drive path. See RideWithGPS here
See all the photos here
You could add Camden Valley way path onto this but would need to cycle from Macarthur Square station.
Sydney Network Show Stoppers
Here are two of the more unusual cycling oddities on this long trail. Salt Pan creek and Finlays Lane in Turella. This was a great ride, pity the government didn’t iron out the oddities and make Sydney trails more of a network. Find a map here of many of Sydneys more hopeless network killers.
Trains > The secret to exploring one of the worlds biggest cities by bike
If you want to enjoy all of Sydney’s bike trails, the trains are really useful. You certainly will need trains to go one way on the 40 km long M7 cycleway. I went from there to Edmondson Park and rode the M7. I caught the train from there to Rooty Hill and caught the train back to the city and then to Mascot Station. What a journey and all for the cost of 6$ train fare and a snack at the service station. The ride was about 30km and the train journey was about 60km or more and only took 35 minutes out and an hour back.
All the train tricks
Lizanne Fox, great racer and Penny Farthing champ has a terrific write up about all the tricks of catching a train in Sydney.