Welcome to Active Jigsaw mapping, the art where you never cross over a ride you have done before but try to ride along the edges of previous rides. Then you put all of your efforts on a map to make a jigsaw. Yes I am doing this whilst cycling but you can do this whilst running and walking. Just work out a new jigsaw piece, go around the boundary, record it and make a map.
One thing that I noticed when riding around Sydney is that people love walking and running around loops. There is the hugely popular Iron Cove 7km, Nepean River at 8km and good old Centennial Park at 4km and then lots of smaller loops around football parks and small council parks. I even saw a group of people walking around a basketball court. Loops attract more people than up and back paths.
Looking at my map of Sydney and whilst it included loops where they are available, it mostly shows how you might traverse from one place to another. Another interesting take on cycle routes is the diverse Bicycle NSW map which comprises of routes sent in by cycling groups and members, many of these are loops.
So I decided to make a map of loops where there was no overlaps because I find them confusing. The idea for a Jigsaw map dawned on me. Shared boundaries, loops and no overlaps are the rules. I never wrote this up as there always seemed to be another loop on the edge. Well now I have
The Worlds Biggest Puzzle
The Sydney Jigsaw map got really big with 40 loops mostly longer than 30km in length. It certainly was interesting riding and building it and there are a few more rides to do on the periphery of the city.
An easy way for most people to make a map will be a RideWithGPS ride collection. For most people this would actually involve less tech than a google my maps, just record and add to a collection. If your ride includes oddities like the final ride to the station or the visit to the cafe in the shopping centre. Just leave them, 100% accuracy is not really important, especially on a large map
Notes: One aspect that is happening with this jigsaw map is the trails are a mixed bag of riding conditions including a good percentage of roads. I suggest you ride these trails on a Sunday or Saturday morning when the traffic is light. The map will discuss the likely conditions in the legend. Take care. Ride easy. You ride at your own risk.
Go make a giant jigsaw and make sure you are active whilst doing it !
Some Detail on Rides in the East of Sydney
Descriptions of some of the rides follow and here is the Eastern Suburbs cycling page where you find a lot of details on these trails and more.
La Perouse Ride
The very popular La Perouse Ride. Start at Centennial Park and head east up Darley Rd. Follow roads all the way to Malabar where you catch a path or two. Then its decent quiet and wide roads (any day) to Little Bay and La Perouse. Return through Heffron Park and Banks Avenue to Centennial Park.
Definitely a ride for early on Saturdays or Sundays when the car drivers are still in bed.
Distance: 32 km – Ride here >>
Centennial to Botany
This ride takes in the popular Centennial to Redfern station route and Wilson St cycleway.. Then its down past Sydney Park and the back streets of Botany to ride around the long and skinny Sir Joseph Banks park. Then you return via Wentworth Avenue and traditional cycle roads to the edge of Centennial Park
Distance: 28km Ride Here >>
Waverley to Watsons
This is your classic road riders track down to Watsons Bay and back via Bondi Beach and Bronte Beach. Then you follow part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic racing circuit back to Centennial Park.
Far better to ride early on a Sunday or maybe a Saturday. Lots of climbing. Terrific on an eBike.
Distance: 36 km Ride Here >>
Sydney 2000 Olympic
A reasonable follow of the circuit that the cyclists rode in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic games. Have also included the Moore Park Rd Popup lane and one lap of centennial park but no doubt that will turn into 5 laps and a coffee. Official 2000 Olympic Track here
18km with one lap of the park. Ride Here >>