There are OpenStreetMap updates for both Mount Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve and Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve. Unfortunately, no new paths come out of it. One route is now closed down to Mugga Lane as a result of new fencing along Old Quarry Road. Big trucks come labouring up this hill all day long. More about the changes below.
The Canberra Nature Park reserves seem to be endless and the view is obstructed by the forest and hills. The management trails and paths meander their way around the hills. This network of trails and paths has grown historically. There is a surprise around every corner.
The recreational use of nature reserves is balanced against preservation. The Canberra Nature Park Draft Reserve Management Plan 2019 includes all the details for each of the 37 nature reserves, but the document is too big to carry with you.
If you are unfamiliar with a reserve, the smartphone app Komoot with OpenStreetMap would be a good start to help you find your way. The information relating to cycling in the Management Plan has been captured in OpenStreetMap. The rideable nature reserves will be reviewed in this post.
“I recently moved to the northside and I don’t know the area”. We want to start riding but it is hard to know where to ride. The first steps are always the most difficult.
Drivers tend to be familiar with the routes that are best for cars. If you walk your child to school, you will know that route best. But there are other possibilities that you are probably not aware of.
How far can you ride on a normal bike in Canberra in 60 minutes?
The distance depends a great deal on the infrastructure and how direct and good it is. It has less to do with the type of bike you ride. Road and electric bikes are bit better than a “normal” bike, and an MTB is slightly worse but there are more paths to choose from.
Isochrone plot generated with OpenRouteService
One way to study this question is with isochrone plots using data from OpenStreetMap.
An isochrone plot shows you travel times from a central point. The data is from OpenStreetMaps and the isochrone plot generated with the software on the website OpenRouteService. In this first plot for Civic (map 1), the coloured rings show the distance travelled in consecutive 10 minute intervals.
The message to take away here is that there is a lot of paths missing on the Active Travel Infrastructure Practitioner Tool. The idea is great. But they should not exclude the paths that they have already built. Particularly the unpaved paths are very poorly represented but they are not unimportant for many cyclists in Canberra.
We rely on directional signage to find our way around Canberra. The directional signage may not be good. This is particularly true for cycling, so how do we find the best route? There will always be the need for navigation. I have written about the best cycling maps for Canberra. These maps can be used to find the best route. Finding the best route with digital maps and GPS technology can be a great aid for biking and active travel.
We could see cycling as city bikes that are designed for paved surfaces, and mountain bikes that are designed for loose surfaces. These are both broad categories, but it is the first step to making sense of the routing problem.
To navigate Canberra, you need to find the right map. The maps need to be current and suitable for the type of biking that you are doing. Putting aside mountain biking in Canberra, we need maps for all those other types of bikes that prefer paved surfaces, which I will call city bikes. To find the best route to the destination, the maps need to show rideable paths, including bike paths, but roads are not so important for most people. Therefore, the bike infrastructure needs to be highlighted in preference to that used by cars, i.e. bike paths need to stand out.
Furthermore, it is also important that the maps are up to date. I have previously suggested that OpenStreetMap maps are amongs the best for Canberra. Here I will address the issue of the best representation of the OpenStreetMap for biking. Additionally, I will provide background information to online bike maps. I believe that printed maps would be better if they were printed from the source of data that was more current, and that OpenStreetMap on digital devices are worth using for navigating Canberra.
The best way to find your way around Canberra is with a map, particularly when signposts are lacking. The best map for Canberra is OpenStreetMap because it includes paths (not just roads) and is up to date. Here is a comparison of the map options so you can see the differences. This test is just about the maps. How to access the maps and take them with you is for another day. Car maps are of little value for bike riders as paths are generally preferred.