Monday, 21 March 2011

Munich as an example

In amongst the many helmet-cam videos on YouTube, there are some altogether happier cycling videos such as the great collection from Mark Wagenbuur in the Netherlands.

Many people like to film their daily commute and then have it played at a faster speed. I saw this one recently:

It is a seven minute commute in Munich which by German standards seems to be a very bike friendly city. It has its own blog.

The video is interesting for us for two reasons.

First, the various bike paths next to the roads, while not of the same standard as you find in the Netherlands, do not look expensive but are very effective in giving cyclists a safe path, unobstructed by parked cars or car doors. Cars generally do not drive on them either. The junction treatments (while again not up to Dutch standards) nevertheless continue over the intersection into the raised path on the other side. That type of treatment together with priority lights for cyclists would make a massive difference to some of the intersections that Adelaide cyclists have to contend with. The video shows just how easy it is. We have tons of space for paths like that.

Second, a large part of the route, as you will see, is on a separate path next to a river. It is a lot like the Linear Park path once you are in the city. Indeed, one of the bridges on the video looks suspiciously like the one where King William Road crosses the Torrens. The important lesson from the video is what happens when the path hits a road. It is not always perfect and there are some obstacles in places, but in general the path continues once it reaches a road and cyclists are not just dumped into a gutter as so often happens here when you leave the Linear Park path.

Whether it is just the sunny weather or there is in fact an increase in numbers, it sometimes does feel as if there are more people on bikes (at least during the rush hour). In many places now, I see groups of cyclists bunched up and squashed at traffic lights on those tiny painted lanes that are only about 80cm across. It's time for a change. Cycling is well and truly on the map as evidenced by new cycling magazines and the fact that you can finally buy cargobikes here. It is about time State Governments and local councils recognised it.


  1. Hello,
    I am not sure if you can help me, but I am moving to adelaide in June for a short 8 weeks, and want to find out where I could get a decent road bike to commute with during my stay. Can you recommend any good retail stores that might have a good deal? Also is it possible to rent a bike for that long? Thanks for any help, and sorry if this is off topic from your blog. But I like its theme. I run a similar back in the states.

  2. Hello there,

    Bicycle Express has a good range of bikes ( They are in the middle of the city and can be contacted through their website.

    JT Cycles is also good (

    Whether they'll rent a bike for 8 weeks I don't know but you never know. I hope they can help you.