Cycling in Manly
Exploring Manly by bicycle is a time honoured tradition and the ideal way to experience every corner of Sydney’s most beautiful coastal town. The area caters for all fitness levels and boasts over 20km of dedicated cycling paths allowing riders to easily get around without the worry about competing with traffic. Furthermore, as many of the attractions in Manly are not easily accessible by foot, cycling offers a great way to ensure you don’t miss a thing!
The popular places to ride in Manly include:
North Head - Save yourself the parking fees and take a ride up to North Head. It is Manly's most popular ride and it allows you to "get away from it all" within the native bush surroundings. With stunning views and seasonal whale sightings (June-July and October-November) the National Park is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. Along the way you will also pass some of Manly’s most iconic attractions including St Patrick's Estate, North Fort, The Sanctuary, The Quarantine Station as well as access to Collins Beach. All the roads are paved and there is a cycle path that you can follow all the way.
The Ocean Beach Front - Is the ideal place for the whole family as it is level and has dedicated cycle paths. At the north end of the beach is Manly Lagoon. Its a stunning ride along the beachfront to get there and as is flat the entire way, it is suited to the entire family. At the south end of the beach is Shelly Beach, which is a great area for snorkeling and is actually protected from the waves making it a safer alternative for the kids to swim in.
The Manly Cove, Harbour-side - Also features dedicated cycle paths and will take you from Fairlight to Little Manly and the old Gas Works site, a popular place for families to picnic.
Manly Dam - Manly Dam is a dam located only a few kilometres from Manly CBD, the Dam is a popular spot for picnicking or fishing. For the more adventurous cyclist the dam represents a mountain bikers dream - with off road trails winding throughout the surrounding bushland.
Freshwater Beach and Beyond - Manly is the gateway to the beautiful Northern Beaches. There are 22 beaches and 30km of pristine coastline to explore at your own leisure.
If you don't have your own bike, you can rent one from both Manly Cycles and Manly Bike Tours. Alternatively, if you are new to the area, let Manly Bike Tours take you on a guided tour of the area. They are in fact Manly's only local tour operator and can get you exclusive access into some of the area's landmark attractions.
Bicycle laws and penalties in NSW
Under NSW legislation a bicycle is considered as a vehicle.
As such, cyclists are required to obey the road rules, including stopping at red lights or Stop signs, Giving Way as indicated by signage and giving hand signals when changing direction.
It is compulsory to wear an approved helmet correctly when riding a bike in NSW. This applies to all cyclists, regardless of age, including children on bicycles with training wheels and any child being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a trailer.
Cyclists also have some special rights, which include:
- Riding two abreast, no more than 1.5 m apart
- Travelling to the front of a line of traffic on the left hand side of the stopped vehicles
- Travelling in Bus Lanes and Transit Lanes. However, cyclists cannot travel in Bus Only Lanes
- Travelling on the footpath where indicated by signage
- Cycling on the footpath if the cyclist is less than 12 years old. An adult, who is riding in a supervisory capacity of a cyclist less than 12 years old, may also ride with the young cyclist on the footpath
- Turning right from the left hand lane of a multi-lane roundabout with the proviso the cyclists must give way to exiting traffic
To be a legal road vehicle during the day, a bicycle must have:
- At least one working brake
- Either a bell or horn fitted to the bike, within easy reach and in working order
To be a legal road vehicle at night, a bicycle must also have:
- Lights fitted and in use when riding at night - a steady or flashing white light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres and a flashing or steady red light that is clearly visible for at least 200 metres from the rear of the bike
- red rear reflector that is clearly visible for 50 metres when light is projected onto it by a vehicle's headlight on low beam
Bicycle lanes - When a bicycle lane is marked on the road, cyclists must use it. These lanes are for use by bicycles, but cars may use them for not more than 50 metres to enter or leave the road at a driveway or intersection.
Failing to obey road or bicycle rules may result in a fine.
Information from Roads and Traffic Authority (NSW) website as of 30 October 2008