Kettering Road and The Levels Bikeway
My first commutes were about getting fit and avoiding traffic. I ended taking back streets which suffered a bit from having to cross highways on foot, or taking muddy little park paths which slowed the whole process down. I soon learned to find ways to keep rolling with minimal stops. One approach to this centred around the Gawler railway line and Parafield airport. It was on this route that I discovered the value of roads parallel to the main roads, and the joy of little paths and alleys between streets. These are matched only by carparks which connect roads.
Goodman and Kettering Roads go between the railway line and the Holden Car plant. There are some quick short cuts into Salisbury, and crossing a carpark allows a quiet ride down to the airport. The bike path there directs cyclists to The Levels – City Bike path, which is a fast and quiet ride from Mawson Lakes to the city.
(enlarge) You can see on this map how a commute can get slowed down. Salisbury has multiple lights, and the route from York Terrace across Kings Road was always interrupted. I soon abandoned this route by taking Salisbury Highway for most of the way to Mawson Lakes, but it got me started.
I learned, too, that quite busy or fast secondary roads off the main highways are used by a lot of blokes riding to work. The drivers on these roads are often much more bike aware and bike courteous than the main roads.
I think this route cemented the habit of riding in. It has long sections of quiet road, which I began to enjoy. Despite the little dog legs through the suburbs, it adds barely 2 kilometres to the total ride. The park lands at Pooraka, behind The Pines Stadium and the Velodrome transport a host of regular walkers, cyclists, and magpies. I've been nodding to a bloke for about five years; just recently we've begun calling out good morning to each other. The relationship is blossoming!