See map here - route marked in purple. Or the map on Bikely.
Developed in the 80's this route connects Ultimo and Haymarket with Glebe, Annandale Lilyfield and Leichhardt, with easy links to Haberfield and Ashfield or Fivedock. The route has a few weak links which have stopped it being well used or well known. Leichhardt Council and City of Sydney Council have done some upgrading and signposting recently. New Bike Plans in the City and Leichhardt will hopefully improve the route further.
Since the recent local govt.boundary changes the route is shared just about equally between Leichhardt Council and The City of Sydney Council, which now controls Glebe and Forest Lodge all the way to Booth St, Annnadale.
The route starts at George St, City, and follows Ultimo Rd through Haymarket to a right turn at Harris St (note- there is a bike lane in Ultimo Rd west of Quay St), and then a sharp left turn into one-way Mary Ann St,(using the short cycle lane on far left, which leads to a ramp to get onto the footpath, which is signed as a shared path by the City Council. There is room for a contraflow lane on the road but the Council in their wisdom decided the footpath was better).
Follow the shared footpath on Mary Ann to Wattle St, watching for pedestrians entering the TAFE/UTS. At Wattle St you must watch for cars turning left from Wattle into Mary Ann St, sometimes at speed.You can choose a gap in the traffic and turn right here into Wattle St (need to get into the far left lane, so watch for traffic), or go down the contra flow lane on Wattle St a bit and wait at the recently installed lights, which have a bike lantern. The lights have made it easier to cross busy Wattle St.
Follow Kelly St to Bay St. Note- despite it saying No Entry there is a contra flow lane for west-bound cyclists in Kelly St between Mountain and Bay Sts - but watch for cars, especially at school times, and coming out of the side streets. Go through the roundabout at Bay St and up Glebe St to a road closure at Cowper St (says No Entry, but bikes can go thru - tell em Bob said it was OK!). You can either follow Glebe St to St Johns Rd and turn left there, or if you prefer, turn left up Cowper to Glebe Pt Rd, turn right and go up Glebe Pt Rd to St Johns Rd, or any one of a number of other variations here. Campbell St is also OK. Follow St Johns Rd to Ross St. Here you can either turn right on Ross or go downhill along St Johns to Junction St and back up to Pyrmont Bridge Rd, depending on traffic and your ability to handle it. (For the reverse trip you can turn right from Pyrmont Bridge Rd into Ross St, as bicycles are exempted from the No Right Turn sign here- see the small "bikes exempt " sign under the No Right Turn sign. This was a legendary LBUG achievement some years ago. From time to time someone bends the sign or defaces it, but its legal! Alternatively turn right into Junction St, but there is a steeper climb then up St Johns to Ross St.)
At Junction St you can either cross Pyrmont Bridge Rd at a cycle refuge crossing, go up Cross St and do a zig zag through narrow streets above Orphans Ck to Wigram Rd, turn left and up to Booth St or continue on Pyrmont Bridge Rd to a right turn at Booth St. This right turn is a bit tricky. You should change lanes well before Booth St and get into the right turn lane, or alternatively do a box or G turn at Booth St using the lights.
Alexandra Rd, through the housing development, provides a short-cut from Booth St to Pyrmont Bridge Rd at Lyons Rd, and avoids the Booth/Bridge intersection, but you still have to get into a right turn lane when approaching Lyons Rd to access Alexandra Rd.
Having negotiated this "missing link" in the route, go along Booth St through Annandale (there are bike lanes marked on Booth St through Annandale, although they are substandard in places) and keep going. Booth St becomes Moore St in Leichhardt. (You will go past the Bakehouse Cafe/Bakery where LBUG rides start from on Sundays). Go all the way to a T intersection at Balmain Rd.
Cross Balmain Rd with care at the lights onto the shared footpath between the school (Leichhardt High) and the playing field. Watch for left turning motorists as you go straight ahead- they may not expect you to do this.) Go left on Derbyshire Rd behind the school and then right down Allen St East to Norton St.
Cross Norton St with care at a confusing pedestrian crossing. It is illegal to ride across the crossing, so you should either dismount or ride just to the right of the crossing and into Allen St West, which is slightly offset on the other side. Just dont expect cars to give way for you. Wait for a good gap. Allen St has marked bike lanes, follow it down to Darley Rd, watching out at a couple of roundabouts. The Darley Rd roundabout is the most dangerous because of fast traffic on Darley Rd and a steep descent down Allen St just before it. Cross Darley Rd and continue around to the left to Daniel St. A path goes from Daniel St under the rail line to Hawthorne Canal. There are bike paths up and down both sides of the canal or keep going into Haberfield and beyond.
Hope you can follow all this - a few trials and a bit of exploration will reveal all.
Now write to the General Manager, Leichhardt Council,7-15 Wetherill St, Leichhardt or PO Box 45, Leichhardt, 2040 or email to [email protected] and urge them to fix up the poor bits of the route, Then write to City of Sydney Council, Town Hall, Sydney, 2001 and do the same, as they now control the bit through Glebe and Forest Lodge all the way to Booth St, Annandale. They need to signpost the bit from Ultimo to Kelly St, as Leichhardt has done the bit from Kelly St. A proper contra flow lane heading west on Mary Ann St would be nice, rather than the footpath. Thanks.