Beach road in Melbourne is a favourite for the lycra clad warriors who like to stage their own 'Tour De France' both during the week and on weekends. But if you're someone who doesn't ride on roads often or just doesn't ride Beach road much then it's worth knowing how safe it is.
Note: Beach road has a combined cycle/pedestrian path on it's beach side but this article will specifically look at riding on the road.
Something in a cyclist's favour is the fact that this is an extremely popular route and drivers on this road should be (for the most part) used to their presence.
Weekday riding: On your average weekday you'll experience a lot of parked cars on the inside lane, many of these will be vans, utes and construction vehicles. What this means is these vehicles have a lot of long timber, steel and machinery hanging from them, something you have to be very aware of.
You'll be fine as long as you stay alert to any possible car doors opening.
It's also worth noting that traffic lights will change more often with an increased traffic flow. Be ready to stop.
Weekend riding: Weekend riding is generally much nicer for a cyclist but it does have hazards. On weekends all the riders come out in bunches. Less parked cars and a greater presence of cyclists makes drivers much more aware. On the other hand these bunches of riders can also be dangerous if they are attempting to pass you.
Unwritten riding rules suggest cyclists should shout 'passing' or 'on your right' as they pass but not all will. They should also leave at least half a metre or more but sometimes riders pass closer.
If you're in front of a group and not riding as fast as them you should move (if possible) in order to let them pass safely. Slowing them down will only get them agitated, just the same as if you're slowing someone down when driving.
In general Beach road is a fantastic riding road, a fact easy to see in it's popularity with Melbourne cyclists. If you are a less confident rider or haven't ridden it before then I would suggest making your first ride a weekend one.
For more information about riding in Melbourne visit: