I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Published January 5th 2017
Le Tour de West
Put the bikes on the car pack a picnic and head to Prospect Reservoir for some cycling fun with your family. The extensive network of cycle routes provides for a fun day out. For the new or nervous cyclist, it is possible to ride on cycle paths within the reservoir precinct and not have to cross a road. Children would have a lot of fun testing themselves and their friends and siblings on the hills and corners in this relatively safe environment close to shade, water, toilets and playgrounds.
Off road cycle paths are a great place to teach children cycle skills and etiquette such as keeping to the left and watching out for other path users. There are a few road crossings and the path surface is damaged in places but this not an issue as long as there is adequate adult supervision. For younger cyclists, the ride can be broken up into sections such as between playgrounds until their stamina builds up.
As cycling confidence and ability grows, take the family off along the Prospect Canal cycleway. This is an interesting ride approximately 10km long that passes though the Prospect Canal Reserve. Various playgrounds can be accessed from the ride and points of historical interest are signposted.
Are your kids up for a challenge? If so tackle the 34km loop back to Prospect. When you reach the end of the canal cycleway at Yennora turn right at the western side of the railway line and follow the Parramatta-Liverpool Rail Trail to Canley Vale. Turn left just before Fairfield, pass the Buddhist Temple and head west via the cycleway through bush and past playing fields to Calmsley Hill Farm at Abbotsbury. Shops and toilet facilities are available at Canley Vale, Greenfield Park and Abbotsbury. If you have locks you could visit the farm but you will certainly see some of the livestock as you climb past fields and fences on the way up to The Dairy picnic area of Western Sydney Parklands. This is a good place to stop for toilets/water and to recharge the body in preparation for the 'roller coaster' ride back to Prospect.
One of the areas that you can access by bike (image from Western Sydney Parklands website)
As you coast back down the hill toward the car park at Prospect it is hard to keep from smiling, the sense of achievement from conquering some killer hills outweighs the exhaustion and tired muscles. Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen, water & food and take time to 'smell the roses' remember it's not a race and let the kids set the pace.