Swedish environmentalist and freelance writer living in Perth.
Published May 22nd 2012
One of the first things I did after moving to Perth was buying a bike. First and fore mostly because I simply love to bike, I love to feel the breeze on my face and listen to the sound of the wheels spinning underneath me. But cycling is also a great way to get around, being cheap, healthy and environmentally friendly.
That said though, letīs face it, Perth is not exactly a cyclists paradise. There are not enough bike paths and most motorists unfortunately donīt show very much respect or consideration for a fool on a bike.
However, while riding your bike in Perth CBD might be a slight strain on the nerves (and in some cases associated with potential danger of death), there are some really great bicycle paths along the Swan River. If youīre up for it, it is actually possible to ride along the Swan, all the way from Perth CBD to Guildford.
It might be wise though to begin with a slightly shorter ride. A good place to start off, especially if you wish to avoid the central city hassle, could be Banks Reserve close to East Perth train station (you are allowed to take your bike on trains outside the peak travel hours of 7:00am 9:00am and 4:30pm 6.30pm). Living in Mount Lawley, I myself usually access the path around here.
From here, follow the beautiful and calm path past revegetated wetland areas until you reach Bardon Park. Then take the right hand path when a fork in the path appears (itīs pretty obvious where to go so donīt worry). This leads you down to the Maylands Yacht Club and the intersection with East Street. Cross East Street and continue along the path through Berringa Park, taking in the stunning city views (actually mostly behind you though, going in this direction, so be sure to stop for a while and turn your head around) as you pass the golf course on the right.
From here, the path runs parallel to Swan Banks Road for a while, and then continues through a beautiful shady bush area with Lakes Bungana and Brearley on the left.
Continue to follow the path to Clarkson Road, which the path crosses. The path then continues along the river, through Maylands Foreshore Reserve, where youīll also pass some public art and an outdoor water playground.
This is as far as I myself have gone before heading back the same way as Iīve come (which is by no means boring as the landscape somehow appears new again when being seen from the other direction). But as mentioned, it is actually possible to continue a lot further along the river.
I hope this has given you some inspiration to jump on that bike and get out there. As you can tell from the photos you donīt need a fancy bike a second hand Indie will do just fine. Just remember the helmet (itīs the law) and peddle away!
I really do not recommend this the swan valley bike trail. 4 of us took our bikes here and 2 of us got punctures from the jagged bits of plant/wood that were on a lot of the trail, and we have really good bikes. Obviously the trail is not well maintained.