I was looking for a 60km type loop ride which is mainly on separated cycling infrastructure. Sure, you can ride all the way down to Mandurah without stopping once you get past the city, but that’s about 85km from my house, and then you have to get back. I have been riding down there, catching the train back to the city, and then riding back to my place for a 95km day.
Anyway, I realised that Roe Highway has a good quality PSP which heads South from Welshpool Road, so I decided to try out a freeway/highway loop. You ride the freeway south, until Roe Highway – the turn off is just past Murdoch where you turn left under a little underpass and turn left again for the Roe Highway Welshpool PSP. I then got off the Roe Highway PSP at Railway Parade, near Albany Highway and rode all the way up to Burswood/Great Eastern highway where I picked up the PSP that heads to East Perth Station/Claisebrook.
The pleasant surprise is that they have been working on adding a PSP to the Armadale train line. It currently runs from around Beckenham station to just past Welshpool station. I hope there are plans to continue it – there’s certainly space.
On the weekend when I usually ride down there, there isn’t much traffic on Railway Parade. It’s a very wide road, so I haven’t had any issues with cars, but that PSP will be a godsend for people who live down that way and who wish to commute into the city to work. This new bit of PSP wasn’t there when I bought my Giant TCR down in Cannington at the end of August, so I was pretty surprised to see it!
There are only a couple of drawbacks to the route – the first is that it takes in a particularly busy bit of the Kwinana Freeway bike path where it is sandwiched between the freeway and the Swan River. There are always dog walkers, fitness buffs jogging or powerwalking, and a wide ranging variety of cyclists. The 10kph pootlers and the 40kph roadies seem to share without too many issues, but it is busy and it can slow you down. The other issue is that the paths tend to suffer from sand and mulch wash outs when there is rain. It rained in the area last night, so we had to be a bit careful through some areas that had deep sand washed onto them.
Overall I enjoyed this ride. It is relaxing being separated from cars, and most of the route is not overcrowded with other cyclists. We really didn’t see many at all on the Roe Highway section, though I expect it will be more popular and well utilised as people realise it is there.