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Cruising the tropics


Using cycling as a mode of transportation can be an effective way to reduce fuel consumption and contribute to financial savings and environmental sustainability. Here's some tips for green cycling commutes: 

  1. Choose the right bike: Opt for a bike that suits tropical conditions, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable ride in humid weather.
  2. Stay cool: Beat the tropical heat while cycling. Know where to seek shade and find water on your journey.
    The City of Darwin has a Water Bubbler Map on their website.
  3. Explore bike sharing: Dive into eco-friendly bike sharing programs to access bikes conveniently. Check out local Facebook groups or the Council bike sharing program.
  4. Learn about local bike paths: Take advantage of paths and bike-friendly routes. Familiarize yourself with dedicated cycling infrastructure for a safer and more enjoyable.
    Check out the City of Darwin Cycling and Walking Paths webpage.
    You can also check out the Council's Journey Planner which is a quick an easy way to plan a trip in real time. 
  5. Combine Cycling and Public Transport: Integrate cycling with public transit for longer journeys. For example, ride your bike to a bus stop.
  6. Secure bike parking: Look for designation bike parking areas throughout Darwin. These areas are equipped with bike racks or other secure fixtures. Choose bike parking areas that are well-lit and have CCTV surveillance. 
    Check out City of Darwin Secure Bike Parking webpage for more information.
  7. Join cycling events.
  8. Set personal goals

The weather in Darwin can make riding an extra fun adventure, but it can also be a challenge. With the right preparation it can still be a manageable and enjoyable experience. Here are several ways a person can prepare for rain when biking: 

  • Fenders or mudguards: This prevents water from spraying onto you and your belongings. 
  • Waterproof clothing: A rain jacket and/or pants
  • Waterproof accessories: This includes a waterproof backpack cover or panniers to protect your belonging. Including a spare change of clothes!
  • Gloves and eyewear: Keeping your hands dry helps you maintain a good grip on the handlebars. Consider eyewear to shield your eyes from rain drops.
  • Choose the right tires: Opt for tires with good traction and check tire pressure regularly. This will help you maintain control on wet surfaces.
  • Lights and reflectors: Ensure bike lights are functioning properly and use reflective gear to enhance your visibility to motorists.
  • Brake maintenance: Regularly check your brakes as wet conditions may affect braking effectively. Give your brakes a few gentle squeezes to remove any water before fully relying on them!
  • Anti-corrosion measures: Apply these measures to vulnerable parts of your bike, such as the chain and metal components. Wipe down your bike after a rainy ride to prevent rust. 
  • Plan your route: Choose routes that are less prone to flooding or have better drainage. Be aware of areas with potential hazards, such as slippery surfaces or reduced visibility.
  • Slow down and increase following distance. Be cautious on turns and intersections where roads may be slick.
  • Road markings: Avoid painted road markings, metal surfaces or grates where possible, as they can become slippers. Exercise caution on painted bike lanes or crossings.
  • Emergency repair kit: Carry a basic emergency repair kit including tools, spare tubes and a mini pump, to address any issues that may arise during your ride.
  • Know where to seek shelter: If the rain becomes too heavy, there is lightening about or the conditions are otherwise unsafe, know when to seek shelter and wait for the weather to improve

By adopting these preparation measures, cyclists can navigate rainy conditions more comfortably and safely while maintaining the functionality and longevity of their bikes.