VIDEO: Mangerton to UOW bike ride

Jacqui Besgrove's cycle video from her home in Mangerton to the University. Pictures: ADAM McLEAN

Jacqui Besgrove's cycle video from her home in Mangerton to the University. Pictures: ADAM McLEAN

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Jacqui Besgrove has been a regular bike commuter for nine years, but she still finds cycling on some Illawarra streets a "petrifying" experience.

Overall, the environmental transport officer says her morning and evening rides between Mangerton and the University of Wollongong are the best part of her day because they gives her the chance to clear her head and fit in some exercise.

However, she has to keep her wits about her to avoid collisions and spills.

On her usual Thursday morning commute, Ms Besgrove agreed to attach a camera to her bike as she made her way from home to the university.

The route has one block of designated cycleway and mostly requires her to ride on the road, creating many snags that would trip up a less experienced rider.

She said Thursday's trip was "pretty average", and included two close calls with taxis, lots of fast-passing cars and one swerve around a woman exiting a parked car.

Ms Besgrove also commutes part-time between Mangerton and Port Kembla, where cycleways cover a small part of her route but the many trucks mean there are danger sections.

Mangerton resident Jacqui Besgrave cycles to work at UOW.

Mangerton resident Jacqui Besgrave cycles to work at UOW.

Ms Besgrove commended Wollongong City Council for developing a five-year bike plan, but said a lot needed to be done to get more people regularly riding to work.

"It's not safe, people need safe off-road cycle paths if they are going to take up riding," she said.

"And if you're fixing up on-road cycle paths or lanes, it's not as easy as just painting a strip down the side of the road, because you need to allow space for obstacles like parked cars with their doors open."

She said an easy fix around Wollongong's streets would be to improve the bike or pram ramps, which were missing from many pedestrian crossings and traffic lights, and incorporate cycle lanes or paths in new roadworks.

​NB The video has been edited.

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