The Humpty Doo to Palmerston bike path falls short for this Top End cyclist. Darwin’s rural residents want to commute by bicycle, but they say there’s no sealed path and it’s too dangerous on the highways — and that’s not about to change.
Darwin’s rural centre of Humpty Doo is a growing dormitory area for commuters to the cities of Palmerston and Darwin. But it seems no bike paths are coming in the near future.
Almost 8,000 people lived in the 0836 postcode at the 2016 census.
But very few, if any, commuting cyclists dare tread on the Stuart Highway during peak hours. Cycling from Humpty Doo involves the treacherous Stuart Highway or some rural back roads. Monica Settele drives 10 kilometres to Coolalinga, and then rides the bike path another 12km to work in Palmerston.
"There’s a small strip of bike path at Humpty Doo that runs from the pub down towards the Arnhem Highway and Stuart Highway lights. But that’s it," she says.
"Otherwise, it’s a bit treacherous dealing with the cars, and also the really thick gravel, so it’s not as enjoyable as the really nice bike path." So why not keep driving the rest of the way?
"The ride is great. It’s great exercise. The view, the scenery is amazing," Ms Settele says."Usually I get a bit of a sunrise. That’s fantastic. And today I’ve got a bit of a rain cloud. So that was refreshing. The possibilities for rail trails are almost endless in the NT. "It’s quite challenging […]