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Velo-City: Perth » Shelley Loop takes in two rivers

Shelley Loop takes in two rivers

This two Rivers Ride offers a flexible route to suit all abilities.

Distance: 16-53kms
Terrain: dead flat
Level: Easy

This route which takes in sections of two of Perth’s main rivers is one of the classic training rides for roadies in Perth, but it also provides a modular scenic route for those who want to gradually increase their mileage. I had just used the Shelley Loop section for training for years before I actually realized what I was missing and took the time to get out on my cruising bike and enjoy the scenery.

The proximity of railway stations at key positions on the route means it is suitable for mixed level groups or people who want to work up to longer rides, as you can opt in or out, at a variety of distances. Water fountains and toilets are located about every three kilometers on this ride.

The longest version of this ride starts from the Perth Esplanade Station, in William St, in the CBD. It is about 200 metres from the station to the bicycle path on the river, which takes you to the Narrows Bridge and then south along the path for just over 12 kms along the Swan River, beside the Kwinana Freeway, past the Canning Bridge (where the Swan and Canning rivers meet) to the Mount Henry Bridge. A train station at Canning Bridge provides the opportunity for those who want a medium ride to start their cycle south of the city.

From the Mount Henry Bridge you leave the bicycle path briefly, for about one kilometre along the Esplanade (which becomes Pulo Road) a quiet, wide street leading to Leach Highway, where you can pick up the bike path again. This intersection of Pulo Road and Leach Highway is right next to the Bullcreek Station, so those who only want to do the short Shelley Loop of the route can join in here.

The bike path follows Leach Highway east for about a kilometre before turning left into BullCreek Road, which becomes Riverton Drive and then runs for 8 kms beside the Canning River all the way to the Shelley Bridge. This is the section known as the Shelley Loop, and favoured by roadies due to the quiet, flat roadway, but it is such a pretty stretch of river, with abundant wildlife to watch, that it seems a pity to be head down, bum up, instead of taking time to enjoy the view.

At Shelley Bridge there are no amenities, unfortunately, but if you turn around and do the loop in reverse, back to Bull Creek Station you will find water and toilet stops along the path. Those who choose to ride back to the Perth Esplanade Station will clock up about 53 kms, while those who simply take the train to Bull Creek and ride the Loop from there will cover 16 kms, with a variety of choices in between. This is definitely one of the more versatile rides in Perth and can be tailored to suit your mood and your company with ease.

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