Syd: Ride Report, Hornsby to Gosford

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by samuel.russell@studentmail.newcastle.edu.au, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. Wotcher!

    I splashed out a while ago on my riding system, moving from flat pedals
    and dunlop volleys to the incredible $20 plastic toe clips, flat pedals
    and dunlop volleys riding system.

    Obviously, having increased my power by an amazingly large percentage,
    I felt the urge to try it out. I also felt the urge to try out one of
    the rides from "Bike rides around Sydney." I've a long term plan to
    ride Newcastle (where I used to live) to Sydney (where I now live)
    direct in one day. Riding the Hornsby-Gosford ride described in the
    book would be a perfect start.

    Now, as a commuter, I don't know what my water consumption needs are.
    And I also didn't want to be stuck isolated on the Old Pacific highway.
    So into the basket on the backrack went 4L of water (3L frozen), some
    nibbles, and a tool kit to fix any of the problems I foresaw. I also
    had an "energy drink" and a full bidon. I learnt that I packed 3L too
    much water, a fact I only mildly regretted on hills surrounded by
    National Parks which I felt honour bound not to litter.

    The ride itself was reasonably well mapped. I suggest losing the end
    section where the guide book suggests a detour, as the new decent into
    Hornsby on the Old Pacific highway is nice and fast, and trucks are
    limited to left-lane 40kph low gear. The guide book says it all, when
    it describes the Old Pacific highway as "the next 57km" and a nice
    clear road it is too, almost like a super-dooper bicycle lane.

    Hornsby to the country road section is nice and urban. I stopped to
    photograph Berowa's park, have a croissant, and to take a photo of a
    gorge. The climbs are all on bicycle-verges, there are no truely
    dangerous slip lanes, and the traffic is lighter than inner-city when
    heading North in the morning.

    When you hit the country road section you're in for a great descent to
    the Hawkesbury on reasonably good roads (though watch out for roadscars
    that could suck your wheel in to the rim). The bridge over the
    Hawkesbury has a reasonably okay "bikes ride on the ped section" going
    North, and a full bikelane going South. It would turn into a bit of a
    nightmare if there were peds on the bridge though.

    Climbing after the Hawkesbury is pretty painful, in that it never seems
    to end. Climbing with the toe-clips was much easier than I expected,
    and I got into a low gear rhythm. I suggest stopping at the Road
    Warrior cafe, a motorcycle enthusiast cafe, because there's nothing
    after that before Gosford.

    Speaking of Motorbikes, they were out on the road on Wednesday morning,
    but were pretty polite and no trouble. Fellow bicyclists out were
    predominantly older sorts riding racers, and a very friendly set who
    always waved and said hello. One picked me up in the couple of kms
    before the cafe, and helped me up the hill while talking about lots of
    things.

    After the Road Warriors cafe I expected a descent to the Mooney Mooney
    creek. Instead it climbs gently and remains fairly flat for quite a
    while, before a fast descent and an ever bigger climb. I got off a
    couple of times, had a breather, and went on. The King of the Mountain
    marker really is at the end of legs and endurance, at least for me, but
    I still felt really great to ride past it and be able to keep going (as
    long as I didn't have to do another climb like that on the same day).

    Gosford was nice to ride into, with the major road areas having decent
    space for bicycles and often marked verges. I did the ride in 4 hours
    or so, which gave me an average speed around 15km/h, which I'm rather
    proud of. Having done the ride this way, I think I'm capable of doing
    Newcastle to Sydney in one day, but I might explore other rides around
    Sydney in the book first.

    After this ride I'm very pro-toe clips, especially on hills. I also
    gave up on my t-shirt and cotton shorts and bought shy pants and some
    nice breathable riding gear. I'm also starting to see the advantages
    of curly handlebars and the multiple arm and back positions available
    when riding for hours at a time.

    yours,
    Sam R.
     
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  2. samuel.russell@studentmail.newcastle.edu.au wrote:
    > I also felt the urge to try out one of
    > the rides from "Bike rides around Sydney." I've a long term plan to
    > ride Newcastle (where I used to live) to Sydney (where I now live)
    > direct in one day.


    Which route?
    Coast
    Pacific Highway
    watagans-Kulnura Variation?
    Newcastle-Minmi-Kurri Kurri-Cessnock-Wollombi-St Albans-Dural, etc.
    Or Putty road variation? {:)

    > I learnt that I packed 3L too much water,


    You can never pack too much water. Some days you don't drink much. Other
    days you can be looking for a water tanker.
     
  3. Terry Collins wrote:
    > Which route?
    > Coast
    > Pacific Highway
    > watagans-Kulnura Variation?
    > Newcastle-Minmi-Kurri Kurri-Cessnock-Wollombi-St Albans-Dural, etc.
    > Or Putty road variation? {:)


    Well I'd like to *start* with Newcastle -> Charlestown -> Swansea -> F3
    -> Gosford Exit -> Old Pac Highway. I think I know enough about the
    road on each stretch to enjoy it. Each section's got emotive
    significance, its own special charm, different road and riding
    conditions.

    The other suggestions also sound good, but I'd rather wait until I'm
    touring ready before doing the later ones.

    > > I learnt that I packed 3L too much water,

    >
    > You can never pack too much water. Some days you don't drink much. Other
    > days you can be looking for a water tanker.


    I don't think I'd ride with anything less than 3L water for a 20km
    stretch without water supply. At the moment I'm planning rides around
    10-20km stretches.

    thanks,
    Sam R.
     
  4. Resound

    Resound Guest

    <samuel.russell@studentmail.newcastle.edu.au> wrote in message
    news:1146094077.205590.175470@g10g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > Wotcher!
    >
    > I splashed out a while ago on my riding system, moving from flat pedals
    > and dunlop volleys to the incredible $20 plastic toe clips, flat pedals
    > and dunlop volleys riding system.

    <snip>

    People are likely to tell you about proper clipless cycling shoes and pedals
    and how wonderful they are. They're dead right too...I've got them and love
    them, but it's pretty clear that you're just feeling your way here, so I'm
    not going to blather on about those. Ditch the Dunlop Volleys though. I rode
    in Volleys for ages and while they're great shoes for many things, cycling
    is not among them. I realised that when I put on another pair of sneakers
    and rode in those and discovered that they were hugely better than the
    Volleys simply because they have fairly stiff soles while the Volleys have
    some of the softest, squidgiest soles I've ever come across in a shoe. Stiff
    soles are crap to walk in but great to rode in...dedicated road cycling
    shoes have completely rigid soles often made out of carbon fibre. Of course,
    once the riding bug bite good and proper, splash out on the cycling shoes
    and pedals, you'll love them. Oh, and put some straps on the clips if you
    haven't already. Start with them fairly loose so you can get out of them
    easily and increase tension until you feel comfy. I rode like that for ages,
    got significant benefit from them and never had grief getting out of them.
    Enjoy! :)
     
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