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Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:19 am
by draft
Hi All

Has anyone done this climb? I have driven up it a few times back in the 90's but would like to now have a go at cycle up this road on friday. Is it safe in the sense of cars, was a hoot to drive down :)

Cheers

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:33 pm
by HebdenBiker
Hi mate, did you do this ride? I'm on holiday from the UK and last week I went the opposite way - UP onto the table lands from Ellenborough to Walcha, then DOWN the next day from Ebor to Bellingen, stopping for lunch in Dorrigo. The steep section is approx 15km and very fast (max speed for me 80kph). I had no problems with traffic the whole trip - I found truck drivers gave me plenty of space. Caravans were the worst but nothing like as bad as the ignorant drivers in the UK :D

Pics on my blog if you're interested: http://averagecyclist.blogspot.com/

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:53 am
by thomas1987
Planning to do this in a few days time. Is it a bad idea at this time of year? Will the traffic be heavy due?

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:30 am
by Alex Simmons/RST
I live on Waterfall Way Bellingen, although some way up hill from the actual road. Traffic is more tourists than trucks at the moment, although normally there are quarry trucks using it on a regular basis.

The worst part is probably the flat section of Waterfall Way between Bellingen and Dorrigo. There are many narrowish winding sections that I personally consider unsuitable for cycling as they are also relatively high speed sections (100km/h) where drivers will over estimate their abilities and there is no shoulder available for safety. It's about the only road in the area that isn't great for riding.

The climb itself IMO has more room than most of the flatter part of the road and probably isn't too bad. You'll want good brakes for the descent. Take care.

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:39 pm
by thomas1987
Thanks for the advice. I will be there on Wednesday. Best time to ride it is in the morning?

My plan is just to do this section

https://www.strava.com/segments/884148

I hope the traffic will be kind to me :)

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:53 am
by Alex Simmons/RST
thomas1987 wrote:Thanks for the advice. I will be there on Wednesday. Best time to ride it is in the morning?

My plan is just to do this section

https://www.strava.com/segments/884148

I hope the traffic will be kind to me :)

It's not a high traffic route, so should be fine. By starting in Thora you've taken out the flat section. In my post above I should have said the flat section between Bellingen and Thora (not Dorrigo), although technically the same thing :)

Good luck with it, be interested to see what you think. I know someone that did 5 repeats of it in one day.

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:40 pm
by yugyug
I did the descent from Dorrigo today, on the way from Armidale to Bellingen. Mad fun. Only negative is getting slowed down by cars! (especially at the one way pinch points).

I avoided a chunk of the Thora-Bellingen bit by taking a back route Summerville Rd, which is a lovely winding country road, half sealed, half gravel and recommended. Only thing is unless it seems you want to take a long way round to bellingen, you have to cross the Bellinger river, actually a little creek, today at least. I took my shoes off and waded across to rejoin waterfall way 5km to Bellingen.

Next time I'm keen to do the climb the other way.

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:24 am
by Alex Simmons/RST
yugyug wrote:I did the descent from Dorrigo today, on the way from Armidale to Bellingen. Mad fun. Only negative is getting slowed down by cars! (especially at the one way pinch points).

I avoided a chunk of the Thora-Bellingen bit by taking a back route Summerville Rd, which is a lovely winding country road, half sealed, half gravel and recommended. Only thing is unless it seems you want to take a long way round to bellingen, you have to cross the Bellinger river, actually a little creek, today at least. I took my shoes off and waded across to rejoin waterfall way 5km to Bellingen.

Next time I'm keen to do the climb the other way.

If you'd kept going the "long way" it would have joined with Gordonville Rd and Gleniffer Rd on way back to Bello on really good roads with magic scenery. It's a few km longer but much nicer ride.

I really wish one day that the unsealed section of road along Summervilles Rd is eventually sealed as it'd make for a really nice ride to Thora - and there are some country roads past Thora out Darkwood way.

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:20 am
by yugyug
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
yugyug wrote:I did the descent from Dorrigo today, on the way from Armidale to Bellingen. Mad fun. Only negative is getting slowed down by cars! (especially at the one way pinch points).

I avoided a chunk of the Thora-Bellingen bit by taking a back route Summerville Rd, which is a lovely winding country road, half sealed, half gravel and recommended. Only thing is unless it seems you want to take a long way round to bellingen, you have to cross the Bellinger river, actually a little creek, today at least. I took my shoes off and waded across to rejoin waterfall way 5km to Bellingen.

Next time I'm keen to do the climb the other way.

If you'd kept going the "long way" it would have joined with Gordonville Rd and Gleniffer Rd on way back to Bello on really good roads with magic scenery. It's a few km longer but much nicer ride.

I really wish one day that the unsealed section of road along Summervilles Rd is eventually sealed as it'd make for a really nice ride to Thora - and there are some country roads past Thora out Darkwood way.


I quite like a bit of gravel - except when a passing car churns up the dust!

Hey Alex since you know the area, can I ask about back routes from Dorrigo to Coffs? I'm wondering about Eastern Dorrigo Way through to Ulong, or the other way through Cascade NP by Morora Rd? They are not fully on Street View - doable on a road bike with 28mm tyres, or is more mountain bike fare?

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:47 pm
by Alex Simmons/RST
yugyug wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
yugyug wrote:I did the descent from Dorrigo today, on the way from Armidale to Bellingen. Mad fun. Only negative is getting slowed down by cars! (especially at the one way pinch points).

I avoided a chunk of the Thora-Bellingen bit by taking a back route Summerville Rd, which is a lovely winding country road, half sealed, half gravel and recommended. Only thing is unless it seems you want to take a long way round to bellingen, you have to cross the Bellinger river, actually a little creek, today at least. I took my shoes off and waded across to rejoin waterfall way 5km to Bellingen.

Next time I'm keen to do the climb the other way.

If you'd kept going the "long way" it would have joined with Gordonville Rd and Gleniffer Rd on way back to Bello on really good roads with magic scenery. It's a few km longer but much nicer ride.

I really wish one day that the unsealed section of road along Summervilles Rd is eventually sealed as it'd make for a really nice ride to Thora - and there are some country roads past Thora out Darkwood way.


I quite like a bit of gravel - except when a passing car churns up the dust!

Hey Alex since you know the area, can I ask about back routes from Dorrigo to Coffs? I'm wondering about Eastern Dorrigo Way through to Ulong, or the other way through Cascade NP by Morora Rd? They are not fully on Street View - doable on a road bike with 28mm tyres, or is more mountain bike fare?

I've not yet traversed Coramba Rd entirely between Dorrigo and Ulong so not sure about suitability but pretty sure you'd get by on a roadie with fats. It's not all sealed, like a lot of country towns the sealed section end 5-10km out of town - actually from Dorrigo it's the turn off Coramba Rd onto Briggsvale Rd which leads to Morora Rd marks the end of the sealed section of Coramba Rd. At the Coffs end the road is great.

I'm pretty sure others have ridden Cormba Rd to Ulong OK but I'm yet to explore those roads. I'm not fit enough at the moment to do those rides (quite hilly) so I'll leave it to drives to explore. As to Morora Rd, I'm guess that might be 4WD country but don't really know.

Here's a driver's perspective:
http://driversvault.com/driving-roads/2 ... rrigo-way/

Re: Bellingen to Dorrigo climb

Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:19 am
by yugyug
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:Here's a driver's perspective:
http://driversvault.com/driving-roads/2 ... rrigo-way/


Thanks for the info! Useful link - reckon I'll give it Eastern Dorrigo Way a go when I'm next up that way - it seems a lot better quality than I thought.