Narrow Neck Plateau (with Photos!)

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Narrow Neck Plateau (with Photos!)

Postby Bnej » Thu Dec 28, 2006 5:57 pm

Been on a bit of a ride today. Took my camera, this is the Narrow Neck Plateau fire trail in Katoomba, a nice, traffic free, off road trail with some amazing scenery. It's worth doing.

The full distance, from Katoomba Station to the end and back is about 32km.

pictures:
http://web.mac.com/bnej/iWeb/Site/Narrow%20Neck.html

Now, I did this with a rigid alloy fork, 1.5" slicks at 75psi, and a 27" lowest gear. I'm not going to do it that way again. You can manage it by walking a few of the steeper and rockier hills, but it's a lot of effort in some places to keep the bike upright and moving.

OTOH it teaches you some interesting stuff about bike handling.

Lessons learned:
- You can do a two-wheel drift on sand and not fall down.
- The back can go out a long way all by itself.
- On loose surface hills, you have to have a certain amount of momentum and keep it, or you'll end up spinning the wheels and have to get off and walk.
- You need to be in a gear to let you apply power at any time. Sometimes you don't see the sand first.
- Rocky downhills hurt your wrists. A lot.
- 2L of water might not be enough on a hot day.
- It might rain even though the Bureau of Meteorology says it won't.
- Hard packed dirt is probably better than some sealed roads.
- Dirt roads are much better without vehicle corrugations.
- An 18" gear and huge knobbly tyres will get you up a hill that a 27" gear and 1.5" slicks won't.
- Dirt makes your bike dirty.
- Rain doesn't clean it.
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by BNA » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:08 pm

BNA
 

Postby LuckyPierre » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:08 pm

Thanks you for your learnings from the ride.
I expect that tomorrow I will be adding - don't let 'comfort' riders tackle hills!
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Re: Narrow Neck Plateau (with Photos!)

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:14 pm

Lessons learned:
- You can do a two-wheel drift on sand and not fall down.
yes, when you turn your front wheel, it may take a while for you to actually move in the desired direction and important is to keep enough weight on the back wheel, standing up makes it harder.

- On loose surface hills, you have to have a certain amount of momentum and keep it, or you'll end up spinning the wheels and have to get off and walk.
Depends, more important is to pick your line and avoid loose rocks and have light hands and let the bike steer itself (ie absorb shocks).

- You need to be in a gear to let you apply power at any time.
Unless you have an automatic.

- Sometimes you don't see the sand first.
drop your weight back

- Rocky downhills hurt your wrists. A lot.
the more you ride, trhe stronger your arms and wrists will become, you will also be less tense and no longer need to grip your handlebars as tight as possible but rather a bit more relaxed.

- It might rain even though the Bureau of Meteorology says it won't.
And, there may be wet parts of the tracks from small creeks

- Hard packed dirt is probably better than some sealed roads.
Definately softer on the bike and body and sometimes with nice contours... however when erosion makes the ground uneven it can be annoying to ride. I rather like clay surfaces.

- Dirt makes your bike dirty.
- Rain doesn't clean it.

but throwing it in a creek or river will do a better job than rain.


Great lessons, I also like the one where the erosion (water run-off) bumps on firetrails make excellent jumps on downhills.

Cheers
Christopher
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Re: Narrow Neck Plateau (with Photos!)

Postby LuckyPierre » Thu Dec 28, 2006 8:20 pm

AUbicycles wrote:Lessons learned:
Dirt makes your bike dirty.
- Rain doesn't clean it.

but throwing it in a creek or river will do a better job than rain.

I felt like throwing my bike in the lake the other day (punctures in both tyres again), but fortunately the length of the walk home caused me to think long enough to avoid it!
I hate b*stards who throw bottles on bike paths! :evil:
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Postby Mr888 » Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:25 pm

Great pictures Bnej.

Good see also that the National Parks have well and truely reopened after the bushfires. I will be attempting the Woodford fire trail on Saturday for the first time. I think your trail links onto it? I might have to take a detour and have a closer look at that fire tower...in the distance of course.

Any advice from anyone who's done the course previously?
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Postby Bnej » Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:22 am

The trail from Woodford is either the Anderson or Oaks trail (can't remember which is which), but one starts in Wentworth Falls and links on to the other, so you can go all the way from Wentworth Falls to Glenbrook.

I haven't done those ones, but I understand they're pretty good fun, they're mostly downhill (unless you ride back up!).

Narrow Neck doesn't link to any other bike trails, but at the end there are ladders that take you down into the valley if you're hiking.
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