Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney (Goulburn to Katoomba)

hez
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Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney (Goulburn to Katoomba)

Postby hez » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:00 am

Hi,
My girlfriend and I have been living in Sydney for a year and a half and we have already been to: Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Kangaroo Valley/berry/jervis bay/kiama/wollongong, lithgow-penrith-richmond-windsor-kurrajong-wiseman's ferry and we've done pretty much all (road) rides in, around and close to Sydney.
For the Australia day weekend (we know since two days ago we will have the weekend and the monday off) we want to do small cyclotouring trip and I found this:

"To the Rim of Australia's Big Smoke" https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o= ... 11918&v=7g
Goulburn - Abercrombie River - Jenolan Caves - Katoomba

We will do it with our gravel/cx bikes with rack and panniers (and tent and all). We have 25c and 28c road slicks or 33c CX tyres, still to decide which ones we will be using... I would like to do a gravel ride for once in Australia, but I never find anything!

We live in Sydney, so the idea is:

- Friday 26:
Take the train to Goulburn (3h), do some tourism and sleep in the camping there.
or...
after the tourism (I don't know how much to see is there in Goulburn), take the road to Taralga (~45km) and sleep in the camping there.

- Saturday 27:
Go to Abercrombie River and sleep there in the Natural Park campground.. but... which one?!?!

- Sunday 28:
Go to Jenolan Caves, visit a cave or something, have a proper dinner, shower, use the room a little...

- Monday 29 (we have the day off):
Take the Coxs Road (unsealed), go to Mt. Victoria, do the Berghofers trail (if we have to walk and push the bike we walk and push the bike), go to Katoomba, have lunch there and take the train back home.

What do you think?
What would you change?
Slicks or CX tyres?
During the route do you know where will be able to get water? and food?

Another alternative would be to go to Canberra on thursday evening (we have some friends who live there, already visited), go from there to Wollongong in 3 days and on monday go back home from Wollongong by train (we have done Sydney to Wollongong twice already and we've been a couple of time more to the Royal National Park)

Any other alternatives? Other mini-trip suggestions (we can go from Sydney by train)?

Thank you!
Last edited by hez on Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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queequeg
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby queequeg » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:19 am

There was an event last year that was mostly gravel. I am sure you can find the route.

https://www.lavelocita.cc/la-velocita-r ... tral-coast

There are a lot of gravels roads around Sydney, you just have to know where to look.

https://www.audax.org.au/portal/index.p ... -ride-2017

Around Sydney's North-West is a lot of fairly rustic roads (Windsor, Wisemans Ferry, St Albans, Richmond, Bilpin etc), with fair chunks of gravel and unsealed roads. I'll be doing some exploring later in the year once my Gravel Grinder arrives and I have some fitness back after being off the bike for extended period due to injury.

For some Canberra options, I found this one: https://www.audax.org.au/portal/index.p ... nment-2017
Audax also has these mixed terrain rides: https://audax.org.au/public/index.php/c ... ed-terrain
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:53 am

queequeg wrote:There was an event last year that was mostly gravel. I am sure you can find the route.

https://www.lavelocita.cc/la-velocita-r ... tral-coast

There are a lot of gravels roads around Sydney, you just have to know where to look.

https://www.audax.org.au/portal/index.p ... -ride-2017

Around Sydney's North-West is a lot of fairly rustic roads (Windsor, Wisemans Ferry, St Albans, Richmond, Bilpin etc), with fair chunks of gravel and unsealed roads. I'll be doing some exploring later in the year once my Gravel Grinder arrives and I have some fitness back after being off the bike for extended period due to injury.

For some Canberra options, I found this one: https://www.audax.org.au/portal/index.p ... nment-2017
Audax also has these mixed terrain rides: https://audax.org.au/public/index.php/c ... ed-terrain


We already did a couple of segments around Bilpin, Windsor, Richmond and Wiseman's ferry... good enough with the 28c continental slicks. Not the great northern road. Maybe we can do that other time.

Thank you for the info. I'll try to keep an eye open on these things. The problem is I don't own a car here so I have two options: take a train or rent a car for the weekend. If I rent a car I would like to do at least two rides and go somewhere nice where there's more stuff a part from the rides, you know?

Tell me when you get your gravel bike and I go exploring with you! :P
Proposal: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/3769669
starting and ending at Richmond's train station would be 50% unsealed, 100km and 1000m aprox. to get started :P

Any suggestion for a short-3-day-cyclotouring-trip?
Last edited by hez on Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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queequeg
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby queequeg » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:52 pm

hez wrote:
queequeg wrote:There was an event last year that was mostly gravel. I am sure you can find the route.

https://www.lavelocita.cc/la-velocita-r ... tral-coast

There are a lot of gravels roads around Sydney, you just have to know where to look.

https://www.audax.org.au/portal/index.p ... -ride-2017

Around Sydney's North-West is a lot of fairly rustic roads (Windsor, Wisemans Ferry, St Albans, Richmond, Bilpin etc), with fair chunks of gravel and unsealed roads. I'll be doing some exploring later in the year once my Gravel Grinder arrives and I have some fitness back after being off the bike for extended period due to injury.

For some Canberra options, I found this one: https://www.audax.org.au/portal/index.p ... nment-2017
Audax also has these mixed terrain rides: https://audax.org.au/public/index.php/c ... ed-terrain


We already did a couple of segments around Bilpin, Windsor, Richmond and Wiseman's ferry... good enough with the 28c continental slicks. Not the great northern road. Maybe we can do that other time.

Thank you for the info. I'll try to keep an eye open on these things. The problem is I don't own a car here so I have two options: take a train or rent a car for the weekend. If I rent a car I would like to do at least two rides and go somewhere nice where there's more stuff a part from the rides, you know?

Tell me when you get your gravel bike and I go exploring with you! :P

Any suggestion for a short-3-day-cyclotouring-trip?


I haven't put that much research into yet, but my idea is to leave the car at home and take everything I need with me on the bike. The new frameset is designed with bikepacking in mind. It can take a rack, or just use framebags. I would certainly like to give some of the roads around the hunter and central coast a go, and maybe see what is on offer around Barrington Tops, and through Thunderbolts Way and off the beaten track.

Locally I want to try Sackville to Broke via Lower Portland/St Albans/Bucketty and have a look around Yengo National Park.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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baabaa
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby baabaa » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:31 pm

Do the ride as you have plotted out.
For a moment I saw Goulburn - Abercrombie River and gagged a bit as the ride via Crookwell and Trunkey Creek to the Abercrombie (Caves) River Nat Park campsite (a bit west of your route) is one hell of a hard ride to do in one run.... but yes all that route is a great ride and you wont regret it one bit.
I have done this and several of options all linking back up to Katoomba from the south, west and north and that part of the world is a real gem which many people who travel by car miss out on. Expect to see lots of wildlife and and even more smelly black wallabies but just expect that it can get cold snaps in around that area even during summer.Some of the hills in and out bordering the Kanangra-Boyd National Park will test you out but pack light and you will be fine.
CX (AT) 33? yes as the gravel is a bit sharp and while the dirt is good a after the rain some of the logging trucks can cut up the road a bit. Unless you stay at Caves House don't expect any favors as it is really Guests vs the rest. Water you should be fine and if you go short just ask with some of the houses / farm houses that you can see close to the road if you can refill your bottles.
A hint - if you do travel light, think about a walk and push the bikes up the historic Berghofers Pass to Mt Vic, I haven't done this for a few years now but I think the path is way better than it once was and you could get away with more pushing than shouldering your bikes on the way up. I guess you could chain them up, do the walk up and down a bit then keep on riding up to Mt Vic via the Mt York road. So much to see in around the western Blue Mtns...
Anyway have fun!!

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:32 am

baabaa wrote:Do the ride as you have plotted out.
For a moment I saw Goulburn - Abercrombie River and gagged a bit as the ride via Crookwell and Trunkey Creek to the Abercrombie (Caves) River Nat Park campsite (a bit west of your route) is one hell of a hard ride to do in one run.... but yes all that route is a great ride and you wont regret it one bit.
I have done this and several of options all linking back up to Katoomba from the south, west and north and that part of the world is a real gem which many people who travel by car miss out on. Expect to see lots of wildlife and and even more smelly black wallabies but just expect that it can get cold snaps in around that area even during summer.Some of the hills in and out bordering the Kanangra-Boyd National Park will test you out but pack light and you will be fine.
CX (AT) 33? yes as the gravel is a bit sharp and while the dirt is good a after the rain some of the logging trucks can cut up the road a bit. Unless you stay at Caves House don't expect any favors as it is really Guests vs the rest. Water you should be fine and if you go short just ask with some of the houses / farm houses that you can see close to the road if you can refill your bottles.
A hint - if you do travel light, think about a walk and push the bikes up the historic Berghofers Pass to Mt Vic, I haven't done this for a few years now but I think the path is way better than it once was and you could get away with more pushing than shouldering your bikes on the way up. I guess you could chain them up, do the walk up and down a bit then keep on riding up to Mt Vic via the Mt York road. So much to see in around the western Blue Mtns...
Anyway have fun!!



Hi baabaa,

No! We are doing the easy way... jejeje
I have the plan almost ready!

- Day 1: <10km <100m Mosman to Goulburn by train. Visit Goulburn, eat something, sleep in the camping.

- Day 2: 77.5km 925m Goulburn to Bummaroo Ford Campground (Abercrombie River) via Taralga, sleep in the tent watch for platypus?

- Day 3: 68.9km 1418m Bummaroo Ford Campground (Abercrombie River) to Jenolan Caves. Get up really early, do the ride, get a room, visit caves, little hike, watch for platypus? use the bed if you know what I mean... ;)

- Day 4: 74.4km 1696m Jenolan Caves to Katoomba via Coxs River Road, Berghofers Pass, Mount Victoria. We plan on doing the Berhofers pass pushing the bike or riding if we can and there's not many people walking. We are doing this on a monday, I hope there are not many people around... Then go to have lunch to Katoomba, maybe go to see the three sisters from the road or something like that, take the train to North Sydney and ride back home (extra 5km).

I've bought a Marmot Catalyst 3p tent (2.8kg), the OZTrail Pro Strectch self-inflatable sleeping pads/mats (0.75kg each) and we are only carrying 3 breakfasts and 2 meals, the rest we can eat on pubs or whatever, we're not carrying stove or cooking stuff.
We will definitely use the CX tyres (33c) and we will be carrying rack (topeak, alu) and panniers (ortlieb).
I hope we can manage to keep the weight of my bike under 30kg in total (with 5L of water and bike included) and my girlfriend's a little less. What do you think? Is that light or way to heavy for what we're carrying? :S

The problem is from Taralga to Jenolan caves there's 90km 2000m, one night and two meals without a source of water and we are in summer. :S

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Warin
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby Warin » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:50 pm

Taralga to Jenolan Caves;
Where the Tuglow River crosses Tuglow Forest Road you may find camping and water.

Choosing the shortest route (might be hilly) sees you cross several creeks, there is also the Mt Werong Campground that may have water - west off the Mt Werong Firetrail.

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:10 pm

Warin wrote:Taralga to Jenolan Caves;
Where the Tuglow River crosses Tuglow Forest Road you may find camping and water.

Choosing the shortest route (might be hilly) sees you cross several creeks, there is also the Mt Werong Campground that may have water - west off the Mt Werong Firetrail.


Mmmm I'm not sure about "the shortest route" thing... I used the strava route creator and I put start: "Bummaroo Campground" and end: "jenolan caves house".
I will play around with the map a little bit more. We are going to use the CX tyres, so maybe I'd prefer a shorter-but-dirt-instead-of-road way ;)

but... when you say "water" do you mean a river or a proper sanitary fountain / deposit?

Thank you!

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baabaa
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby baabaa » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:18 pm

Yes, plenty of camping but in and around state pine forests which in that spot are more or less mars like and void of real life. Dingo Dell camping area is a good option to get back to the real oz bush. Not sure I would drink that untreated or un-boiled water to be honest.
Oh and platypus, could do if you get up really early with still water which you probably will as the lyre birds down around that way will seek out any *tent and start singing the best tunes it knows at about 4.45 in the morning (*just outside it, with scratching and fussing and making sure you know his songs are the best).

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Warin
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby Warin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:23 am

For shortest route calculation I use Garmins Mapsource with OSM data.

A shortest calculated route gets some 86.6 km, I noted those campgrounds as being alongside that route.

I did not do any further searches for you ... but as you asked ... for Mt Werong
http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/cam ... campground
says drinking water and toilets... you can read the rest yourself.

The other one is along side a river in a state forest... Think you can work that out.

Going via Dingo Dell gets 96.6 km, so adds ~10km.

NOVISCOTT
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby NOVISCOTT » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:22 am

There is the Caves to Caves 4wd trip that will get you from Wombeyon to Jenolan as an option. We camped at Mt Werong which was handy as there are stone buildings there that can save you the need to pitch the tent if it's quiet.

Heading Sth to North its Langs Rd, onto Range Fire Trail Rd, onto Mt Werong Rd, onto Banshee, the Kowmung River FT. Note, I think on last look if there has being much rain you will be crossing Kowmung River with your bike above your head! Then it's just follow your nose to Jenolan

There are some significant hills, so it'd be a pretty hard slog, but it's some nice bush

I would also be throwing a pack of water purification tablets into your gear given how little water you are carrying. If stuck you can make creek water drinkable without boiling

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:24 pm

Warin wrote:For shortest route calculation I use Garmins Mapsource with OSM data.

A shortest calculated route gets some 86.6 km, I noted those campgrounds as being alongside that route.

I did not do any further searches for you ... but as you asked ... for Mt Werong
http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/cam ... campground
says drinking water and toilets... you can read the rest yourself.

The other one is along side a river in a state forest... Think you can work that out.

Going via Dingo Dell gets 96.6 km, so adds ~10km.


Wow! Thank you very much. I didn't expect you to do my research, thanks again.
So do you think will be better to do that instead of the proposed route?
The idea is to do it in three days, the last day (jenolan caves to katoomba via coxs river road and berhofers pass) is final, the other two days... the only final things are: starting in goulburn and ending in jenolan caves (we have already reserved the camping and the hotel).
I would like to do more or less half the effort each day, if there's more climbing on the second day do more km on the first one, so maybe the Dingo Dell is a little too close to Jenolan and too far away from Goulburn, but Werong sounds promising. What I'm more interested is in things to see or quality of the travel, not so much into the state of the road/path but being able to see more landscapes, interesting (local) plant life and wild life. The drinking water is a bonus.

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:27 pm

baabaa wrote:Yes, plenty of camping but in and around state pine forests which in that spot are more or less mars like and void of real life. Dingo Dell camping area is a good option to get back to the real oz bush. Not sure I would drink that untreated or un-boiled water to be honest.
Oh and platypus, could do if you get up really early with still water which you probably will as the lyre birds down around that way will seek out any *tent and start singing the best tunes it knows at about 4.45 in the morning (*just outside it, with scratching and fussing and making sure you know his songs are the best).


jejejeje
love the lyre birds thing jejeje
I'm sure at 4:45 wont be so amused but, it's part of the Australian adventure! ;)

Yes, I wouldn't drink water from a river, specially here because I don't know the area and the conditions...

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Warin
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby Warin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:16 pm

Hot weather maybe a problem? That could make a large difference to your water consumption.
Have alternate plans with shorter days/distances. Don't make it a set schedule think - leads to over extending yourself and a not so happy holiday.

There is a bus that runs from Jenolan to Katoomba.. expensive (~$50 each) and I don't know if it takes bikes .. but that could be an option if required.

I'd list all the camp grounds in the general area, then connect them up, one to another on a map. Then if you find the going hard .. stop at the next camp ground and figure out tomorrows ride from there using what you have done that day.

That keeps it flexible. Of course if things go well you can pick and chose based on the attractions of camp grounds and roads.

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:21 pm

Warin wrote:Hot weather maybe a problem? That could make a large difference to your water consumption.
Have alternate plans with shorter days/distances. Don't make it a set schedule think - leads to over extending yourself and a not so happy holiday.

There is a bus that runs from Jenolan to Katoomba.. expensive (~$50 each) and I don't know if it takes bikes .. but that could be an option if required.

I'd list all the camp grounds in the general area, then connect them up, one to another on a map. Then if you find the going hard .. stop at the next camp ground and figure out tomorrows ride from there using what you have done that day.

That keeps it flexible. Of course if things go well you can pick and chose based on the attractions of camp grounds and roads.


Well, I think unless we have a catastrophe we will keep on going, but thank you. Wise advice.

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:03 pm

OH NO! The train strike! We have already booked in goulburn's camping and jenolan caves, asked for the day off work on monday and everything and now I've seen:

"Due to industrial action, no trains will run across NSW on Monday 29 January and train services will be disrupted from Thursday 25 January."

:S :S :S :S

We are going anyway, worst case scenario we will call an Uber XL or a big taxi... :S

Maybe we can ride down from Katoomba to Penrith (40km: 50m climb / 1000m downhill) and call an uber XL from there to parramatta wharf, because Jenolan Caves - Coxs River Road - Berhofers pass - Katoomba - Penrith - Parramatta Wharf would be more than 160km and 2000m climb. With rack and panniers and after 3 days ride, maybe I would suffer a lot and I would do it, but my girlfriend would surely die, they'd accuse me of domestic violence and sentence me to death...

any suggestions?

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney

Postby hez » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:07 pm

they've cancelled the strike!!!! :)

someone important must have read this post...

hez
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Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney (Goulburn to Katoomba)

Postby hez » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:06 pm

We did it!
Tough but beautiful. Great experience.

Full chronicle:

Day 1:
Due to the train strike (cancelled at the last moment) they suspended the train from Sydney to Goulburn we wanted to take so we had to leave Sydney at 16:06.
We arrived at Goulburn at 19:15 or so, took a picture of the big sheep/ram and planted the tent in the Goulburn south camping. The camping facilities were very good but we booked for a tent and they gave us a caravan site, really hard surface, so we had to go to the free camping area and we didn't have the power supply.. :S
Then we went for dinner to the village. It was already around 21 and almost everything was closed. In the end we found a thai restaurant and we bought a coopers sixpack on the bottleshop near by. The owner/waitress of the restaurant was really nice and the food was ok.
We had the rest of the beers at the camping, had a shower and went to sleep.


Day 2:
We did a little tour around Goulburn and soon left to Abercrombie River (Bummaroo Campground). The gravel roads were really smooth but with the water, food, tent and all, it was a little harder than I thought. Definitely worth to use CX tyres. Maybe you could do this part on road tyres, but I would not recommend them for the rest (next days)...
Anyway, the ride was nice, we stopped to have a beer (pub) and lunch (cafe) at Taralga and we kept on going until we arrived to the campground (nice final descent!). It was 81.7km and ~1000m climb. Tough but not that much, enjoyable.
All along the road there were millions of kamikaze cicadas! They jump and fly hitting the wheels, the frame, your legs, your arms, your chest, your head... it wasn't so annoying for me but my girlfriend was yelling all the time jejeje.
The bush/crops/grass was half green half yellow, but great views and lots of cattle. When we first saw a scenic view of the blue mountains they were amazingly deep blue! Beautiful!
The campground wasn't as good as we expected. No benches or anything just chemical toilets. The river wasn't a river, it was just a pool of still water, it looked unhealthy. I wouldn't recommend anybody to go inside the water and it was less than 50cm deep.
No way any platypus would be there. The only wildlife around there were some kangaroos (it was full of kangaroo dungs all over the place) and water dragons? (lizzards). We didn't see any Lyre birds :S
We planted the tent and it soon started to rain. A lot. Absolutely nothing to do there so when it stopped raining we improvised a pethanque/boules game... jejeje it was fun for half an hour. Then it started to rain again so we had dinner inside the tent and read some of a great Tour de France stories/anecdotes book (https://www.amazon.es/Plomo-los-bolsill ... 8494010174 only in spanish) until we got asleep.


Day 3:
We had breakfast, put everything back to the panniers and started the climb from Bommaroo Ford Campground to Palin Yards (it's a property, not a village, nothing there...).
The climb wasn't so long but it was really steep. Over 10% average with a 21% segment. We struggled a little because we were carrying so much weight (water, tent, food, etc.) and the road-cycling transmision is just a little too hard (my girlfriend has 50/34 and 11-32 and I have 44chainring and 10-42 cassette which is the single chainring equivalent) so we had to do some "S"'s... at some point my girlfriend decided to push the bicycle for a while (good decision, I would regret not having done it myself later on that day).
Then there was more than 50km of gravel roads. Some smooth unsealed roads, other really "gravelly" roads and a couple of rocky trails. Constant ups and downs didn't help. It was tough, very tough. The views weren't so good as most of the route was between spruce/pine trees and there wasn't any village or anything. I think maybe the original route was different...
We barely saw any human being during the ride, only a group of 3 or 4 guys with panniers on MTBs and one with a gravel bike! close to Jenolan. The only cyclists we saw since Goulburn to home!
Lot's of cattle on the last part of the ride and then the downhill to Jenolan Caves. Awesome downhill!
It was 67.8km and just a little under 1500m climb but it took us most more than 4 hours and a half!
My girlfriend did 2 QOMs (Queen Of the Mountain) and other 6 or 8 cups in Strava, apparently she's been the only woman to do those segments ever in history (Strava history :P).
When we arrived we were exhausted, so we took a shower, had the most terrible sandwich of my life in the Jenolan Cafe and had a nap. At 18:00 we had a beer into the bar (no tap), had dinner (terrible food) and "played" pool/snooker/billiards. We don't have a clue about that, it was hilarious, one game took us half an hour! jejeje We laughed a lot.
The Jenolan Caves House looks like a shipwreck. I'm sure they put a lot of money into it 20 or 30 years ago and it must have been awesome back then, but they haven't done anything ever since.
Some of the workers were very nice though.
Same thing on the rooms. Plenty of really old spider webs, the furniture was older than me (and not nearly as well preserved :P) the paint was peeling off the wall... but the sheets and towels were clean and the room wasn't particularly smelly (until we arrived jejeje).
We packed the panniers, prepared everything for the next day and went to bed.


Day 4:
My girlfriend was very tired (we haven't been riding so much lately) and sore from the saddle with all the gravel grinding with panniers so we decided to remove the Cox's River Road (gravel) part and finish at Blackheath instead of at Katoomba. I think it was a great decision. We enjoyed the ride a lot. We have already been to Katoomba 4 or 5 times and last year we did another 3 day trip including the Great Western Highway from Harley to Penrith... it is awful. Never again.
We took some pictures of the caves and started the Jenolan Caves Climb. 8km at ~6%. The good thing is this side has headpins so the climb is very constant. In Strava there's a segment called Jenolan caves climb of 0.4km at 27.7% but maybe it is a bug because I don't remember suffering nearly a fraction of what I suffered the previous day at the 21% one to Palin Yards, but hey! we didn't carry all the food and water by then (much less weight in the panniers). We started at a very moderate pace and did all the climb very steadily, talking to each other all the time. We had breakfast in Hampdem and we continued to the Cox's River on the road. Easy. Nice views of the mountains, mainly green, cattle, a couple of trucks/lorries but not a lot of traffic. Most of the drivers were very respectful (but a couple of utes).
We started to climb the Mount Victoria and stopped at old/historic Hartley village, but everything was closed :( it was a monday. Beautiful place, though. From there, the damned Great Western Highway until a fruit-shop/cafe were we had some nice watermelon, juice and a terrible rock melon and continued to the Berhofer's pass. The Berhofer's is awesome and a mandatory escape to the highway nightmare. With gravel/cx bicycles and cx tyres it's 100% rideable/cyclable (if there are no pedestrians, of course), but it's rough. But even if you have to walk it all through it's worth it.
The only issue was with a group of kids riding horses, well, not really with the kids or the horses... I was riding uphill when they were going downhill and taking another path a few meters ahead of me. All the kids took that path before I arrived at the crossing, but their instructor/teacher/whatever stood there waiting until I was closer and told me: "bicycles and horses don't get along, you have to stop and allow me to pass" or something like that. I said hello, made a joke and tried to be nice, but she was still in the middle of the trail not moving forward to their path. It was clear her purpose was to piss me off and make me stop, and she kept on saying stupid things to me in a very offensive tone. In the end she had it her way and made me stop. Eventually I told her: "I know you have the preference, but you don't have to be a dick about it". She turned her back on me and left. I don't blame her, she must have had a difficult childhood being an orphan on the street (otherwise someone would have taught her some manners).

When we finished the Berhofers pass we rode along some nice suburban streets and went back to the terrible road. A few km later we arrived to Blackheath and I saw this place with a nice terrace with grass, benches and sun umbrellas and said: this is it! The Gardnerd's Inn.
The owner/waitress was a very nice lady. We had a huge burger there, a nice hoppy pale ale schooner and took the train back home. It was 65km and over 1200m.


Conclusion:
I believe 60-70km with 1000-1500m or 70-80km with <1000m is a nice daily plan for cycletouring with rack, panniers, tent and food, specially if you intend to enjoy other things apart from riding during your day.
I've done other trips with longer distances and more climbing per day and I think that way is everything about the ride and nothing else for the rest. I think it's important to have time and energy for other stuff, specially when you're on a short trip with your girlfriend, if you know what I mean... ;)
If you are interested on doing this trip in a more sportive way, only in two days, I would reduce the ride from Goulburn to Abercrombie river to the bare minimum possible (no tourism, maybe there's a shortcut somewhere) to try to arrive to Mt Werong campground (water available, probably nicer place) in one day and I would do from Mt. Werong to Blackheath the other day. It would be harder and the second day would be all-riding but still enjoyable.
I've seen a guy who did it all in one day, 9 hours riding + I don't know how many eating, resting, etc., it doesn't sound very enjoyable to me but... I'm not doing it.


All in all, we loved the trip. Lot's of good moments, memories and laughs. We will remember the not-so-good things with a smile and the suffering on the bicycle as "the epic part" of the story.


My question for you now is... where do we go next?

thomas1987
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:20 pm

Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney (Goulburn to Katoomba)

Postby thomas1987 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:30 pm

Thanks for the writeup! I've enjoyed reading it! Next destination...New Zealand?

hez
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:20 am

Re: Short cyclotouring trip near Sydney (Goulburn to Katoomba)

Postby hez » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:54 pm

thomas1987 wrote:Thanks for the writeup! I've enjoyed reading it! Next destination...New Zealand?

You're on the money ;)

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