Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Sun May 05, 2013 8:29 pm

Hi, newbie here.
I started riding 2 months ago, bought a bike and been riding around Mosman. Found middle head road to be a safe haven of relative flatness but have recently been getting up early and venturing outwards. Did a ride yesterday along military road then to pacific hwy to Gordon and back (42k's). Today went to Mona vale and back (50k's). Both early rides to avoid traffic and tagged a bit on the end locally to extend the ride.

I want to get to a point where I can ride 100k's plus so I am looking for suggestions on where to go without having to get into the car to start.

So far I have found Pittwater rd to be very bumpy in the the bus lane but the flatness is excellent for a change. I realise I have to do some steep hills (eg the spit) but I don't know if I am ready to ride over Roseville bridge (eastward) or back up Mona vale rd or up wakehurst parkway.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Regards
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by BNA » Mon May 06, 2013 9:03 am

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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby queequeg » Mon May 06, 2013 9:03 am

Try Pittwater Rd-> Church Pt -> West Head -> Akuna Bay -> Church Pt -> Pittwater Rd
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby simonn » Mon May 06, 2013 11:02 am

queequeg wrote:Try Pittwater Rd-> Church Pt -> West Head -> Akuna Bay -> Church Pt -> Pittwater Rd


About as flat as you can get north of the harbour.

The main cycling attractions of the north are the not-flat West Head and the gorges (Akuna Bay, Bobbin Head, Galston Gorge, Berowra Waters, Brooklyn and Mt White).

EDIT: And, if you go to West Head, make sure you have water, it is longer than you think and there is none from Church Point until you get back there (now somebody will point out a tap somewhere no doubt :)).
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Mon May 06, 2013 7:19 pm

simonn wrote:
queequeg wrote:Try Pittwater Rd-> Church Pt -> West Head -> Akuna Bay -> Church Pt -> Pittwater Rd

About as flat as you can get north of the harbour.
The main cycling attractions of the north are the not-flat West Head and the gorges (Akuna Bay, Bobbin Head, Galston Gorge, Berowra Waters, Brooklyn and Mt White).

Interesting thoughts queequeg and simonn. Thanks for the reply. I should consider exploring that area including palm beach. How are those rides for a single rider regarding traffic and road width?

Simon, I take your point. At some stage I am going to have to deal with the hills on the north shore so better suck it up and get used to it. Are Monavale rd and Wakehurst safe to ride up considering I dont have my "uphill legs" yet?

I have considered going South or West but by the looks of things, I am better to drive somewhere and then ride. Getting through the city to go South or West doesnt look entertaining.
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby queequeg » Mon May 06, 2013 9:10 pm

SilverArrow wrote:
simonn wrote:
queequeg wrote:Try Pittwater Rd-> Church Pt -> West Head -> Akuna Bay -> Church Pt -> Pittwater Rd

About as flat as you can get north of the harbour.
The main cycling attractions of the north are the not-flat West Head and the gorges (Akuna Bay, Bobbin Head, Galston Gorge, Berowra Waters, Brooklyn and Mt White).

Interesting thoughts queequeg and simonn. Thanks for the reply. I should consider exploring that area including palm beach. How are those rides for a single rider regarding traffic and road width?

Simon, I take your point. At some stage I am going to have to deal with the hills on the north shore so better suck it up and get used to it. Are Monavale rd and Wakehurst safe to ride up considering I dont have my "uphill legs" yet?

I have considered going South or West but by the looks of things, I am better to drive somewhere and then ride. Getting through the city to go South or West doesnt look entertaining.
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West Head/Akuna Bay is a joy on the weekends. You'll see hundreds of cyclists on West Head Rd in the morning, and the Driftwood Cafe at Akuna Bay Marina does a mean Bacon & Egg Roll.
The climb from Church Pt up to West Head Rd is pretty decent, and you can do the Akuna Bay/West Head Loop in either direction. Once you have done that, ride down Mona Vale Rd to St Ives, go down Pentecost Ave and take it to Bobbin Head Rd and do Bobbin Head, Berowra Waters, Galston Gorge, then come back to Mosman via Pac Hwy or from Turramurra you can ride down Kissing Pt Rd to Marsfield and come back via Epping Rd Cycleway.

Lots of options!
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby Spaniel » Mon May 06, 2013 9:36 pm

SilverArrow wrote:At some stage I am going to have to deal with the hills on the north shore so better suck it up and get used to it. Are Monavale rd and Wakehurst safe to ride up considering I dont have my "uphill legs" yet?

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Agree with the other suggestions.

For climbs, start with Bobbin Head South and Akuna East. They are the easiest of the Gorge rides.

The harder climbs are Bobbo North, Akuna West and Mt White. Once you can do these in your stride, you'll be comfortable to tackle most 3 - 5km climbs.

West Head is a stunning ride, smooth hot mix most of the way. Lots of rolling climbs. Save some energy for "The Wall", a 300m ~15% steep section just before the lookout.
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Tue May 07, 2013 7:37 pm

Awesome info and great tips. Thanks for the responses.
I see some tough fun challenges ahead :)
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby humanbeing » Tue May 07, 2013 9:11 pm

Great suggestions enjoy the rides :D
Spaniel wrote:Save some energy for "The Wall", a 300m ~15% steep section just before the lookout.

Sorry to be a pedant but there is only one "The Wall" in Sydney and it's Otford Rd, running from Otford up to Helensburgh on the southern edge of the RNP.
2 km at over 20% for a lot of the climb. :twisted:
Have a great ride,
Peter
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby biker jk » Wed May 08, 2013 10:05 am

humanbeing wrote:Great suggestions enjoy the rides :D
Spaniel wrote:Save some energy for "The Wall", a 300m ~15% steep section just before the lookout.

Sorry to be a pedant but there is only one "The Wall" in Sydney and it's Otford Rd, running from Otford up to Helensburgh on the southern edge of the RNP.
2 km at over 20% for a lot of the climb. :twisted:
Have a great ride,
Peter


Perhaps your Garmin is in error Peter?

Here's what someone else measured that climb at

"Check out the Otford Wall. Climb starts on Otford Road, Otford at the Causeway heading West, and ends at Werong Pl Helensburgh. Its a real stinker. First pitch is diabolical........first 900m averages 12% i beleive, and i am certain there is a 200-300 metre section of near 15%.

1.9km (from causeway to Truck depot/50 sign)
ascent: 180m
average gradient: 9.6%"

Strava segment says 1.8km at 10.3%. Very tough climb but not over 20% for a lot of the climb. Now that would be a killer, perhaps literally.

http://app.strava.com/segments/694218
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby humanbeing » Wed May 08, 2013 1:47 pm

biker jk wrote:
humanbeing wrote:Great suggestions enjoy the rides :D
Spaniel wrote:Save some energy for "The Wall", a 300m ~15% steep section just before the lookout.

Sorry to be a pedant but there is only one "The Wall" in Sydney and it's Otford Rd, running from Otford up to Helensburgh on the southern edge of the RNP.
2 km at over 20% for a lot of the climb. :twisted:
Have a great ride,
Peter


Perhaps your Garmin is in error Peter?

Here's what someone else measured that climb at

"Check out the Otford Wall. Climb starts on Otford Road, Otford at the Causeway heading West, and ends at Werong Pl Helensburgh. Its a real stinker. First pitch is diabolical........first 900m averages 12% i beleive, and i am certain there is a 200-300 metre section of near 15%.

1.9km (from causeway to Truck depot/50 sign)
ascent: 180m
average gradient: 9.6%"

Strava segment says 1.8km at 10.3%. Very tough climb but not over 20% for a lot of the climb. Now that would be a killer, perhaps literally.

http://app.strava.com/segments/694218


I stand corrected.
I was just going on hearsay as I don't really look at Garmin & Strava past distance and average speed.
The Otford Wall still leaves that speed hump at West Head for dead.
Have a great ride,
Peter
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby simonn » Wed May 08, 2013 3:51 pm

For a wall closer to SilverArrow's home, checkout the first 200M or so...

http://app.strava.com/segments/629003

It is part of the reason I now have a compact crankset :).... and am considering going Ultegra 11spd when released (for the 11-32t cassette :)).
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Wed May 08, 2013 5:13 pm

simonn wrote:For a wall closer to SilverArrow's home, checkout the first 200M or so...

http://app.strava.com/segments/629003

Thanks - but I have to get up this one first... which I ride past regularly :D
http://app.strava.com/segments/632090

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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby trailgumby » Wed May 08, 2013 5:50 pm

Wakehurst Parkway is probably the safest option, if you can make the climb up to Seaforth from Spit Bridge. Follow the bike route signs, or I can post my Strava route from the commute home last night, if that helps.

Pittwater Road you're forced to ride with oft-impatient traffic. Personally, I'd prefer to avoid drivers in ugly moods.

While the Parkway has a higher speed limit, it has a useable shoulder for most of its length, the only exception being the Deep Creek bridge. If you turn into the Deep Creek car park just past the bridge, there is an underpass that takes you onto the eastern side for a nice bike path around Narrabeen Lake that is quite pretty.

I used to hate hills, and did whatever I needed to avoid when I first started riding. Now, I'm one of those weirdos who goes and seeks them out. :lol:

Part of my commute is to go and do repeats of the climb up from the Zoo wharf two mornings a week. Five minutes up, five minutes down, rinse and repeat x 3-5. You just drop it into an easy gear and spin (although I also do low cadence climbing drills, for other reasons). Then, in 6-8 weeks, you'll notice that instead of being passed by *everybody*, you are starting to pass a few riders yourself.

What got me going was earning the nickname "Captain Slow" for being last to the top of the climbs on a group ride at Ourimbah MTB park a few years ago. They don't call me that (to my face at least) any more. 8)
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Thu May 09, 2013 9:14 am

Hey TG. Makes sense - time to give wakehurst a go. Hoping the wife doesn't keep me busy on the weekend so I better get up early.
I like your zoo/hill tips. I have done the zoo a couple of times but I take double your time. There are so many hills to practice on in Mosman from the Zoo, Mosman wharf, the Spit, Balmoral, Chowder Bay, Clifton Gardens....
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby RomanTheCube » Thu May 09, 2013 9:20 am

Hi Silver, I'm in the same area but mainly I do a ~1hr hill route around mosman on week mornings. I save the longer stuff for the weekends when we do as people suggested above and head to west head etc.

Unfortunately when it comes to this area, if you want uninterrupted (as much as possible) riding without traffic etc it's pretty hard to find.

I'm driving out to the M7 cycle path this weekend to escape the traffic and some some steady state training for example, as ?I couldn't get that done in the LNS.

PS: Don't ride up the spit - ride up Parrawi instead! (Unless you want to get taken out by a car...)

Also, Taronga repeats as tailgumby says are great. Its a really nice short climb and plenty of other riders out there for motivation and/or distraction :)
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Thu May 09, 2013 12:07 pm

RomanTheCube wrote:I'm in the same area but mainly I do a ~1hr hill route around mosman on week mornings. I save the longer stuff for the weekends...

Hi Mr Cube,
Thanks for the reply. That's exactly what I do now. 4 days x 1 hr rides around mosman after work (in the dark and dealing with traffic) and longer adventures on the weekend. Seems to work well.

You're right, I don't do the Spit Rd, I do Parrawi as it's nice and steady. I tried the west side back to Cremorne once, that was tough.

A few weeks ago I rode the M7 bike path with my brother who lives out that way - dreamy smooth, no lights, no cars, .... but I heard there is a speed limit(?)

I like the motivation idea and the "captain slow" comment from Mr Gumby. A couple of weeks ago I passed a group on the downhill and as soon as it went uphill, they passed me back. Lesson learnt - wont do that again :D

There is a definite trend in this thread about dealing with hills and enjoying them.
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby RomanTheCube » Thu May 09, 2013 1:03 pm

Early morning mosman hill route there are barely any cars to deal with. Afternoon/night time riding around there is a nono IMO.

See you out there :)
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Fri May 10, 2013 10:00 am

RomanTheCube wrote:Early morning mosman hill route there are barely any cars to deal with. Afternoon/night time riding around there is a nono IMO.
See you out there :)

Actually I did a ride this morning as am going out tonight. Rode the rat run from Mosman to North Sydney which has a good hill set from Anderson park, High St and up the hwy to North Sydney and beyond.

If you overtake a guy on a hill with a silver bike and plain white shirt, feel free to say hi. :P
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:44 pm

Wow - it's been 3 months since I wrote this and am happy to say I have checked off some of the suggested rides, and loved it. Thanks for the tips.

Done West Head, Akuna East, McCarrs Top, Bobbin East and that last little kink up Wakehurst hurts me. I achieved a 100k ride around the north, and also a 100k Kurnell return run (I think I know why riders in the south are happier - no hills).

Next up, Mosman-Brooklyn return has caught my eye. Then onto the hard ones mentioned such as Akuna and Bobbin west, Galston, etc.

Considering the Sydney-Gong ride in Nov? Is it good or is it too crowded?
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby rdp_au » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:39 pm

I think the 'Gong is a good ride. It is crowded but well organised. With the work you've been doing you should towards the front and not caught up with slower and less experienced cyclists.
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby queequeg » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:39 pm

rdp_au wrote:I think the 'Gong is a good ride. It is crowded but well organised. With the work you've been doing you should towards the front and not caught up with slower and less experienced cyclists.


The gong ride is mostly downhill too. There are no major climbs, despite the course profile making Bald Hill look like Mont Ventoux.
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby SilverArrow » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:11 am

Sounds like I should give the gong a go.
Thanks
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby rdp_au » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:27 am

Indeed. Had a quick look at my strava record from last year. The longest climb is from Red Cedar Flat to Otford coming out of the National Park. A little over 6 km at 3%. There are a few steeper climbs, nothing over 8% and all quite short.
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Re: Suggest rides from Lower North Shore

Postby queequeg » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:24 pm

rdp_au wrote:Indeed. Had a quick look at my strava record from last year. The longest climb is from Red Cedar Flat to Otford coming out of the National Park. A little over 6 km at 3%. There are a few steeper climbs, nothing over 8% and all quite short.


Yep, that 6km climb is the one that looks like a 20% climb on the course profile. It might very well be if you ride back up Bald Hill after finishing, but I found the Syd to Gong extremely easy. I was with less capable friends so I didn't ride my usual pace and my heart rate averaged about 60%.
If you can ride 100km in Northern Sydney, Syd to Gong will not be a problem. It is only an 83km ride with lots of downhill sections.
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