Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby phineas » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:35 pm

Hi,
I am hoping for some advice/route suggestions.
I am a novice rider and I'd like to ride down the Fernleigh Track to Belmont, and then along the lake to Warners Bay area.

Firstly, on the map I can see 'Green Point Reserve' and it looks to have a few tracks running through it from Belmont to Valentine.
Are these tracks suitable for a road bike? (And for a relatively unfit rider... are they particularly hilly?)

Secondly, I see on the map that between Valentine and Eleebana there seems to be no path along the lake, but I don't have the confidence to ride that short stretch of main road (as I know it's not got much of a shoulder - I vaguely remember sitting behind a cyclist when driving in a car there a long time ago).

Is there another suggested route that will be a bit safer?

I have attached a photo of the bit of main road (Bareeki Road) that I am worried about.

Thanks very much for your advice!

Image


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by BNA » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:00 pm

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Re: Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby bychosis » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:00 pm

There are some back streets up and around that section. They are hilly, and I worked out a way through a while back when I thought I was going to need to ride through without a helmet (vehicle pickup stuff up with the helmet in the wrong place).

I don't like riding the bends, but feel there isn't much of an alternative. If you pick your gaps in the traffic, that happen thanks to the lights at valentine, you can put in some extra effort to get past the really bad bits and then hide in the shoulder, driveway etc for a bit of recovery. Heading north bound is a bit up hill, southbound is a bit better as you can ride quicker down the hill (slight hill)

The section up past Belmont hospital isn't too bad, the shoulders are quite good.

Have been through green point reserve once on MTB, didn't really know where I was going, but it wouldn't have been a good ride for a roadie it got a bit rough (fun)
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Re: Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby phineas » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:14 pm

Thanks very much Bychosis.

I thought as much.

I don't think I'm confident enough at the moment to have a go. Maybe when I get a bit faster and pick a quiet time of day.
Or maybe give myself a heart attack tackling those hills on those side streets as a bypass :p

It's a shame there's no path down along the lake between those two spots, I'd imagine it would be very popular with riders of all abilities and families.


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Re: Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby bychosis » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:13 pm

They are going to extend the cloud ace bay cycle path around a bit further, to toonibal st. That will take out the uphill section when heading north, but still leave a couple of quite narrow bits. I believe it is supposed to be finished before end of financial. I'd also forgotten It is currently a rough track, no problem on MTB or hybrid, but a road bike mightn't like it.
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Re: Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby phineas » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:24 pm

Oh that's great news - I'm looking at the map and that looks like it will be much more doable.

I'm getting a MTB soon so will check it out plus Green Point Reserve when I get it.


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Re: Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby newie » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:25 pm

There is a paved route through Green Point, which I rode once when I was less confident on the road. I think there were a couple of steep sections, but only short. The diversion isn't really necessary as the road past the hospital is just fine. The "bends" are are a bit intimidating, but I have noticed new signage and road markings that make it clear that cyclists are to be expected. Most cars seem to be quite good and it is only a very short section. If you are unlucky you might get one of those who gives less space than is comfortable. You can avoid it by using Moani, Croft, Harkins but that is a decent uphill. The Warners Bay path is worth the ride - very pretty, but it can be a bit chaotic with pedestrians & novice cyclists all behaving a bit unpredictably.
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Re: Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby ningnangnong » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:35 pm

I ride through the bends, and down to Belmont and back twice a weekend, every weekend, so I feel like I'm pretty well informed on this subject! Newie is pretty much spot on.

From Belmont all the way to the start of the bends is pretty good. Shoulder is nice and wide, not much debris and most motorists give you plenty of room and exercise caution. That said, if you want to go through Green Point, it's definitely doable on a road bike - I've done it before! There's a path running all the way to Leichhardt Rd in Valentine, but then you'll have to descend down Andrew Rd (to get out of Valentine) no matter which direction you take, and it's pretty damn steep. If you do go through Green Point, I'd recommend joining the path at the top of Green Point Drive, then taking the first right and following it down through the bush. There's sort of a short, steep zig zag climb at the end as you reach the access path to Leichhardt Rd, but it's not that difficult. If you join the patch down by the lake at Ross St, then you'll have climb a really steep section about 1km or so in, in order to get to that turn-off I mentioned earlier. That's the tougher option IMO.

As for the bends, I remember I used to find them daunting when I first started riding through there, but nowadays I don't have any issues. Almost everyone slows down and gives you plenty of space. The only 'bad' part is from Yerambla Cl up to Eleebana Rd - the shoulder is extremely narrow and it's uphill, so you'll be going pretty slowly which can frustrate people. I still find there's decent amount of room for cars to pass here though. You do need to be careful of longer vehicles such as trucks and buses too. Once you get to Eleebana Rd, the road slopes downwards a little and is a bit wider, so you can get some speed up and people will give you room when they pass - occasionally they'll wait until you get right out onto the straight (when you can see the traffic lights) and then they'll pass.

Wow, this post has ended up much longer than I had planned haha. Hope it was helpful!
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Re: Riding from Belmont to Eleebana (Newcastle NSW)

Postby phineas » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:15 pm

It's all very helpful - thank you to all of you!


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