Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby Rich-Ti » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:09 am

I'm keen to tackle some dirt road riding - the kind of stuff that's no sweat for a standard road bike, albeit perhaps with slightly larger tyres.

This is something I've been meaning to look into for a while, but as I'm still getting to know Sydney and the surrounding area it's tricky knowing where to look without some guidance. I know of some riding out towards the Blue Mountains via another forum-ite, and I hope to get out there to have a crack at that with him in the not-too-distant future.

I'm keen on finding some stuff closer to home though - preferably that I can ride to (I'm near Manly), or at worst is a short drive away. Can anyone help?

For anyone who thinks I'm mad and is cringing at the prospect of riding your 'precious' off road, you don't know what you're missing...
Last edited by Rich-Ti on Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:20 am

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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby SheikYerbouti » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:20 am

There are loads of options around Kuringai Chase NP between Hornsby through to Belrose, St Ives, and Terrey Hills. Have a look at Strava for those areas and find segments, they'll indicate the well-used trails.
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby Rich-Ti » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:53 pm

Hmmm, I can only really see road segments on Strava. There's some short off-road sections showing up, but they don't look worth the detour.

I guess what I really want is to string together a decent gravel road loop - is there anything like that within reach?


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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby alchemist » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:13 pm

From Manly you could ride up the Wakehurst Parkway, then into the Bantry Bay fire trail at Seaforth. A bit of road, cross Warringah Road and follow the pipeline along for a bit, a bit more road then down into Cascades Fire Trail off Stone Parade DAvidson. Up to St Ives, Along Mona Vale Road to Terrey Hills or take the singletrack from the Show Ground. Perimeter Track/Long Trail & Duck Holes & Centre Track are in this area.

All of the above are very easily ridable on a CX bike. Road bike? might depend on your set up & skills.

If you're looking for more, head out to the North West around Richmond Windsor and even through to the Colo & Wisemans Ferry. Plenty of gravel and all easily ridable.
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby Rich-Ti » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:18 pm

alchemist wrote:Road bike? might depend on your set up & skills.

Neither of which I'm worried about.

Sounds like a good 'starter for ten' - I'll plug it into my Garmin and give it a crack, thanks.
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:40 pm

Terrey Hills has some fire trails that might suit, but CX tyres would be best. Surfaces tend to be loose and sandy in the low spots.

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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby trailgumby » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:44 pm

If you want some real fun, Old Man's Valley mtb park would be worth a visit. The surface on the Blue sections has excellent grip and it's comparatively smooth and hard packed. It's shortish but you'll find it hard to resist going around and around until your core is stuffed and you can't stay on line any more :lol:

Awesome if you're looking for a different kind of challenge and workout. :)

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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby sankari » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:27 pm

Rich-Ti wrote:Hmmm, I can only really see road segments on Strava. There's some short off-road sections showing up, but they don't look worth the detour.

I guess what I really want is to string together a decent gravel road loop - is there anything like that within reach?


I tried this as well. I had to go to the closest zoom, and then I began to see the off road segments. There are some seriously steep climbs, with average grades over 12%. I wonder though, what's the status of these trails. Many of these are marked as walking trails, even though they're quite wide. Are they being used 'informally' as MTB trails?
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby alchemist » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:29 am

12% doesn't count as steep off road ;)

If the tracks are wide (2-3m) then they are likely to be fireroads and are allowed to be used. Anything much narrower than this are probably being used 'informally' as you termed it, with the obvious formalised exceptions (Manly Dam, Old Mans Valley, Golden Jubilee Park)
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby sankari » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:46 pm

Ahh, good to know. It looks like most of the segments in Ku Ring Gai are actually of the wider fire trail type. I also realized you can click on the rides of the segment leaders to get an idea of the connected routes through the area.
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby michaelten » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:43 am

As was said earlier you can head out towards Windsor, Richmond and Wisemans ferry for dirt roads.
Here a few I used to do quite a bit.

http://app.strava.com/activities/68605705 Blaxlands Ridge rd is tar, road to colo heights and mountain lagoon and upper colo road are all dirt

http://app.strava.com/activities/70099439 most of this loop is dirt

http://app.strava.com/activities/73294391 the northern section of this ride is dirt as well as the climb up to Wisemans ferry rd.
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby Rich-Ti » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:54 am

Thanks
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby simonn » Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:58 am

Obligatory audax link (and only tenuously rideable from Manly)...

Saturday Jun 14th 2014 Festum Prophetae - mixed terrain, lots of dirt

200km
300km
400km
600km

I did the 200 last year. Settlers Rd (from George Downs Drive to St Albans) is fun, pretty and hilarious dirt descent on a road bike - I wouldn't like to drive that road without a 4WD. I did it on my CX with 28mm slicks. A fair few riders did in on roadies and tourers. One recumbent - and the rider had a beard! - too. Would be very hard work to ride it the other way around without very low gearing.

Also, Perimeter Track, Terry Hills was suggested to me by some knowledgeable MTBers (who also ride road, and I suspect you have ridden with too) as a good place close to home to take my CX too.
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby Rich-Ti » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:03 am

Ta Si.
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby wellington_street » Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:25 am

The road from St Albans to Bucketty is fine in a 2WD, just corrugated at times. I've driven it a couple of dozen times including at midnight on a beautiful moonlit night which is something special
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Re: Dirt Road Riding in & around Sydney?

Postby trailgumby » Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:49 am

The issue with Perimeter Track is the section behind the houses when you start from the RFS and Community Centre carpark gets very boggy after rain and takes a couple of weeks to dry out.

Best to start from the Japanese School when it's like that (such as date of this post).

There are lots of downloadable route files on nobmob.com along with accurate trail descriptions and rideabilty status on a "traffic lights" board.
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