Hunter Valley ride and tour (road)

hez
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:20 am

Hunter Valley ride and tour (road)

Postby hez » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:45 pm

Hi,

My girlfriend and I we are planning to go to Hunter Valley this weekend and we want to take the bicycles with us. We both ride quite a bit. Here in Australia we have our gravel/cross bicycles which we use for road cycling 99% but we also have the wider tyres for offroad.

I've found these two rides in strava that look ok, but I'm not sure which one will be nicer:

- Branxton and Broke 86km:
https://www.strava.com/routes/1225369

- Chessnock, Maitland, Paterson, Branxton 117km:
https://www.strava.com/routes/936923

The second one would be our limit in km, but maybe I would shorten it a little (<90km). We have ridden longer distances with much more climbing, but for this weekend I want to keep it light.

Do you have another proposition? Any nice gravel grinding ride around 60-70km?

About the wineries visit (second day), I have no clue. Should we take the wider dirt tyres with us or that's not necessary? Any suggestions? Would it be better to take the car or pay for a tour?

The problem is today is tuesday, we would leave this friday, it's a long weekend and we still haven't got a place to stay... :S

Thanks in advance!
Last edited by hez on Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

hez
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:20 am

Re: Hunter Valley ride and tour: road or gravel?

Postby hez » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:22 pm

rog on a bike wrote:Try Pokolbin, Cessnock, Aberdare, Kearsley, Lake rd Ellerington to Leggetts drv, Kurri Kurri, Abermain, Neath (Great Pub), Cessnock and Pokolbin Via Oakey creek rd (near Cessnock golf course) and McDonalds rd. Traffic will depend what time you travel and there is a medium amount of HTFU in that very pleasent trip.
About 60 to 70 Ks But feels like 80

option 3 ?

hez
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:20 am

Re: Hunter Valley ride and tour: road or gravel?

Postby hez » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:42 am

So... just in case someone decides to write here..

I made 3 rides:

1. Lake Road, Kurri Kurri, Pokolbin: 61km 650m climb
https://www.strava.com/routes/10727798

2. Maitland vale: 85km 1000m climb
https://www.strava.com/routes/10727687

3. Broke and Branxton: 85km 700m climb
https://www.strava.com/routes/10727593

We want to do one of the two long ones on Saturday and the short one on Sunday (number 1).

Which one of the others is better? I've seen a couple spots with google streetmap and I think the number 2 seems nicer...

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find_bruce
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Re: Hunter Valley ride and tour: road or gravel?

Postby find_bruce » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:52 pm

I grew up in Singleton, but that was a fair while ago & I haven't been back lately, so things might have changed.

I wouldn't be keen on #3 as it involves riding along the New England Highway & golden highway / mitchell line of road. Yes its is possible & I have ridden worse roads, but too many trucks to be pleasant. Main view along broke rd will be of the open cut coal mines

Looks like you should have a good weekend

hez
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:20 am

Re: Hunter Valley ride and tour: road or gravel?

Postby hez » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:52 pm

find_bruce wrote:I grew up in Singleton, but that was a fair while ago & I haven't been back lately, so things might have changed.

I wouldn't be keen on #3 as it involves riding along the New England Highway & golden highway / mitchell line of road. Yes its is possible & I have ridden worse roads, but too many trucks to be pleasant. Main view along broke rd will be of the open cut coal mines

Looks like you should have a good weekend


Yep, I've been looking some spots with google streetview, and the road of the maitland vale one seems nicer, yes.
I think we will do that one on saturday and the short one on sunday. If we start early I hope we don't have much traffic and after the rides we still have time to go to a couple of wineries! ;)

Thank you very much for your advice!

hez
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:20 am

Re: Hunter Valley ride and tour: road or gravel?

Postby hez » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:41 am

Trip done!

We did the "Wiggle Hunter Valley classic reduced version" from Cessnock to Maitland, Maitland Vale and back on saturday (85km). The Maitland Vale is wonderful. We only saw a group of cyclists having breakfast, we stopped there to do the same and they looked at us like we were aliens or something. No hello, no nothing... they just stared at us and left. :S

The ride was beautiful. We started at 6:30 am on a Saturday and there wasn't much traffic. Maitland Vale is really worth the visit, but no vineyards, not even one. Lot's of lovely fields and cows, though! :) Small hills and constant short slopes. My girlfriend struggles a little with this kind of routes and in the end she was complaining: "another one?!" jejeje but we enjoyed it a lot. This part was greener than the vineyards part. The problem was the wind. I think we had a constant lateral/head wind throughout all the ride with up to 45km/h gusts. And magpie attacks! Dozens of them!

After that we went to visit some wineries, and it was awesome. We wanted to have lunch on a fancy restaurant but everything was booked out. Anyway, 100$ for 3 small good looking pieces of food wouldn't have been enough for us after the ride, so we went to a not-so-good thai restaurant and devoured 3 dishes full of meat, chicken, veggies, rice and noodles... full belly ready for some more wineries! After that, we had a good nap, some unhealthy food in a local pub and back to sleep.

On sunday we did the Hunter Valley Loop suggested in the other post, 61km. At last we could see some vineyards (much less than expected, to be honest) and more hills / short slopes. Nice views, everything good, beautiful. We stopped at a winery about 10-12km before the end of the ride where we had a nice coffee and a piece of lemon pie which was amazing. The waiter was very nice but he found weird we ordered a piece of pie while riding. I think here in Australia you got it wrong:

- Before the ride: Australia: coffee. Rest of the world: cereals, fruit, orange juice, ham, eggs, tea, coffee, milk...

- During the ride: Australia: coffee. Rest of the world: coffee and cake (or a toast with olive oil and grated tomato if you are in Spain)

- After the ride: Australia: coffee, take away and go home right away. Rest of the world: BEER and unhealthy food until drunk, then go home saying the ride was very hard and everyone had a flat or two, all your friends will confirm the story. :)


About the road, it wasn't so bad as people say, it's a rural area, what do you expect?!
But the amount of debris, crystal/glass in particular, you find constantly on the road and shoulders is incredible (A lot. Bad. Very bad).
I had a flat 2 km away from the hotel when we were coming back. :( (A real one :P )
Don't be a tosser! (jijiji)

All in all, a nice trip. If we were to stay in Australia longer, we would repeat and I'd like to do a longer ride around the area.

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