Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Citizen
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Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby Citizen » Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:06 pm

Hi,

Long story short – I need to get from Warburton to Icy Creek this weekend. I don't drive, and am not sure that i will be able to get an Uber out there.

So – am i kidding myself that this is a reasonable ride? :lol: I'm in reasonable shape, and currently ride about 100km a week. Its a 60km ride, and Google maps says it takes 4hrs and 45mins


The trek starts on the Warburton Highway, then the Yarra junction Noojee Rd and finally the Mt. Baw Baw Tourist Road.

Does anyone have any experience in this region – how much traffic will I encounter? Is it unfeasably dangerous, or potentially too long for someone who doesn't cycle such distances regulalry? (i'm doing the Lilydale - Warburton trail the day before)

Many thanks in advance!

Hildalgo
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby Hildalgo » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:19 pm

The roads are narrow through there, but not very much traffic, and a fantastic ride to do and quite scenic. There's a bit of climbing, but only one main climb from memory.

https://www.strava.com/segments/8272875

BTW, Noojee's about the only place to get food along the way.

Citizen
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby Citizen » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:52 pm

Thank yooooooou! :D

Its mostly the traffic that I was concerned about, so I think I will give it a shot.

Re. the climbing – as a guy in his mid 30s of good-reasonable fitness, would this be acheivable?

Its a 4.4km climb of a 5% grade – I take it that is mild?

Citizen
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby Citizen » Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:55 pm

Thanks for the tip re. food at Noojee. I don't know the area, so I really appreciate it.

Thanks!

BJL
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby BJL » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:22 pm

What a coincidence, I rode from Yarra Junction -> Warburton -> Noojee -> back to Yarra Junction last weekend. :D

The worst part is along Warburton Hwy. I took Tarrango Rd to cut across to Yarra Juntion/Noojee Rd but it was busier than I expected. I had no issues with motorists which was welcome. Expect at least one idiot though. :(

The road to Noojee wasn't too busy. Motorcyclists tend to ride pretty fast along there. The road is fairly easy to Powelltown. Then there's a 4km climb which starts with a short steep pinch of over 10% for maybe two hundred metres and then sits around 5-8% for the rest of the way. Once over the top of the climb, the next 15kms is undulating where there's a bit of climbing involved but only in short sections. The road then flattens out for the last 10kms to Noojee.

On once past Noojee, there are two more climbs. Vesper's Hill (4.5kms according to Strava but felt like a lot more last time I did it) and then the final climb to Icy Creek. The first half of Vesper's is okay but the second half is fairly steep at around 10%. Then you'll get a rest for all of a minute and a half on the other side before the final climb to Icy Creek (2.5kms or so). This climb is easy compared to Vesper's Hill.

As for how dangerous it is? Probably no more dangerous than riding on any other country road. Note that I'm used to riding on country roads so what I see as 'safe' might not fit your definition. But I didn't have any issues with motorists and I never felt unsafe. Make sure you run front and rear lights as it'll make you much easier to see, particularly in the heavily forested areas. There's not much of a shoulder anywhere along this road. And the surface is coarse in places and will likely be wet so take care on the descents.

It's hard to tell with your fitness. How long are your usual rides? If you regularly ride 60kms+ in a single ride and can climb (not a Beach Rd junkie), then you should be okay.

Other than all that, enjoy!

Edit - Yarra Junction - Noojee Rd about 10kms east of Powelltown

Image

Citizen
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby Citizen » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:48 am

WOW – thanks for the detailed report BJL. That helps a lot.

I think I'll allow myself extra time to make this trek – maybe 6 hours, with a break in the middle somewhere. I'll be skipping past the Warburton HWY, so hopefully I will avoid the worst of it, traffic wise.

I'll be sure to run my lights, and be careful on any descents if its wet. Thank you again, so much. :)

Citizen
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby Citizen » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:53 am

Thanks for the tip re. Vespers Hill. I looked it up:

http://theclimbingcyclist.com/wiki/Vespers_Hill

How long did it take to do the climb?

BJL
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby BJL » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:38 pm

I had to go through my Strava history for this one! I've only ever ridden Vespers Hill twice. Both times were about 25 minutes. At least I'm consistent. :P That was on a road bike carrying nothing but me and a couple of bidons.

Vespers Hill:
https://www.strava.com/segments/609773

Powelltown climb:
https://www.strava.com/segments/8272875

My only recorded time is about 20mins but I've done it more than once. I might have missed that segment a few times with GPS tracking issues. :(

Icy Creek Climb:
https://www.strava.com/segments/609774

My times have all been around 10-12 minutes for this climb.

I think your initial 4hours 45mins should be okay. It's 15kph for four hours plus a 45 minute break at Noojee. My times up those hills puts me at about 10kph for the climbs which is more than made up for on the rest of the road. For reference, I'm only an average climber and I tend to average about 20kph on my rides.

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kb
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby kb » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:29 pm

Had to look up my history too :-)
https://www.strava.com/activities/476350658

It was raining about half the time but I don't remember feeling unsafe. (Well apart from my left crank loosening between Tanjil Bren and Icy Creek)
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dalai47
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby dalai47 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:13 pm

There is finally a little snow on Mt Baw Baw, so expect some snow traffic on the weekend.

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Toyopet
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Re: Cycling from Warburton to Icy Creek? Dangerous?

Postby Toyopet » Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:56 pm

Citizen wrote:..... Is it unfeasably dangerous, or potentially too long for someone who doesn't cycle such distances regulalry? ......

I agree with BJL. It's a question of what you're accustomed to and prepared for. The road has traffic; log trucks on weekdays and some tourist traffic on weekends. But it's a beautiful road well worth riding.

If you're finding the distance and climbing a little daunting, taking some well deserved breaks can make all the difference. The all-in-one general store/pub/post office at Powelltown is a nice stop before you tackle the main climbs. The Noojee Trestle Bridge is a worthwhile tourist visit just before you get into Noojee township.

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