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Or more accurately, is it possible to climb Mt Majura on a road bike?
I came across this route on Bikely.com last night:
Mount Ainslie to Mount Majura
On the map the author notes that there is a tarred road to the top. I pass very close to the start of this climb once or twice a week on the bike and was wondering whether to give it a go.
I mentioned this to a work colleague who thinks that:
A) You aren't able to ride to the top since it is gated part the way up
B) The road surface is pretty ordinary which makes for a hairy descent
But he also mentioned that it's been years since he's ridden it. Is Mt Majura worth taking a look at on a road bike?
Richard is right - suck it and see!
I zoomed in as far as the satellite images will go and followed the route - I couldn't see a gate, but there might be one. I've always assumed that there was a gate, but I've got no evidence to back that up.
Anyway, Majura Road between the Highway and the airport is very unfriendly for bikes - it's one of the few roads I won't ride on.
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OK...it appears there IS only one way to find out then!
Friday morning on the way to work I'll take a look (I'll even take the camera and take a few pics).
Peter - yes, I've been told to avoid Majura Rd on the bike but the entrance to the road that climbs Mt Majura is only about 1.5km along Majura Rd from the Federal Hwy. Anyhow, if it proves to suck too much I'll just give it a miss. There are plenty of other hills in Canberra to climb!
And the answer is...
Yes, but mostly no.
The road surface is ordinary at best, but it is tarred. The main problem is the locked gate about 800m up the climb from Majura Rd. I've been told that some riders lift their bikes over the gate and continue on despite the numerous signs saying that only authorised personnel are allowed beyond that point. Hmmm...probably not a good idea.
For those that don't know there is a radar on the top of Mt Majura that is part of the air traffic control system for Canberra airport.
So, yes, you can climb Mt Majura on a road bike, but I personally don't think it's worth the trouble.
And just what is your job in the home of the politician?
Thanks for that. With all the hysteria about terrorism, I don't know that I'd be entering forbidden zones that have things like radar installations, especially in election year - you could easily find yourself as the next 'child overboard'.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
Not a politician, although I may be starting to talk like one.
BTW...I did take the camera as promised. It's an old Canon that I haven't used for a few years. I have two batteries which I charged last night...both of which I discovered refused to hold a charge. I managed to get a single shot of Mt Majura with the radar on top...but you need a magnifying glass to the see the radar so I didn't bother to post. What I really wanted was a shot of the gate with it's multiple padlocks and warning signs. Another time perhaps...
Don't worry about that locked gate. Its because they don't want people driving up to the radar installation on top. The installation is actually surrounded by a high security fence etc. The road itself is part of the Majura Nature Reserve. If you approach from the Canberra side (a firetrail climb on the mtb which is superb) then you can get right to the top without any warning signs etc. The road is pretty ordinary but is great for doing hills reps on the road bike as you can't get run over. Just take it easy coming back down as there can be seeds / gravel on the corners.
It really depends what side you are coming from.
I walk a track up Mt Majura that ascends from the NW face entering from Watson/Hackett side.
This path is MTB friendly however, there are a few fences with the stairs on them.
The path I walk winds its way around the lower base until it hits a fire trail on the southern end of the saddle.
I have seen people riding up this trail on MTB crankin in lowest gear, but the surface is very loose steep and rough, so much so that even waking down is dodgy because its so steep and loose, let alone going more than 10kmh on a bike. .
It can be done via access trails, and have seen it done, but it sure would knock the fun out of it doing it that way...
Road bikes... no way, not on the paths I refer to.
Ohand I am a bit of a photographer, so I have a few Mt Majura night shots if you wanna have a look at.
Find them here http://www.flickr.com/photos/danman_cc/page5/
If you are ever up there after dark and see some hooded guy skulking around in teh shadows with a torch camera and tripod, come say hello, its probably me.
edit - woah, ancient thread, just got on board forums.... sorry peeps.
A seriously ancient thread! I haven't bothered to venture anywhere near Mt Majura on the road bike since my last post.
Hey, some really good photos!
When I finally get around to getting a MTB (2010 perhaps) I'll head out that way again.
I agree that its as good a climb as you'll find for your road bike in Canberra. Like BigClimbs said, there is fire trail that joins the sealed road right near the top. surface is (still) sketchy but thats no bother on the way up. Its a great view of the city from up there. Anothe reason to descend slowly is the many, many kangaroos i've seen up there.
A tip for the climb, dont spend everything too early, the last ramp is tough! it comes after the only flatish section (maybe 50-75metres) in a right hand corner, so you'll know it
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Im going to update this thread in a few days.
OI moved from working in Braddon to working at Brindabella Park - Riding to work is no longer practical from Ngunnawal on a hybrid.
I drive past Mt Majura road twice every day on my way to work, so I am guessing I can get some hill action in before work and all is good.
Will take my DSR and extreme zoom inmy panniers for an observe and report.
I have done Mt Majura a few times in the last few months, most recent being Sunday. Foggy climb and descent, but road is in good condition. Just be wary of wildlife and loose rocks and plant litter across the road. It is pretty dirty. I reckon Mt Ainlsie is a tougher climb, but its been a while since I have done it, so I might have to go back and check.
I wouldnt mind doing the 6 peaks one Saturday if anyone else is interested. Prolly around 100kms...
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Might be keen in a few weeks once i get some hills back under my belt
Current Ride: Giant 2010 TCR Advanced 1
It's been over three years since I started this thread and I finally managed to climb Mt Majura on a road bike this morning.
Comparable to Mt Ainslie in terms of difficulty (i.e. unrelenting), but I haven't been doing a lot of climbing lately so it was tough. Wished I'd remembered to hit the lap button on the Garmin for some more specific stats...next time. The kangaroo that jumped out in front of me on the way down (and then quickly did a u-turn and jumped off the road...phew) made things interesting on the way down.
It's easier to get to than Black Mt and Mt Ainslie from my place so maybe it will become a regular climb. Maybe...
It's a good hill in that it's a pretty consistent grade (kicks up a bit toward the end) and there is no traffic to worry about. And it's a great view when you get to the top.
Slight downside is the wildlife that can jump out in front of you and also trying to cross Majura Rd to get to it.
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