MTB Ride in Blue Mountains - Narrowneck recommend/review

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MTB Ride in Blue Mountains - Narrowneck recommend/review

Postby Chanboy » Tue Mar 17, 2009 10:33 am

Hi all,

Weekend after next, gf and I are heading into the blue mountains, basically just to escape Sydney for a bit.

We are planning bush walking, but I'm hopeful to convince her into a MTB ride on one of the days.

We will have to hire MTB's as we do not have car's able to carry two bikes easily. We are of average / medium fitness (she rides to work every day, I ride only on weekends). We could probably to a 4 hour ride or a whole day ride (if it's a bit more leisurely... :-) )

Any recommendations of trails and/or bike hire places? Is it worth doing an organized tour? ie for the fun of riding in a group.

We are staying in the YHA in Katoomba, and would need to hire and start/finish trails from that area... (hard for us to transport bikes for trails long distances away from Katoomba)

Thanks!
-Dan
Last edited by Chanboy on Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:00 am

BNA
 

Postby madrapper » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:00 am

Been a while since I've been riding there but I have good memories of Narrowneck. Awesome views of the valleys on both sides so don't forget to take a camera.
It's an out-&-back ride from Katoomba so it might be the go if you have to hire bikes too (no help on the hiring of bikes I'm afraid).
Cheers,
Dave
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Postby Chanboy » Tue Mar 17, 2009 12:22 pm

Thanks - Narrowneck looks pretty nice. Checked out bike hire places, seems there are several options at around $50 per bike per day.
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Postby Bnej » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:13 am

Yep Narrow Neck in Katoomba. It has some steep bits though they're not long so you can walk them if you have to. Just give yourself plenty of time so you can do the whole trip, and take enough water.

If you want something easier, Hanging Rock in Blackheath is OK too
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Postby Chanboy » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:08 am

Cool, gf believe's she's up for a whole day ride... and shouldn't be a problem for me. The Narrow Neck trail is about 36klms. We'll carry water in bottles and spare bottles in back packs. (+ lunch probably).

Walking some sections is fine... we are not there to race, just to relax, get some exercise and enjoy being out of the craziness of the city...


Anyone know if there are places to refill water along the way?
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Postby madrapper » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:15 am

Chanboy wrote:Anyone know if there are places to refill water along the way?

I don't think so. So take what you need. Sitting out on the point of the ridge is a great spot to munch on some lunch.
Cheers,
Dave
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Postby herzog » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:27 am

The Fat Hippy website has a lot of good info.
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Postby trailgumby » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:15 pm

Surf on over to www.nobmob.com .

Lots of trail maps, photos, and organised rides including newbie and social sessions.

For a longer newby-friendly ride, Oaks Fire Trail is well regarded although the final climb out is steepish.
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Postby Chanboy » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:55 pm

thanks guys, will check out the sites and trails over the weekend with the GF... (weekend after is the trip)
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Re: MTB Ride in Blue Mountains - looking for recommendation

Postby ruscook » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:24 am

Some good rides listed here: http://www.users.on.net/~fathers/

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Re: MTB Ride in Blue Mountains - looking for recommendation

Postby swaz » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:07 pm

There is a bike shop at Wentworth Falls (before you get to Katoomba) who would have lots of local knowledge!
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Re: MTB Ride in Blue Mountains - looking for recommendation

Postby Chanboy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:09 am

Hey Guys,

Thanks for all the links and info.

We had an awesome ride on Saturday through Narrow Neck, weather was just perfect, about 14C when we left Katoomba warming up to around 26C or so. Almost no wind and crystal clear blue skies. The weather god of mountain biking was looking kindly upon us on Saturday!

Wow, what a fantastic way to see some of the blue mountains. Well I've been there many times before, but usually just hiking or hosting tourist / friends from overseas... but never really been up there to just... well do nothing but relax and enjoy the fresh air.

Now to the ride...

When they say medium to hard difficulty - they really mean hard difficulty - well difficult for weekend warriors like myself and my gf. It's more endurance kind of stuff rather then technically difficult, though... there definitely were some hairy raising down hill section to keep us awake. There was also some very steep down hill sections leading to very long level sections where you could really hoot along in the forest...

There were a couple of uphill sections that were even quite difficult to push a bike up hill (on foot)! However, coming down those sections was well worth it.

The ride took us a good 4.5 hours in total, but we were pretty relaxed. Was Kirsty's first time off road, so she took a bit of time navigating the tricky downhill bits (blew me away on the flats and uphills though...). Took 30 mins or so to have a packed lunch at Narrow Neck and admire the awesome views (along with a few other fellow riders out enjoying the day). Went through about 4L of water between us, so was glad we packed even more then what we "guessed" we would need.

I learned an appreciation for hydraulic disc brakes on this ride. The bikes we hired were Haro hard tails... pretty basic MTB bikes, but quite tough... They were equipped with mechanical discs... and man did they require some hand pressure on the leavers to get them to work. My previous mountain bike had hydraulic disc brakes and I didn't quite appreciate how good they are compared to manual brakes... Anyway - just call me iron grip now...

Eventually got back to the bike hire shop around 3pm... and man, the beer at the pub was so good!


Narrow Neck Trail - highly recommended, but go prepared with plenty of water and food/snacks. Its a great workout.
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Re: MTB Ride in Blue Mountains - looking for recommendation

Postby Chanboy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:12 am

swaz wrote:There is a bike shop at Wentworth Falls (before you get to Katoomba) who would have lots of local knowledge!


I actually hired bikes from Blaxland Cycles in Katoomba, the guy was quite knowledgeable about all the surrounding trails, and was very helpful in picking bikes that were the right size. My only concern was that their "day hire" was from 9am to 3pm. It turned out to be ok because we got back by 2:30 and were too buggered to ride any more anyway.
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