Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:13 pm

What I'm going to do today is tell y'all a story about a little thing I like to call 'riding a bicycle from Sydney to Canberra'. And you're going to read it, because it's part of human nature to enjoy engaging in other people's lives. Hence the reason we watch movies. Visit other countries. Learn to eat with chopsticks. Tour on bicycles. Plus, it it a cool story, involving rags to riches storys, and real risk taking activities like jumping red lights in front of cop. According to various sources quoted through wikipedia, twice has a man beaten a horse in the 'man versus horse marathon' in Wales each year. Sure, in hot conditions, man could beat a horse easily, but why not use a bicycle? Much faster than either, no second mouth to feed, mane to brush, agistment, pooper scooper etc, and frankly, you see and feel much more on a two wheel thingy for 8 hours than you would sitting in a cage like thingy for 3 hours.

After a good training ride with my pal Matt (Addict3), and chatting to Pete (MrHuong), we decided to head to Canberra after all. Pete dropped out last minute with work commitments, so myself and Matt headed to Macarthur station and the University of Western Sydney for a 7am start, with no rainclouds in sight. I like to pack light; 5 Muesli bars, phone keys wallet, gatorade powder, sunscreen pack, crampeze pack, HRM, and arm sleeves, keeping it real! On the way to Macarthur, a dude on the trackwork trains wanted to know what 'you bludgers are doin on the train'. He told us he went from homeless bum to centrelink-paid student, to $120,000/year OH&S operator in a matter of weeks! He was trying to convince us to ride against traffic to avoid getting rear ended - sound advice, but just because we don't like a law, doesn't mean it's all right to break it. We were going to the nation's capital after all, and could have coffee and biscuits with the red lady if we really wanted to discuss the issue.. Down onto the freeway on the Scott Addict and Azzurri Chrono Elite, and absolutely awful road for about 20km.. bumpy little rocks, but flat enough. 700x25c tires would have been excellent here, however, these were not to be found nearby. A short potty break where my mate Daniel and girlfriend Laura drove past (they were our ticket home), and we were back on the road again, and it was relatively smooth sailing - a few stupid bits where the road had been dug out (probably to access underground pipes) then resurfaced with rocks that washed out (as no cement was added), a couple of bridges with no shoulder (thanks to the courteous drivers who changed lanes for us), and we were well on the way to Mittagong. We passed an older fella on a mountain bike just heading for a ride, and saw all the spoils of the Great Southern Land; desert, country, bush, and forest - and we weren't even half way yet.

The first service station (after he Mobil 45km in) is the one at Marulan (just after a heavy vehicle checkpoint) is the best spot to get water (about 112km in). No thanks to whoever planned the god-awful Marulan road works, which had a concrete barrier between the road and bicycle lane. Great! Pedalling on a 2 lane 80km/h road. What is it about not treating bicycles equally anyway? I pay my taxes to aid the $6.9 billion spent on building and repairing roads this year, and pay registration on all my vehicles with a power output greater than 200 Watts, as necessitated by the RTA. After a few cars passed safely, there was a truck coming with a car next to it, so it couldn't change lanes. I unclipped, put one leg on the barrier and hopped over it. Riding on the other side of the barrier was all good - till Matty rang and told me he's still at Marulan when I thought he'd left before I did! A 5 minute rest near the grave of Khan, sunscreen on, sleeves off, then back on the road.

Smooth sailing all the way to Goulburn, but still on the 'hilly' side. My 25 tooth minimum had a bit of trouble climbing at 90RPM, but Matt had no problem with his 27 tooth. Plus, his frame weighs 900 grams, his wheelset's under 1.6kg, and he's one fit bastard!. A stop off at Coles in Goulburn Centro (after a devilishly long incline), and the self-serve machine was popping out $5 bills to me like a dirty casino game. 6 more muesli bars in the pocket, red rooster (sushi in Matt's case!) in the belly, and we were ready to roll after thanking the security guard for keeping our bikes in the security room. He said he's had a bit of trouble with the local boys who'd want to bring their bikes in since we could, so he wanted to take them away for safe keeping. No worries mate! Down the main street of Goulburn to turn left a red light, where Matt decides to get a rolling start - only the light doesn't go green. The car next to us beeps at him, and Matt's half way through the turn when I realise it's actually a cop getting out his booklet to fine him. The other officer tells him not to worry, so they follow us for a while to see if we do anything stupid.

Back on the freeway with 90km to go, and a nice downhill to so called 'Lake George'. Ain't nothing remotely lake-y about it, just a big field of grass with a wind farm in the back ground, and deceiving flat looking incline. A sharp climb, and we realised something must be happening in Canberra - the amount of cars pulling trailers with high-end track motorbikes was well above average. Not real sure what was happening there. After hearing a tapping noise coming form the back wheel, I pulled up to find a piece of metal lodged in the back tire. Lucky it's lined with proper anti-puncture material - or it'd be the third puncture this year. After yanking it out, I noticed a brand new VW golf with hazards on in front. I went to ask if everything was right, but he beat me to it. Nice bloke thought I'd broke down! Along this route, there were plenty of lots, pet kennels and cemeteries, and even lots for sale. Seems like a good deal to me, and why not? Walk around the front yard naked in the morning, own sheep and chickens, grow strawberries, and throw parties as big as you want without neighbors complaining.

Between Lake George and Hadlow Drive, there was the steepest incline of the day (pfft, the M7 has worse!), with a nice lookout opposite Hadlow Drive. After this, there was nothing. Great scenery, but no reason to shift at all in the saddle. Rabbits, cute little sheep which looked like balls of grass unless you looked closely, more track bikes, rock roads which buzz annoyingly (better than rough roads I suppose..) uphills and downhills for miles. Rolling into Canberra was a good feeling - apart from the rotting corpses of Kangaroo's and the van of Asian fella's who slowed down to wave, it was quite flat and fast. I can't say I've ever spent much time in our nation's capital, so after a trip to the skatepark and local subway, the bikes went in the boot and it was back to Sydney the boring way.

Cheers to the good drivers of NSW, Victoria and Canberra, (hope everyone stayed safe on the motorbikes!) some of which rode the middle line of the road to give us unnecessary extra room, the cop who told the other cop not to book Matt, Daniel and Laura for meeting us in Canberra, and that one dude on the bus. Overall, it was a great ride, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to do a day tour without needing a backpack, or anyone who wants to try distance cycling for a first time. It was my first ride over 200km (238.66km in 8:30, top speed; 73.8KPH, 156 BPM AVG HR), with good scenery and wide enough lanes for the entire (bar about 1km total) trip. The only gripes are the 'rocky' flat roads which are made of hard packed little stones for about 1/5 of the ride, great for grip, but not so great for speed or on the arse with road buzz. If anyone has any comments or questions, feel free to post them underneath!
What are these salesmen peddling?
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by BNA » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:18 am

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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Addictr3 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:18 am

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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby vander » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:22 pm

Nice! Well done.
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:25 pm

Proof in the pudding;

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Goulburn, just before lunchtime

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ACT

more photos to come!
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby NotFlyingScot » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:01 pm

vander wrote:Nice! Well done.


+1 To paraphrase the late great Jack Gibson, "you done good"!
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby leximack » Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:44 pm

awesome, well done guys.
A great effort and looks like you got down there pretty quickly.
How much climbing?
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby daniel.s » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:15 am

Good work guys, and a good write-up too.
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby ruscook » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:30 pm

NotFlyingScot wrote:
vander wrote:Nice! Well done.


+1 To paraphrase the late great Jack Gibson, "you done good"!

+1 Fantastic report and sounds like you really enjoyed it as well. :D
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Addictr3 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:20 pm

leximack wrote:awesome, well done guys.
A great effort and looks like you got down there pretty quickly.
How much climbing?


2.4km in climbs, but not really that bad if you ride Bobbin Head / Akuna / Galston Gorge etc
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:12 pm

Guys, I really wish I were riding with you on the day, but I'm still sick!

Given today's weather you were lucky to have it fine and you seem to have been flying down there. Very well done. You'll have to start thinking about doing a Petite Flêche Opperman and then a full one.

Congratulations, again.
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby brokenbus » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:48 pm

Awesome ride- Been thinking about having a go at it for a while now. How hard is it to get around these road upgrade works at Marulan?
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:46 pm

bigfriendlyvegan wrote:Guys, I really wish I were riding with you on the day, but I'm still sick!

Given today's weather you were lucky to have it fine and you seem to have been flying down there. Very well done. You'll have to start thinking about doing a Petite Flêche Opperman and then a full one.

Aww :( Seems to have stuck with you for a long while! Might be an allergy or something.. We might have a couple more trips planned early next year. I think Matty was planning on doing Orange on the first of Jan if anyone's interested?

brokenbus wrote:Awesome ride- Been thinking about having a go at it for a while now. How hard is it to get around these road upgrade works at Marulan?
Cheers
Nicko

Not hard at all man; it's just one of those little concrete barriers (just google concrete barriers, and they're the ones that come up!). Just waist high. If you ride on the 'wrong' side of them, you'll be fine, but roadwork may be soon to commence. Either way, it's about a 500m stretch, so you may even be able to wait for no cars, then wing it.
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Addictr3 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:48 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
bigfriendlyvegan wrote:Guys, I really wish I were riding with you on the day, but I'm still sick!

Given today's weather you were lucky to have it fine and you seem to have been flying down there. Very well done. You'll have to start thinking about doing a Petite Flêche Opperman and then a full one.

Aww :( Seems to have stuck with you for a long while! Might be an allergy or something.. We might have a couple more trips planned early next year. I think Matty was planning on doing Orange on the first of Jan if anyone's interested?

brokenbus wrote:Awesome ride- Been thinking about having a go at it for a while now. How hard is it to get around these road upgrade works at Marulan?
Cheers
Nicko

Not hard at all man; it's just one of those little concrete barriers (just google concrete barriers, and they're the ones that come up!). Just waist high. If you ride on the 'wrong' side of them, you'll be fine, but roadwork may be soon to commence. Either way, it's about a 500m stretch, so you may even be able to wait for no cars, then wing it.


I just road on the road, people were nice to let me by.
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby brokenbus » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:21 pm

Thanks. If I am going it will be just after xmas so I doubt they will have started the works by then
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Dec 23, 2011 6:53 pm

brokenbus wrote:Thanks. If I am going it will be just after xmas so I doubt they will have started the works by then

How are you planning to get back? Because if you can get more than one bike back then, well, you know, you might have some support and someone to show you the way
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby brokenbus » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:27 pm

Thanks but I will be staying down there for a while. Wife and kids will be back up as they will be travelling down later that day- Probably pick me up along the way some where as it is more than double my longest ride! I will be leaving a fair bit north of where you left so I may not make Marulan.
Cheers
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Wayfarer » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:03 pm

All righty mate, hope you have a great trip, and stay safe!
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby brokenbus » Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:50 pm

I had ago at this yesterday. The BOM website indicated low temperatures but 20-30kmh headwinds but I were hopeful of these not occurring. I left Glenorie at 820ish and no headwinds for about the first 500m and then it was pretty much constant after that. Anyway I headed off towards Castle Hill then through Norwest and down the M7. Does anyone else actually ride on the M7 or do they take the cycleway? M7 is much flatter by the looks of it and not too busy being the day after boxing day. I had to take a small detour through Cambletown to avoid the Roadworks and my first reststop was about 15km after this- The place that advertises Cherries, Peaches etc. The guy gave me a peach and I reckon it was one of the nicest peaches I have had since my parents stopped growing them. Had another rest stop at Pheasants Nest and knocked over 2 Powerades and the second museli bar for the day.
From Pheasants Nest on it started to get hard (I was worn out from the headwind!) and it seemed like it was pretty much uphill from here on. Well that or the headwind was that strong that it made the downhills feel like uphills. The first real climb of the day for me was Catherine Hill and this was a slow grind in a 39/21 but I noticed around the top that the headwind had dropped so I was a bit happier. A bit further along I came too the long hill down to Natai River(Not sure if thats the correct spelling). I thought going up the other side was going to be tough but I found it it a lot easier than I was expecting. However I didnt like the bridges with about 350mm of edge to ride in. Fortunatley I was given plenty of room and no trucks came. The next 20odd kms were pretty good and managed to get a bit of rythm going and move at a reasonable pace. The Wife overtook me just before Sutton Forest Maccas and waited for me there. That was enough riding for me for one day and I tucked into some great peaches from the guy selling them. Total travel was 168.5km which was way more than I have done before. I could of done more if I had to and I would of gone further if I didnt have that headwind.
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Addictr3 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:03 pm

Sounds like a solid ride, I know how those headwinds feel!
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:35 pm

Good ride buddy! Really well done. Sometimes I ride the M7 on the way back south, a lot faster and much flatter. The cycle way goes up a hill every time there's a branch-off of the road, so it's always rolling up and down. How much did you eat?
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Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby milkman » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:55 am

Thanks for sharing that story. Really enjoyed it!
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Addictr3 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:16 pm

Our next ride is from Milsons Point to Newcastle 7th of Jan.. should be interesting :-)
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby brokenbus » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:17 pm

I had a weetbix and some sultanbran before I left then 3 museli bars and one peach and 2 powerades during the ride. Then apeach and an apricot after. Probably not enough but I feel a bit sick if I eat when riding. Beer was cosumed that evening!!
The ride to Newcastle sounds good. Which route are you going to take?
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Re: Sydney to Canberra... ka-ching!

Postby Addictr3 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:09 am

If you feel sick when eating on the bike, try consume liquid calories, or GU, Water mixes? Dried fruit?

There are a few ways we could ride, I am thinking maybe the Wisemans Ferry way? Go up through the Gorge (Climbing :D) then out to Wisemans, over on the Ferry and back around to where the Central Coast Highway starts, I'll have to research, if not, we can go up via Calga, Peats Ridge, Bumble Hill etc.
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