RNP Loop vs Three Gorges

RNP Loop vs Three Gorges

Postby The_Eggman » Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:18 pm

Just wanted to get a feel how the ride around the Royal National Park loop (going anticlockwise) compared to the Three Gorges (Galston, Berowra and Bobbin)? Three Gorges damn near killed me on Monday, and I just want to know what I'm in for around the RNP?
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by BNA » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:45 pm

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Re: RNP Loop vs Three Gorges

Postby MREJ » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:45 pm

I know them both quite well.

It depends which way you're thinking of going in and out of the RNP. The climbs at Audley are probably steeper than anything on the 3 Gorges, but not terribly long. Other climbs in the RNP are comparable, except the legendary Otford Wall :twisted:

I ride the Park a lot. Some of my favourite options are:
1 Add an out and back to Sublime Point along the old highway - good road, excellent views at SP, very fast back particularly with a tail wind
2 If going to Stanwell Tops, the downhill approaching it from Helensburgh is superb and much nicer than the uphill, which is too squeezy. This can combine well with option 1
3 The downhill from Garie to bottom of Waterfall is the best in the park. I sometimes go our of my way to ride up it just so I can turn around to go back down the hill.
4 Back down from Otford into the Park is pretty awesome too, and the long climb in the other direction is fun and easy (like Bobbin Head east side, but longer and better).
5 If you want to test yourself, go to the Wall - starts at Otford and heads straight up to Helensburgh. 2 very hard kilometres, although the first is the hardest. If you do this, be in your easiest gear when you hit the causeway, because it hits you straight away.
6 It's pretty safe, enjoyable riding along the highway breakdown lane from Sutherland to Waterfall. You can use this as an easy warm up (not much gradient) before entering the park at Waterfall, and/or use it as a blast back towards Sutherland once you've done all your work. With a southerly behind, you'll feel like a hero. You can keep rolling in an overall downhill to the pedestrian bridge at Como just for an extra bonus, if that takes your fancy.
7 Some people ride the freeway between Waterfall and Helensburgh, but the old highway is much, much nicer than hammering along next to trucks through breakdown lane rubbish.
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Re: RNP Loop vs Three Gorges

Postby humanbeing » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:14 pm

3 Gorges this morning and RNP last week. I've never done RNP anti clockwise - the climb out of Audley would be steep.
Here are the stats from Marrickville and return.
3 Gorges - 118 km, 1595 m climbing
RNP with Otford Wall - 115 km, 1400 m climbing
Plain RNP - 93 km, 1025 m climbing
The Otford Wall is the hardest thing in Sydney! :twisted:
Cheers,
Peter
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Re: RNP Loop vs Three Gorges

Postby The_Eggman » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:20 pm

Thanks for the advice guys.

For the record this is the loop I was intending to ride: http://app.strava.com/segments/998301

I was trying to get my head around which way would be better/easier for a newb (assuming a Loftus start).
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Re: RNP Loop vs Three Gorges

Postby MREJ » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:44 pm

Anti-clockwise would be my choice for a first time. You get to warm up along the highway (and there's less traffic on it earlier), rather than having the tough climb out of Audley before you're warmed up. You also get great views towards the city as you ride down towards Audley. There are some nice optional add-ons to this ride:
1 Out to Bundeena - pretty easy, and a nice place to stop for a coffee. You can also get a ferry over to Cronulla from there and get on a train, if that fits in with your plans.
2 From bottom of Waterfall, ride south up to Otford to see the sea, then turn around and get a 14k downhill (mostly) before continuing along the route you mentioned.
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