All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
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I am in the early stages of planning a ride. I have ridden from Bega up to Nimmitabel and Cooma, and enjoyed it, but that was years ago.
What are the traffic and road conditions like now? If there is not much traffic, good. If there is a lot of traffic but plenty of room, OK. If there is too much traffic and no room, I'll think of a different route.
Your thoughts, folks?
I too have recently contemplated this ride. I have travelled the road a number of times this year and noticed the condition of the shoulder which is excellent at the Cooma-Nimmitabel end. Wide clean shoulders making cycling easier and safer. Traffic wasn't too bad(even when going down on Saturday morning which in summer can have heavier traffic to the coast).
The elephant in the room here is Brown Mountain. The road has been closed in recent times due to landslides (road falling away). This has lead to sections of the re-opened road having rough or patchy surface. there never was much shoulder on the mountain but until repairs are completed there is less than usual. This is not to say that you can't do it, there are still cyclist egularly on this stretch of very steep, very winding road. You may want to drive it first and make sure you know the road condition (as it seems to be changing regularly over the last six months) and make sure that you know where you can pull over (especially if cycling from Bega).
Good luck with it, it looks like a beautiful area for a decent length ride.
Yes, that is a nice challenging & scenic ride, subject to the comments from Diddybike about Brown Mountain.
My experience with it is also some years ago now. In the late 90s & early 2000s I twice did the Bega to Nimmitabel section as part of a long audax day ride en route to other places (Dalgety, Jindabyne, & beyond), as well as riding a 190km loop Bombala-Cathcart-Wyndham-Candelo-Bemboka-Nimmitabel-Bombala (which I also did in the other direction twice). I also rode to Bombala from Cooma via Nimmitabel as part of a week-long tour.
On a drive to the Coast via Cooma & Brown Mountain from Canberra in February this year it seemed that the traffic levels are similar to when I did those rides, though it's hard to judge in a car. While on that drive I thought it would be nice to do some of those rides again, though for relationship reasons I don't have the free time now that I had in those days !
Enjoy the ride.
PS I recommend using a rear vision mirror (in my case a Blackburn helmet mirror), which I've used on audax, touring, commuting, etc, rides since the mid-90s.
I cycled this area often in the 1980's including several times in charge of large groups of teen students on bikes. Always down the mountain though...never up it!
We now drive it occasionally on the way from Canberra to Bermagui. It isn't noticeably busier and I would have no hesitation cycling it myself. There are a number of attractive cycling circuits you could devise including villages such as Bemboka, Kameruka, Candelo, Tathra, Tilba. Beautiful area.
How about using Mount Darragh Road from Pambula South through Wyndham and Cathcart instead of Brown Mountain?
Some logging trucks use it, but a nicer ride than Brown Mountain.
Go through Bombala on bitumen or short cut on dirt via Creewah.
Yes this should work. The caveat is that it is almost 30 years since I last rode it, but this was part of the circuit we used to take student groups on. We used to finish at Bombala.
Started at Nimmitabel, down to Tathra, back to Bombala. Done over 5 days with big groups of complete beginners. Never lost any of them!
I'd be interested to know more about your Yass to Bairnsdale route as I am planning a Canberra to Melbourne ride which will include Bairnsdale. The plan is here
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.
I looked at your proposed map, I only did the Bredbo to Cooma part of where you are planning to go, between Canberra and Orbost. the Monaro hwy is busy but not to bad to cycle. there is a detour to Michelago via Burra from Queanbeyan which is dirt but a nice quiet roads but was wy to Bombala. I followed the old railway line to Bombala so that was my route. road was busy to Bombala then I went via Delagate and down quite road to Orbost.
I noticed your dates, I cycled in the first week of October and it was cold, both and night but also during the day. your route is even higher elevation than mine so you will have to prepared for cold weather. I have driven from Buchan to Jindabyne and the road is dirt most of the way, not sure what condition it will be in September.
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