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Heading down to Kiama on the weekend, and was thinking about doing this loop on either Saturday or Sunday morning.
Has anyone ridden down Macquarie Pass before? What's it like for traffic, shoulder width etc? I expect to leave at around 6am, so I can be finished by 9:30 or so.
Would I be better off turning around when I reached the Illawarra Hwy and going back down Jambaroo Mountain Rd?
Any other suggestions welcomed.
Just a couple of gentle hills then
The pass is well sealed at the moment - there is no shoulder to speak of, though as Mike said, you'll be tracking as fast as the cars, probably faster on the descent so don't let that bother you.
You will find that it's a little hairier along the Illawarra Hwy once you're off the pass, again no real shoulder to speak of and the traffic is fast and frantic all the way into Albion Park.
Might just see how I go on the day. If I'm not that keen, I might just ride up to Moss Vale along Jambaroo Mountain Rd then turn around and come back the same way.
What are your thoughts on Saddleback Mountain Rd and Jambaroo Mountain Rd?
I used to live nearby and I'd also be hesitant about traffic on the road from the bottom to Albion Park. Perhaps it's ok early in the day, particularly Sunday? Mac Pass itself is a wonderful climb or descent.
Here's a good loop that could be worth including in your ride.
I'd be interested to hear how you go!
2010 Charge Plug, 2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Felt F75, 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL
Nice looking loop Kev. I live within the confines of your loop and have ridden most of the roads you're looking at riding. As others have mentioned the biggest concern traffic wise would be from the base of Macquarie Pass to Albion Park. It's got fast moving traffic (100+ km/h) and sections of little to no shoulder. The pass itself is fantastic though and a much nicer descent than Jamberoo Pass as it's a lot smoother, better maintained, swept clean of debris by the higher amount of traffic and doesn't have a couple of sets of traffic lights due to the road edge falling away and causing one side of the road to be closed (I was last on Jamberoo Pass mid June and there was two short sections where this was the case). Personally I'd choose Macquarie Pass because it is so much nicer but I'm also more comfortable along side traffic than many people. If you're not comfortable with traffic then the other area for concern would be climbing Mt Terry on the way out of Albion Park as it's another section with areas of little shoulder and a moderate level of traffic making it's way past while you climb.
The climbs of Saddleback Mountain and Jamberoo Pass are essentially quiet country backroads and two of the more challenging climbs in the area. I haven't done the first section of the climb of Saddleback that you're doing but I'm pretty sure the toughest bit will still be the final 400 or so metres from the gate to the carpark which my garmin tells me sits around the 20% mark. Jamberoo Pass on the other hand has it's toughest section during the first 2km and get's easier after that. I'm yet to attempt the two climbs in one ride but hope to do a loop similar to yours before the end of the year.
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