Ballarat

Ballarat

Postby jamesn184 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:59 am

Heading over there on the weekend and have some time to kill, so looking for a decent ride with a few decent climbs to "pop" my climbing cherry so to speak haha
So can anyone suggest a good route with some climbs chucked in?

Cheers.
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by BNA » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:12 am

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Re: Ballarat

Postby barefoot » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:12 am

Not many iconic climbs to "pop your cherry" so to speak - Ballarat is in a bit of a dip in a high plain. Lots of hills if you go looking for them, but most of them are pretty short (in the context of big alpine climbs).

The obvious targets for you are our two mountains - Buninyong and Warrenheip. You'll see them, it's hard not to. The road up Mt Warrenheip goes up behind Kryall Castle. Mt Buninyong itself will require a small deviation from your mandatory lap of the Australian Nationals road course, which is signposted.

For mine, one of the nicest roads around here is the Mount Mercer road. Head due south from the main intersection in Buninyong, which will take you out through places like Garibaldi, Grenville and Durham Lead. Some substantial undulations on that road. There's nothing at Mount Mercer itself - just a monitoring tower for a proposed windfarm - but if the road gets straight and flat for about 15km, you've gone too far.

You didn't mention how far you want to ride. From Mt Mercer, you could turn around and go back (they recently had a big club level TT race that did just that... waste of a lovely ride IMO), or you could head East toward Meredith or Elaine (both on the main Geelong road - the route going through either would be fine) . There's 1.5km of good quality dirt leading down to the river from Mt Mercer, which should be easily rideable on even a very racy road bike... just be aware that it's there.

From Elaine or Meredith, there's a big loop back to Ballarat that I have planned but not yet ridden, via Morrisons, Ballark, Mt Egerton. Some good hills to be had there.

Actually, that route would probably be better ridden in reverse due to the prevailing gradient on the flatter bits. Ballarat (or Buninyong), Egerton, Ballark, Morrisons, Meredith, Mt Mercer, Durham Lead, Buninyong.

Note that many of these places are just a few houses - some not even that - with not much in the way of shops and supplies other than Elaine, Meredith, Egerton and Buninyong. That should be a 100-120km day, depending exactly where you go.

There are plenty of other routes mapped on the various bike route mapping sites, and a few regular bunch rides listed on http://www.cyclingballarat.com.au who probably wouldn't mind an extra.

tim
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Re: Ballarat

Postby barefoot » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:23 am

barefoot wrote:Actually, that route would probably be better ridden in reverse due to the prevailing gradient on the flatter bits. Ballarat (or Buninyong), Egerton, Ballark, Morrisons, Meredith, Mt Mercer, Durham Lead, Buninyong.


...and here's a picture:
http://goo.gl/maps/66QIc

Or here, with elevation profiling magic:
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/bu ... rcer-loop#
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Re: Ballarat

Postby jamesn184 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:40 am

thanks for the handy info, my partner was born in ballarat but if I asked her where's good to ride ill no doubt get aggro :)
think I've got enough time to do around 90km
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Re: Ballarat

Postby coffeeandwine » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:25 am

barefoot wrote:Not many iconic climbs to "pop your cherry" so to speak - Ballarat is in a bit of a dip in a high plain. Lots of hills if you go looking for them, but most of them are pretty short (in the context of big alpine climbs).

The obvious targets for you are our two mountains - Buninyong and Warrenheip. You'll see them, it's hard not to. The road up Mt Warrenheip goes up behind Kryall Castle. Mt Buninyong itself will require a small deviation from your mandatory lap of the Australian Nationals road course, which is signposted.

For mine, one of the nicest roads around here is the Mount Mercer road. Head due south from the main intersection in Buninyong, which will take you out through places like Garibaldi, Grenville and Durham Lead. Some substantial undulations on that road. There's nothing at Mount Mercer itself - just a monitoring tower for a proposed windfarm - but if the road gets straight and flat for about 15km, you've gone too far.

You didn't mention how far you want to ride. From Mt Mercer, you could turn around and go back (they recently had a big club level TT race that did just that... waste of a lovely ride IMO), or you could head East toward Meredith or Elaine (both on the main Geelong road - the route going through either would be fine) . There's 1.5km of good quality dirt leading down to the river from Mt Mercer, which should be easily rideable on even a very racy road bike... just be aware that it's there.

From Elaine or Meredith, there's a big loop back to Ballarat that I have planned but not yet ridden, via Morrisons, Ballark, Mt Egerton. Some good hills to be had there.

Actually, that route would probably be better ridden in reverse due to the prevailing gradient on the flatter bits. Ballarat (or Buninyong), Egerton, Ballark, Morrisons, Meredith, Mt Mercer, Durham Lead, Buninyong.

Note that many of these places are just a few houses - some not even that - with not much in the way of shops and supplies other than Elaine, Meredith, Egerton and Buninyong. That should be a 100-120km day, depending exactly where you go.

There are plenty of other routes mapped on the various bike route mapping sites, and a few regular bunch rides listed on http://www.cyclingballarat.com.au who probably wouldn't mind an extra.

tim


Great summary Barefoot! Rolling hills not Alpine.

here is a link to Mt Mercer ride, would certainly recommend that one but ignore our pedestrian pace. On the link attached, we actually went past the corner where you turn around (to add an extra few km). Out and back is fun as the climb is steeper coming back in. That corner around 24km from Buninyong is where you turn east toward Meredith etc. Alternatively, you could turn west toward Colac Highway (couple of hills along there) but a bit of traffic on that Colac Highway to ride back in.

here is the twin peaks of Buninyong and Mt Warrenheip.

MapMyRide have a number of nice looking options over 50km

Another good ride would be start in Ballarat, 15km south to Buninyong, head east at roundabout and up the hill on Nationals course, 2km turn L, still on course and up the Mt Buninyong Rd (course turns L again after another 1 km and JUST past "KOM" point but can instead continue another few km on this Rd to top of hill (small pitch of 16%), plenty of Strava times to compare with. Come back down to where National course had gone L, follow Yendon Number One rd to Yendon and continue on Yendon-Egerton Rd toward Mt Egerton, nice little climb 1km at 8%, continue towards Gordon, L at Millbrook-Egerton Rd to Millbrook, R at end of rd and under the bridge for a few hundred metres then L onto Old Melbourne Rd towards Dunnstown. When you reach dunnstown can go straight ahead on Ti Tree Rd toward warrenheip (two small up hills and a rail crossing). when you get to warrenheip turn L at the hall, bridge back over the train line for a few km to a t intersection. Turn R will take you back in to the centre of Ballarat. Might need a map/GPS with this one but an interesting ride.

NOTE: no shop in Mt Egerton any more, it has closed and is a private residence.

Sunday weather looks better than Sat but bring a warm coat either way. Happy riding!

[EDITED once to clarify directions]
Last edited by coffeeandwine on Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ballarat

Postby barefoot » Thu Aug 16, 2012 1:20 pm

coffeeandwine wrote:
barefoot wrote:Not many iconic climbs to "pop your cherry" so to speak - Ballarat is in a bit of a dip in a high plain. Lots of hills if you go looking for them, but most of them are pretty short (in the context of big alpine climbs).


Great summary Barefoot! Rolling hills not Alpine.


Notice how careful I was to not use the words "hole" or "depression" to describe our fair city? ;-)

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Re: Ballarat

Postby coffeeandwine » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:50 pm

very diplomatic Tim :wink:

Actually just had a look at your ride-looks fantastic, will tackle that in a few weeks with a few mates, looking for a few longer rides preparing for ATB. Couple of very nice climbs in that.

Happy riding

cheers

Peter
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Re: Ballarat

Postby barefoot » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:02 am

jamesn184 wrote:thanks for the handy info, my partner was born in ballarat but if I asked her where's good to ride ill no doubt get aggro :)
think I've got enough time to do around 90km


Lovely day for it :lol:

:cry: :cry: :cry:

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Re: Ballarat

Postby jamesn184 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:41 pm

barefoot wrote:
jamesn184 wrote:thanks for the handy info, my partner was born in ballarat but if I asked her where's good to ride ill no doubt get aggro :)
think I've got enough time to do around 90km


Lovely day for it :lol:

:cry: :cry: :cry:

tim


Could not of picked a worse day.. the amount of crap I had to clean off the bike before putting it back in the boot was :O
I got a little lost on the way down to buninyong to hah.. over all tho nice ride. Bit of a slog from Buninyong down to Mount Mercer... those rolling hills were a killer, each time Id climb one then descend it only to see another 1 looming :(
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Re: Ballarat

Postby barefoot » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:04 pm

jamesn184 wrote:Bit of a slog from Buninyong down to Mount Mercer... those rolling hills were a killer, each time Id climb one then descend it only to see another 1 looming :(


Hehehe... you did say you wanted a hills ride :-D

I went out for a night ride last night (as I tend to - the only time I can easily take a couple of hours off is after the kids are in bed). From home in the inner North, straight to Buninyong, around the Nationals course, then back home.

I forget how much of a bastard climb it is from Ballarat to Mt Helen, before the drop into Buninyong. A long, long grind, much slower than it looks like it should be. Then the climb up Buninyong... hehehe... I really need some climbing gears on my road bike. I was going to have a crack at the summit, but after getting to the top of the KoM stage in 39:23 I was ready for some downhills... big ring and in the drops all the way home :-)

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Re: Ballarat

Postby jamesn184 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:45 pm

barefoot wrote:
jamesn184 wrote:Bit of a slog from Buninyong down to Mount Mercer... those rolling hills were a killer, each time Id climb one then descend it only to see another 1 looming :(


Hehehe... you did say you wanted a hills ride :-D

I went out for a night ride last night (as I tend to - the only time I can easily take a couple of hours off is after the kids are in bed). From home in the inner North, straight to Buninyong, around the Nationals course, then back home.

I forget how much of a bastard climb it is from Ballarat to Mt Helen, before the drop into Buninyong. A long, long grind, much slower than it looks like it should be. Then the climb up Buninyong... hehehe... I really need some climbing gears on my road bike. I was going to have a crack at the summit, but after getting to the top of the KoM stage in 39:23 I was ready for some downhills... big ring and in the drops all the way home :-)

tim


I rode through Buninong on Geelong Rd.. and came back through there on Midlands Hwy, went flying down there to the round about doing just under 70km
Ill be back next month to tackle Mt Buninyong, should I climb that first or last? as id prefer to go down to Mt Mercer first as descending on gravel is better then climbing it
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Re: Ballarat

Postby coffeeandwine » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:54 pm

jamesn184 wrote:
barefoot wrote:
jamesn184 wrote:Bit of a slog from Buninyong down to Mount Mercer... those rolling hills were a killer, each time Id climb one then descend it only to see another 1 looming :(


Hehehe... you did say you wanted a hills ride :-D

I went out for a night ride last night (as I tend to - the only time I can easily take a couple of hours off is after the kids are in bed). From home in the inner North, straight to Buninyong, around the Nationals course, then back home.

I forget how much of a bastard climb it is from Ballarat to Mt Helen, before the drop into Buninyong. A long, long grind, much slower than it looks like it should be. Then the climb up Buninyong... hehehe... I really need some climbing gears on my road bike. I was going to have a crack at the summit, but after getting to the top of the KoM stage in 39:23 I was ready for some downhills... big ring and in the drops all the way home :-)

tim


I rode through Buninong on Geelong Rd.. and came back through there on Midlands Hwy, went flying down there to the round about doing just under 70km
Ill be back next month to tackle Mt Buninyong, should I climb that first or last? as id prefer to go down to Mt Mercer first as descending on gravel is better then climbing it

Hi James,
glad you enjoyed our lovely weather (sat was pretty ordinary). Where did you strike the gravel?

I think OP did request hills, Mt Mercer delivered, a lovely ride though-did you strike the pair of wedge tail eagles as you get to the top of that climb, drops of sharply to the left overlooking bush, simply lovely out there.

Let us know when you are heading back this way.

cheers

peter
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Re: Ballarat

Postby jamesn184 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:44 pm

I struck the gravel around where you cross over lal lal falls?
it was smooth gravel for a bit going down hill then greeted with full on gravel with golf ball size rocks -_-
Ill be back on the 15th next month I think, Ill have a good crack at Mt Buninyong next time :)
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