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I wanted to get some quick advise on riding probably the M4 and/or Great Western Highway to get from Sydney (CBD) to the Blue Mountains.
Should I instead take the train to the Olympic Park and start there?
M4 or Western Highway ?
I ride from Centennial to Waterfall on Saturdays, although we do this in a group. I'm concerned with driver's visibility of my bicycle.
I'm planning on doing it on a Friday morning.
I want to make sure I don't end up in a horrendous situation.
Any advise on what you recommend is appreciated.
Train to Olympic park would be the best way to start, then follow the bike path which goes under the M4 until Parramatta. From there you can ride the M4. I wouldn't ride on the Great Western as you have no option but to ride in a lane for most of the way to Emu Plains.
I did it a few weeks ago and there is plenty of rubbish in the breakdown lane. So pack a spare tube or 2.
I live in the Blue Mountains, and don't fancy either option!
I would check to see if you are allowed to use the M4 - last I heard, bikes were not permitted. I don't think I have ever seen a bike on it.
It would seem like a more attractive prospect than the Highway, no traffic lights, wide shoulders etc, but there are plenty of on/off ramps and a 110km speed limit for much of the way.
Maybe you should get a train to Emu Plains? The Highway west of there is reasonable enough.
You can ride the breakdown lane, it's fine just don't do stupid s h I t. I have only ever ridden up, never down, but I have heard that's where the danger lies . . .
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Are you still yet to take trip? A couple of suggestions to mull over.
If you start from Olympic park (or Parramatta) you may be better off taking the Parramatta River route. Follow river until Silverwater road cross over and follow on the north side of the river, leads into Parra park and then alongside Westmead hospital and then joining Windsor road. Looking at a couple of maps of the route would help (parra council,strava) to see how to follow this route but it is well signposted and is on off road cycle paths or non busy roads roads. If done on the weekend expect even less traffic (btwn olympic park & parra), friday will be it a little busier with an industrial area to pass through but nothing major.
On Windsor road you must keep to the off road cycle path that runs along side it until just before Blacktown area where a nice shoulder begins, most roadies use this pretty much all the way to RIchmond. (turn left before windsor to join a road leading all the way to Richmond) There is one section where the shoulder dissapears for 1km but you can easily jump across to the bike path along side the road.
From Richmond its quiet roads to Springwood via Castlereagh and Springwood Road with a nice climb included. From Springwood you can join the GWH and continue to Katoomba.
m4 is perferctly fine for bike use except for the toll/james ruse area of it. The unpleasent constant traffic and increased chance of punctures are the issue, I have used the m4 3 or 4 times as part of a loop coming off the mountains and connecting to the M7. If you do decide to take the m4 to get into the mountains, take the Emu Plains (Russell Road) then use Mitchell's pass. It will let you skip the worst sections of the GWH where the M4 finishes. Mitchell's Pass is a very quiet road that was closed to cars until recently, not overly steep either.
Mitchell's Pass has been re-opened to cars for several months now and as it is one way down from Lennox Bridge should not be used for going up.
It was great for cycling when it was closed as it is by far the easiest way up the first part of the Blue Mountains plus there were no cars. I even saw some guys on street luges coming down one day.
I rode from Manly to Bathurst on New years day this year, rode the M4 and it was fine. Just watch out for huge trucks and keep an eye out on all the exits.
If you can't explain it simply, then you don't understand it well enough.
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