Rides/routes in the ACT

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Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby rdwaltonut » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:01 am

I just recently moved to the ACT and am looking for some good, long rides I can do on the road.
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by BNA » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:22 am

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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:22 am

The ACT is surrounded by 15 wilderness regions, the mountains have a big influence on cycling here. Bramina, Bimberi, Deua, Wadbilliga, Woila, Bobbys Plains, Gooberagandra, Bogong, Brogo, Budawang, Ettrema, Jagungal, the new Western Fall Wilderness, Kosciuszko Main Range and the 15th wilderness region if you go a bit further to the Southern Blue Mountains north of Goulburn, is the Kanangra Boyd Wilderness.

The back country dirt roads across the mountains are fantastic. There are few tarmac roads leaving the ACT, so the traffic is very heavy on the tarmac, generally. The best secondary roads are tarmac then they become dirt. The best tarmac road to leave the ACT is Mountain Creek Road. It's mostly tarmac, all bar about 4-5 kilometres of dirt on the ACT/NSW Border. Mountain Creek Road has little traffic. Mountain Creek Road joins the tarmac of the Yass/Wee Jasper Road. To the South, Boboyan Road takes you over the notorious Fitzs Hill, then shortly after it is dirt until near Adaminaby through Shannons Flat. If you leave from Queanbeyan, heading south to Burra, past Burra its dirt to Michelago.

The Barton Highway is chock-a-block with trucks and cars. The Federal Highway to the Hume will poison you with Diesel fumes before you even reach the Hume, and has mega traffic. The Monaro Highway is a proven death trap for cyclists, sadly. The Kings Highway is full of Formula I drivers racing to the coast and sees many accidents caused by excess speed. The dirt around here is primo and you'll hardly see a car on it, if at all. Any road bike with reasonable touring tyres can handle the dirt going across the mountains or to the Yass Plains or south towards the Snow Fields.

Or consider leaving Canberra by train, which many riders do nowadays. Then start riding, from Taralga Station, Goulburn Station or Yass Junction or further to Crookwell, Junee or Wagga Wagga or from points North and then ride back to Canberra. If you leave Canberra by Country Link, train or coach, you must have a bike box which can be got the Canberra Railway Station. If you leave by Greyhound, there are few things to do, like removed the pedals, cover the chain turn the bars parallel to the frame.

The only dedicated cycle route into and out of Canberra, is the multi-use (MTBs, horses and walkers) Bicentennial National Trail. Heading North, until the SW of the Blue Mountains, it is easy rural back roads riding until Wolgan State Forest, then its through the spectacular Western Blue Mountains, along the Great Divide. Much wilderness, many river crossings, eventually reaching Cooktown in FNQ. Heading South the BNT is almost immediately, mountain biking country, through the Naas River Valley towards Tantangra Dam and across the NSW Alps. Then through Victoria's High Country, again with many river crossings, eventually reaching Healesville in Victoria. On the BNT site, there are directions for the alternate cycle route to the main trail, these alternite routes are suitable for road bikes.

From Yass or from Wee Jasper there is an alternate cycle route for the Hume and Hovell Walking Track, which goes across the mountains and SW Slopes of NSW finishing in Albury. From early summer, the more isolated sections of the Hume and Hovell are closed due to fire danger.

Warren.
Last edited by WarrenH on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:12 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby nescius » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:28 am

Cotter/Uriarra loop is popular, from Hackett it would be about 75km round trip, add in Brindabella Road to the end of the tarmac for a longer ride with a bit more climbing. To get there from Hackett I would usually go either this way or if I wasn't in any rush I would go the bike path way

Lake George via Old Federal Hwy is another good one, the old federal highway is very quiet, you probably won't see any cars. Add in Shingle HIll way and Sutton road for a longer ride.

There is plenty of riding out past the cotter as well, and some nice climbs south of Tharwa like Corin Dam and Honeysuckle Creek. Paddy's River Road is nice too, head towards the tracking station for a nice hilly ride.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby iacl » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:34 am

you might like to have a look at the online ride calendar at [audax.org.au], you could also check out Pedal Power.

Guess it depends on what you consider a long ride
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:57 pm

Waiting for sunrise on the BNT at Holt.

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Crossing the Brindies should be mandatory, for all Territorian touring cyclists. If I was the Chief Minister, I'd make crossing the Brindies on a touring bike, a compulsory school subject.

I hope this helps.

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"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:57 pm

The Brindies from the BNT at Coolamon Ridge.

Image


Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby redned » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:02 pm

Warren: There is something wrong with your camera.
I lived in Canberrra for 13 years and I have never seen those views in quite that way!
Spectacular!
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:26 am

Redned, thank you. I go touring to take photographs. The ride is the bonus.

Here are some shots from the rides that nescius mentioned.

On the Cotter/Uriarra loop, approaching Stromlo after Uriarra. Looking towards Mount Corree in the horizon. Shot from one of The Three Sisters on Uriarra Road. The Three Sisters are more aptly called The Old Moles. This new name is courtesy of Karl B from The Berm, that was awarded to The Sisters at the conclusion of Karl's Wee Jasper Mini Tour. The Old Moles are the toughest three hills on the loop if you're hauling a touring weight.

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Lake George via the Old Federal Highway. Lake George from the lookout at the end of Haddlow Drive.

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... and from the BNT on the Lake George Escarpment at Marked Tree Road above Little Meadow.

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Corin Dam. Mount Tidbinbilla and Mount Gingera.

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Honeysuckle Creek. The tors above the camping ground at Honeysuckle Creek and the turnoff to the Mount Tennent Fire Trail.

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"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby Howzat » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:34 pm

Awesome photos, especially of Lake George. Do you carry a tripod on your bike?
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby rifraf » Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:03 pm

redned wrote:Warren: There is something wrong with your camera.
I lived in Canberrra for 13 years and I have never seen those views in quite that way!
Spectacular!

I strongly suspect that Wazza doesnt actually ride a bike at all but rather commands a Tardis like time machine
which has something like photographic exotica dialed into the time continuum. I havnt seen any better seller of the "ACT experience" and am only surprised at the lack Warrens posts complaining about the influx of out of towners ruining his rides into the solitary trails of his favor, immediately after his putting up "a few pics".
Surely Canberra's population of cyclists and trampers must double everytime he posts. I know each time I see another one of his posts I start to wonder at my logic of heading West when perhaps south east might have been the go. Keep up the good work WarrenH. :D
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby redned » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:11 pm

Somebody told me there was water in Lake George now, first time for ages.
New photo required.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:51 pm

Howzat wrote:Awesome photos, especially of Lake George. Do you carry a tripod on your bike?


Howzat, G'day. Thank you Mate.

Nowadays, I take a tripod touring without fail. I bungee one to the beam rack. On the Redgrounds Track, in the Northern Budawangs.

Image


I've not ever regretted taking a tripod on a ride, not once, but I've often regretted not taking one. No subject is technically out of bounds with a tripod and a cable release, particularly multiple exposures.

The skyline of Mount Tennent, taken on the alternate cycle route to the main trail, of the BNT.

Image


A crazy Blakely's Red Gum in the late afternoon. Found when I was taking a short cut on the BNT through North Lyneham ... and later that evening with the camera still set up on the tripod. Remaining registered for the night exposure, the tripod was invaluable.

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It is the Summer Solstice tomorrow ... that's if the world still exists.


Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby rifraf » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:31 pm

Oh alright, perhaps the Giant boing boing hasnt just been photoshoped in there but I'm sure theres a "Flux Capacitor" in the trailer. :wink:
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:23 am

Rif, the time machine has been switched to hibernation time or what is best called slow rider's time. The time machine is currently sitting on the trainer in front of the air conditioner. I've dialled the machine into anticipatory nostalgia time, for late Feb 2013. Hopefully lifting-off from Smokers Gap, aimed towards Leura Gap and a speedyish crossing of the Brindies. It might pay to scoot up early and do a reccy and place a couple of water drops, if summer keeps going the way, its been shaping up.

redned wrote:Somebody told me there was water in Lake George now, first time for ages.
New photo required.


Collector Creek started pooling in the historic Coledale Travelling Stock Route on the Northern end Lake George in the Summer of 2010. Wind on the water and looking down on the Federal Highway from the BNT on Marked Tree Road.

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There is little water to be seen from the highway but from on the BNT in Autumn 2011, there were good views of the filling. The headland in the foreground is Jones Point.

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Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby Vintagetourer » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:21 am

"Hopefully lifting-off from Smokers Gap, aimed towards Leura Gap and a speedyish crossing of the Brindies."

Do you know if this route is reasonably easy to find post-fires Warren?
I rode/walked to Victoria in the early 80's via Leura Gap. On my old Falcon tourer. It was tricky finding the track through Leura. I remember doing a double shuffle on foot through fallen timber with the panniers, then back for the bike, to get to the pass. Once over the top it was OK. There used to be remnants of a hut near Leura. I guess it would have been burnt in 2003.
Regards Graham
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:08 pm

Graham G'day. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

The last time I went over Leura gap was in 1985.

One of the reasons for wanting to go over Leura Gap, is to re-shoot the shots below and to see what has changed. I don't mind a day or two of portage. I expect the track to be difficult on the climb. I've been recently inspired to take the route by Karl B's Smokers Trail ride, done in late Feb' this year ... http://www.theberm.com.au/profiles/blog ... 26-02-2012

Karl has good shots of the trails. Before the snake fiasco, I did a couple of reckies up top during late winter and the tracks across the top of the range look good (see last two photos).

From the Smokers Trail when Karl reached the Cotter Hut Fire Trail he turned east, towards Orroral Valley, I'll turn west, to eventually join the Mount Franklin Fire Trail and at McKeahnie Creek start the climb to Leura Gap. I don't know the current state of play to Leura gap, I'll find out.

Leura Gap with Jagungal (left horizon) and the Main Range with snow (centre horizon), the track on Seventeen Flat, Clarkes Gorge (which could use some shadow detail, I'm not really Goyaesque), Murrays Caves and I'd like to see how Coolamine Homestead has aged ... after the KHA restoration done about 25 years ago.


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Through the Snow Gums and Mountain Gums at Mount Ginini the track was in great shape.

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Through the Mountain Ash lower down, it is more problematic at times ... but still stunning.

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Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby Vintagetourer » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:04 pm

I'll be very interested to hear, and see, how you go Warren. It'll be an adventure for sure.
All the best for Christmas.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby FatGuts » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:36 am

Hey guys, Warren has pointed me here and I had to sign up to view the post.

I have done a few treks around this area, Smokers Trail, Cotter Hut Track, Brandy Flat/Yankee Hat/ Naas Valley FT (in one day).

In my experience all of the main trails in the ACT are well looked after and easily passable with a 4WD (not that you can because of the gates). Warren, I did the Cotter hut trail in winter last year and they had been doing lots of work on it. At the bottom of the second climb on the border of the Bimberi Wilderness the creek crossing had been repaired to quite a high standard.

This was also the case with the Brabdy Flat loop we did this year with the exception of some parts of Naas Vally FT were quite badly eroded due to the rain over winter just gone.

Outside of the ACT? No idea but I have been reading some stuff on Crazy Guy On a Bike, some of the more remote tracks in northern KNP are falling into disrepair.

KarlB.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:30 am

Fat Guts, Karl, G'day. I'm sorry for not realizing that you would have to join BNA Forum, to read the thread. Thanks for posting Mate. Happy New Year.

Vintagetourer, Graham, G'day. These two photo of the Leura Gap Fire Trail east of the Leura Gap saddle, were taken on 1 Jan 2009 and 27 Oct 2012. The photos are courtesy of Mr John Evans, author of Johnny Boy's Walkabout Blog.

One thing that these photos don't portray, is the steepness of this trail but the quality of the track looks excellent.

Image

Image

On the new series topos Leura Gap Fire Trail is no longer shown but is well shown on the new SIX Maps site ... http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/

To the original missing poster; I rode around these hills on the dirt, on road bikes for 25 years. It is only in the last 4 years that I've owned a mountain bike ... nothing has changed, the road bikes have been more than adequate for the bush tracks in the region, the MTB is more comfortable though.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby Vintagetourer » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:31 pm

Many thanks Warren and happy new year.
I am pleasantly surprised at how timber free it looks. I am tempted to go up there and have a pedal around unloaded. I still have the 1:100 000 maps I used in the early 80s.
Yes I remember it was very steep in parts.
Do you remember a ranger who was based up there? He had quite a reputation for protecting the area with zeal.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby FatGuts » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:55 pm

No biggie Warren, it gives me something else to waste my time on while I am at work..... :P

All the best for 2013 mate, I will hopefully be doing some more touring this year. I had a hernia op on the 3rd of December so I need to get back on the horse so to speak. It has been over four weeks since I threw a leg over and I am getting itchy feet.

One of my planned tours is to head south to Smiths Road, across to Burra and down to Michelago. Up over the Tinderries and head towards Snowball. From here I want to snake along to Caountegany and then to Kydra and the top of Brown Mountain finishing in Bemboka at the pie shop.

I dont know how long that will take but I reckon the best part of a week as I want to have fun rather than push out the miles.

Here is a rough map: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=488396
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby WarrenH » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:20 am

Vintagetourer wrote:Do you remember a ranger who was based up there? He had quite a reputation for protecting the area with zeal.


In the olden days when ever we went up that way, we avoided going anywhere near Cotter Hut because of the Ranger. There is a track through the bush that cuts across Bimberi's eastern slope well above Cotter Hut, that those in the know, took. Could you be thinking of the infamous Tom Gregory?

Tom lived at Cotter Hut for three decades. Tom retired in 1986. When Tom first moved into Cotter Hut it was a slab built hut, built by Tom and Hanna Oldfield in 1892 and in 1960 it was replaced by the fibro dwelling that's there now.

The next Ranger to live at Cotter Hut was Bob Burdick. Bob had a strong American accent. No one who met him would forget his accent. Bob was doing research into stream flow. He left in the mid '90. Rangers don't live at Cotter Hut now.

I ran this past Beth the Ranger at Orroral yesterday and she filled in the dates.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby Vintagetourer » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:53 am

"In the olden days when ever we went up that way, we avoided going anywhere near Cotter Hut because of the Ranger. "

Perhaps it was Tom Gregory. The ride I did to Vic in the early 80's via Leura started in Lyneham. I had a helluva load on the old Falcon bike and only made it to up near Cotter Hut via Smokers Gap trail the first night. I shouldn't have been camping in there of course but didn't have much choice.
Just after dark a 4-WD (presumably the ranger) came past really slowly shining a spot light into the scrub. I guessed he'd seen my bike wheel tracks and was looking for the interloper. I'd done a pretty good job of secreting the camp so escaped being ejected. I pushed on over Leura Gap the next day and on toward Cabramurra.
I never met the ranger from Cotter Hut, but bushwalking mates from ANU said he was not to be crossed. Not sure why he had such a fearsome reputation but I wasn't going to put it to the test.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby FatGuts » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:55 am

How was Beth with riding through Bimberi Warren?

All the guff & signs say you should not do it but I dont see why, the tracks are well formed and its too hard/far for most people to get in there and make single tracks out of them.

Bike have little to no more impact than a hiker IMO. Most bike pakers are probably less likely to go off the beaten track due to difficulties with the bike.
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Re: Rides/routes in the ACT

Postby fatdudeonabike » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:53 pm

Just incredible Warren. Your photos make me really impatient for the day that I've lost enough weight and done enough kilometres to be able to haul myself up those climbs and get back into photography.
I used to do a lot of landscape photography - just because I'm from Tasmania, and theres a lot to take photos of.
I moved to Canberra, didn't realise how expensive living here was compared to Tassie - and so I sold out, started taking pictures of hot girls (or in Canberra's case, girls who think theyre hot or wish they were hot), and in the end packed in the whole photography game when I got thoroughly jack of the "glamour photography scene" in Canberra. (Getting talked into event photography that I didnt want to do in the first place was even worse...)
Literally, all I have left is the cheapest DSLR I ever owned, 3 different, multi-purpose lenses, and a couple of sd cards. I dont even still have a tripod to take...
Still, at least the old Pentax K200d weights bugger all - although I'm sure it's brick by todays standards.
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