Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

sammy2020
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Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby sammy2020 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:54 pm

Hi all

I’m training for a distance cycle race and am thinking about cycling from Cronulla to Lake Macquarie (Toronto) via the old pacific highway - not the pacific motorway. The old pacific highway seems to follow the motorway.
So I think the route is Hornsby, Cowan, Gosford, Wyong and then up to lake mac.

What’s the pacific highway like to cycle on ? From a traffic perspective? Is there many places to stop and get supplies ?

I saw some people back in 2008 said it was great to cycle that way but I’m wondering if anything has changed since then. Also wondering if there are any road works or sections I need to plan to get around ?

LateStarter
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby LateStarter » Tue Dec 01, 2020 8:15 am

The annual Newcastle Overnight (not this COVID year unfortunately) goes from Sydney Harbour Bridge (SHB) to Newcastle but goes to the east of the lakes from Gosford but is of course also "overnight", https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28628349 and https://newcastleovernight.com

Berowra to Gosford can be a bit sparse especially at night but otherwise some shops, cafes ("Pie in the Sky" north of Cowan, "The Old Road Cafe", Mt White) other times and 24hr service stations from Gosford, never too far from a train station if your ambition or mechanical issues exceeds your ability on the first attempt . I have done the trip 6 times I think and always enjoy it.

I assume you know the best ways Cronulla to SHB, cycle maps will give you suggestions for SHB to Hornsby although depending on time of day the Pacific Highway can be an option (especially if you have a couple of hundred friends), then Hornsby to Gosford via Old Highway is almost bicycle friendly (apart from the hills), watching out for frequent narrow, disappearing shoulders and motorcycles though they are used to seeing bicycles there. East side of lakes a bit nicer with less traffic.

Good luck, it is a nice ride, if going all the way to Newcastle the Fernleigh Track, from Belmont, is a very nice way to do the final bit and a swim at Newcastle City Baths at the end.
Bill (Long Distance Dreamer)
2008 Cannondale Touring 2, 2013 Vivente World Randonneur, 2015 Lynskey Sportive Disc

sammy2020
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby sammy2020 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:12 pm

Hi there,

Thanks a million for the information!

Thats really helpful

Im just using your tips and looking at the maps.

sorry i should be a little more specific - am actually starting in hurstville and finishing in Rathmines on the west of Lake Mac. So i was thinking of it in kinda 4 stages (although im planning on doing the cycle in one day!)

stage 1 - hurstville to hornsby - im looking for a good route here if you know any ?
stage 2 - hornsby - gosford - this section is on the old highway (this is the pacific hwy right ?) - by the looks of your message this sounds pretty ok ish from a route perspective
stage 3 - gosford - ? perhaps Doyalson - think this is where the pacific hwy goes around the east of lake mac - and i need to head to the west
stage 4 - Doyalson - Rathmines - perhaps up Wyee road and then join the B53 - through morriset and dora creek to rathmines

What do you think of those rough routes ? Any thoughts on the above ?

Thanks so much :)

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queequeg
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby queequeg » Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:45 pm

sammy2020 wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:12 pm
Hi there,

Thanks a million for the information!

Thats really helpful

Im just using your tips and looking at the maps.

sorry i should be a little more specific - am actually starting in hurstville and finishing in Rathmines on the west of Lake Mac. So i was thinking of it in kinda 4 stages (although im planning on doing the cycle in one day!)

stage 1 - hurstville to hornsby - im looking for a good route here if you know any ?
stage 2 - hornsby - gosford - this section is on the old highway (this is the pacific hwy right ?) - by the looks of your message this sounds pretty ok ish from a route perspective
stage 3 - gosford - ? perhaps Doyalson - think this is where the pacific hwy goes around the east of lake mac - and i need to head to the west
stage 4 - Doyalson - Rathmines - perhaps up Wyee road and then join the B53 - through morriset and dora creek to rathmines

What do you think of those rough routes ? Any thoughts on the above ?

Thanks so much :)
I did my Audax 400km ride from Hornsby to Singleton & Back a few months ago. Although I was further inland, the return leg back to Hornsby was faily decent, even if I was riding it late at night.

Anyway, what I would suggest is avoiding Gosford completely. So for Stage 2, go up the Old Highway. Depending on time of day, there may or may not be services available. For example, there's plenty of shops/Maccas etc along the Highway until Cowan, but late at night your options are limited. There is water available at Cowan in the small reserve across the road from the Shop. After this point, the only water you will find is at Pie in the Sky (tank water, I suggest avoiding it and buy from the shop), then you have the Old Road Cafe and Saddles at Mt White (again, no water unless you buy it). From Mt White, contuiue to Calga and then either use Peats Ridge Rd to avoid another climb. (There is a service station and cafe at Peats Ridge you can use (servo is open until 9pm I think) then turn down Wisemans Ferry Rd towards Somersby. Option 2 is descend to Mooney Mooney Creek then climb back up to Somersby and take Wisemans Ferry Rd up to Dog Trap Rd
Turn down Dog Trap Rd, which takes you to Ourimbah at the Pacific Hwy. If you don't mind a short section of the motorway shoulder, you can jump on the freeway at this point to take you to Wyong Rd, or you can stay on the Pacific HIghway until you get to Wyong Rd, then turn left past the Westfield and continue onto Old Maitland Rd and take that to Yarramalong Rd, then do a right/left dogleg to access Hue Hue Rd. Take Hue Hue Rd all the way to Wyee Rd and turn left. When you get to Morriset, your best bet would a right hand turn onto Mandalong Rd as per your Stage 4 above
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '16 Cervelo R5, '18 Mason BokekTi

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bychosis
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby bychosis » Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:52 pm

The section between Dora creek and Rathmines isn’t brilliant. 90km/h and often next to no shoulder.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

sammy2020
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby sammy2020 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:05 pm

Great! Thanks so much all! Super useful
so lets try and recap!
hurstville - hornsby - ? any suggestions ?

hornsby - calga is clear - up the old highway

calga and somersby - seems to be a choice ie either 1)via peats ridge or 2) via mooney mooney creek and wisemans ferry rd - any information to help me choose ? looks like 2) is way shorter but ?? steeper!?

somersby - morriset seems ok

Morriest to rathmines - Thanks for the heads up re morrist to rathmines and the busy road - looks like there is a loop around via the side streets via Gradwells road (no idea how hilly this will be but will be quieter!) or i could try via freemans drive somehow ?? then weave down to rathmines

Any other suggestions / input welcome!!

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queequeg
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby queequeg » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:34 pm

sammy2020 wrote:
Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:05 pm
Great! Thanks so much all! Super useful
so lets try and recap!
hurstville - hornsby - ? any suggestions ?

hornsby - calga is clear - up the old highway

calga and somersby - seems to be a choice ie either 1)via peats ridge or 2) via mooney mooney creek and wisemans ferry rd - any information to help me choose ? looks like 2) is way shorter but ?? steeper!?

somersby - morriset seems ok

Morriest to rathmines - Thanks for the heads up re morrist to rathmines and the busy road - looks like there is a loop around via the side streets via Gradwells road (no idea how hilly this will be but will be quieter!) or i could try via freemans drive somehow ?? then weave down to rathmines

Any other suggestions / input welcome!!
If you wanted some extra km, you could continue up Wyee Rd to Freemans Dr, then go right onto Palmers Rd/Cessnock Rd and come into Rathmines from the North, but I can't comment on the bit from Palmers Rd as I have never ridden in it. I have only come down Freemans Dr from Mt Vincent into Morriset.

As for the Calga/Somersby options, it comes down to access to services. There is nothing between Calga & Somersby going via Mooney Mooney Creek, and it has aclimb. The other way is longer with a few lumpy bits, but there is a Cafe and Service Station at Peats Ridge where you can restock your water/food.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '16 Cervelo R5, '18 Mason BokekTi

LateStarter
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby LateStarter » Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:41 pm

There are few good bicycle routes for crossing Sydney, the cars long ago claimed the best, most practical, shortest, least hilly routes. I like to enjoy my long rides so minimise fighting with the cars and try to start the longer rides on the fringe of the urban area, getting there by train.

You might consider starting your trip at say Hornsby and extend it at the other end in more pleasant environs. Say if you did the Newcastle Overnight route from Hornsby as far as Belmont or even Adamstown and then followed the lake shore west and south to Rathmines, similar distance but mostly all much nicer ( and faster as it is more difficult to maintain a good cycling speed when surrounded by cars crossing the urban areas). Because of the proximity of the M1 and urban areas along the train line you will find routes to the west of the lakes more dominated by motor cars than to the east.

I do the Calga - Peats Ridge route a lot but it does have a large number of BIG Quarry Trucks except on Sunday, they like to drive fast as they are all on payment per load contracts.
Bill (Long Distance Dreamer)
2008 Cannondale Touring 2, 2013 Vivente World Randonneur, 2015 Lynskey Sportive Disc

sammy2020
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby sammy2020 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:46 pm

Thanks! I don’t particularly like the sound of massive trucks on the Calga peaks road so may choose the other option!

Any other suggestions for crossing the city? Hurstville to Hornsby ?

sammy2020
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby sammy2020 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:54 pm

I guess the other wildcard option is to totally ditch that route and do the coast route and the ferry from palm beach and then up the coast to lake mac and even around it on the east side ? Surely that’s a far longer cycle though ?

sammy2020
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby sammy2020 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 8:39 pm

Any thoughts on that route ? So Hurstville- palm beach - ferry - norah head - lake munmorah - then around the lake east side and back down to rathmines ?

LateStarter
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby LateStarter » Tue Dec 01, 2020 8:46 pm

sammy2020 wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:54 pm
I’m training for a distance cycle race and am thinking about cycling from Cronulla to Lake Macquarie (Toronto) ...
It depends on what you are training for, is it a similar distance / duration / elevation profile , how far have you gone before, are you a sprinter or climber? Training for distance should include some similar distance in the legs but equally you have to train your body to eat and drink right to properly fuel the effort. You have to work on your weak areas and that might involve shorter focused rides, hill training, pace training,....

Difficult to recommend a Hurstville-Hornsby route without knowing how you feel about traffic (I don't enjoy it so try to avoid, like heat, cold, rain, darkness I can handle it if necessary but don't train for it although I do train for the others)
Bill (Long Distance Dreamer)
2008 Cannondale Touring 2, 2013 Vivente World Randonneur, 2015 Lynskey Sportive Disc

sammy2020
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby sammy2020 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:05 pm

Ah to be honest Im not really using this as a training ride as such - more just visiting family in lake mac. So am just looking for the easiest / nicest / cycle friendly route from Hurstville to rathmines. I don’t really like traffic- would much prefer to do a longer cycle but on a dedicated cycle path

LateStarter
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Re: Cronulla to Lake Macquarie via the old pacific highway

Postby LateStarter » Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:14 am

Have a look at the Openstreetmap (with cycle layer) https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/- ... 8&layers=C , this will give you some guidance as to what local riders consider are good bicycle routes but it basically shows no "good" (continuous) routes from Hurstville to Hornsby although some sections are better than others but all a bit circuitous, Pennant Hills Road is said to be better now north of the M2 after the NorthConnect opening . Train to Hornsby might be the best option to ensure an enjoyable start to the journey.

The surprising thing about the comments on the https://newcastleovernight.com site is that every year there are numbers of riders who have never done more than 50kms but manage to drag themselves the 173kms to Newcastle, having lots of other riders for encouragement helps. There are though a few BIG hills, it is an achievement. Have a look at the RWGPS route profile and compare to what you have done before, if the distance / ascent is much bigger than your previous then maybe pick a shorter more achievable bit, don't let yourself be discouraged, longer distance fitness has to built up over a few rides, shorter confidence building rides are the building blocks for longer sucesses. If the hills are too daunting firstup them maybe train to Gosford and ride from there noting that the Openstreetmap contributors prefer the east of lakes routes as they are just nicer. let us know how it goes, keep an eye out for the 2021 Newcastle Overnight (usually November or December)
Bill (Long Distance Dreamer)
2008 Cannondale Touring 2, 2013 Vivente World Randonneur, 2015 Lynskey Sportive Disc

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