It's now possible to ride or walk off road for 10 kms along the northern side of Parramatta river (Parramatta to Putney)! Thanks to a new bridge across Subbiaco creek the shared path allows people to travel safely to and from Parramatta without ducking into the industrial areas of Rydalmere.
Before Subiaco creek connection
Bike riders would have to ride 500 metres on road in an industrial area between Rydalmere and Parramatta. It's not much, but it's still off putting enough for those with children and not confident riding in traffic.
After Subiaco creek connection
Bike riders can ride off road, along the river for 10 kms from Parramatta to Putney!
I took the opportunity over the weekend to travel from the City to Merrylands (Check out the post on Sydney Nom Rides). The route was half on road cycle path and off road, and interestingly included a "punt" (a ferry to transport vehicles and people) across Parramatta rived between Mortlake (Breakfast point) and Putney.
The Putney punt has been operating since 1925, it's free of charge to use, operated by RMS. Operates all day on weekends and only during peak hours on weekdays. It's basically a platform on cables that moves back and forth by 2 operators and was built because it was cheaper than building a bridge.
Check out the Strava link for route details.
Cycle touring in Scotland is amazeballs. I picked up a Sustrans map of the National Cycle Network of the United Kingdom from Stanfords Maps in London (the best map store ever). Looking at it there were so many routes to chose from, in the end I decided to follow route 1 from Edinburg along the east coast to Inverness, then south back to Edinburgh.
However after a day of riding in hail to Inverness I was done. Bought a train ticket back to Edinburgh and enjoyed the scenery from the train through the mountains.
I had brought my own tent and sleeping bag. I didn't bring cooking utensils luckily as there were plenty of places to eat at along the way. Thanks to Scotland's "Open access" law you're allowed to camp on open spaces just as long as you leave no trace and don't set up anywhere close to private residences.
The birthplace of Golf
I quickly learnt that Scotland is the birth place of golf. So so many golf courses along the coast that have great provisions for cycling along the perimeter with spectacular views.
Distance: 69.2 km
Weather: Sun to Hail
Places to sleep: Bnb in Inverness
Places to stay: On the beach
Place to stay: Banff Park (later I realised there's a camping ground a few hundred metres to the west)
What to eat: Baked potates be my saviour.
Distance: 143.3 km
Elevation: 1,298 m
Place to stay: Along the walking tracks in the long grasses
One of my favourite places in New South Wales is the Southern Highlands, a short train trip from Sydney. The best part is you can take your bike, perfect for a long weekend cycle tour camping trip.
Start: Central Train Station @ 7:24am
End: Bowral Train Station @ 10:00am
Day 1 - Bowral - Fitzroy Falls - Bundanoon
Distance: 59 Kms
Pit Stop 1 - Bowral - Gumnut Patisserie
At Bowral we rolled into the Gumnut patisserie for a pre ride coffee and a multi award winning pastry.
Pit Stop 2 - Someone's farm
Goggle maps took us through someone's private property but it was a short 100 m sneaky pass. We figured we weren't going to be long. So shhhh.
Pit Stop 3 - Fitzroy Falls & Lunch
Mini hike around the top of the falls and a perfect spot for lunch.
Pit Stop 4 - Exeter train station
A quick snack break sitting at the Exeter train station only needed to move once for the freight train.
Pit Stop 5 - Camping - Bundanoon - Gambells rest site
Bookings essential details here.
Limited number of sites available here.
Cost: From $25 a night
Facilities: Hot (gas) showers, flushing toilets, gas stoves, taps
Dinner - Eggplant & tofu stirfry
Ingredients: 1 massive eggplant, packet of firm tofu, 4 packets of 2 minute noodles, cabbage, onion, soy sauce, ginger, cooking oil spray. Marinate the tofu. Fry up the onion and eggplant on the stove. Cook the noodles. Cook the tofu. Once the noodles are cooked, mix everything on the stove top.
Bundanoon Night Ride to the Glow worm cave
In the dark surrounded one of the crew recited a beautiful Arabic poem by Ibn Arabi,
I follow the religion of Love
whatever way Love's camels take
that is my religion and my faith
ابن عربي - أدين بدين الحب
Day 2 - Hiking around Bundanoon
Lazy morning, slow to start. Pancakes on the stove top lathered in blue berry jam.
There are plenty a hiking trails in the Morton National Park. We
Day 3 - Easter Sunday - Bundanoon - Berrima - Bowral
Distance: 40 kms
Kicked Easter Sunday watching sunrise over Morton National park, followed by another epic feast of pancakes.
Pit Stop 1 - Bundanoon Markets
Packing down and heading into Bundanoon to sip coffee at the cafe and check out the local markets. Picking up a few goodies at the local op shop and sampling some delish vegetarian Indian goods.
Pit Stop 2 - Berkelouw Book Barn
Lazing about reading in the sun lying on the beautiful grounds of Berkelouw Book Barn.
Perfect ending to a beautiful Easter break.