Distance: 29 kms
Elevation: negative. downhill to Nowra
- The biggest epic vegan breakfast at Nowra (The deli on Kinghorne)
Distance: 60 kms (37 miles)
Actual moving time: 5 hours 51 mins
Day of Hike-a-biking. What an epic day under the sun all exposed.
- Empty Firetrails
- Swimming in the creek of the waterfall
Day 3 - Mount Scanzi
Distance: 71.5 kms
Actual moving time: 5 hours 51 mins
- Pie from the pie shop
- Can of solo from the bakery
- Bumping into Tim and Saskia at Kangaroo Valley
- Dip in the creek down Mount Scanzi
Day 2 - Kangaroo River to Kangaroo Valley
Distance: 17.22 km (one way)
Today was supposed to be the "rest day". Little did I realise the climb out of the camp site was a killer. Especially on a scorching hot Australian summer's day. In hindsight maybe we should have packed up and moved closer to the valley that night. Whatever. Still managed to laze about by the river and go for a few dips.
Back at camp the boganville left but left behind all their trash. If you just ignore all the bottles and plastic and rubbish, the camp site was pretty nice and peaceful with perfect sunset viewing position.
Day 1 - Moss Vale to Kangaroo River via Fitzroy Falls
Distance: 58 kms (36 miles)
Actual moving time: 6 hours 47 mins
Start Time: (After lunch at Moss Vale) 12:30pm
Finish Time: 9:00pm
How could I have forgotten so quickly how hard fire trails are. The Jagungal trip was only 6 months ago. Had the traumas of riding the fire trails in the Jagungal Wilderness have faded so quickly.
When I initially mapped out this day out I added the Fitzroy Falls detour to add more kilometres for fear of rolling into camp super early and not having anything to do. That's because I was expecting to be riding 20 kms an hour. The reality is I'm not a fast rider. I'm not confident going down those fire trails and I'll take my sweet time getting down. Also my bike set up was super inappropriately front heavy. All these factors combined resulted in an average speed of about 8.7 kms/h.
On top of being slow to make sure we really rolled into camp late I somehow used a fire trail that becomes a hikers only tail.
- The smells of the forest.
- The post rain mist in the forest.
- The forest.
And for the epics failures, which in hindsight I will call pro tips:
Tip #1: Make sure the fire trail is for bikes and hikers. Just in case that fire trail becomes a hikers only trail and it gets dark and there's only one way to the camp spot.
Tip #2: Secure your load - on your bags. Or you may end up losing your favourite rain jacket on the ride (lucky we had to back track along the trail and found it.
Tip #3: Secure your load - in you bags. Or you may end up with clothes that smell like soy sauce.
Tip #4: Have a bike with the right weight distribution. Definitely don't ride a bike with all the weight on the front and for the rest of your trip spend most of your energy controlling the handlebar and shitting bricks thinking you're going to face plant down that gravel trail.
Adapted from Adam's Attack of the Buns riding along fire trails
Day 1 - Moss Vale to Kangaroo River - map link
Day 2 - Rest Day - Kangaroo River
Day 3 - Kangaroo River to Yalwal via Nowra - map link
Day 4 - Yalway to Nowra via Tianjara Falls - map link
Day 1 - Around Bellagio - strava link
Day 2 - Pilgrimage to Ghisallo cycling museum and Madonna del Ghisallo - strava link
Day 3 - Loop around Lake Como strava link
Day 4 - Rome - strava link
Day 5 - Around Rome - strava link
Day 1 - Bern to Interlaken (Lakeside camping) - strava link
Day 2 - Interlake to Giswil (Lakeside camping) - strava link
Day 3 - Giswil to Wolfenschiessen (Valley of cable cars)- strava link
Day 4 - Wolfenschiessen to Altdorf (Mountain hut)- strava link
Day 5 - Altdorf to Ertsfeld (train to Saint Moritz) - strava link
Day 6 - Airolo to Biasca (Hangry) - strava link
Day 7 - Lugano - strava link
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.
My anxiety of not having planned a holiday over the xmas break resulted in this last minute cycle tour to the wilderness (better known as Bungonia National Park). Famous for its gorge, pretty popular canyoning spot as we later found out when we bumped into another Sydney Night Rider that night at the camp site.
Lesson # 1. Invite people who are spontaneous
For some reason I couldn't do this last trip on my own. I hadn't been on a long ride in a while and I wasn't feeling the most confident, even though I'd been to this place before. So I invited people who I thought would enjoy a mini tour. 2 people caught the bait.
So on Friday the 30th December 2016, after some false starts with bike malfunctions and missing trains. Daniel, Jeremy and I set off into the wilderness from Moss Vale at 13:30 and managed to get to camp before sunset.
Lesson # 2. Chat to people. They always have great advice. Like hidden swimming holes
At the campsite one of the boys was tipped off about a swimming hole, so with the tents half set up we ditched everything and ran for the bush to find this hole, for a twillight swim. Swimming at twillight in a gorge surrounded by a forest is just magical. Even more so when there's thunder and rain.
We were still swimming when the rains hit.
Lesson # 3. Always close your bags. Always cover the tent. You never know when the rains will hit. Especially when you're twillight swimming at the bottom of a gorge.
We were 40 mins away from the tents when the rain hit. Should have closed the tents but it probably wouldn't have made a huge difference as there was a stream of water running through the ground sheets anyway. Lucky the camp site has a shed and hot water. We slept in there that night.
Lesson # 4. Sleeping mats are soft and comfy
Sleeping mats make hard floors comfy to sleep on.
Lesson # 4. Butt Cream
After the whole trip (160 kms, return) my butt was pretty chaffed. Not sure if it was because I was wearing underwear the first day or because I wasn't wearing underwear the second day. My crack was a raw and riding back home wasn't fun.
Elevation Gain (click link for Strava details): Day 1 - 582 m , Day 2 - 668 m
Lesson #5. Check the Burger joint you plan to have your victory post-tour dinner at is open.