I ate a lot of dust this weekend. Actually only when I was riding on the dirt, gravel, corrugated gravel, off road roads. There was much anxiety and fretting over whether my Fuji hybrid would be able to handle the Easter tour. Eventually I borrowed some knobbly tyres from a friend, switched them onto my Fuji, strapped on my tent and borrowed panniers on another cycle touring adventure.
Day 1 - Wyong to the Basin
Distance: 77 kms (if you go to the cafe) 67 kms (if you don't go to the cafe)
Road conditions: Dirt, gravel, bitumen, corrugated gravel, down hills, ditches, everything
Start: Wyong station (catch a train from Central station 2 hours)
Finish: Basin camping, Olney State Forest
Day 2 - Basin to Wiseman's ferry
Distance: 78 kms
Road conditions: Gravel hill out, undulating dirt roads, corrugated gravel road, bitumen, free ferry to Wiseman's ferry, another ferry to Mill Creek camping grounds
Start: Basin camping ground
Swim stop: St Albans
Lunch: Settlers Arms pub, St Albans with live music
Finish: Mill Creek Campaign ground, 6 kms from Wiseman's ferry
Day 3 - Mill Creek to Windsor
Distance: 60 kms
Road Conditions: Bitumen, mostly along the Hawkesbury which doesn't see much traffic.
Start: Mill Creek camping grounds
Coffe: Wiseman's ferry cafe
Lunch: Sackville ferry stop, packed lunch
Finish: Windsor station
Beware: Bogan redneck drivers and houses with the Eureka flag
Highlight: Riding along the Hawkesbury river
Distance: 54 kms
Time: We took about 3 hours to do this with several stops to take photos and get some snacks
Route: Manly, Freshwater, Dee Why, Collaroy Beach, Warriewood Beach, Mona Vale, Narrebeen, Church Point, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, Terry Hills, Allambie Heights
Path: Road with bike friendly lanes/sections. In the suburbs along the beach it's quiet but some roads are busy. The busy roads have "bike shoulder lane"
Hills: YES Several hills. Be prepared
The M4 Cycleway is surprisingly very well signposted, even with the detours the diversions signs were everywhere. The best part of this ride is the destination. Cabramatta, home of the best Vietnamese food.
Route: Glebe - Zetland - Sydney City - Lilyfield - Haberfield - Olympic Park - Auburn - Harris Park - Wentworthville - Fairfield - Cabramatta
Path: Mostly Cycleways, separated paths, some bike friendly roads in the city
Hills: Only a few with small gradients
Sights: Buddhist temple near Cabramatta station along the cycle way
Treats: Cabramatta offers the best selection of Vietnamese food, check out this blog for a map. Also because of the strong Buddhist culture there are several vegan/vegetarian Vietnamese restaurants as well.
Must try: 3 colour bean drink (Che Ba Mau)
Distance: 40 kms
Location: Glebe, Redfern, Rushcutters bay, Double Bay, Nielson Bay, Watson Bay, Dover Heights, Bondi, Centennial Park
Difficulty: A few steep inclines, heartbreak hill isn't steep but a bit long
Surface: Road, a few stairs
Highlights: Amazing views of Sydney Harbour, lots of beaches, spectacular display of Sydney's most expensive houses.
Facilities: Cafes, public toilets, water fountains along the way
Strava route details: http://www.strava.com/activities/359151700
I've seen 2 hotels in the past week with this Bike hire by the hour system. The best part is it's open to the general public as well. We need to maps these bike hiring facilities on a map somewhere.
Hotels with bike hire:
Cycling in Western Sydney with Aquaducts, through Little Vietnam, a Dutch shop and loaded up on Turkish bread
I managed to combine my 2 loves over the weekend. Exploring the west on bike. Following the ethnic food trail. Start with a hipster coffee in the inner west, head to Granville for some Lebanese and Turkish goodness. Stop in Smithfield and visit the Dutch shop (hidden in the warehouse district, very, very random) then head to Cabramatta for some Vietnamese madness.
Erskineville - Olympic Park - Granville - Cabramatta - 50 kms - 4 cultures
Road Type: Mostly cycleways
Safety: Very safe