Danya and I rode to Church Point and back today, in a figure 8. I rode over to his place to meet him at 7am, and we went through Lilyfield to the Bridge and up the coast from Manly to Mona Vale. Then we scooted up McCarrs Creek Road and back via Mona Vale Road and the Pacific Highway to my place. It took almost 6:20 for just over 95km; we arrived home at 3pm – the remaining time was spent eating wonderful pies at Collaroy, having some meusli bars at Terrey Hills and a milkshake at St Leonards.
I feel a bit stuffed but should recuperate after a good night’s sleep. Bobbie came back from the Blue Mountains on Sunday and is telling me all sorts of horror stories about the section through Lapstone in particular, and the road work that is going on further out. Certainly, if a vehicle goes out of control in that first section, you’re trapped between it and a concrete wall; and the shoulder isn’t wide. The Cycle Australia website advocates going through Lapstone itself, but that means riding up a fire trail from the Hawkesbury. My reaction was to look at Mitchells Pass, but that appears to be one-way out of the mountains, or the Old Bathurst Road. The website doesn’t mention that for some unknown reason. Maybe it’s too steep for casual visitors.
The one issue the site mentions that Bobbie didn’t, is the god-awful bridge over the Hawkesbury. There’s no way you’d ride over that! Looking at it in Street View shows just how narrow and busy it is. Why the hell hasn’t it been replaced? It’s obviously such a bottleneck and blackspot, and I’ll have to use the footpath for certain.
Bobbie and Deb (I’m going to be staying at Des and Deb’s new place) are conspiring to talk me out of riding up, as Deb is in Sydney and going back to the mountains on Wednesday. The suggestion is that I get a lift up there and ride back, once I see first hand what the conditions are. It’s a tempting thought.