Friday 25th October, 2013 - 104 km (1,264 m ascent)
Departed Randwick at 11:30, to meet Joe's RP Data work collegues for ride up to Wiseman's Ferry via Bobbin Head. The plan was to arrive late afternoon and check in to the historic Wiseman's Ferry Hotel. We would have a well deserved dinner, overnight, and then ride back to Sydney via Windsor.
After a photo shot at Kent St, Sydney we headed over the harbor bridge on the cycle path. From North Sydney, the ride was up the Pacific Highway to Turramurra, and the collection of the final riders, to complete the 6 riders.
The traffic up the highway was busy, as weekenders left Sydney to escape the traffic. Once we turned off to Bobbin Head, it was quieter and downhill to Bobbin Head, before the steep climb up the north side and back to the main road at Mt Colah. At Berowa, we turned off and lost elevation again on the ride down to Berowa Waters ferry.
After crossing on the ferry, the ride was another 200 meter climb to Arcadia, then along the Great Northern Rd, via Glenorie, Forest Glen, and eventually to Wiseman's Ferry.
My fitness was up to the others and I dropped behind on the hilly route. To many months spent at work and not training. Its was mainly the increased speed that hurt, as travelling at my own pace I was OK.
After a welcome shower, dinner was welcome. We slept well, ready for the ride back via Windsor.
Saturday 26th October, 2013 - 105 km (1,170 m ascent)
After a vote on an early start, we climbed out of Wiseman's Ferry towards Windsor. After the road flattened out, it was a pleasant, undulating ribbon road via Marcota. We stopped for enroute for breakfast, before cycling via Pitt Town and finally to Windsor for morning tea.
The final blast back along the M7 via Rouse Hill and Castle Hill was quite fast, as we road in a bunch. We did have one flat tire in the group and the road works sent us off the express way onto busy surburban roads.
Arriving home was welcome, as I walked the last kilometer with a broken chain.
In summary, an enjoyable overnight ride.
Pros- The old hotel provides cheap, simple rooms, their dinner was good and the roads generally not too busy. The route is quite hilly and scenic, especially in and out of the lowest points- Bobbin Head, Berowra Waters and Wisemans Ferry.
Cons-There were a few too many B-Double semi-trailers on the ride back, mainly around South Maroota. As I expected, my fitness was a bit underdone for the group's pace- only something that less work and more longer training rides could solve. I would suggest doing the 4-Gorges ride as training.
Paul at Berowra Water's Ferry
Arriving at Berowra Waters Ferry - note the backpacks to carry gear as no support vehicles
Wiseman's Ferry across the Hawksbury River - early in the morning