spring cycle 2014

st leonards park > sydney harbour bridge > iron cove > sydney olympic parkScreen shot 2014-10-25 at 8.14.14 PM

spring chickens at spring cycle this year. the red bike gang took on the classic polygon ride from one tourist attraction, the sydney harbour bridge to the next tourist attraction, the olympic park.

7am start. the journey to nth sydney was tetris. in one side of the carriage we stacked 16 bikes, no one could get off or get on. carriage demographics: lycra population 15, no gear cruiser population 1.

highlight. we rode over the sydney harbour bridge with 360 views!

on the bridge

after the bridge we did a spin around the botanical gardens  at mrs. macquaries point and headed back into suburbia through glebe and haberfield, missing anzac bridge all together.

this means inside of the spiral climb up to anzac bridge you got the corkscrew which is the first real gradual climb (saw a man on a unicycle, i don’t know how he did this – respect). somewhat hilly in the city and inner west until you get to iron cove.

iron cove

at iron cove we had a breakstop and ate the energy bars given in our packs (food rating, 8/10). by this point, my preferred breakstop meal would have been a lasagne.

from iron cove you detour around bicentennial park, cross concord rd bridge and back on silverwater bridge. the park underneath was holding this fancy old automobile showcase with dapper gents everywhere.

the track around meadow bank to the finish line is easy going.

look at these winners below (medals medals medals): medals

we finished up at the cathy freeman park, how fitting because we are olympic gods in olympic park. you know it must be true because we’re wearing 24 carat gold medals to match our precious metal thighs.

blendr

there was a little stall called bike n’ blend where you had to use leg-ectricity to make your own smoothie. once you’ve pedalled for 3 minutes, ring the bell and you get to drink your creation. excellent innovative homeware to have in your new kitchen.

a big congrats to the bike gang, another 55k bites the dust. from the north to the west, for some, completely new terrain.

x red bike

company: crouching tiger, mike-the-bike (cell fixie), bikebikebaby and figure8.

challenge ride course distance: 55km.

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parramatta > huntleys point wharf > taronga zoo

they should really build bike exclusive mesh bridges over parramatta river to keep hazards off the road. it is very likely that i am that hazard.

i love roads, but i confess i’m not familiar with road rules and dynamics. i cross roads like i’m wearing a zebra suit. so, if you are a driver, here is an apology for my recklessness: sorry.

let’s call it truce. and comprise by writing letters to sydney of city to make more cycleways.

this issue is apparent when i ride into the big city, you urban jungle you. we did our usual route to putney then went on further to huntleys cove. huntleys point wharf is cut-the-ribbon brand new. if you’ve got a wharf/ jetty fetish like me, welcome.

huntley cove

i’ve always want to take our bikes on boats. the rivercat/sydney ferries and well, all public transport aren’t bicycle friendly. we need bike boxes in train carriages, bike racks installed on the back of buses and cabs etc.

from huntleys cove we bob to circular quay and changed boats. rivecat

we wanted to cycle in taronga zoo.

you cannot cycle in taronga zoo.

so we cycled from the wharf to the other entrance where the sky line drops you. it’s a steep incline up and smooth curve down. from there, you can see into the zoo and check out the resident peacock who we motivated to stand up and walk away from us.

after, you can take military rd and cross sydney harbour bridge but we were warned against it because we’re not lycra and it’s a volatile road.  and whatever.

bike light do it yourselfi saw this bike in surry hills and it deserves a shout out for ‘diy’.

deets:

company: black bike

ferry distance: 22.6km, bike distance: 21. 9 km

estimated time:  2 h 45 mins, real time: 6 h (motivating peacocks, waiting for ferries and food stops)

x red bike

gosford > tour de brisbane water

central coast closets many cycleways. keen to come out, we had a well fit local guide, hank tank.

million paws walk was a happy interruption on our way, best shared path ever. the first half of this ride is on a cycleway right by the coastline with a number of private and public jetties we pried into.

million pawsto mark the first 10k you’ve go to stop at the woy woy fishermen’s wharf fish and chip shop, local favorite. you’ll know it’s the one because there are a pod of pelicans that plop on the roof.

the first 20k are a dreamboat, until you start wanting an actual dream boat.

brisbane waterswhen you get halfway, take a ferry across the lake which will replace 45 minutes of incline push with 35 mins of on water views. be sure to check the timetables, on weekends they’re not regular.

we missed the boat by 15 mins. so the hilly north, hello. the climbs aren’t quite as dramatic as prospect or manly but they are steady ups and downs. I think at least 6 big lumps on the main road.

we’re on road. beware of the all the glass. gravel and glass are sore bedfellows for thin tyres, a mountain bike is better off.

public jettythe second half of this ride was a cruiser challenge but a token if you’re in the area. this is a guide that we used for the tour de france brisbane water.

jetties are fun.

a quick thank you to knog who swiftly replaced my faulty blinder with a new one.

deets:

company: crouching tiger, grease lighting and hank tank.

estimated distance: 41 kms, real distance: 43.3 km

estimated time:  3 h, real time: 5 h 30 mins (fish, chip, beer, crackers, mandarin stops)

x red bike

manly cove > sydney harbour national park > north head > marine parade

from the south cove to the north shore.

lesson learned from our trip to prospect reservoir, we decided to hire out a couple of hybrid bikes for sydney harbour national park and left the cruisers at home.

the boys at manly bike hire attach a map to your bike with all the different routes:

manly bike network

we took the orange path into the park. it’s recommended not to go up steep darley street, instead crisscross along marshall. it’s still quite hilly though.

the bikes had refreshing gear systems but stiff noisy brakes. being a cruiser rider, the handle bars were low and standing up on them felt awkward. black bike adjusted much more quickly.

you get to the stone archway and there is a big sign that makes you aware you’re entering bandicoot territory. they are endangered. some stats: 5 passed on in 2012, 7 this year and counting. abundant yellow triangle bandicoot signs.

north head is incredible.

north head

the little white masts dancing in all sorts of directions and cruiser-liner leaving sydney cove makes one of the best bike-led views i’ve seen.

there is a walking trail too. we looked through a birdwatcher’s leica telescope (apo-televid 65) and you could see every wave crash, the distant lighthouse and some audacious kayakers in deep water.

north head

climbing rocks and being right on the edge of cliffs gives me a high. if you’re the same, this park/coastal ride won’t disappoint. just make sure you don’t tip off the edge as a couple of by-passers told us had happened.

deets:

company: gorgeous black bike.

orange national park bike route: 10.3 ks.

estimated time: 2 hours, real time: 3.5 hours inc. walking trail

bike hire: all day $36.

x red bike