First iteration

There have been some thoughts about a “Christmas in July” type ride to fully realize our awesome potential that is restricted by not being able to ride all day (currently limited by summer heat to early mornings). I’m all for this, and we do have that Lhasa-Kathmandu to do. So perhaps this year is not the year for a full-blown epic and maybe we should instead meet to workshop the “Tibetan project”.

I suggest the workshop takes the form of a bike ride, maybe a shorter Xmas Gambol. Scott & I have been enumerating numerous enormously epic Sydney – Canberra routes, but these will keep until a future time. Why not do Sydney – Canberra the shorter “directissima” route via Wombara?

27/12 Day 1: Bundeena – Woonona 58km 600m
Late start, as earliest Ferry from Cronulla – Bundeena is at 8:30am
possible accommodation:
Warmshowers: Patricia L, 2beds + lawn space, Woonoona
Warmshowers: Peter F, 2beds, Wollongong
Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort, Pioneer Road, Fairy Meadow.
(02) 4283 6999,
Corrimal Beach Tourist Park, 1 Lake Parade, East Corrimal.
(02) 4285 5688.

28/12 Day 2: Woonona – Berry 75km 444m
possible accommodation:
Warmshowers: Karen R, 4 beds + lawn space, farm near Berry
Warmshowers: Bill B, Worrigee (Nowra)
Shoalhaven Heads Tourist Park, Shoalhaven Heads Road, 1300 782 222
Coastal Palms Holiday Park, 40 Shoalhaven Heads Road, 02 4448 7206

29/12 Day 3: Berry – Sassafras 73km 858m
Only possibility:
Campsite, Endrick River Fire Trail near Sassafras
Morton Nat.Park; 5km off main road, 600m from the carpark.

30/12 Day 4: Sassafras – Tarago 81km 682m
Only possibility:
Loaded Dog Hotel, Tarago. $40 pp

31/12 Day 5: Tarago – Carwoola 57km 384m
Carwoola B&B Alpaca farm-stay for NYE.

This short 5 day (~350km) trip would still have plenty to challenge us. Half the trip would involve travelling through heavily built up areas, the other half through total isolation.

For the first half, how do we stay alive in the hostile “Mad Max”-like post-industrial chaos of the Illawarra? Fortunately there is this Bible from the Illawarra bike user group (iBUG) where they reveal the extensive bike paths and “bike friendly” routes. I only found this after making the above maps, so the routes could probably be made better. Picking your way through bike paths is not the fastest way to travel, but probably the safest. But more importantly iBUG also list the best Cafes.

The second half… well… basically only crazy people go that way.

Steve Rudd (K Rudd’s nephew) did Shoalhaven Heads – Canberra. Traveled with two chihuahuas, pulling a 200 kg trailer. The trip was partially to continue his research into the paranormal. It’s a promising buildup, but unfortunately he’s a bit of a tool.

Folding bike man: Tarago – Kiama

Beautiful title pic is from Warren Hudson. Amazing photographs of the North Budawang area from an mountain bike trip here:

After the trip, there are the following options:

1/1/13 Audax “Tablelands Trot” 201km 1700m
Starts Sutton 6am, run by Audax, Route sheet provided. $16pp.
Long, all day ride.

or a tough ride down to the coast:

1/1/13 Carwoola – Araluan 86km 796m (1412 descent)
~35-40 km dirt including long descent

2/1/13 Araluan – Narooma 100km 993m
Another hard day: More (~40km) dirt, Princes Hwy from Marooya – Narooma
Accommodation chez Riley.

Either of the above options would be from the hard basket, but the 2nd would mean we have completed Sydney – Adelaide.

So what do people think of this? (The 5 day trip) Too hard, too easy, too short, too crazy? Nothing booked, changes can be made up until we have final numbers of participants and have booked accommodation.
Speaking of which, I have perused our financial situation. Thanks to Keith and Steve’s kind donations from a year ago, and to the magic of compound interest, our savings have jack-potted to $200.05.

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12 Responses to First iteration


    Suggestion 2nd leg.

    1/1/13 Carwoola to Big Hole. Scenic, free camp on Shoalhaven River

    2/1/13 Big Hole to Unnamed Cafe 1/2 down Larry’s Mtn, via convict road (unsealed, but all downhill)

    3/1/13 Larry’s Mtn to Narooma etc

    • Mark says:

      Hmm, Day 2 is a bit extreme, considering the road from Big Hole to about Neringla seems to have a very tenuous existence. How about you prove it exists with a 4WD first? Larrys Mountain Rd ends in Moruya, so we’ve still got part of the Hwy to do to Narooma. But an unnamed cafe does need to be investigated.

      • Mal says:

        Amazing that you can see the big hole on the satellite photo. I think it could be done. A bit of carrying. Light bikes only.

        For extra epicness you could continue down Cooma Rd and cut across on logging trails to the headwaters of the Tuross river.

        But seriously, an overnight in Moruya would mean we could do the highway in the early morning (the drivers could stay at Narooma if they wanted).

  2. Mal says:

    Nice route. A bit of everything. The up, the down, the rough, the smooth …

    I presume we mean to wear ‘Tibet Rig’?

    A ‘house to house’ tour would demand a ride-by of the Opera House at dawn or the day before. A photo opportunity before the serious business. Then a visit to Parliament House prior to setting out for the coast.

    If anyone’s keen, I wouldn’t mind just continuing on overland to Vancouver to have a beer and watch the hair farmers … great to catch up on hair farming … you’d never be unemployed if you knew how to do it properly.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Looks a workable route, with much diversity. Well done.

  4. 888riley says:

    PS The picture at the top is Narrow Neck, right?

    • Mark says:

      It’s Budawang NP, taken from The Castle looking south-east. Byangee Walls in front, Pidgeon House mtn top right. The Nerriga Rd/3rd night camp site is actually 15-20 km to the north. (Side trip?)

  5. 888riley says:

    Looks brilliant. I have driven past the loaded dog a couple of times recently. It looks like good fun (in a one-horse town). I seem to remember a river nearby, but don’t hold me to it.

    I like option 2 .. completing Sydney – Adelaide has a certain appeal. The audax would be a great route to ride, but not in one session. Srsly.

    Anyway, it looks fantastic …

  6. Nicole says:

    wow. looks like an awesome adventure!

    • Mark says:

      Hope to see you saddled up on the 27th Nic! (Still trying to work out which brother you know)

      • Ducatiboy says:

        Nic’s my buddy and I think she could do worse than to join the Epic or Gambol or whatever. Think she might be in Canada at the time tho…

        Hi Nic! We need to go out for that beer we’ve been promising ourselves! We’re going to be in Vancouver arriving Dec 28, flying out Jan 12. In Whistler Jan 6-12. Maybe we can have a beer at Dusty’s and watch the Hair Farmers? You must have heard of them?

        • Nicole says:

          Hi Jon,
          We leave Vancouver on Dec 27th… What a bummer. How about Glebe before I leave on the 13th? Will text you.

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