Lake Crackenback Spa and Resort has several bike trails around the resort. Although the serious biker would find the trails around the Spa and Resort a little tame, the Resort and Spa is a nice base to explore other trails in the area. There are 25 kms of trails around the Lake and it is possible to ride all the way from Thredbo to Lake Crackenback. Riding back to Lake Crackenback is probably a good way of finish off a day’s riding on the mountain trails at Thredbo. For a family it is the perfect compromise.
Now this is the place, the ski runs of winter are given over to bike riding in summer. There is downhill, cross country and four cross courses. If you think it is difficult to ski down a mountain try riding a bike down it. It goes without saying that only experience riders should tackle some of the more steep sections of the course. Although there is no specific man made dirt jumps there are plenty, repeat plenty, of natural jumps that are sure to scare the pants of any biker. Although the scenery is ten out ten I doubt if you will have any time to look at it. Again this is the place.
A fantastic weekend trail ride for those who enjoy the call of the mild. This trail winds for 107 kms through the picturesque valleys and mountains of north east Victorian. The original rail line connected the towns of Wangaratta, Bright, Rutherglen, Milawa, Beechworth, Myrtleford and Wandiligong. There are plenty of gold rush era brick kilns, mining equipment and ghost town. Although 107 kms might sound a long way for some the trail is pretty flat being an old rail line and there are plenty of towns to stay in overnight. Several hotels in the area offer take away picnic lunches and there is no need to rush.
You don’t need to go miles from Sydney to find a good bike trail; Manly Dam is about 20minutes form the CBD on the Peninsular. The trail is about 10kms in length and is tight and twisty in places. There are sections that are not suitable for novice riders, although you can walk these sections it is probably not the done thing. When I rode the trail it was raining and the trail was great, lots of water, mud and really slippery. I understand that the Council Rangers now close the trail if it too wet to avoid erosion, oh well.
There is an extra bit of trail that runs along the Wakehurst Parkway all the way to Bantry Bay. It is supposed to be 16kms but it seems a bit shorter to me.
Note: there are walking only trails and these are patrolled by rangers ever weekend. Also the trail can get a little crowded.
This is an excellent ride that is accessible by train. As this is a fire trail the gradient is steady, although steep in places, and is usually well graded. The hard core mountain biker might find the trail a little tame, however for the average biker rider this is a fabulous ride, you don’t even a specialised mountain bike. The views are probably some of the best in the Blue Mountains, many individuals who have come across this track say that if they are feeing a sense of depression or not the best about life this place is a perfect location to unwind and feel great from a mental health state.
The trail is called Narrow Neck for are a reason, the trail runs along a ridge with steep drop offs on either side. It is best to go in spring when the wild flowers are out. However, be aware it can get extremely hot in summer and you will need to take sufficient water even on cooler days. Views of Lake Burragorang are perhaps the jewel in crown and there is a little look out area where you can have either lunch or morning tea.
The National Parks does advise that if rains the trail can get boggy. I have found that when it rains the mountain bikers come out to play.
Note: parking can be limited but you have your bike.
Some people regard the Oaks trail as the premium bike trail in the Blue Mountains. I have not ridden all the trails in the Blue Mountains, but they would have to be pretty good to beat the Oaks Trail. As with most trails in the Blue Mountain the trail is accessible by train using either Woodford or Glenbrook station. The trail is about 30 kilometres in length and I would allow 3 hours to ride the trail. The recommendation is to start at Woodford and finish at Glenbrook, however the peddle up from Glenbrook Gouge to the station is quite an effort. There can be lot of water on the track and in summer rain brings out the leeches, I am not sure if this is a common problem or whether we were just unlucky. There are many other rides in the area and it is possible to do two trails in a day and stay overnight in Mountains.
There are many sealed roads in the Burragorang State Conversation Area that are great for road bikes. The roads are very quite with few cars. There are quite good picnic areas with toilet facilities and BBQ areas. The Conservation Area is the catchment area for 80% of Sydney’s drinking water and hence there are some restrictions on recreational activities. For some reason you are not allowed to swim in the lake, however there are ducks and other native creatures swimming and doing whatever in the water.
Wauchope is a small timber town outside Port Macquarie and is one of the many excellent bike rides in the Port Macquarie area. The length of the ride is 120kms on mostly sealed roads. For hard core road racers this might represent a day ride; however there are plenty of options for more casual riders. Wauchope is no longer an operating timber producing area however the town has been restored to a historically accurate representation of life in its hay days of the late 19th century. For lovers of antique furniture there are many shops with either restored wooden furniture or freshly crafted wood furniture, although it is unlikely you will be able to carry a wooden piece of furniture home on a bicycle. There are many attractions on the ride. There are wineries in the area and these are perfect to explore by bicycle. Several wineries have excellent restaurants and are reason enough for a bike ride. Lake Cathie is a small coastal town on the ride back to Port Macquarie and is perfect for a lunch or morning tea stop.
There are several iron man events run in the Port Macquarie and organised bike events are a common in the area. So keep an eye out for these events.
There are many excellent trails in the Royal National Park. I suppose my favourite is the Loftus Loop Trail, starting behind the National Park Office at Loftus this 10 kms trail is a quick Saturday afternoon ride. Although most of the trail is on graded fire trails there is a 2 km section of dedicated bike trail, and this is where the fun begins. There are several step sections that drop away from under the bike. The trail can be quite rocky at times and muddy if there has been rain.
Access is via the Princes Highway; turn off onto the Loftus Oval Road.
Lady Carrington Drive is a very good option for family or smaller groups. Originally a main access road through the National Park this road has now been turned over to walking and bike trails. This trail follows the Hacking River for part of its length before entering into a subtropical rainforest, before emerging onto areas of blue gum and turpentine stands. There are many picnic and BBQ areas to stop relax and have lunch or morning tea. You can either organise a car shuttle and make the trail a one way trip or turn around and return to your start. I would allow 3 hours one way.
Located on the inland side of the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Lithgow is something of a paradise for cyclists. There are many tracks that disappear into the bush that can be explored by the adventurous mountain biker. I have only been in involved in racing on sealed roads in the area. My favourite is the Caves Road – Rydal Loop. As the name implies you can ride all the way to Jenolan Caves from Lithgow although looping back at Rydal is quite a good option. The gradient can be steep, although the more usual situation is steady rises and falls. The best feature is that this road is extremely quiet, on one occasion I rode the whole road without seeing one car. The road eventually meets the Cox’s River and this is quite a pleasant place to stop for lunch or just a break.
Again there are numerous rides and trails in the area and there is plenty of cheap, but acceptable, accommodation as well in the area.
Victoria Pass is a road at the back end of the Blue Mountains, which runs from the town of Mount Victoria at about 3,500 feet to the valley below at about sea level. Can you see the attraction, about 10 kms of downhill adrenaline rush. We usually organise a car shuttle so we have one car at the bottom of the pass and one car at the top and then it is strap yourself in. Regularly we break the speed limit on the way down. On one pass I could smell my brakes burning and at the bottom they were smoking. There are several hairpin turns on the way down that are definitely not for the faint hearted. As they say don’t try this at home!
Centennial Park is a vast area in the central of Eastern Sydney. There are several lakes and waterways in the park and an extensive network of sealed roads. Cycling is a popular activity in the park. The Park is relatively flat and so will suit for most road bike riders. The cycle paths in the Park link with the City of Sydney commuter cycle network and so it is regularly use during peak hours.
If you plan to spend the entire day at Centennial Park, their are also a variety of picnic areas + BBQ facilities that the general public has access too, on many occasions you will see families and friends enjoying great times with music and festive activities. If you wish to practice guitar or have guitar lessons their are many quiet grassy grove areas that are idea to sit down and go about music activities.
The City of Sydney has developed an extensive system of commuter cycle ways. Although these cycle ways are not as complete those in certain European cities they do offer a real alternative to driving to work. For those living in the inner west cycling is a popular form of commuting. The network currently extends over 200 kms. Personal training Sydney groups regularly include these networks of bike tracks as part of their exercise routines.
There are many attractive tourist rides around the Manly Beach and Sydney Harbour area. There are also rides around Manly Dam and Narrabeen Lagoon. I will not details all of them but suffice to say if you want to explore the area a bike is a very good option.