HI in the middle of planning to meet a mate on the hunter valley city rail link and do a short tour.

Can anyone reccomend a good tour route from a city rail station? looking for either a coastal one or one without to many hills. Ideally with a city rail station at the start and finish..

Want to do a short 2-3 day tour now with plans for a longer one in the future. Any suggestions using cityrail would be much appreciated. (tried country links bike in box service but not keen to use it again)

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Reasons being for avoiding hills.

Neither of us ride long distances, (especially myself) and 2nd reason is

My 2 main commuting bikes have SRAMS automatix hub on them, great hassle free commuting hub. but it only gives you 2 gears to deal with riding on the flats and slight hills. For any really steep hills im either out of the saddle or walking up the hill. I could rebuild one of the bikes with more gears for the tour, so hill routes not entirely ruled out. Another reason is, for this short tour we were leaning towards a coastal route.

Great link by the way, showing the elevation and distance in the graph below is really handy for planning ahead.

I have a winter commuter that has a Sturmey Archer S2 kickshift hub pretty much like Ben's bike and I have been wondering if a tour could be done on this bike. I have done some research using Google maps and the routes I have been considering are:

  1. Mt Victoria to Emu Plains - you could include the usual tourist expedition to Pulpit Rock Lookout at Blackheath as a ride but I think you will need to walk to Echo Point and the 3 sisters lookout as the road back will be steep. The thing is you will mostly be on the highway although you could use backroads. The issue you will find is that due to the highway widening much of the character of some of the Blue Mountains towns has gone as they have become commuting suburbs of Sydney. There is some good accomodation options there not to mention plenty of food options. 
  2. Mittagong to Campbelltown - Mostly downhill like the Mt Victoria to Emu Plains - though there are some hills especially on the way to Picton - I don't think the route profile using the cycling setting on Google maps illustrates this enough. Mind you it does suggest a good ride via Burragorang Rd.
  3. The other possibility I was wondering about is the option of Bowral to Goulburn. You would use the Bong Bong track to Moss Vale and the Highland way to Tallong which is mostly down hill - there is a number of hills in to Goulburn which may be an issue depending on your gearing.I would use roads mostly but the Hume Highway from Tallong to Goulburn should be reasonably safe although it will be noisy as all hell. 
  4. Moss Vale to Shellharbour Junction station using the Illawarra Highway and the Macquarrie Pass. - This will require a long weekend and early morning riding to as there isn't much shoulder on the Illawarra Highway and there are some hills you will have a rollicking good ride down the Macquarrie Pass - which should be done early so I would suggest staying the night at Robertson.

As I said I have been wondering if the bike with the S2 hub would be up to doing some touring so if you use any of these options let me know how you went.

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