Cycling in Sydney Australia
If you want a hill that is comparable in terms of gradient and distance, Bobbo is the place to go. If you're able to, drive and avoid the traffic, or take the train to Turramurra and then ride down Bobbin Head Rd (the easiest way to get there is to head down Pacific Hwy for <1km and turn left into BH Rd at the lights - there is a good shoulder all the way to Bobbin Head). Either do repeats of the half pipe (enter from the North Turramurra side, ride down to the bottom and up the other side, turn around when you reach the top on the Mt Colah side, and repeat ad naseum) or just ride the "easier" North Turramurra side (- turn around at the bottom - this side is slightly longer and therefore has an easier gradient, and overall is probably similar to the two significant hills on the Gong Ride).
A nice ride, especially at this time of year either on the weekends or in the evenings after work. There is a little bit of traffic but not enough to be bothersome - if you're lucky you might encounter a total of 5-10 cars over the 3-4km climb.
According to this thread, the inner west hill to test yourself on is Lilyfield Rd climbing east from Hawthorne Canal.
But unless I was on the dark side already, I wouldn't go there.
Mosman has a great selection of climbs. Out of Balmoral Beach, there's not just Awaba St. Try Mandolong Rd up to Military Rd, Coronation Av or Plunkett Rd/Beaconsfield Rd up to Middle Head Rd. Then there's the climb from the Taronga Zoo Wharf or from Bradleys Head past the zoo up to Mosman shops, or Chowder Bay Rd and Middle Head Rd up from Chowder Bay, and my favourite, Morella Rd up from Clifton Gardens. Put them all together for a fun morning. Recommended early on a weekend morning for least traffic, not that there is much through traffic outside peak hours except in Mosman shops themselves.
Did the ride through Mosman to Manly on the weekend.
The new bike route on the western side is undulating but well away from traffic, well sign posted.
The climb from the Spit Bridge up to Seaforth is a challenge.
If you are riding from the spit to north sydney then go up Parriwi Rd, which is a nice long climb, similar to the hill out of the Royal national park.
With only 2 weeks to go your timing is a bit short.
Try Lilyfield Rd near the Rowers club - it is quite steep from the club towards the city.
Warm up very well. Then do repeat efforts. Not too easy a gear
Aiming for cadence of about 60 - no matter if you don't have the gadet. Don't go too low a cadence
Pedal up the hill holding your gear until you can't do it any more. Turn around & spin gently down the hill to recover.
Do this about 10 times & see how you feel. Give a day rest in between. Do this 3 times a week.
No more of these within 3 days of the Gong Ride
This would be the best method to give you some strength. You really need 4 to 6 weeks to build up though
Remember that you can always stop on the way up out of the Nasho. I stopped 12 times on the Mt Buffalo climb on the Alpine to have a drink & eat something & rest the legs
Lilyfield Rd at the rowers club is a dead end.
No through traffic means less hassle. Worth a look. And easy to drive a car to in case you explode with the effort, or need to head somewhere else afterwards, or don't wish to deal with traffic to get there.
I rode this way for several years to & from work. Hated the hill in the mornings :-)
Thanks everyone for the good info - might give Lillyfield rd a go!
Thanks again :)
If you have time for a train ride as part of this exercise, just take the train to Sutherlands and ride up to Waterfall, (nice and wide shoulder,nice steady slope ) down RNP, take that right fork up towards Stanwell heights (harder slope) , enjoy the well earned rest and view where gliders fly, (which you will be unlikely to stop and enjoy on the actual ride) and find the first train station back.
Its the best part of the Gong ride anyway