Route help: Somerville Road, Hornsby Heights - Benowie Walking Track ?

Is anyone familiar with this route that leads down to Benowie Walking Track ?

Google Maps stops here with a sign that ominously says "Gravel Road" 

Pretty hard to make out on nearmaps too

Specifically is it a good sealed road for a road bike, at least up to the Walking track ? 

and any more info would be good too, like say are there good views, is it a steep ride etc 


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I haven't ridden it - that street view image is where I've always turned around on Somerville Rd. But a couple of observations...

1) If the Google Maps car didn't go any further...

2) Here is a Google Maps image of the road - looks like gravel to me:

3) There is however a Strava segment for the route - 2.3km @ 8.4%, although it has a flat section, so most of the rest is 10-15%. All up consider it the equivalent of about two times the steep bit of Akuna, but on gravel. But it has been ridden 161 times by 64 people, so at least one of them thought it was worth going back and doing again.

Woohoo! Time for the Great Somerville Rd MTB Time Trial 2012 and Beyond!!

(A Surly Disc Trucker could probably cope if anyone has one. ;-) )

Here you go Neil / SC challengers , a little montivation.

It's not gravel (until the park area) but new bitumen , not the smoothest but probably what you want for a slope like this. You'll also want brakes can help you stop on a 15% slope.

By the way, when I did this on Monday I saw one lady coming down on her MTB and two men heading towards the slope as well. So probably many more masochist  riders than what is shown on Strava. 

Google car doesn't go quite a few places - see Tharwa, Ness routes (sealed  up to Rendezvous Carpark- except for cattle grid -) , route to Charlotte pass (sealed too) , but in this case yes, quite clearly it's gravel then. 

Hmm that Strava segment search feature is pretty useful - thanks.

EDIT: A friend duly advises it is in fact sealed. But also steep with a capital F.

But still a good idea there Neil - perhaps coordinate it with a picnic at Crosslands for the 5k members party, which with any luck we're on track for some time in summer?

Aww, there goes Neils MTB TT challenge.

Steep with CLIMBONE inciting status?

Edit: Darn it... it's sealed you say? craps....

Edit2 : and recently sealed too, , from what we make out from Pauls last visit and Google maps photos. so it should be in pretty good riding condition. Which makes it craps x2

I believe it is very nicely sealed these days, but yes it is steep. Mind you before it was sealed I rode it a couple of times on the road bike and it wasn't too bad.

5k party: there's a good idea. No chance of an non-listening bouncer there.


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