I'm told that the interest in riding dirt is increasing, certainly true for me. A chance to get onto the road less travelled, listen to the crunch of stones under your tyres.
A pretty and challenging ride over mixed terrain in the lower Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury basin.
Will the ride live up to the hype?
With 67km of dirt on the 116km course and close to 90km on the 200km course the challenging aspect should not disappoint.
Pretty? well there is River Road which is the best stretch of road close to Sydney. Travelling through Wollemi National Park is quite special, not much of this ride is not special.
Come and prove me wrong.
Rides start at 6:30am, 100km course riders ride within daylight hours so no special lighting requirements, 200km riders will need fulfil Audax lighting and reflective top requirements.

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dirt roads scare away the cars!

Can't make Bilpin....pity the weekend workforce... 'cept I love my work!

several riders regsitered for the 100km ride, from mountain bike to 28mm equipped touring bike.

No ride for me this weekend, nursing an achilles strain. One I'll be looking at for next year, though.

Registrations close thsi evening at 6pm.

A few riders, bikes include mountian, 29er and tourers.  Should be a beautiful day.

It sounds like a lovely ride, Rob. One which, in earlier days, I would have looked forward to and probably completed. Indeed, I am tempted even now, except for the start location and time. I dunno whether you are the organiser, but would it not be more sensible to run this out of Richmond where people who eschew unnecessary MV use could join in more easily because of the train connection?

Also, are those route maps reversed? I only had a quick look, but surely the one marked 200km is only 100 and v-v?

yes I am the ride organiser. Yes those links are reversed, oops, thanks for noticing.

I put these up in a rush before the calendar closing time and it was some time afterwards that I thought of starting somewhere closer to Sydney.

If I should run these next year, probably will because the scenery and roads are fantastic, I will possibly start closer to a railway line and head up to Bilpin and back.  This will allow the difficult climb to be done halfway through the ride rather than the end which no doubt will be appreciated.

Richmond would make a good starting point, I'll expect you when the revised ride runs next year.

Hehe, yeah, especially if the start time is a little later to take into account my 2-hour train trip to get there on Sydney Hi-Speed Rail!

Is it necessary to go (straight) to Bilpin, anyway? My knowledge of the roads out there is limited but the Bell Rd is not the most bicycle friendly these days with the amount of traffic it carries. Going straight up from Richmond might not be fun. Perhaps there is an alternative route which could be used next year. I'll have a look at google maps and see if there is anything which looks feasible.

EDIT: Hmmm, short answer appears to be "Nooooo"

Bell Lines Road, we don't touch that on this ride and I won't send people up that way.

I've got another route sorted, suggestions always welcome though.

Looks like an awesome ride, sorry to have missed it.

I'd second the call to make the start more easily accessible by train next year if possible. I'm sure there are other options, and no doubt you know the area better than I do, but I thought that I'd share this as one idea for your consideration regarding a way to get from a train station to join up with your route: http://bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=526809

Very quiet roads, a few dirt sectors, and even a little bit of cheeky single track too (rideable on a loaded tourer). The more major roads aren't that bad, but there are a few boat trailers and spots where the shoulder disappears.

Me too but I would have considered camping the night before to avoid the early start. My excuses for this weekend would be something like the SS drop bar 29 chain is just too tight, this week the CX bike has developed a weird riding hands free wobble which means I need to swap wheelsets or tubes or tyres and cannot be arsed to do that tonight, and the sportive bike is just too sportive to get a chain full of that awful Sackville dust. Thought about the ss cx but know that the 42 /18 would have killed me up the hills to Bilpin.

Would like to try and do some of this run before it gets too cold

Sneak peek

Wayde is hiding, 5 riders all up.

there's Wayde

Joshua in his autumn attire.

about to head down into the foggy Colo River valley.

Tom on an ancient 10 speed with 27 x 1 1/4 tyres, no complaints.

Wayde heading up one of the steeper sections, a few complaints but he powered through it all on his borrowed 29er.

Joshua having his card signed by an uninterested bystander in St Albans, with some concern he told us to watch out for cars, "I hope they look out for us" was my concerned reply. Grunt.

The pub was full so we headed onto Wisemans Ferry for food.

Geoff and Joshua about to enjoy a feed.

And then things got hard for me, camera away and think about riding home.

Great pics again Robert. I don't think I've seen suspension bikes on an audax ride.

Beautiful weather for it, or was it a bit too hot out there?

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