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I think I'll skip this one as it has sections along the motorway. I avoid any motorway riding on principal: too much rubbish on the shoulder and far too close to fast cars and their noxious fumes for comfort.

A pity as it goes to places I've never been.

which motorway?  the M7 section is on a shared path.  The very short section (4.3km) of M5 should be completed in a short time and quite early in the morning.

Registered for 300.

new moon on the 21st, it will be a dark 300 and 400km ride.

Late report.

At least 3 Sydney cyclists finished a loop on Saturday.

Rob & Si completed their first 300 km rides and I completed my second. Rob and I rode most of the way together finishing at 10.35 pm. Si defended his ' Audax animal' title leaving us behind at the halfway point and finishing 2 1/2 hrs earlier.

Hornsby to Camden fine and cool. 87 km
Camden to Hilltop also fine, mostly uphill. 147 km
Hilltop to Penrith torrential rain most of the way, plenty of downhill. 231 km
Penrith to Hornsby dark, clear star filled sky, a couple of hills. 303 km

My day started at 4.15 am. I drove to Waitara arriving at 5.30 am to the sight of a coup,e of dozen other lunatic cyclist getting ready for a full day of riding.

The first leg to Camden was quick and relaxing riding in small groups with much of the route on the M7 cycle way.

The second leg kicked of with a wake up climb up old razorback road. The remainder of the route was mostly uphill to the next checkpoint at Hilltop. I was very glad to arrive at Hilltop.

I was just about done at the halfway mark at Hilltop. Had quite a long break and Rob was kind enough to keep me company on the next leg. He helped me greatly providing 3 more rest breaks on the way to Penrith while he repaired 3 punctures. By the time we got to Penrith I was feeling much better. The last leg was uneventful, dry and done at a conservative pace. No speed records to break, counting done the remaining hills and staying alert to the end.

We were very pleased to arrive at Hornsby police station, the final checkpoint. The only challenges remaining were the final km back to the cars and the drive home. I arrived home at 12:15, a long and successful day.
Guidance needed.

I am dreaming about stepping up to my first 300 and Go Loopy looks as good a place to try as any. I did the Loopy 200 last August in a good (for me) time of 11:09 elapsed / 9:33 moving and that included 15 minutes stuck at electricity pole installations on Catti Ridge Road. I have done all but a few kms of the rest of the 300 on my own wanderings so am fairly familiar with the route.

The Loopy 200 was one of my better times last year and more recent ones over Summer have not been spectacular. I have also been off bike for last three weeks after an eye operation and while now cleared for "sensible" riding and will do a 200 at Parkes on 29th I am otherwise a bit underdone in preparation.

Other than ride as much as possible from now is there any specific hints from veterans for moving up to a 300. If I look to be not up to it just yet I will just do the Loopy 200 again and try later for the 300.


Personally, stepping up to 300 was not so much of an issue, it was going beyond that and messing with my circadian rhythm and enduring the cold of the middle of the night when going for 400+ rides that really made a noticeable difference to me. A few times I rode to the start of a 200 to do a 250km day, it didn't really seem to really make a whole lot of difference to my time over 200 as I make a conscious effort to ride within myself.

How do you feel at the end of a 200? Generally I'm pretty tired, but almost without exception I know I could have gone a little further and longer if I had to (I think the day it got into the 40s out on Halcrows Rd and spending 13 hours in the rain on my first ride back after the broken shoulder would be those exceptions).

I haven't left metropolitan Sydney on my bike since last October, though I'm doing a lot of inner city riding... I should probably look to get back out there soon. I think I'm free on April 12 so maybe we could team up to knock off the 300?

That would be very generous Rob but I wouldn't want to hold anyone up, I am likely to take up much of the available time. While even just short of 2am finish would make me happy I note that the last trains back to the city are just before and just after midnight, next one around 4am (such is our great public transport) so there is an incentive to be back earlier. One of my better times was the Elvis Escape night 200 so maybe I am better at night. I would have to brush up on Michel Foucault and William Godwin.

You probably wouldn't be holding me up!

The best randonneurs do this as their first 300 ;). Probably the easiest Northern Sydney 300.

Eat something proper at each checkpoint. Pace yourself, you've got 20 hours and you will not need any of that for sleeping. Good lights and spare batteries/lights because Penrith-ish to Hornsby is dark.

FWIW, I found it easier than some 200s, probably because I was not concerned about my time, just completing it and was chatting away to Ron (RIP buddy), who I got to know on the ride, for most of it.

everything Si said.

Lights not a problem, I have some new ones (Gemini Duo) which are spectacular, more than adequate in total darkness at 30% of max which means they run for 18 hours (I was going to do a review of them). It's the adequacy of the engine I am concerned with.


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