Eight LBUG riders rode up to Katoomba on Saturday and down on Sunday. No deaths, had a great weekend.
Can report that John Howard's oak tree at Faulconbridge in the Avenue of Prime Minister's Oaks was vandalised sometime between when we passed by on the up trip and when we went past on the down trip. Not by us!
We rode up from Emu Plains via the Knapsack Bridge cycle path (used to be the highway once) and along a path alongside the motorway to the Lapstone underpass, along Governors Rd to Glenbrook (steep) then the "Railway Pde" back streets through Blaxland, Warrimoo, Springwood, all the way to Faulconbridge, where there is no choice but to use the highway for 6 km to Woodford. The shoulder was quite good except in one or two places. Had group photo taken with Santa at the Woodford Fire Station- somehow got sucked into supporting the firies' Christmas fund raiser..
We rejoined the highway at Hazelbrook for the short section to Lawson, then back on Railway Pde to Wentworth Falls (some steep little undulations on that road). Took Falls Rd to bypass the highway (could also take Sinclair Cr) and came out just short of Leura turn off on Scott Av. A local cyclist and well known author, Steve Herrick, showed us a back street way to Katoomba from Leura (basically just avoid the horrendous Lovell St). Stayed at the YHA and ate at the RSL- Chinese seafood buffet night- yum.
On Sunday we rode down, using the main road from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls turnoff at Sinclair Cr, Railway Pde to Lawson, Highway to Hazelbrook, Railway Pde to Woodford, highway to Faulconbridge, Sir Henry Parkes Dr to Springwood, "Railway Pde" to Blaxland, then down Mitchells Pass, which was closed to motor traffic because of rock falls as described by others , and nearly closed to cyclists because of huge cranes doing some power pole repairs, and came out at Emu Plains, after a side trip to the Knapsack Bridge to have a closer look at it.
Would be quite possible to ride up Mitchells Pass while it is closed, just have to watch for flying cyclists coming the other way.
The new highway from Katoomba to Leura overpass has a good shoulder, but just after that the RTA is up to its old bad tricks and has ruined the shoulder with half width resheeting (where they dont continue a repaving across the whole bike shoulder and leave a big step running lengthwise). The shoulder coming in to Faulconbridge is narrow in places, particularly near the fruit shop about a km or two before Fauclconbridge. Need to take some care through there but on the whole the highway is a lot better than it used to be and all new road work sections are supposed to have bicycle shoulders.
Saw a number of cyclists out for a training run along the way, but no tourers like us, although there was one guy in the YHA who had ridden up from Liverpool with a Bob trailer. Also saw a very interesting recumbent
parked there, a Dutch Flevobike Green, with a closed drive train.