I have been catching up with friends and family by riding from Canberra to Goulburn catching the train to either Springwood or Lithgow. I usually take the Federal Highway to Gollector then ride to Breadlebane and take the Hume Highway shoulder to Goulburn. The thing is touring is pretty much like commuting riding the same route gets boring. There are some quite interesting towns and villages in the Southern Tablelands that would make a good alternative to the regular route and yesterday I decided to change my route to make things interesting.
I have wanted to ride to Gunning for quite a while decided to take the opportunity to achieve this goal. I have been using my Shogun Katana to do the run to Goulburn. I have been setting up the Katana for the Goulburn with a Carradice bag, a triangular frame bag for tools and the all important cycling jacket and a small rectangular bagsimilar to the ones used by timetrialists that straps to the handlebar stem and frame for a couple of spare tubes and the patch kit. I started out in the arvo due to some minor issues at home. As I hadn't used the Katana for a while I pumped up they tyres and gave the Katana a check over. The reare tyre needed some attention as the tyre had not been bedded down. Once that was sorted I set off.
I took the off road bike paths to Commonwealth Bridge and rode on to Northbourne Avenue and went up the Federal Highway to the turn off for Gundaroo. I wasn't sure of the distance to Gunning but I had been to Gundaroo many times. When I rode through Sutton looking a distance marker but only saw one once I was well and truly on the way to Gundaroo. As I got to Gundaroo I saw the first of a few cyclists heading the other way.
About 5 Kilometeres out of Gundaroo I saw a large number of cars with bikes on racks and another group of cyclists heading toward Canberra. I gather there had been a race at Gunning and these were riders on their way back home. I continued on and began the first of a series of largish climbs. I rode through some quite beautiful countryside with rolling hills. The only issue at this stage was dodgy road surface especially at the edge. I was fortunate that the most of the motorists on this stage gave me enough space although I did have a few who revved their engines as they passed.
It maybe that I have been riding the single speed too much but the hills were hard and the light began to fail. At about 15 km out of Gunning I put the red light on at the back and the flashing light at the front. Eventually after a series of climbs I reached the outskirts of Gunning. I could see some wind turbines and the Hume Highway in the distance.
I got in to Gunning as night fell and stopped at the local servo to grab some food for the road. Gunning is a small town It has a historic courthouse and the Telegraph Hotel with a Chinese resteraunt that if I had more time I would have stopped and had dinner at. The thing was I had a train to catch in Goulburn and I wasn't going to be able to hang around for too long. At the servo I bought the health food of the nation - a meat pie and a iced coffee. I also got 3 mars bars for the road, I had a mars bar at at the 30 and 20 km mark. I asked direction for the Hume Highway from the console attendent, as I figured that would be the most direct route to Goulburn. I filled the water bottles and got rolling. Just before I left Gunning the cold started to bite and I broke out the jacket and put it on. I was told that it was 45 kilometers from Gunning to Goulburn.
I got to the Hume and took the emergency lane - it was as the console attendant said "nicely elevated to catch the wind". It became a series of long climbs until I got to the turn off for Breadlebane where I found myself on familiar turf.
At the 10 to Goulburn mark the rear tyre which had been feeling dodgy finally gave out. Normally this would be no problem but given it was pitch dark the tyre change was a real battle. I got the wheel off with out any problems and got the tube out and replaced to the light of passing trucks and cars. The real problem was replacing the wheel. At one stage the chain got tangled on itself. I had a battle to get it untangled evenutally I got the wheel back on and did a quick search with one of my lights to ensure that I had left nothing behind. When I got underway one of the lights fell off and I had to double back to collect it.
I got myself underway and began to wonder if I would make the train at all. I was prepared to spend the night in Goulburn and take the morning train but was just as determined to get to Goulburn and make the train. As I approached the exit to Goulburn I got a mobile call from my fiance. I was dreading this call because I would have to come up with an explanation for why I would be spending the night in Goulburn because I was fumbling with my gear I missed the call but when I saw the time I stopped for a while I still had over half an hour to get the train!
I took the exit onto Hume street and went all out to Sloane street Goulburn's main drag. I copped a bit of heckling from the local clubbers/drunks. I found an ATM and got money for my fare and made a bee line for the train. I got my ticket and a couple of cans of soft drink from the station staff. I took the bike a put it on the hook in the dedicated bike room on the train. I gave my fiance a ring and told her about the ride and listened to her story about her trip to her grandmothers as the train took me from Goulburn to Springwood.

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Comment by Andrew on June 11, 2012 at 9:33am

Great trip, but I have prev avoided Hume between Gunning and Goulburn using the back roads.

Comment by Bill Parker on June 11, 2012 at 9:42am
Every bike trip can be an adventure. I have been looking at using the train to / from Goulburn for some touring around the area, it is a great shame that there are so few bike accessible train journeys that can be done in NSW without boxing, hope the proposed cityrail / regional rail split does not remove this from Goulburn option.
Comment by Dabba on June 11, 2012 at 5:49pm
Bill, I use shittyrail 4 most of my tours. South 2 goulburn and nowra, west 2 Lithgow with the northern extent 2 Dungog and Scone. No boxes needed 4 these, but beyond that, ClowntreeLink exerts its Fawlty Towers powers.


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