Words & photos : Charlie Coquillard
The best bike ride in South Sydney
When we say this is the most scenic, exhilarating, fun, and tough bike ride there is on the Southern end of Sydney; we're not lying. 100Km of national park roads, steep descents, cliffside views, and even a few hundred meters above the water on the sea cliff bridge.
The views, as well as the 2000m of positive elevation, will surely take your breath away. Embark with Chris, Johnny, Troy, and Ben on a Sunday ride you should consider. Link to the GPX track at the bottom of the article.
It always starts at 7/11 Sutherland, a great rally point for cheap quadruple shot coffees for those that went a bit hard on the Gins the night before. Chris was feeling the extra two drinks he had that he knew he definitely shouldn't have had. Once everyone had their essential jerseys stashed with sugary goodness, it was time to hit the road.
The ride starts by a long, straight flattish bit going along the highway, then swerving onto the old highway, now cyclists paradise—a pretty uneventful start-up to Bulli. Bulli pass is probably one of the steepest bit of roads you can find. It drops straight down from the top of the seaside cliffs, 283 meters high, all the way to ocean level. It is making for one epic descent behind the drops and some pretty solid max speed. Disc brake not mandatory but highly encouraged.
After an hour of pedalling, it's always a good idea to stop at Buck Hamblin for cyclist-friendly coffee and an almond croissant. You don't want to let those caffeine levels drop too low. Plus, one that goes down must go back up, and at this point, you're about to hit a whole lot of up.
Once the magnificent Seacliff bridge passed (check the video for the footage), you hit a hill that's arguably as steep as Bulli pass, except it's a lot less (or more) fun uphill. 220m of elevation, all the way to the national park entrance.
Once the magnificent bridge passed (check the video for the footage), you hit a hill that's arguably as steep as Bulli pass, except it's a lot less (or more) fun uphill. 220m of elevation, all the way to the national park entrance.
Chris's Di2 front derailleur decided to run out of battery at this point, so he was spinning out quite a lot. Lucky this lot is resourceful, and with a bit of fiddling around, Jonny managed to attach his DI2 cable to Chris's Merida and shift it up for the rest of the ride. Everyone else was looking and judging, as you do when a mechanical happens.
Ensues a long, windy ride down the jungly national park—a luxuriant prehistoric forest, back to Sutherland, where it's mandatory to hit the bakeries for a post-ride Donut.
If you wish to ride that route, you can download the GPX file by clicking HERE.