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Australia

Little Bike & trike tours in the Land of Oz

Cycle Sydney

It's had a few names along the way, but we all know it as Cycle Sydney and it's as they say, a fantastic fun ride from North Sydney over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Olympic Park (or in past years to Parramatta Park) available in multiple flavours from 5 km and to 50 km (tho only the 50 km route goes over the bridge

I've done the 50 km Cycle Sydney route a few times now. Once in pouring rain when the highlight   -   riding across the harbour bridge   -   was a literal washout as you could hardly see the bridge let alone the view down the harbour and last in 2006 when on a bright cool day the trip across the bridge was probably all it should be; unfortunately I didn't get to ride the bridge but more about that later

An event ride like the Cycle Sydney brings out whole families and given the fairly short distance involved it's the sort of ride where you can stop for a coffee and chat with whoever else is there and who is clutching a bike helmet as if you were the best of friends. Riding the trike, I always have any number of temporary riding companions, the camaraderie is wonderful to behold   -   even speeding bunches of roadies smile and wave as they flash by

Luckily my rides have been mostly uneventful, the only hiccup coming at the end of the 2004 ride. The journey back home from Parrammatta via train was free and the trains rapidly filled with bikes and riders and as the trike has a much much bigger footprint than an upright, the trike came home upright, balanced on the rear wheel with the crank boom almost touching the train roof. After leaving Central Station it was a fairly easy ride home, well almost home as the disk brakes decided to apply themselves first one side then the other. When the left-hand side brakes locked themselves on I just undid a couple of bolts and swung the calipers off the disk and rode on homewards but when the right-hand brake also locked on to the disk and I did the same trick it meantI was brakeless in inner city traffic   -   not a good idea   -   a short detour, dragging the trike behind me, led to a friends house and a trip home in his van, not a great end to a good day

The 2005 ride was along the new route with the finish at Olympic Park (the site of the 2000 Olympics). Pretty good; heaps of fun and the trike contingent grows by the year!

My 2006 ride was a tad truncated as I had volunteered to help out with running the event   -   I thought that it was time I put something back into the cycling community   -   and I ended up as a Route Marshall and my job was to get riders to slow for what was a slippery sharpish left turn as they came off the Harbour Bridge. It was quite enjoyable, heaps of riders waving and greeting me, a few stopping to say thank you   -   of course there were a few who just whistled by, ignoring the pleas to slow down and of course there were a few tumbles but nothing serious. After a few hours came the designated 'Last Rider' and after a couple of minutes with the clean-up crew I jumped onto the trike and started to chase down the pack. The delayed start was actually good for me, I rode a little harder than usual and made really good time to the finish at Olympic Park where I met up with a couple of other trikers and even more other volunteers. I think I'll repeat the volunteering experience next year   in'shallah

 

Sydney to the 'Gong

The 'Gong is actually Wollongong, a city about 100 or so kms south of Sydney. This is another event ride and it's something of an institution. It's been going now for 25 years and attract thousands every year, many returning year after year

Over the past couple of years the route has been a bit fluid   -   not even getting to Wollongong sometimes   -   but this year with road works on a new coastal road finally complete, it's back to Wollongong. The ride comes in two flavours, or used to come in two flavours, a 90 km and a 60 km version

The 'Gong ride is probably a little more serious than the Cycle Sydney ride, indeed some of the inclines and a couple of the downhills are very serious!

I haven't done the 'Gong ride for awhile, the last time I started out the ride was cancelled shortly after I set out due to absolutely foul weather

The long version takes you from central Sydney (sort of) along the coast to Wollongong via the Royal National Park. The park has a couple of really nice downhills but the road surface leaves a bit to be desired and every year a few riders come to grief on this bit.Just after leaving the park there is a short but sharp incline and then it's down down down to the coastal flat and finally along some not bad cycle paths into the 'Gong