Sydney to Summit

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From the MAMIL Champions

On 21 March we are again going for a ride and raising funds for the indigo foundation’s projects supporting women’s empowerment in developing countries.

We welcome anyone who wishes to join us on the ride. And you don’t have to be a MAMIL! We welcome MAWILs, YWILs and YMILs. Read more about the ride below and complete the form to join us.

Support the riders and women’s empowerment by contributing to our fundraising efforts today.

The Route

21/3 Sydney to Wollongong 93kms (9kms gravel), 1105ms tv (total vertical)  or 102kms with no gravel and a bit more vertical
22/3 Wollongong to Nowra 81kms, 612ms tv
23/3 Nowra to Braidwood 121kms (17kms gravel), 1623ms tv
24/3 Braidwood to Canberra 105kms (20kms gravel), 1193ms tv
25/3 Day in Canberra – the best 50km ride in the country – around the lake and up Mt Stromlo
26/3 Canberra to Adaminaby 116 kms (40kms gravel), 1900ms tv
27/3 Adaminaby to Jindabyne 98 kms, 1258ms tv
28/3 Jindabyne to Kosciuszko and back 100 kms (15kms gravel), 1807ms tv

Total – 664 km to the summit plus 50 back to Jindabyne
Total vertical metres – 9498 – quite a bit more than Mt Everest!

See a map of the route.

Read more details on the riding conditions each day below.

Joining the ride

You may join us for as many kilometres as you wish and leave and re-join if necessary. As we start on Saturday you might like to come for the first half day, for the first day or the first two days. Getting back to Sydney by train would be possible at various stages of the first day and the second. See train timetable here.

We are not racing!! This is a supported ride.  A SAG wagon will carry our gear and refreshments so you only need to have a bag for rain gear etc on your bike.  We expect there will be sub-groups riding at differing paces.

Level of difficulty

This is not an easy ride. A good level of bike fitness is required. Most of the days on this ride we will expect to be on the bike for 5 hours, with a couple of days requiring around 6 hours.

Last year we rode from Canberra to Melbourne (a similar level of difficulty) and averaged about 19 kms/hour. We six MAMILs are all the plus side of 60. If you can keep up a pace of more than 25 kph on the flat on a still day you might well be buying the first round of drinks at the end of the day.

What bike is required

Touring bikes with 35mm tyres are probably best for the ride as there are gravel sections on most days. A road bike with 23-25mm tyres would be fine for days one and two. If there aren’t too many road bikers they could be ferried over the gravel bits except for the last 15 to the summit and back.  Mountain bikes would be OK, but as most of the route is tarmac fitting high pressure, low tread tyres such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus 26 x 1.35″ would be a good idea.

The route largely uses lesser roads, but some stretches will have traffic. High visibility clothing is essential.

We also recommend that your bicycle is checked and serviced.

Cost

Anyone joining the whole ride is asked to contribute $100 to fund the support vehicle and lunch costs. For those joining only for a portion, the contribution will be $15 per day.

It should be possible to get an evening meal for around $25, to be paid individually.

We might need an additional contribution for transport back from Jindabyne. We will advise on payment arrangements after you have signed up.

Accommodation

Shared accommodation will be available each night for around $50. Accommodation with private bathrooms will also be available for a higher price. We don’t think camping is practical in view of the long days and the extra load and time taken.

Participants must make their own accommodation bookings. It is first in first served. A number of rooms have been reserved at Braidwood and Adaminaby where there is limited accommodation. Here is suggested accommodation for the other locations:

Wollongong

Nowra

Braidwood

  • The Royal Mail Hotel – some accommodation reserved: $65 – Single room, $75 – Double room, $105 – Room with 5 beds
  • Torpy’s Eco Motel – no website: p: +61 2 4842 1830, m: 0447421830

Canberra – TBA

Adaminaby

Jindabyne – TBA

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you obtain personal accident insurance before taking part in the ride. Bike associations like Pedal Power in Canberra include insurance in membership fees.

Inclement weather

There is a saying that there is no such thing as bad weather just bad gear.  A blizzard on the Kosciuszko road would probably stop us, but otherwise we would probably just struggle on.  There is the SAG wagon to call if anyone is finding it too much.

Click here to complete a form to join us.

Details on the route

Day One – 21 March
We start at sea level below Mrs MacQuarie’s Chair at Port Jackson in Sydney. We will coffee and fuel up the Poolside Café nearby. We will follow bike paths and bike lanes to the Royal National Park. The paved road through the park has stretches with paved shoulders, but stretches where cars have to be patient to pass bikes. On Saturdays many cyclists ride this road so our bunch won’t be unusual. Those with touring bikes would probably wish to split off and use the Lady Carrington trail. There is a bit of up and down. The coast is spectacular south of the park.

Day Two – 22 March
This a pretty easy day with only 612 vertical metres. The route is pretty close to the sea most of the way.

Day Three – 23 March
The Nowra to Braidwood road has is now all sealed except for about 17kms and much of the road has good hard shoulders. The President of Nowra Velo Club advises that it is pretty quiet. On Monday it should be very quiet. The climb is long and steady from sea level to 770 metres over about 50 kms. It is grade 2. There is one short pitch at 9%. Otherwise it is under 4%. After the climb it rolls along through grazing tableland country to Braidwood.

Day Four – 24 March
This a pretty nice ride on tarmac through rolling grazing country south of Braidwood, then on gravel for 20kms through forest to Captains Flat. The Captains Flat to Queanbeyan road is a good ride. There will be a little traffic. It is bike paths then into Canberra.

Day Five – 25 March
Around the lake and up Mt Stromlo is the best 50km ride in the country! Well maybe there are contenders. There are good coffee stops too. We expect to be joined by locals for this.
There is a tentative plan have a dinner at Burgmann College with a little musical concert provided by music school students and maybe others.  Local indigo supporters and others would be invited to come and make a small donation to the cause.

Day Six – 26 March
This is quite a tough day, but it is a pretty spectacular ride. It includes the famous Fitz’s hill which is 11 and 12% but not very long so it is only a Grade 3 climb. There are about 40 kilometres of gravel road. We know this can be done on road bikes, but fitting the widest tyres frame clearances allow would be a good idea. On road bikes 25mm is usually the maximum.

Day Seven – 28 March
This is a rather easier day. There are 24 kms on the Snowy Mountains Highway, but this should be pretty quiet. We then do a few extra kms on back roads to Jindabyne to limit the kms on the Cooma to Jindabyne road.

Day Eight – 29 March
So this is it. A long steady climb from about 860 metres to about 1840 metres at Charlotte’s Pass on tarmac then 7.5 kms on gravel to about 2120 metres at Rawson’s Pass and finally .5 km and about 108 metres on foot up to the top of our big hill Mount Kosciuszko – 2228 metres. The ride involves a Grade 1 climb and a 2 and a 3. The maximum gradient is 11% and there is quite a bit at 7, 8, 9 and 10%. The run back down will chew up the brake pads! We hope there won’t be snow!

Getting Home

Watch this space. There will be a couple of cars going back to Canberra and one to Sydney. Depending on numbers we will seek volunteers to help or we may beg, borrow or steal a mini-bus and trailer to get riders and bikes back to Canberra and Sydney. The only public transport from Jindabyne seems to be a Countrylink bus on Monday morning at 8:20.

For more information please email Robin Brown at tidbinbilla@grapevine.net.au

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