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         Rap-up of 2005 Tour de Windsor - 21 cyclists - 252km

3rd annual Anzac Long W'end - Sat 23, Sun 24 and Monday 25 April 2005 - 252km Tour de Wisemanís Ferry:
Sat 23 April        
   Berowra to Mt White, Peats Ridge, Spencer, Wisemanís Ferry - 101km

Sun 24 April           Wisemanís Ferry, Sackville 'n back - 71km

Monday 25 April     Wisemanís Ferry, East Windsor, Cattai, Old Northern Rd, then -
                                *        Berowra Water to Berowra car park - 67km; or
                                *        Galston Gorge, Hornsby  - 65km

  • Reduce the ride length on Day 1 and Day 3 by driving a Sag Wagon part of the route

  • WARNING:  Two dangerous short timber bridges with 30mm gaps where you must dismount and walk across:

*        1st dangerous timber bridge on Day 1 about 5km past Spencer on final leg to Wisemans Ferry

*        2nd dangerous timber bridge on Day 2 about 5km into our 1st Leg to Cliftonville.

SRA has trackwork over ANZAC long w'end on Hornsby, Berowra, Wyong line.  If you wish to start from Hornsby which adds a further 12Ĺkm to the ride, Publican will pick-up your o'nite bag 'n tent from Jersey St carpark Hornsby between 7:30am and 7:45am on Saturday morn'.  But you have to let Bank Teller or Publican know beforehand.  Otherwise, drive to Berowra station carpark like the rest of us.  Phone Publican 0438 417.111 or Bank Teller 0404014.725 if you can't get to Hornsby by 7:45am.


Approx 27 cyclists (24 in '03 then 29 in '04) participated in each of Muggs' previous two ANZAC long 'end Tour de Wisemanís Ferry anti-clockwise loop rides where we jagged balmy weather.  Our 3rd ANZAC long w'end sortie to Wisemans Ferry again incorporates camping or staying in cabins at NSW Ski Gardens - 4566.4212 - River Rd, Wiseman's Ferry. 

21 are attending:

Samurai 'n Amanda, Lisa, Kath, Arno/Sarah (and Yvonne), Gene aka Koala Bear, Kate aka Flaxen, Katie H, Bank Teller, Trevor aka Tornado, Matt aka Printer, Barry D. aka Bazza, Maria 'n Ross, John Aka Auckland, Martin B, Frank aka ExPat, Tony aka Publican, Simon aka Rock Solid, Peter aka Rummager

If you think you are a similarly probability of attending, e-mail ScribePJ@tpg.com.au   There is no up front deposit.  If you have to drop-out at 11th hour - No worries.

When lots of others will be gridlocked/log-jammed in long w'end traffic, you'll be cycling unencumbered back roads all three days.  The route on Day 2 provides memorable panoramic views of the Hawkesbury River off to our right and sometimes up-front and from Cliftonville Lodge Resort - 4575.5220.

We start (and finish) at Berowra station carpark:

  • 7:59am (or 8:59am) train from Hornsby to Berowra, arrive 8:12am (or 9:12am); or

  • 8:19am train from Hornsby to Berowra arriving 8:29am or Cowan 8:33am.  

Day 1   Sat. -  101km from Berowra station car park to Wisemans Ferry:

Commence from 8:30am after dumping your oínite bag and sleeping bag in one of the two Sag Wagons - See heading "Sag Wagons" further below where each cyclists pays $10 to the TaxMan before putting their o'nite bag, sleeping bag, and tent in either of the two Sag Wagons ($2 less if you are in a cabin and therefore don't have a tent). 

  • 1st Nosh Stop after 24km at Mt White Road Warriors Cafe (30min) from 9:40am to 10:10am,

  • 1st Sag Stop after 44km at Mid Coast Petroleum, Peats Ridge (10min) from 11:10am to 11:20am,  

  • 100m Nth of Mid Coast Petroleum, Left into George Downs Drive for 3km to Central Mangrove,

  • Left SW down Wisemans Ferry Rd, thru Mangrove Mtn, Lower Mangrove following the river 24km to Spencer for 2nd Nosh Stop after 72km (40min) from 12:40pm to 1:20pm with choice of two adjoining cafes,

  • SW, then NW for 29km adjacent to the river via Gunderman, Laughtondale to Wisemans Ferry - CARE:  DANGEROUS TIMBER BRIDGE BETWEEN SPENCER AND WISEMAN'S FERRY WHICH BROUGHT BRENDA DOWN 2 YEARS' AGO - 101km - ETR 2:45pm.

Day 2   Sunday - 71km following the Hawkesbury River to Sackville, and return (the most scenic 71 clicks you'll ever pedal):

1st leg:  Wiseman's Ferry to Cliftonville  - 13.8km 

By 9am pedal SW along flattish River Road passing Webbs Creek Ferry on RHS offering marvellous Deliverance Country views with some short diversions into intriguing side-valleys.  One exceedingly DANGEROUS short bridge 4.8km from our Wiseman's Ferry Start Sth along River Rd with large vertical cavities which have caught two cyclists.  In April 2004 Martin's wheel dropped into one of the 30mm abysses and Martin was lucky not to seriously injury himself.  In April '05, Scribe was rolling his bike over at 1km [p/h and caught a cavity.  Unless you have mountain bike tyres, you MUST dismount and walk it.  One or two small climbs and a two @ 250m sections of reasonable gravel road. 



After 13.8km pull in at Cliftonville Lodge Resort cafe for 1st Nosh Stop (40 min) offering panoramic views of the pristine Hawkesbury Cyclists wanting an easy 2nd day can turn around at Cliftonville for a lazy 27.6km ride.



2nd leg:  Cliftonville to the Gas station at Sackville - 22.8km

Continue along River Rd 8km to Lower Portland Ferry at junction of Colo River and cross to the West bank. 

Left into West Portland Rd for 14.20km in toto comprising:
After 100m is Start of 1.9km KOM Climb to "?". 

Thence ahead Sth for 10.7km to Bull Ridge Rd on RHS (34.8km)

Steep descent for 1km to Sackville Road 'T' intersection

Right for 500m to Sackville gas station for fish 'n chips, arriving around 12pm 2nd Nosh Stop (40 min) after 36.6km.



3rd leg:  Sackville to Cliftonville - 21.6km

Backtrack 1km to ferry.  RTA insists that cyclists walk their bikes onto ferry.  3.7km NE gradual climb up Sackville Ferry Rd.

Left into River Rd for 8km back to Lower Portland ferry, passing Dargle Ski Park.

Left into River Rd for 8m to Cliftonville Lodge Resort cafe for Sag Stop (10min) arriving around 2pm (58.25km).


4th leg:  Cliftonville to Wiseman's Ferry - 13.7km

Backtrack 13.7km along River Rd to Wiseman's Ferry.  ETR 3:30pm.


NB: There is an embargo on visiting the pub at Wiseman's until 5pm, 'cause the precipitous climb out the next morn' ain't pleasant if you got a skinful the night before.  We all remember the fragile faces on Day 2 of our last two annual Linger 'n Die rides after copious jars at the Wollombi Tavern being sociable with the locals.

Day 3   Monday - 65km to Hornsby or Berowra - 66km:

By 9am:

  • Sth down Wisemans Ferry Rd for 11km, commencing with a killer 2.5km climb to Hawkins Lookout,

  • R into Wisemans Ferry Rd [at Maroota - junction of Old Northern Rd - see our human Sign Post] and head SW for 5km arriving Stone House Cafe 4575.0155 Maroota Sth on RHS for 1st Nosh Stop (30min),

  • continue SW another 15km thru Cornelia to Cattai for 1st Sag Stop (10min) near junction of Halcrows Rd after 28km, 

  • L into Halcrows Rd [heading East] for about 8km which joins Cattai Ridge Rd at KOM from Cattai Creek;

  • Ahead along Cattai Ridge Rd a further 9km to Old Northern Rd for 2nd Sag Stop (10min) at bus stand after turning Right into Old Northern Rd, then either -

  • 400m Sth down Old Northern Rd,

  • Left into Wylds Rd (for 2km) commencing with 500m steep descent and 700m climb and further 800m to Arcadia Rd,

  • Left on Arcadia Rd for 200m to Grumpy's Cafe for 2nd Nosh Stop after 47km (35min) from 12:20pm to 12:55pm,

  • 9km N along Arcadia Rd thru Arcadia and Berrilee to Berowra Waters ferry,

  • 4km up Berowra Waters Rd to Berowra Park 3rSag Stop (10min),

  • 2.5km NW along Berowra Waters Rd to Old Pacific H'way,

  • 300m L on Old Pacific Highway to Berowra station car park - ETR  2:30pm


           TO HORNSBY

  • 3Ĺkm Sth down Old Northern Rd,

  • L into Mid Dural Rd for 1.6km E to roundabout'

  • Ahead into Galston Rd 400m to Galston Park for 2nd Nosh Stop after 52km (35min) from 12:30pm to 1:05pm,

  • 7.5km via Galston Gorge to familiar Hornsby Heights bus shelter 3rd Sag Stop (10min) from 1:35am to 1:45am,

  • 3.1km along Galston Rd to Old Pacific H'way,

  • R for 1.5km to Hornsby station carpark - ETR Hornsby 2:15pm.

Accommodation on Sat and Sunday nights at NSW Ski Gardens  2916 River Road, 2916 River Road, Wisemans Ferry - 4566.4212:
Tent sites are $6 per person plus $2 per tent.  If you are on your own it will cost $8 per night to pitch tent at NSW Ski Gardens, 2916 River Road
, Wiseman's Ferry Bank Teller has booked with Chris - 4566 4212 nine tent sites on a $50 holding deposit.  If you are a twosome, it will cost $14 per night 'in toto'.  So no need to book a tent site, just show up. 

Scribe will be inviting cyclists from ride groups in Newcastle and Windsor/Richmond/Kurrajong to join us camping at Wiseman's Ferry.


Din dins on Sat night, and brekkie after church:

  • The Wisemanís Ferry Inn  4566.4301 ph.  Mick the Publican, and Toni/Cathy 4566.4739 provide a Bistro from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

  • Other cafes/restaurants in Wiseman's Ferry.

Below are a few handy hints from local knowledge provided by Steve Cooper who completed 2003 PBP and visited us for the 2004 Sunday ride:

"St Albans is a tiny village. Things 've slowed down some since the river silted-up. The picturesque Settler's Arms pub is the main attraction and maybe a guest-house.  That's about it. They have meals but not sampled by me, possibly just frozen pies microwaved.  Off course there's the local specialities of Catfish, Crawdads n Pork Chittlins or Roadkill Combination (no two meals the same) on a Friday night but these are only available to those on intimate terms with the cook (ie her cousins, uncles etc).  For entertainment there's Elroy the amazing blind Banjo player and his famous bluegrass lament "I've only got one Gramma". Some say his skill comes from having two extra fingers.  There's a bit more choice at Wisemans.  Reasonable bistro at the pub, plus another restaurant or two as well as licensed club.

Sleeping bag:
Bed linen is not included, and costs an additional $11 p/h.  Hence, your trusty sleeping bag will "do the trick". 

Sag Wagons:
Publican has kindly offered his Ferrari "Ute" as one Sag Wagon.  It has Whippet's 3 bike rack on the back.  Each participant's "small o'nite bag", tent and sleeping bag went in one of the two Sag Wagons at Berowra station car park before 8:30am.  We are looking for a 2nd Sag Wagon.  Scribe's Mitsubishi Lancer is a back-up 2nd Sag Wagon if a car with a toe-bar 3 bike rack isn't forthcoming.

This year, before we commence from Berowra carpark, each Sag Wagon provider will receive $70 (made up from "$10 per head bag carrier fee" - only $8 if no tent) to cover wear 'n tear and gasoline.

Sag Wagon drivers and Volunteers thus far:

                                                               1st Sag Wagon             2nd Sag Wagon
Day 1
*   23km to Mt White                                   
 ???                                ???

*   21km to Peats Ridge                           Bank Teller                         ???
*   24km to Spencer                                      ???                                ???
*   30km to Wisemans Ferry                      Publican           


Day 3
*   16km to Stone House Cafe                        ???               

*   32km to Grumpy's Cafe                        Bank Teller                        ???

*   19km to Berowra car-park                     Publican                           ???







Some crew pack a cereal bowl, mug, 'n shooting irons, 'cause they don't fancy the 1km stroll to town for breakfast.









We venture into Deliverance Country where some of the locals have kept the race pure thru selective in-breeding.  Hence, there are a few strange RedNeck dudes frequenting the thoroughfares.  Some are powerful friendly, but a few think they own the roads, so it pays to keep well to LHS, and not ride two abreast, even if you are bored and what to while-away the hours squawking bulldust with a nearby cyclist.  No cyclist should ever ride two abreast on a single lane road with an unbroken centre line.

Map for Day 2 and early part of Day 3:

Link to Bank Teller's rap-up of inaugural Tour de Wisemans Ferry w'end in '03 - 180km

Link to Bank Teller's rap-up 2nd Tour de Wiseman's Ferry w'end last year '04 -  229km

Bank Teller's rap-up of Sunday, 17 April, Tour de Bowen Mtn, Bellbird Hill  -  93km  -  5 crew

Perhaps t'was the prospect of scaling two of the toughest KOM Climbs in Greater Sydney, but only 5 starters today.  But golly gosh, what a corker of a ride on a bonza, beaut early Autumn day.

Yamaha, Heineken 'n Auckland make-up the trio setting off in the above pic on the 2.95km Bowen Mountain KOM Climb.  The chaps all knew Scribe was behind them, waiting in anticipation to take a pic of their Start.  John aka Auckland may have taken a wide berth to allow Heineken to grab centre-stage.  But Heineken took the shortcut up the LH rails, and blocked a shot of Pete aka Yamaha in the process.  Where was Publican?  He was camera shy and had been quick out of the blocks and bolted a few mins earlier.

5 cheery chaps at the Bunya Pine KOM, although Publican must again be camera shy.   No!  We made him stand in the corner for stealing a lead at the Start of that climb.  Or maybe Tony had told Mrs Publican that he was going to the office for the day.

Unsure why some of us weren't posing too closely for the above 2nd pic snapped by Publican.

After scaling a truly tough shortish hill in Bowen Mtn, and with an even tougher one, namely Bellbird Hill, awaiting us once we reached "Little Wheeny Creek bridge", we opted for lunch at Sassafras Creek cafe in quaint Kurrajong Village.   The service from the young female waitresses was beaut.  The food was "top shelf" and cheapish.  We averaged $25 per head, and reckoned we still got out cheap given the fine fare we had partaken.  Gees those dudes out Kurrajong way live high off the hog.  At the delightful femme waitress' recommendation, we opted for 'inter alia' the Spanish Tart, and were not disappointed.  Dead-set you could have entertained Royalty with that menu.

Yamaha 'n Auckland at the juncture of Burralow Rd/Warks Hill Rd - the KOM of the 5.74km Bellbird Hill.

Subsequently, Publican and Bank Teller posed for a pic at the start of the final section of the Bellbird Hill KOM Climb, up the 810m Warks Hill Rd where folklore has it that back in the olden days, anyone driving a horse 'n cart then got off the cart, 'cause Warks Hill Rd was too steep for any horse(s) to pull a cart up it, if any humans were on board.  None of today's crew would have any disagreement with the local legend of how the road got its label.  However, we mused how a horse 'n cart could have got up to Warks Hill Rd in the first place from Little Wheeny Creek, 'cause it had been a ball-terror 4.9km to even get to that street sign.

Today's ride is scheduled only once each year, 'cause those two KOM Climbs are murder unless you have a lowest rear gear ratio of 1.2 or less.  We learnt today that notwithstanding that Publican has a Deore LX long arm mountain bike rear derailleur which can shift to a 34 teeth chainring, today Publican had a 12/27 road bike rear cassette.  So it was a wonder Tony climbed to the above pic.  If you want to know how you can take the strain off your knees, read Bike BitsAnd talk to Publican, 'cause after almost self-immolating his quads on the torturous Bellbird Hill where you get a stiff neck from constantly looking "upwards 'n skywards", Publican should now be an authority on gear ratios and rear derailers, 'cause he copped an ear bashing from Bank Teller on the train trip back to Seven Hills station for not having a lower cassette.

Scribe - 17 April '05