I have hunted the maps of the Sydney northern beaches for two years now and gave up on ever finding a half decent trail between the great Manly trail and the super Dee Why/Narrabeen Lake. Then I ran into Richard, the eBikeDiary guy in Gladesville and recognised his bike instantly. We promised to go on a ride together and just the other day we decided on a tour of the Northern Beaches, a place where Richard has ridden for 30 years.
I arrive in Seaforth, Richard arrives a minute later like the phantom but sitting astride a Shimano electric double shock MTB and all the bells and whistles. It looks very similar to my Cube Reaction MTB and runs the same size battery. We took off on the lovely Seaforth to Manly trail and when we got to Manly golf course we took off up Manly Creek for a couple of kilometres and then joined Pittwater Rd and used the cycle path there for a bit. We then headed to Greendale Creek and at Griffen Rd, we ran out of official track. You then need to ride up the road to Dee Why for a couple of kms or bail out to the footpath if you have teens in tow. Once you get to Dee Why, you have many great kms of riding across to Narrabeen Lake and beyond. We choose the eastern side of the lake which is more interesting in my view. We completed our outward journey thru Warriewood and ended up in Mona Vale.
Our return journey was via the two golf clubs that have been kind enough to allow bike tourists to ride around the perimeter, Mono Vale and Long Reef. The trip down Colloroy Beach on the roads is fine as its mostly shared path with a lot of car driveways. From Long Reef GC we struggled down Pittwater Rd. I suggest using the council bike track which is one street back from Pittwater Rd.
We then returned whence we came back towards Manly and cruised through town and back up the harbour side trail to end up in Balgowlah. A journey of 55km. Both eBikes had 3 bars left out of 5 though I suspect we probably had 40kms left rather than 60 before a recharge was necessary. So a win to both Shimano and Bosch engines and a win to both our wide wheeled MTB ebikes as this setup is suited to an urban backstreet and shared pavement environment. Richard wins with the extra luxury of 2 shocks and a shock soft seat. Thanks to Richard for his detailed knowledge of the great phantom paths of the North Shore.
Trail Notes. Very flat except for around Manly headlands and Mono Vale. This is one area of Sydney where you have to ride back as there are no trams or trains to bring you home.
written by Garry Robinson