After listening to some inspiring ladies at the Bike-packing talk night at Omafiets in Redfern and then heading to The Big Bike Film Night at the Randwick Ritz, I realised it was time to complete a challenge of my own. A thought bubble came to me, why not ride around Sydney. Hopefully this page will inspire you to ride around Sydney or even work out how to ride around your own city if you live somewhere else.
July 2021 18 confirmed loops including New video of 19 people doing a bubble ride around Sydney here
But Why Bother ? The reason is not the journey it’s the completion of the journey. It felt so good to turn the corner at Milsons Point and see the Sydney Harbour bridge. I had made it, 5 days, 6 train journeys to get to start and end points and lots of negative thoughts were behind me. ( Completed November 2018 )
The (Dads Track) Trail
I have spent the last two years learning the shared paths of Sydney and this trail follows a loop around the outer edge of many of those trails. Apart from 22km of road riding in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, the rest of the trail has a few 2-3 km sections of back roads to connect the shared paths. The paths that are connected travel through Centennial Park, upto La Perouse, around Botany Bay, the Menai Cycleways, Chipping Norton, Glenfield Railway, the M7 Cycleway, Old Windsor Rd, Parramatta River Cycleway, Shrimptons Creek, Lane Cove National Park, Epping Rd and a ride across the Harbour Bridge to complete the journey. There are a lot of good things to see.
Distance 230 km
Shared Path 190 km
Total road riding 39km
Total Climbing 2000m
The Hills and My Bike
Usually I will tell people that Sydney bike trails are generally flat but this ride goes through a few big dips along the waterways and that causes the climbing numbers to escalate. I rode most of the trail using an eBike with pedal assist. This ironed out the steep sections but trail took me about 13 hours in total riding time and many more hours commuting back and forth from start points. That equates to an average speed of about 17.5 km/h.
What Sort Of Bike to Take ?
Most of the trail can be done on any bike but a gravel bike would be best for the road riding guys as it’s a little more robust. There are quite a few bumps on the bitumen path in Chipping Norton and the Ramsgate brick paths are pretty bouncy as well. The rest is pretty smooth and the M7 Cycleway is very clean.
Whats with the Name ? Greater Sydney is a name that has been used lately to encompass the Western Parklands, Parramatta as well as the Inner Suburbs. This is a trail for the people of Sydney, you have a great bike city with 600km of shared paths, enjoy them any way you can.
What about the logistics of this ride ? Just join our newsletter and I will send out more information as the weeks roll by >>
The Rules for riding around Sydney
1. You pass over the harbour bridge and walk up the silly steps
2. You go under the Woronora bridge
3. You go around Lizard Log or Sugarloaf Ridge (m7 or Prospect Reservoir will cover that)
4. You go north or thru Lane Cove National Park or pass over the Lachlans Line Bridge at North Ryde
5. You take as many days as you need to enjoy Sydney and you may put your bicycle on public transport as long as do these four things
Getting from Cronulla to Sutherland
I did it by train but with an ebike or strong legs, you can ride from Cronulla up to Sutherland
Lets Look at People Who Have Reported a Lap of Sydney
First lets start with a map of the route with the trails all the riders have taken thus far.
Hooray: Some Real Riders Made It Too (Jan 2020: 4 Riders have made it)
(Jan 2021: 4 riders to make total of 8 laps)
- The Condensed Sydney Loop
Here is a shorter but fun way around the same key features. The condensed Sydney trail.
Gymea to Captain Cooks Bridge
Just me on this lap (Feb 2021: 1 Rider have made it – 9 laps of Sydney in total )
- More Riders did it on Electrics
Anthony Tuy and his band of electric riders did a lap in one day with two long stops to charge up.
See the Sydney Orbital Loop! on Strava here
(April 2021: 6 Riders made it – 15 laps of Sydney in total )
- Esper and Friend did the 100 Mile Version of the Condensed Loop
Find the ride in Strava Here. I like the way he did a small extension to Centennial Park to make it a clean 100 miles and I am impressed as they did it in one day following all the trails on the Condensed Sydney BikeTrail. Direction – anti-clockwise
(May 2021: 2 new Riders made it – 17 laps of Sydney in total )