Why not ride around Sydney?
Hopefully this page will inspire you to ride around the worlds premier city and see lots of places you probably have never seen close-up. Maybe the 19 people doing a bubble ride around Sydney in the days before lockdown 21 will inspire you
Lets talk motivation ? 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. Better riders have done it in just a few days (or even one).
The First Trail Around Sydney
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.
See all the videos here
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 ?
There are a few hotels on the trail though half decent ones are far apart from Cronulla through to Liverpool and then not many till Parramatta. They can be found on the map here.
Trains are the best way to manage a multi day, Sydney trains allow bikes on for free and most of the stations now have lifts. Important stations to get around are Green Square, Wolli Creek, Sutherland, Revesby, Glenfield, Edmondson Park, Rooty Hill,, Bella Vista, Westmead, Meadowbank, North Ryde and Central.
The Rules for riding around Sydney
1. You go around Centennial Park
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 likely pass over the harbour bridge and see the Opera House
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
See photos of this section
The Sydney 150 Loop
Here is a shorter but fun way around the same key features. The Sydney 150km trail. See it here
Gymea to Captain Cooks Bridge