Off to Lane Cove River National Park

Riding the coat hanger
coat hanger or cage?

My plan for Kurnell had gone swimmingly. Over 100km for the first time every on the trike. So this ride was to head north, over the harbour bridge and up to lane cove river. My first ride on the trike into the lower north shore.

The enemy of the trike

1/4 way down
1/4 way down

I had had some correspondence with another trike rider on Flickr about the suitability of riding over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, especially given the steps at the northern end. He had said that the ramp was just wide enough for the trike to fit on and ride up or down. mmm. I wonder. I rode into town, with a slight variant. I went along the south-east side of the railway line from Erskineville to Redfern. I think this involves fewer hills, and the track continues though the new technology park at carriage works. Though it was very poorly marked. I think headed up Clarence Street to the Harbour Bridge. The south entrance of the bridge involves for part one of the steepest bits of bike track that I have seen, but in first gear, it was no problem on the trike. Heading over the bridge, I got a few smiles, especially from those heading the other way. The security man feigned disinterest, but as I watched in my rear vision mirror he was gawking. Yay! And then the steps. Well! I cannot ride down them. The step at the top is too sharp and the trike hits the concrete in the middle of the frame and gets stuck. Luckily I did not try riding down sitting on the trike. Then the concrete is so smooth that, being only able to use one break and with the wheel locked up, the trike would just slide down. Most bike riders picked up their bikes and carried them down. People only use the ramp for the walk up. I WILL NEVER TAKE THE TRIKE OVER THE BRIDGE AGAIN.

morning tea

Once over the bridge, I followed the signs. I did not really have a plan other than to strike for the freeway where the cyclway started. But I was not really certain where that might be. So I just headed for one suburb at a time. Crows Nest, then St Leonards, though that turned out to be a mistake and I had to back track, and then by pure chance, Naremburn, the start of the bike track. Here I stopped and had a chocolate croissant and a cappuccino. A man in the shop was talking to a customer. The customer thought that to wait for a better offer was arrogant. Then man serving seemed to be a bike rider and, after the other customer left , he had quite a few questions about the trike. He too knew the man who had crossed America in one.

Lane cove river
Lane Cove River

Great north walk
Great North Walk

After a bit of a reconnoitre, I headed down the bike track along the side of the gore hill freeway. It was very well constructed and had three lanes. One for pedestrians, and one for cyclists in each direction.  I followed this for many kilometres. Where the path meets the M2, I tried for a moment to go along the M2. But I turned back and headed off down Delhi Road. At first this had a cycle track, but where it becomes hilly and twisty as it descends down to the Lane Cove River, the lane ended. So I headed down the hill at up to 45 kmh, taking up the whole lane and hoping I would not slip sideways into the concrete crash barriers. I made it to the bottom in one piece and headed into the national park. Here I asked the man if there was another more sane way back up the hill. But he said no. The only other exit was farther up at Lane Cove Road. I though he probably was wrong, as he was thinking of cars. And in the end I turned out to be correct.

Lane cove
Riverside Drive

I met a man at one of the signs and had a good chat about the trike. But I have to say, the National Park is not friendly to cyclists. Only to walkers. So I as stuck following the road. Though there was little traffic, it was quite hilly. I rode most of the way up to Lane Cover Road and then road back. I had seen a side road that I thought would lead out. So I rode up it. I came to the signs saying no entry, and I entered. I came to the locked gate at Plassey Road and discovered I could ride the trike on the footpath. So I got out that entrance, without risking life and limb riding back up the narrow and steep Delhi Road.

Field of mars
field of mars cemetery

Buffalo creek
buffalo creek


I now headed back along the road bike track, through the field of mars, making for the punt at Mortlake. The cycle track follows a road that is no more than a track at the bottom of three creek crossings. It is fiendishly steep coming out of each creek valley as the creeks run at 90 degrees to the road. So I was quite exhausted by the time I reached Putney and came across a good cafe called the Dolcini Cafe. I had a late lunch. I had chicken and mushroom risotto. it was good. I thought that as the rice is a high GI food, it must be good for a cyclist. The waitresses were great and notice I was guzzling the water and brought me some more. I had run out of water just before reaching the cafe.

Crossing the parramatta river

Crossing the parramatta river

After the cafe, I headed down the hill to the Mortdale-Putney Ferry. I have never managed to get across it before so this was good. It runs every half hour on the weekends so it was good to be first in line and I only had to wait 15 minutes.

Breakfast point
breakfast point

I then followed the harbour as best I could. Where there are paths, they are excellent, but there are still quite a few gaps when I needed to use the back streets. Around Breakfast Point, Canada Bay, I cut across through Five Dock, where I stopped to buy a drink, and then continued to Rodd Point and Habberfield. At Habberfield I followed the track along the Hawthorn Canal, past Parramatta road into Lewisham. I think this will become one of my trunk routes. It is a bit in need of repair, but it is an excellent route to take. I followed the L10 and L11 back through Petersham and in to Marrickville and home. 67 km in all.

Ride to Lane Cove National Park

Woman: people like that can’t exist
Man: it means you need an audience
Girl: they have to explain why he got a bike like that!
Man1: I think we can do better. Man2: now that’s arrogant
Man: they said, if you are going to go out, only go out with one person, the bastards did!
Woman: they did that in 2002, they really did.
Very angry man: they (the americans) thought she was a stripper.
Girl: there is a boss
Man: he bought them for backup, and he still does!
Man: oh god, they’ve admitted to that!
Woman: well I guess someone has to
Woman: it will be between 2 and 4 am
Man washing his car: I wish you the best if luck!!!
Man: he didn’t know a thing.
Woman1: he bought that! Woman2: yes, now he’s really ugly.
Man: shit the American still does!
Woman: you are going to explain the leash part
Man: they can’t believe you thouht that.