When it comes to bikes, just like any religion, there are rules. Bikes are not Vietnam. We know the rules and we (mostly) observe the rules.
The rules say many things but one of the most important is this: You must earn your descents.
Today my friend, manager and co-conspirator and I left work early to go to church. Well actually we went to Church Point. This is the story of spiritual enlightenment you never knew you wanted (it's possible you might still not want it, sorry about that).In order to justify leaving work early on a Monday, we got to work early. I hate getting up early at the best of times, but getting up early on a Monday is particularly cruel. Except I was excited today - today we were going to Akuna Bay.
For those who are not familiar with Sydney geography, this is a nice area of National Park that enjoys dense forestation, native wildlife, lots of water views and is still technically 'in Sydney'. It also happens to be just across from Palm Beach which is super famous in the UK (although most Brits don't realise it). Palm Beach being where the soap opera Home and Away is filmed.
This is the route map:
(Here's a link to the Google Map in case you want to have a look around.)
So we parked the car up where the pretty little green 'S' is dear reader, and I set off down the hill towards Church Point. It seems wrong to start a ride with 5km of descending, we all know the rules - you have to earn your descents. It turns out you can get your descents on credit though.
I rolled around Church Point because it's pretty and after getting all the way to Pittwater I decided it was time to get on with the real ride, so I turned around and prepared to earn that descent. As you can see there's a turn just past the 20km marker that heads into the Kuringai-Chase National Park. Seriously, if you ever come to Sydney, you have to go there. Things I saw while riding through the park today:
- Cars - 7
- Cyclists - 10
- Wallabies - 3 (2 living, 1 roadkill victim)
- Bush Turkeys - 2
- Ravens - 4
And all of this is less than an hour from the CBD. Just sayin'.
Alright, so you can either stick to the main road and do a loop or you can take the right-hander and head out to West Head (always head out to West Head). The views when you get there are pretty special.
The view to the East...
The more Northerly view is also ok.
Hell, even the view back to the carpark's pretty alright.
ProTip: When you're about to leave the carpark, make sure you clip in properly and don't slide off your pedal. If you don't heed this warning then I will not be held responsible for the consequences.
Proof it was a good ride!
ProTip: If, when you get home from your ride, you decide to scrub the muck out of your wounds, make sure you've stopped bleeding again before you start walking all around the house. Otherwise you'll spend the next half an hour scrubbing blood off the tiles (thankfully I hadn't strayed onto the carpet).
Anyway, when you get back from West Head, you turn right and continue on your merry way down to Akuna Bay. This is a lovely, fun descent with the water to your right and bush all around. Beware of wallabies crossing the road though, they'll scare the shit out of you, little buggers.
When you get to the bottom (around the 50km marker on the map), this is what you are greeted with:
This is looking back up the road we've just come down.
and this, dear friends is where I have to leave you, because we all know the rules. After you descend from West Head, you still have to climb your way back to the car. It's over that ridge about another 10km away.