This month’s road ride is a 54km loop, with the Hawkesbury River meandering through the centre. Starting in the historic town of Windsor, we cross the controversial bridge over the Hawkesbury River. We pick up the pace along Wilberforce Road, which is floodplain flat and bordered by grass farm quilts hemmed by the beautiful Blue Mountains to the west. Although this road is always busy, we are able to enjoy the manicured scenery by seeking refuge on the generous road shoulder, only really having to merge into the traffic lane once, at the bridge, just before entering Wilberforce Village. At the traffic lights we turn right onto King Road and face our first slog up through the last remnants of suburbia until we finally leave it all behind, enjoying a lovely fast roller coaster (mostly downhill) passing Ebenezer and Tractor Cafe in quick succession, until we encounter the Sackville Ferry. (14km)
The river isn’t very wide here, so it is not long before we are
setting up our drive trains for easy gears, disembarking with a wave and a nod to the ferrymen, to cycle up a 10km climb away from the river valley. If you pace yourself well, the Sackville Road hill climb can actually be the best part of this ride! The road ascends gently but persistently up a verdant riverine ridgeline at first, transitioning to drier bushland on both sides of the road as you ascend. Bushland becomes acreage and soon we are regrouping with the faster climbers at the intersection of Wisemans Ferry and Sackville Roads. (25km)
It is along this lovely, silky smooth ribbon of road (Sackville Road to River Oaks Estate entrance) that you can seriously mix it up if you are bunch riding, averaging 35-40km/h if you have the legs to maintain speed. Unleash the adrenaline junkies off the front as the road twists and turns sharply down past the golf course, and regroup at Halcrows Road after the swampy S-bends of Little Cattai Creek. (36km) Enjoy cycling along more excellent, undulating road with immaculate shoulders, crossing Cattai Creek bridge, past Longneck Lagoon and the acreage outskirts of Pittown until the dovetail intersection of Cattai Road with Old Pittown Road on the left. (just before the final straight along Eldon Street into the village: 42km).
Although Old Pittown Road is a narrow, sometimes poorly maintained road, it is quiet and you can enjoy chatting to your fellow riders or just appreciate your surroundings. Old Pittown Road does ascend up to the centre of Scheyville National Park however, but you will be crossing Scheyville Road before you know it and enjoying more untouched National Parks bushland following the ridgeline along Old Pittown Road. Turn right off the ridge and head down Saunders Road, taking the first left into Oakville Road. (48km) Ride straight past Oakville Public School to the traffic circle, continuing along Oakville Road, then ride up the little rise on Wolseley Road past Arndell Anglican College on the left. Continue straight through the dip to Havelock Street on the left. (51km) I like to ride back via the wide, leafy suburban streets of Mcgrath’s Hill, crossing the very busy A2 via pedestrian traffic lights opposite Mulgrave Road intersection. Ride the last kilometer in peace along the A2 bike path back into Windsor central and have a well-earned coffee at any of the many cafes along George Street!
Traffic: Consistent construction truck traffic will be encountered on Wisemans Ferry Road. Ride in a bunch if you can, for better visibility and personal safety. If riding solo, Sunday is always the best day to ride here because the trucks don’t run on Sundays. Start early, as there is always weekend tourist traffic from 10am onwards to share the road with if you miss that 05H00 alarm!
Hawkesbury Regional Art Gallery & Café. Make a morning of it and time your ride to view world class visual art by Australian artists: https://www. hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au Open from 10am. Closed Tuesdays & public holidays.
Ebenezer Church is the oldest church in Australia-ministering to the community since 1809. Enjoy a reflective visit to the heritage graveyard and small sandstone church. Then sample the parish volunteer’s legendary Devonshire teas with the best scones ever in the church gardens overlooking the river.