North Head - Balmoral Hills

Group:
B2
Distance:
53km
Climbs
Route Description:
Leave Renegade and head towards Epping Rd via Rosenthal Ave, Birdwood Ave and Longueville Rd. Turn right onto Epping Rd, and then for once, turn right onto the Pacific Highway. Head South along the Pacific Highway through St Leonards.

At the Falcon St intersection, turn left and head East along it as it becomes Military Rd. At Spit Rd, take the left and head North. Follow Spit Rd over The Spit Bridge, and on the North side, ascend the hill via Battle Bvd and Palmerston Pl.

At the top of the climb, turn right onto Edgecliffe Esp, follow that as it becomes Panorama Pde, then turn right back onto Palmerston Pl and follow it into Sydney Rd. Then take the Ethel St exit on the roundabout (3rd exit). Follow Ethel St to the end, and turn left onto Maretimo St. Take the first right into Upper Beach Rd, and at Wanganella St (first intersection), turn left. Take the right into White St.

Follow White St down the hill and straight through the roundabout, continue along as the road becomes Lauderdale Ave, and then Commonwealth Pde, and finally The Esplanade. Go straight through the lights, and turn left into Osborne St up the hill. Take the left turn at the roundabout onto Addison Rd, and then turn right onto Darley Rd. Once past the Hospital, veer right into North Head and onto North Head Scenic Dr, follow this road to the end, though the loop and back to the Hospital.

Follow Darley Rd down the hill, and take the left at the Wentworth St intersection, and then turn right back onto the Esplanade. Take the left turn onto Commonwealth Pde, and back onto Lauderdale Ave. At Rosedale Ave, veer to the right and follow it up to Hill St, turn right again, and then take the left onto Sydney Rd.

Follow Sydney Rd to the intersection with Burnt Bridge Creek Deviation and Manly Rd, and take the left onto Manly Rd. Descend back down to the Spit Bridge and once on the South side, take the left onto Parriwi Rd. At the top of the hill, take the left back onto Spit Rd, and then take the left onto Stanton Rd. take the first right onto Moruben Rd, and then turn left at the roundabout onto Awaba Street.

At the bottom of Awaba St, turn right onto The Esplanade, follow this all the way to the intersection with Coronation Ave. Turn right up the hill and then take the right onto Windward Ave, and then the right onto Wolsely Rd. Follow Wolsely Rd, and take the first left onto Beaconsfield Rd, and then left again onto Middle Head Rd. Follow Middle Head Rd, and then just past the Naval Base (HMAS Penguin), take the right down Chowder Bay Rd. Follow Chowder Bay Rd to the roundabout and do a full U-Turn and head back the way you came.

At the end of Chowder Bay Rd, take the left and head back up Middle Head Rd. Follow Middle Head Rd to King Max St, and turn left. Turn left again onto Bradleys Head Rd, follow this and turn into Athol Wharf Rd, at the Taronga Zoo Wharf, again do a full U-Turn and climb back up Athol Wharf Rd and onto Bradleys Head Rd. Follow Bradleys Head Rd to the intersection with Belmont Rd, and turn left.

Follow Belmont Rd until it meets Military Rd and turn left. Follow Military Rd back through Neutral Bay and continue along as it becomes Falcon St. Turn right back onto the Pacific Highway.

Follow the Pacific Hwy to Epping Rd, turn left, and then left again into Longueville Rd to return to Renegade and the Cafe.
Ride Description:
This ride should be named North Head, Balmoral, Chowder Bay, Taronga Zoo as it winds it way around the hills of Manly and Mosman. This is a deceiving ride, it isn't very long but there are a number of climbs that will test your legs. Most of the climbs are relatively short, so strong climbing isn't a necessity. Furthermore, many of the climbs are a down and out, so it is possible to avoid them all together if your legs arn't feeling up to it.

The ride takes a right hand turn onto the Pacific Hwy, at this time of the morning, the traffic is pretty light and so the group can usually move freely between the left and middle lanes to avoid the parked cars. Taking the left onto Falcon St gives an important lesson that not all roads are equal, watch out for the potholes along this section. When it becomes Military Rd the surface does improve.

The Spit Bridge is a good fun descent with bonus points for breaking the speed limit and having your picture taken by the speed camera. Take note that there is a set of lights near the bottom, and while it is rare, they have been known to be red. Cross the Spit Bridge and then descend up the North side, this is the first of the short climbs.

When riding along Ethel St, be careful if the sun is low on the horizon, as it can blind you and it is possible to run into parked cars (yes, this has happened). Once through the back streets and onto White St, you get another short sharp descent. There is a roundabout at the bottom, so pass the call back if it is clear on your way through.

The ride here takes in the Manly Ferry Terminal and the Manly Aquarium. At the end of the Esplanade, head up Osborne St, this is only a short sharp climb so you will see many riders just get out of the saddle and power through it.

On the road out to North Head, some riders may want to push the pace a bit, it isn't necessary to stay with them, as they will be returning along the same road and be regrouping briefly at the Hospital. Be alert for the early morning walkers and joggers who use this road as well. At the end, when turning through the loop, there is a good opportunity to see all they way back over the Harbour and overlook the City.

Once out of North Head and back together, head down the Darley Rd Hill. The return leg is a bit different, once again, enjoy the descent back down to The Spit and over the Bridge. After the Parriwi Rd, there is the opportunity to descend down Awaba St. This is very steep descent, so it is advisable to take it easy, there is a T intersection at the bottom, so it isn't possible to let the brakes go and hope for the best.

After ascending Coronation Ave, there is a trip out to the Naval Base, and then Taronga Zoo. Both of these climbs are down and out, so it is possible to either cut them short or to cut them out all together.

After the Taronga Zoo climb, the group will return to Renegade Cycles and a much deserved Coffee at the Cafe.