Sunday was great weather for a bike ride. It has been a while (too long!) since I got the road bike out and taken it for a spin. I set off along the Cooks River and rode to Homebush Bay then past Rhodes and across the bridge to Meadowbank. There I met up with Rob and we set off along the northern bank of Parramatta River.
We enjoyed the new section of track early on. This follows a path through mangroves. At one point there is a nice observation platform on a side branch. Then nice cycling to Silverwater Bridge and beyond. It was a surprise to find another new section of cycleway behind factories closer to Parramatta. This saves ridng on boring streets.
Then past the University at Parramatta and again on the shared path past the ferry wharf and through to Parramatta Park.
We continued through the park and then past Westmead Hospital on the Parramatta to Windsor Cycleway. Our plan was to branch off along the M7 Cycleway. This short stretch is perhaps the poorest part of the whole ride. The Cycleway should have gone along the T Way. Instead it winds its way along side streets and footpaths and seems to find the slowest changing traffic lights. Its impossible to get into a good cycling rhythm.
Then a chance meeting with another friend at the start of the M7 Cycleway – Big Kev, who was out for an early morning ride too. The M7 Cycleway is cyclists heaven – easy, fast riding. No traffic lights for 40 km if you want to go all the way to the end. We rode to the M4 interchange and a few kilometres past that point and turned off at the Equestrain Centre and climbed up a nice hill festooned with communication towers. At the top is a very pleasant lookout with great views looking towards the city. A good place to stop for lunch.
Next was a descent to the Orphan Creek – Prospect Cycleway and off to Prospect Reservoir and then along the old aqueduct cycleway to Guildford. More fast enjoyable riding. A path that gradually goes downhill! Again with no traffic lights or crossroads to block the way. Great!
At the railway line – we followed the cycleway past Guildford and Merrylands to the M4 near Harris Park.
Then along the M4 Cycleway to just past the Duck River. Next was a few kilometres of back streets to get onto the cycleway under Silverwater Bridge – this time we went on the south side of Parramatta River – through Blaxland Riverside Park, past the old Newington Armoury and back to Bicentennial Park at Homebush Bay.
Rob set off for Meadowbank and I set off for home via the Cooks River. The speedo showed close to 125 km by the time I got home.