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The Massive Northern Beaches Ride

Little-Ditty's picture

By Little-Ditty - Posted on 25 March 2007

Saturday, 14 April, 2007 - 08:00

The meeting times are 'ready to ride'. If you need time to prepare equipment then please arrive a few minutes earlier.

5 hours
Come Rain or Shine: 
I'll be there, no matter what the weather.
Meeting Point: 

Jamieson Park, off The Esplanade on the southern shore of Narrabeen Lake. There is a BBQ area there.

Show on Google maps: Meeting point. Login or register to get directions.

Riding from Narrabeen Lake, heading generally west through Oxford Falls, Red Hill, over to Terrey Hills, and all the way back. We may alter the order a bit on the day, depending on logistics and personal preference. And we will probably need to stop somewhere convenient to get more water too.

This was originally discussed here:

Hope to see you there on the 14th! This will be massive! Laughing out loud

0438 885 410

Who's in?
No confirmations as yet.
What Happened?

Were you there and have a story to tell?

Ride Gallery
davis_jnr's picture

Although i'm not a real fan of pain i will be there and i'm trying to drag a mate along with us.

Sounds like a great challenge!

Should it be raining i'm not sure i'll be there as the Norco has been playing up in the wet....had no brakes yesterday and went over onto some nice sydney sandstone. There's nothing like being at one with nature.


Little-Ditty's picture

Well, after Rob's expert advice, I have made a map of where we could ride on Saturday. I looked over some of the suggestions by many of you, and sort of combined the best / smartest routes together. The map is here:
(to make it easier to view, zoom out 3 left-clicks and move to the bottom right to find the start at Narrabeen Lake)

This is not yet final. I would appreciate some comment on where these tracks go and ways to improve the proposed route. I have only set up the ride out as far as Terrey Hills, not showing all the way back to the start. But we would generally be back tracking towards Narrabeen Lake.

As the map shows, I have plotted out a 40km one way journey. (Jesus! What the hell was I thinking on this?! - oh well, I'm up to my neck in it now baby!) The good news is that we will be able to stop / rest at Terrey Hills, get some food, and fill up on water. And, we will be on the downward slope from there (not for the first time either!).

So, what do you guys think?

christine's picture

is sooo cool!
how clever are you!
you know, when you cross over from the Wakehurst Parkway to go to Oxford Falls if you go down Aroona Road there is a single track that brings you out at the bridge ... the bottom of the downhill... more interesting than the road I think...

MEEE Smiling

Alex's picture

are you planning the exact same course in and out? i/e 2 laps of narrabeen lake? just curious..

Little-Ditty's picture

Yes, yes. I am very clever. Okay I will look at this proposal and decide if it should be incorporated into my next map attempt. Thanks Christine. Eye-wink But I wanted to ride up the road (easier riding uphill on a road, yes?) so we could do the Downhill part on the way back and run through to Nursery Rhymes. I'll check it out further.

Looking at the total distance, it is already 40km one way, meaning a bloody long ride of 80km if we retrace our exact steps BTB. Having regained my compsure from last night, I am skeptical whether I would want to ride that far in one day. Because 80km would take about 8 hours. Doesn't really sound doable, especially if it happened to rain. I am thinking of ways to shave off 5-10 km somewhere.

If anyone wants to ride "one way" there is the possibility of leaving your vehicle at Terrey Hills and bailing after half the trip. Or you could start the ride at Terrey Hills and meet us for the return trip. Or, we could "short-cut" the return trip once we got to Terrey Hills, by going directly from Terrey Hills down through Oxford Falls (the actual Falls area), through Deep Creek trail, down to Narrabeen Lake. That in itself would probably save 10-15 km right there, for a total trip of about 65km.

Or I could reverse my plotted course and use Deep Creek trail up to Terrey Hilsl first, then return through Oxford Falls and Red Hill, Cromer and Narrabeen Lake. It would probably mean less difficult hills on the way "up". I will investigate this too.

Looking good, yes? Laughing out loud Any more comments?

Little-Ditty's picture

No, I doubt I would survive the same course out and in. But Narrabeen Lake is a simple affair. So it is possible to do one loop at the start, and one at the end. But if left up to my preference, I am thinking we will do one loop to save time and energy. It is a 10km loop. But we shall see Smiling

Tanya's picture

The map is very cool. And what about the proposed BBQ/drinks etc, at the end? Still part of the plan?? I've got an appointment with a specialist smack bang in the middle of the day. Wondering how I can swing being part of the beginning and then the end somehow.

Little-Ditty's picture

I must say that I forgot all about the "afterwards". Not sure how a BBQ will fit in, especially if I was to assume how buggered we will all be afterwards. What I need is a Fatty Vautin - Tooheys New BBQ that we can just turn up to and everything is done for you - eat, drink, laugh, then leave. Does anyone have ideas on this? Or will we just bail to a cafe in Collaroy / Narrabeen for a big meal? That's probably easiest.

Tanya, given we will be riding from 8:00 a.m. to mid afternoon, I think your best bet is to start the ride then leave for your shindig. Less mucking about that way. Our afternoon movements would be difficult to join into as we would not know exactly where to meet up. The agreed course at the beginning of the day may be changed on a whim later.

Little-Ditty's picture

Okay, here is another proposed ride:

It starts at Narrabeen Lake, moves through Deep Creek trail, through the main XC loop and fire trails at Oxford Falls, onto some road riding on Forest Way and Mona Vale Road to get to Terrey Hills. Standard out and back to Long Trail lookout. Probably stop for food and drink. Then back down the road again through the Oxford Falls downhill, cross the Parkway, Red Hill 4wd follies, Mr Motocross, Drop Zone, Garden of Gullies (my personal favourite!), back onto the main XC loop, do the Drop Zone again, out through the institute of sport, onto Narrabeen Lake to continue the loop, and finish at Jamieson Park. Ahhhh, relax.

In total, this is about 55-60km, much shorter than I was expecting. We can always drop the Narrabeen loop at the end, saving about another 7km.

If we make it that far, I bet we will be totally exhausted and all in need of some really stiff drinks. Pity I will be driving, as the Wild Turkies would go down nicely at that point.

What do you think of this suggested loop?

Rob's picture

Ditty... it's getting better, but...

There's too much road work in this one ( )

After Oxford Falls, instead of going up Forest Way/MV road, why not go straight across to Wyatt Ave, round Cascades, cross to the Wildflower Garden, link to Terrey Hills using Ryland, head right along Sandy Trail, Neverfail, Larool and then back down to Oxford Falls.

Think this would be much more satisfying, less road, more hills, and no Long/Perimeter trail which are getting a bit too much use these days.

What you think?

davis_jnr's picture

I'd have to agree with Rob on this one...Cascades is a good option and the less road the better. It is shaping up to be a good one though.

Shorty's picture

Yikes that really is massive. Will there be much heckling if I am:
a. Slow
b. A poseur (ie a crap rider with a nice bike)
c. Pike at Terrey Hills
d. All of the above.

Gilbo's picture

this has shaped up to be a ride to remember! see you all there.

Little-Ditty's picture

No-one can expect everyone to ride for 5 hours. If you need to bail, then have at it. No dramas from my point of view.

However, you might want to define slow. Although there will be riders of many different standards on this ride, generally we do tend to keep up a decent pace (at least compared to a total noob). However, knowing that we will be riding for over 5 hours, there will be some energy conservation going on.

Remember, most of the hard stuff will be done in the first 3 hours. The return trip is more downhill than uphill.


Yuval's picture

Hi everyone,
I'm new in town, actually, a vistor for two weeks in your lovely country.
I'm quite experienced with riding and should be able to catch up with you,
I'm excited to join the ride on Saturday, need to find a decent bike and equipment,
hope I will manage. Wanted to know if this planned ride is going to be very technical
or a flowing one.
The organization you show and the route looks marvelous.

Little-Ditty's picture

Hi Rob,

The reason I did not have the ride going all the way out through Cascades is that I did not know how to join this up to Terrey Hills. I cannot see the trails that will do this on the map. Plus, when riding out through Cascades, I did not want to push too many extra kms as we were up to about 60 already.

But we can discuss this route on Saturday morning. As long as we get out as far as Terrey Hills (where I want to stop for food and a water refill), everything else will be okay with me. I am not fussed - no problems here! Laughing out loud


Little-Ditty's picture

It is supposed to be fine and warm on Saturday and Sunday. About bloody time! %*$)&^$#!!

Everyone, make sure you bring plenty of water with you. We should be able to refill water once we get to Terrey Hills. So about 3 hours worth is what you need to allow for.

I am discarding my normal Camelbak thingy and using a genuine backpack that will let me carry my water reservoir, waterbottles, food, sunscreen, extra bike tubes, etc.

We don't want to be caught short of water on the day. Water is life.

Little-Ditty's picture

If you mean flowing in the sense of a fire-trail, then no. We are riding on some fire-trails, but also some technical single trail as well. It's hard to describe in a single post here. However some of these trails are close to the limit of many XC riders (technically speaking). But from what I remember, any really difficult parts will have a chicken run - if that's your thing! Eye-wink

But I would suggest you read up the Red Hill trail review ( to give you an idea of the worst that will happen to you!! Laughing out loud It has purty pictures.


pikey's picture

ill be there!

But Guy's does it really matter which routes we take??? we are all about distance here, Right!


Yuval's picture

Thanks for replying,
My technical skills are more like as an xc rider +.
I saw the Red-Hill review and I think that I'm able to do most of what I saw.
It depend on the equipment I'll get and the confidence I will have with it.
As you said and I understand that there are bypasses to the most difficult parts.
So, I can choose...(I really don't have to be an hero I want to enjoy from the ride,
view and company.)
Tomorrow I'll have a better idea if I can join or not, as long as I'm invited of course.

Rob's picture

Will see you there, but won't be in for the whole day as don't have time. I'm thinking of heading back after a couple hours, probably after Oxford Falls?

Reckon there may be a few with that plan Eye-wink

Shorty's picture

I can do a lap of Manly Dam in 45 minutes so I'm not horribly slow. Just wary of the fact I've never seen the trails you guys are riding before and that I'm pretty awful at climbing.

I don't want to hold you guys up so if I find the going too hard I will turn around and go and do some laps of the dam or something.

Hopefully see you tomorrow morning... now I just need to go easy on the Friday night drinks.

Rob's picture

Ermm... now will I get abused for that? Eye-wink

So don't worry - don't think you'll be holding anyone up!

Alex's picture

im pretty slow and end up walking alot of climbs, so im thinking there will be a few of us bringing up the rear anyway, or me! and im not even sure i'll last the distance too! so if i actually get my ass out of bed that early, i'll set the bell curve Eye-wink

KD's picture

i have to give it a go otherwise i'll never live with myself .. cya there

GeordieAndy's picture

Hey guys,

I was a newbie for the Easter social ride and would love to do this but I have a triathlon on no way I'm afraid! The ride on Saturday 21st sounds good so I may be up for that.
Had a great time on Good Friday - sorry I wasn't social afterwards but made the mistake (only once, first time!) of not having change of clothes and didn't realise there was a cafe there!



doron's picture

I am coming tommorow too, with Yuval (see above)
Couldn't make it last Friday.

It is, indeed, a massive one...

Tanya's picture

Hey Ditty,
I'll send you a text in the morning whether I am going to make it due to other stuff happening on the day...and having a bit of a pain in the neck all day today! If I don't see you guys have "massive" fun!

P.S. If you end up going somewhere afterwards, the Sands hotel on Pittwater road is really close by to the end of the Lake loop and has a nice beer garden and does food. Just a thought.

Yuval's picture

Wanted to thank you for your hospitality today.
We enjoyed the ride with you this morning very much.
(in particularly me...)
The ride was beautiful, great view and great company.
Hope to see you next time and then with my own
Santacruz blur...
Yuval and Doron

KD's picture

had a great day today ... despite falling a couple a times. my legs surprisingly feel fine. it's my bike that suffered a couple of scratches today

thanks again

Little-Ditty's picture

A big THANKS!!! goes out to all 14 riders that set out today on a marathan ride from Narrabeen Lake all the way to Terrey Hills and back again. It was some expedition. The trails visited included Narrabeen Lake, Oxford Falls, Davidsons, Terrey Hills, back to Oxford Falls, Red Hill, and finally Narrabeen Lake. Plus a few smaller connecting trails to boot.

In the end we whittled down the riders from 14 to just 5 at the end, when the ride was finally finished at just after 4:00 p.m. A total of 8 hours of riding (including the drink and rest stops). Are we insane? By the end there were smiles all round and quite a few aching muscles. I can't wait to see the MotionBased record of this. How many k's I wonder? Probably around 50 odd?

I personally had a great time out there with you all - I enjoyed the chats, the riding, the weather, the atmoshpere. Just about everything that we accomplished today. I am very tired and sore. Can anyone send over a massuese? Seeing that I have never ridden that far before in one day, I consider it an accomplishment.

And it does prove that you can indeed link up all these Northern beaches trails, and more!

Liam's advice for the evening... drink some extra water tonight, as you are sure to be dehydrated.

Hope to see some of you at Red Hill tomorrow! Where Evan will be playing tour barbie Laughing out loud

Rob's picture

How was it for the rest of you then? All too buggered to tell how this epic worked out? Eye-wink

Tong and I had 40Ks on the clock back at the start (returned via Heath, Downhill at Oxford Falls then the road and back along the lake shore). Rest of you must have got a looooot more!

Have created a gallery just for this ride. Come on Gazza, let's see those shots? Give the camera to your blonde friend to upload them Eye-wink

pikey's picture

The Massive Northern Beaches Ride was more than massive it was an expedition.
We uncovered new trails also getting lost once (sorry my bad). We travelled pensioner walking trails, golf courses, sports centres, main roads, fire trails, very technical downhill sections, even puddles so big there were tadpols in them.

I was in the final five (presently working on a book deal) that also went up into red hill at the end, man I didnt need that.

54 km by my bike computer. Am very tired, back sore, wife not talking (is that a bad thing) survived thigh cramps and my wrists havn't been this sore since Miss Dec.

54 km in 8 hours (do the maths) not a metal placing travel average but fun never the less.

Just downed two reds and two beers so my recovery program is at least on track.

The Dirt Works has to be easier!!!

Thank Liam


tienster's picture

Ohhh what a day!! painful but totally will do it again

Biggest lesion - hydration and food!

Many thanks to Liam, Greg, KD, Sam, Gary,and all other riders yesterday

More distance training is in order

Again many thanks

PS: cramps really HURT!

davis_jnr's picture

So here is the motionbased minus the end at Red Hill.

Great ride would definately do it again!

Thanks Liam

Caro's picture

you had a great day!!!
Sad I missed it even though it sounds like there is a bit of suffering going on today Smiling.

So everybody is ready for 60kms Great Northern Road next Saturday then? Excellent!!! Laughing out loud

Little-Ditty's picture

Sam, that back tracking we had to do around Aroona Street stands out doesn't it? We were not covered in glory there. Look at how close it gets to Wakehurst Pkwy without us finding the exit. Damn. Anyway, we will put that one down to Christine. Laughing out loud

Still, the map does show just how far 50 odd km's is. It is a bloody long way in anyone's money.

NB - the 4,300 feet climbed is impressive.

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