EXPLORE // Rides of the Southern Highlands - The Bowral Loop
The Perfect Road Loop For An Early Morning Weekend Ride
Have you been thinking about getting out on the road on the bike but have been a bit apprehensive about it? Not sure which is the best route for a newbie or someone with moderate fitness?
Rick Loft at The Fixed Wheel Bowral talked us through an awesome loop that starts in Bowral and is achievable for people wanting to get on the road.
IMAGE: Tim Bardsley-Smith @tbsphotography
Okay - before you ride, safety is paramount of course!
“You definitely need a rear light and a front light, and a good helmet is absolutely necessary,” says Rick.
“Make sure your tyre pressure is right for every ride. The pressure you need will depend on a few things including the size of your tyre. Some people run down as low as 80psi and up to 100psi. if you’re not sure, come in and see us and we’ll help you.”
A new product from Garmin is also worth the investment. The Varia is the world’s first cycling radar which warns cyclists of vehicles approaching from behind.
“When you’re riding on the road, it’s a matter of staying left and being aware. The Varia helps with awareness,” Rick says.
“Riding in a bunch with experienced riders or in a pair with another cyclist mate will also help with road confidence.”
As for kitting yourself out, Rick recommends you don’t jump on the bike unless you have a good pair of Knicks – padded pants for the uninitiated! – trust us, if you ignore this advice, it’s a hard lesson to learn (we say that from experience – ouch!).
Okay, let’s get into the loop. It’s about 35 kilometres and Rick reckons you should allow about 90 minutes to complete it.
You can start anywhere you like on the loop of course, but the social bunch start at Corbett Plaza at 6:30am on Saturdays and 7:00am (a sleep in!) on Sundays - check in with the guys at The Fixed Wheel before you go because times can change and there are other routes they do too which they've got handy maps for.
Cross the Bowral railway bridge (Wingecarribee Street) and turn right onto Kirkham Road, before turning left onto Centennial Road.
“This is the most scenic part of the ride, but there is a hill that you’ll need to grind out,” Rick says.
IMAGE: Bowral Classic
Once you get to the end of Centennial Road, turn left onto the Old Hume Highway. If you need a quick breather, this intersection has a nice view to check out while you catch your breath!
Work your way up and down a few more hills on the Old Hume Highway before coasting down into Berrima and through the village. Turn left at Oldbury Street (at St Francis Xavier Church – the beautiful stone church just after you’ve crossed the river). Oldbury Street turns into Berrima Road which you can follow before turning left on to Douglas Road which runs next to Ingham’s. Follow Douglas Road over the trainline – look both ways! – and when you come to a fork in the road take the one on the right (Collins Road). This will spit you out onto Lackey Road out the back of Moss Vale.
Follow Lackey Road down to the second railway bridge and tuck in left onto Argyle Street. This might be a good time to have a break and grab a coffee at one of the local Moss Vale cafes. Highlands Merchant and The Post Office Café are favourites because of the extra space to park your bike.
Head off up Argyle Street again and turn left at Macca’s onto Suttor Road to join up with the bike track at Bong Bong Common. This gets you away from the traffic and will take you around the back of Briar’s and Burradoo. Then you can work your way back into Bowral via Burradoo Road, then left on Yean Street and left on Moss Vale Road.
The Fixed Wheel have a selection of maps you can pop in and grab and also have a whole load of track and route info stored in their brains – everything from road loops to mountain bike single tracks, gravel tracks and more. They’ll also help you get kitted up safely and efficiently, and are always happy to answer any questions about anything bike-related.
Oh, and you can hire bikes from The Fixed Wheel too - road bikes, mountain bikes and E-Bikes. Handy if you've got friends visiting! Or if you haven't invested in a bike yourself yet and want to try it out.
Happy riding and stay safe!
The Fixed Wheel is a full-service bicycle shop in Bowral and is under new ownership. The guys and girls in-store are all cyclists themselves with quite a collection of championships, race wins and real experience under their belts. They definitely know their stuff!
If you're keen to start cycling, you want to try a different type of cycling or perhaps you're ready to go next level, start at The Fixed Wheel.