Stunning scenery along Pittwater, a roller coaster of a ride with hills to thrill and challenge, this ride has a lot to recommend it.
Starting at Pymble station, the ride follows Mona Vale Rd to Terrey Hills. Mona Vale Rd is not too busy in the mornings, and there is frequently a wide verge. The ride is obviously a training run for cyclists, as the numbers of cyclists grew steadily along the way.
Along McCarrs Creek Rd, there is the junction with Liberator General San Martin Drive http://downbythekiosk.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/liberator-general-san-martin-2/ This is also the entrance to the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/ku-ring-gai-chase-national-park
Coffee at Akuna Bay Marina, then onwards and upwards to the start of West Head Road. This is a 24 kilometre extra round trip option on top of Bob’s normal Pymble to Manly ride. http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/LBUG-Pymble-to-Manly-via-Akuna-Bay
West Head is very pretty, but the road out also has some long hard hills. On this part of the ride there are numerous cyclists, not just hard core weekend warriors in training, but also Dads and kids with flat pedals.
Mostly downhill to Church Point past McCarrs Creek itself.
McCarrs creek completes the loop to take you back to Terrey Hills, if you had brought your car.
The road into Church Point reminds you that suburbia is around the corner. Church Point has a pub, and the general store, coffee shop and restaurant is a welcome coffee break after the hard 24km West Head loop.
Church Point and the nearby marinas are a focal point for Scotland Island and the other water access only communities on Pittwater. It is strange how we try to escape suburbia but end up bringing it with us.
A short stretch of busy Pittwater Rd brought me to the turn off for Mona Vale hospital, with very nice views. Then Warriewood, cross the entrance to Narrabeen Lakes, obviously a favorite calm swimming spot, and then back to Pittwater Rd.
The roads in this area are a bit mixed for cyclists. Sometimes there is a bit of a lane, then it disappears as a roundabout comes up. A bit confronting.
A short ride into Manly, again with a mixed set of lanes for cyclists. North Steyne was very busy, fortunately cars going slowly.
Finally the ferry back to Circular Quay.
A pretty tiring day, so although I intended to cycle back home, when I got to Pyrmont tram stop, I opted for the light rail.