Sunday, April 21, 2024

Turon Gates Ride

I was speaking to Geoff on Friday who said there will be a ride on Saturday. Great, I'm keen as. I was up early waiting for a message where our ride was going to start. Come 9am and no texts, nothing. I decided I'll go on my own ride as the day was already starting to waste away and I'm sick of waiting I want to go riding. I head up into the Blue Mountains and see what happens from there as this was completely unplanned. 

I stopped at Mt Banks, you can't see much from the carpark the views back up the road are better so I stopped there for a look. I notice I had a message, meet at 11am for the ride. Look at the time and it's 5 to 11. Message back, 'not gonna make it'.....

I was wondering where to go next and then I thought I could go take a look at the Glow Worm tunnel in the Gardens of Stone Conservation Area. Riding up the Old Bells line of road I was surprised the dirt road was well graded along here. I saw a sign that said the Glow Worm Tunnel was closed no access till June. Damn. Oh well that's an excuse for another trip after June.

I spotted these nutters out abseiling down the cliff faces. I head back towards Lithgow thinking a pie would be good for lunch. Then I had an idea. Why don't I ride out via Turon Gates to Sofala pub for a beer. Haha a cunning plan that cannot fail. On the way back into Lithgow I saw this tired old train.

A quick stop at Pearsons lookout over the Capertee Valley. It was an awesome sight to behold today. The Capertee Valley Canyon is the second largest in the world, even bigger than the grand canyon in the USA, just not as deep.

Pantoneys Crown

I stop at Capertee to get some fuel, I don't need it but I want options from Sofala as I'm not sure where I will go after that, possibly a beer at Hill End pub. The Turon Gates Rd is only 1km out of Capertee and I'm running my Gaia GPS app on my AT screen through to Sofala. Seems to be working ok so far.

It's some pretty easy riding and I find an extremely well kept crushed granite road, I swear some of our country dirt roads are in better condition than our main tarred roads.

I make my way on to the first bridge over the Turon River and camp grounds at the Turon Gates Eco retreat. As soon as I pass the campground entrance the road narrows and gets rougher. From this point on to Sofala I think I only passed 2 or 3 cars.

The road winds its way around some hilly countryside, with spectacular views over the farmlands and rolling hillsides with the river below.

I come upon the first creek crossing. I can see the bottom through the water it is so clear and it's only running very slowly so I dive right in. 

Turning right onto Palmer Oakey Rd the road winds through farmland for a while until it goes back up into the hills and more stunning scenery.

Then I was at creek crossing number 2. This one was a concrete crossing and I could see green moss on the bottom, it was pretty shallow. Oh well I plough through anyway. I'll either end up on the other side or in a hospital bed looking at hot young nurses sponge bathing me.....

Damn made it.

Lots of logs built up here after last weeks rains. Not long after crossing 2, came crossing number 3. Same again but twice as long this time and mossy looking patches but didn't have any moments.

It wasn't far from here into Sofala, 2 more concrete  creek crossings to navigate and after the 5th one the road turned to tar for the run into Sofala. I was looking forward to a beer at the pub.

Pulling up in town the place was pretty busy today. The pub was packed out the front and cars and bikes lined the length of the street.

The pub isn't doing food anymore but there are two shops across the street, a cafe and general store that both do food. I just needed some liquid lunch and then was out of there.

mmmm beer

I was thinking of heading to Hill End for a quick beer, but looking at the time it was just after 2pm. If I'd got away at a decent time instead of waiting to see if there might be a ride on, then it wouldn't be cutting it fine in skippy territory so I decide on heading back via Tarana. There's a couple of roads heading there I've never ridden on before so that will be the new plan. I take the Limekilns Rd down to the Great Western Highway and then take Diamond Swamp Rd to Tarana.

Another good day out on the bike exploring some new roads. That's the reason I bought this bike, so I could explore roads that I wouldn't normally get to ride if I had a road bike. There were a few roads I went down today where I though I wonder what's down there.........not a milk bar at least.




  1. Looks like a nice ride. With the days getting shorter, it is even more important to get going early. Life is short, maximise what you have left!

    1. Was a top ride, yeah it's dark here now at 6pm since daylights savings has ended. Perfect time of year to be riding, not hot or cold so I'm getting amongst it.

  2. Looks like a great ride. Yeah, those water crossings can be spooky. Great pics too, love that one of the dirt road winding away into the distance.

    1. Yeah seen plenty of concrete crossing crashes. Gotta be super careful. Yeah love seeing those roads and mphotographing them when they wind away into the distance. Thats what its all about.

  3. early starts arnt the go when ya on the grog the night before

  4. Wish I had some roads like that nearby. Love living in the north but there is not one decent road within one days riding.

    1. Yeah man I'm finding plenty of good motorcycling roads right around Sydney as you see in the next installment. I never did any of them because there was some dirt but man some of these areas are super spectacular. I should have bought an adventure bike earlier.