Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jenolan Caves via Bells Line

Saturday morning came around and i had been planning on a ride for a couple of weeks now. After all those brilliant roads i drove on in New Zealand i was eager to get out on the bike again. It turned out that everybody was busy with other things so i decided that i would be going it alone today. It was probably a blessing in disguise. All the stops to take photos would have annoyed the others no end. Also i cant believe how rusty my riding was, i would have embarrassed myself in front of everyone else. It doesn't take to long to lose your riding skills when you haven't been out for a few weeks. I checked the weather and it was going to be 29°C today. It was a nice cool start as i headed up Kurrajong into the Blue Mountains. I stopped at bell bird hill for a photo but there was to much fog and smoke in the air from Hazard reduction burning in the mountains, so i would stop here again this afternoon for another photo attempt.
Lookout at Bellbird Hill Towards the City

Continuing along the Bells line the road climbs up to Mt Tomah and Mt Bell with some superb twisties along here with brilliant views of the blue mountains. It was nice and cool up in the mountains today perfect for riding. On the downside there was a lot of traffic up until i passed them near Mt Bell in the overtaking lanes.
Mt Tomah

Bells Line

It was a bit on the hazy side today and it is easy to see why the blue mountains got their name. The pic below is just past Mt Bell towards Lithgow.

Bells Line

Bells Line

Turning off the Bells line once reaching Bell i then headed up towards Mt Victoria along the plateau. There i followed an R6 along and we were going at a nice clip. This section of road is virtually empty. Reaching the Great Western Hwy i then turn right and head down Victoria Pass. Victoria pass has some great views but has far to much traffic to make it much fun, still its better than having a straight piece of road through here. At the bottom of the pass i soon turned off the main Hwy again and onto Cox River Rd.

The road surface along Cox River Road had it all. Spectacular views, smooth hot mix surface, rough patched up road and even 3 kms of good dirt. I saw 2 other bikes along here pulled over taking photos as well.
Cox River Road - New Hot Mix
After turning off Cox River Rd it was then onto Jenolan Caves road. I have never been down here before and was wondering what was in store for me. Not far past the wind farm i came up on the back of 2 slow moving cars. I was going to shoot by but i could also see a 50 zone just ahead of them. So i back off and cruise down to their speed. Just as well i did as just round the next corner was a Highway Patrol car sitting up on a ramp on the side of the road looking down to the road, perfectly visible this way but completely concealed if you were travelling in the opposite direction. The sneaky bastards. Saved by the cars. Whew!
Wind Farm on Jenolan Caves Rd
After that i decided to just cruise down the hill towards Jenolan Caves. This section is very steep and very narrow as you can see in the following photos. There were great views all the way along this section. I really enjoyed this bit as i pulled over several times to take some photos.

It was also getting quite warm now so stopping for any length of time in the sun in leathers was getting uncomfortable. I did notice however the ventilation system in my new boots worked a treat as i got underway again i could feel the air circulating in around my feet cooling them down.
Jenolan Caves Road

The road suddenly gets to the bottom and the cave entrance looms up straight ahead and the road goes through the cave. How cool is that. I never expected that the caves would be so big. Riding the bike through there with the echo of the exhaust sounded great. Out the other side of the cave is Jenolan caves village. There are lots of tourist here today enjoying some lunch.

Jenolan Caves Village
After leaving the caves i headed up towards Oberon. This is also a fantastic bit of road that once out of the Jenolan caves twisties opens up into some big sweepers over the crests of hills. This reminds me of the roads in the snowy mountains. Its easily ton up territory in mph here. I stopped in Oberon to refuel both me and the bike. Not a bad lunch at the royal hotel.

Then i headed off back to Sydney down Duckmaloi Rd. This was another superb bit of road winding its way across the hills both up and down.

This was a fantastic day out of riding, i have ridden the bells line many times just not recently but i have never been down to Jenolan Caves and now i am wondering why i haven't done it before now.

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