Sydney Cycling: Peaks Challenge training tune-up

The Wisemans Ferry Classic – an epic loop to tick off your Sydney riding bucket list ahead of Peaks Challenge Gold Coast.

Join Team Bicycle Network in Sydney for the fifth Peaks Challenge – Gold Coast and Cradle Mountain training ride this Saturday 18 July.

Featuring three ascents including Galston Gorge, Mangrove Mountain and Pie in the Sky, Team Bicycle Network are taking you on a truly adventurous yet very achievable ride through Wisemans Ferry and across the Hawkesbury River. A handful of traffic lights and one ferry/river crossing will be the only obstacles with the rest of the journey experienced away from the city streets. It’s for this reason the bunch will easily tackle a few extra kilometres, just weeks away from Game Day on the Gold Coast.


Starting at our favoured spot, next to the bus stop at Hornsby Park, the bunch will roll out towards Galston Gorge for what will undoubtedly be a fresh start. Following our warm-up up Galston, we’ll make a right turn onto Middle Dural Road before turning right onto Old Northern Road. At this time of the morning we can expect very little traffic. This 35km stretch undulates all the way to Wisemans Ferry before plummeting to the river.

The bunch will make a refuelling stop at Wiseman’s Ferry, having covered 50km, where toilets, drinks and other snacks can be found. It’s approximately 60km to the next pitstop so ensure you have plenty of fluids. Buy an additional 600ml water and put it in your jersey if you think you may need it. Topped up and refreshed, we’ll jump onto the ferry for the trip across Hawkesbury River.

Wisemans Ferry Road is scenic and very flat however, it’s a long section and follows the meandering river all the way to our next climb. After 90km we hit Mangrove Mountain which climbs steadily for 8km before rolling a little to the top proper. Once at the peak it’s just a few kilometres to the rest break at Peats Ridge.

Refill, refuel, use the bathroom and we’re off again – for the final leg home.

Peats Ridge Road continues to lose elevation all the way to Calga and then onto the descent off Mount White. Pie in the Sky is our final ascent and offers food of the savoury and sweet kind. We’ll again make a brief stop before riding as a group all the way to Hornsby.

This is a challenging yet very achievable ride for anyone training and entered in Peaks Challenge Gold Coast. Total elevation is around 2,500m and is really one of the nicest rides you can do within riding distance of Sydney. That said, expect to riding for between 6-6.5 hours. Combined with pitstops and a ferry crossing, total elapsed time should be around 7.5 hours.

Where: Starting at Hornsby Park bus stop (opposite the police station)
Start: Meet 6:20 for briefing and 6:30 departure, Hornsby Park bus stop.
Finish: Approximate arrival at Hornsby is 1:30-2pm.
Distance: 163km
Average speed: 26-27km/h (very achievable on this route for anyone aiming for sub-9)
Who: Alex and everyone else – including those who have yet to sign up for Peaks Challenge Gold Coast.


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All images courtesy of Jeff Curtes (@jeffcurtes) and Soigneur (@soigneurcc).

Soigneur Escape Winter

We recently rode on the Gold Coast and sampled part of the Peaks Challenge route with Soigneur.

Want a full breakdown on the Peaks Challenge Gold Coast course? Read this fantastic preview to get you ready: Bicycle Network Training and Prep.