Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Six Foot Track

It seemed a good idea at the time... A non trafficked route to Jenolan Caves. Quiet. Scenic. The map showed bicycles allowed on it been Megalong Valley Road and Jenolan Caves Road. I could then continue touring southwards.

It's downhill from Blackheath to the track start. There I chatted with some walkers, returning from the Cox River. They were tired, having abandoned their walk to Jenolan and turned back.

In high hopes, I rode off. The first kilometre was on a road, then the track started. This was the last I rode for the next three days.

I expected some walking would be involved. Crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge involves stairs... The track was rough, narrow, rocky with stairs, fences and gates. Considerable effort was required. After a while I continued on in the hope it would improve. It didn't.

Portage over the rougher spots, stairs and fences involved up to six trips. The river crossing also was exciting. Do you carry over the important stuff first? Or gain practice first? Is anything not important?

I'd optimistically planned on making the second camp site, but was sufficiently exhausted to stay at the Coxs. The camp that night was quiet. I was the only one, after the last of the 4x4's left.

The road resumed from the camp site. It goes up, and up, and up. After four hours pushing up hill, I pulled the pin and walked back to the Coxs. I'd managed just over 1km/hr. It was hot, and I wouldn't have had enough water to get out. And at that point I was still less than half way.

No 4x4s when you want one..

The only alternative was back the way I'd come. 6.5km of it. While it was three hours down, going back would take longer as it would be uphill. It only took me 5 hours.

The ride/walk back up Megalong Valley Road seemed easy after that.

I'd say the Six Foot Track is a mountain biking track, rather than loaded tourer riding track. Though it would be easier starting from the Jenolan end; more hills from that side.

Easy part of the track

Suspension bridge start. No bikes.

Cox River