This is a good, testing hill climb with a couple of short sharp sections where you may find it easier to walk for a few minutes. However the views on the way up are well worth the effort and most of the climb is on reasonable slopes. If you complete this climb regularly the hills on the Sydney to 'Gong ride should hold no fears. Returning back down the hill is pretty exhilarating! (make sure your brakes are in good condition)
Start behind the Figtree McDonalds in Arrow Av (first right off Bellevue Rd). At the end of Arrow Avenue is a cycleway which travels through quiet parkland, crosses over Uralba St (take care) until it ends at Euroka St. Here immediately turn right then left into Koorabel St and the first very steep climb of the day which takes you up to Yellagong St. Follow Yellagong St left along a ridge to Mt Keira Rd and up the next hard stretch of road past the local shop on the right until the houses peter out; from this point on the road climbs at a reasonable rate as it zig zags up Mount Keira.
(If you drive to the climb then the road where the houses actually finish is wide enough to park safely and misses two of the three worse climbs on the route!)
Near the top of the climb the road to the lookout is off to the right and clearly sign posted. This short stretch contains one of the steepest climbs of the ride, fortunately it is very short. There is a restaurant / snack bar, toilets, hang glider launch pad and picnic area at the lookout as well as pretty spectacular views up and down the coast.
On to Cordeaux Dam
Instead of turning right to the lookout and restaurant one can follow Mount Keira Road for another 3.8 km (ignoring the road to Mount Ousley on the right) when it joins the Picton Road. Turn left and follow the Picton Road for about 14 km until the Courdeaux Dam turn off on the left.
The facilities at the dam are excellent; there are free electric BBQs, boiling water for hot drinks, toilets, picnic areas, lookouts, scenic bush walks and even a children's playground.
(NB: The Picton
Road is busy and carries a lot of heavy trucks to and from the mines you pass on your way.
The hard shoulder is sometimes slightly less than a metre wide and is poorly surfaced in
places. The return (eastbound) side is worse than the westbound side. Having said this the
hard shoulder is adequate for a bicycle)
Copyright © Bruce Lloyd 2005