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Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' at netrider.net.au started by CrayolaS7, May 6, 2011.

  1. Prologue
    I've had my bike (The VTR250) for nearly 3 months now. Today was the first time me and my mate (Azamakumar) were both been free on the same afternoon so we headed up to a National Park just north of Sydney.

    Prior to that all my riding was either commuting or short little 20 minute blasts (I find being alone on my bike very relaxing, zen or something). Anyway, we met up for lunch and headed off afterwards, took about half an hour to get to the start of the Park, after which the traffic got very thin very quickly.

    The Ride
    Original plan was to do the left path then the right one and stop for a bit before heading back down in to the city, hoping to be home by around 5 pm when traffic gets really heavy (and it gets dark). We stopped near Church Point and decided we better turn round if we wanted time to do the other bit because we got going about 45 minutes later than intended.
    This was 100% the right decision. The road we were on originally round to church point was very windy with lots of 40-60 km/h blind corners. The road here was quite narrow so we were a bit weary of cars cutting the centre line, and also not knowing the road meant you couldn't push much in case a corner suddenly tightened up or something (most of the time it was the opposite but we weren't going to risk it) especially since the surface was quite bumpy in places. It was a great challenge and lots of fun but somewhere you need to go a few times to really get the most out of it.

    The road to west point was entirely different. It was an 80 km/h zone (50 mph), one lane each way with extra wide shoulders and perfect, smooth tarmac. The corners were long and sweeping and because of the wide shoulders you could see what was coming much further ahead. It was honestly thing best thing I've ever experienced on a bike.

    At the end we stopped and took some snaps and stretched our legs for a bit. On the way back my mate attached his little video camera to his tank using a suction thingy. I was behind him on the way up but we stopped for the return trip so the video looked a bit more interesting. Anyway, it's about 9 gigs he said (forgot to press stop and filmed the entire hour of him riding home in Sydney traffic) so I don't have that, Here are some more pics though:


    What I took home with me
    I learnt a lot today, especially that I still have so much more to learn to improve my riding... When my friend (he has about 3 years experience) was taking the lead I was amazed with how well he could get on the right line even though he'd never been there before. I could keep up with him for the most part but only because I was following. When I was leading I was worrying a bit about running wide on the exits etc and my lines (start wide finish tight, etc.) weren't always great, at least for the tighter road anyway.

    I just stuck what I knew though and focussed on looking through the corner and keeping my eyes at the vanishing point, doing all braking/shifting before leaning the bike over, actively counter-steering to start leans (quick-steering, I think it's called>) and rolling on more throttle once I could see out of the corner to pull through nice and tight, and keep the bike stable.

    Aside from riding technique I also learnt:
    1. Riding a naked at highway speed makes you very conscious of the wind
    2. I need a new, better helmet that's both lighter and quieter. Wind noise is crazy loud at the moment and I can feel a noticeable draft on my face even with all vents closed.
    3. A jacket that was too warm for that weather in traffic isn't at all too warm at 100 km/h

    So yeah, that's my story. I thoroughly recommend this area to anyone, especially anyone who has a weekday afternoon free. Roads were a great mix and hardly any traffic. On the way to West Head there were no cars going out way.
  2. I was up in Sydney last week and drove up to west head and was thinking how awesome a biking road that would be.

    Then some douche in a BT-50 pulled out from the side of the road without indicators or even looking.

    But yeah, gorgeous roads and the view across to Palm Beach was excellent.

    Was a bit miffed that it cost $11 to get in though.
  3. Get there before 9am...
  4. Do yourself a favour and get a set of earplugs,any hardware store.Squeeze them into a thin tube and gently push them in,they expand and block about 80% of noise,you can still hear the bike and sirens and it makes fast riding way more pleasant.BTW there are about a dozen more similar bike roads around Sydney,wish I was a first timer again,have fun finding them
  5. Congrats on stretching your legs. :)

    As Zim said, earplugs are the go. Naked bikes are (short of a full-dress tourer with a barn-door windshield) about as good as it gets for reducing wind noise, thanks to the clean airflow over the helmet, and even then it's dangeously loud. For example, BMW claims their SportIntegral helmets are the quietest on the market at 85dB(a) at 100kph and independent testing puts most helmets around 90+dB(a) on a naked bike at 100kph. Faster = louder. Throw in some turbulant airflow from a short windshield or nearby car or truck and it just gets ridiculously loud and damaging to long-term hearing.

    As a (future) mechanical engineer you'll get used to wearing 'em 23 hours a day anyway due to work. :D

    Draught-wise, the "Windjammer" skirt which fits around the bottom of the helmet helps to reduce the amount of cold air coming up from the chinbar, especially in conjunction with a balaclava/neck-sock. May also reduce wind noise depending on the main source of the noise (wouldn't rely on it, tho). Edit: A riding balaclava (upper half thin lycra/spandex, lower half windproof thermal balaclava) might be the thing to try first as you'll likely need one for winter anyway for late nights and early mornings. :)

    Again, congrats on getting out of the city. The VTR250's a very capable bike on twisty roads, light and agile. :)
  6. Went there for the first time yesterday, roads are awesome as shit.

    EDIT: oh man just read OP

    EDIT2: first ride with the gopro, shame the ride didn't last too long
  7. I already have plenty of balaclavas front skiing, including a thin one designed to go under a snow helmet. That one has a skull on it a la Ghost from MW2 - if only I had an face helmet... Speaking of which bought a Shift RSR2 Carbon today. Bloody amazing helmet and so much better than my RJays cheapie. I almost feel bad knowing that my girlfriend will be wearing it once I'm allowed a Pillion.

    Also from skiing I have a bunch of different neckwarmers, of which I suggest everyone should have. They are way more comfortable than a balaclava and without taking up as much space as a scarf. The trick is to carefully arrange it under your chin strap so it is held there loosely
  8. Yeah, RSR2 is a fantastic helmet; very good ventilation, effective anti-fogging measures, light weight and great peripheral vision. :)
  9. Omg yes the weight is the best thing for me. The fit still has a few "pressure points" ont the top of my head as the helmet hadn't been worn by ~anyone~ before (was from the back room, not a demo), but it's still very comfortable and well fit. I've only done about an hours riding since then but in that time it's already noticeably more comfortable for your neck. The lighter weight makes it much easier to quickly look around too.