Tarana + Gravel Ride
51km w/ 795m ascent
This is predominately a tarmac-ed loop however it is not possible to complete with a road bike.
In town is the Tarana Hotel and lots of parking in the general area. Off in the distance you will see the beautiful Evans Crown Nature Reserve with its large granite boulders sitting on top of the ridge. You can ride or drive up there pre or post this ride.
To begin the ride from Tarana ride to the west and go past the signs to Bathurst and Oberon. Tarana Road is a lovely narrow tarmac-ed road which runs parallel to the train line and also alongside Fish Creek.
The are several climbs and descents as you meander along Tarana Road going over the train line, some can be quite steep at +15%.
At ~18km turn left on Wambool Road and begin another climb. This is when you will be on your first section of gravel for the day.
At ~20.6km you are back on tarmac and continue along to ~22.9km. Then turn left on O’Connell Road. Please use CAUTION along this section as the speed limit is 100kph and there is no shoulder until you get over the Fish River bridge.
As you enter the township of O’Connell the speed limit changes to 60kph and it is a lovely tree-lined village. There is a good verge for you to ride on in town and you will pedal past the O’Connell Hotel and the Cafe & Store.
Continue past RFS and exit town. The speed limit goes back up to 100km/h. There is a decent shoulder for you to ride along.
At ~27km turn left on Carlwood Road (CR) and then at ~33.1km the road turns back to gravel. Along CR there are sections of tarmac and gravel. Please use cation crossing Lowes Mount Road at ~38.9km.
At the very end of CR there is one very steep fast descent as you come down to Hazelgrove Road. Turn left at ~42.6km on to Hazelgrove Road and then it is ~8.2km back to Tarana.
Start and finish: Tarana (this is a ~30km drive from Lithgow).
Accommodation Information : To see a range of accommodation available in the Seven Valleys, click here.
There is also accommodation at the Tarana Hotel.
Bathrooms/Facilities: Start & Finish/O’Connell @ ~25km
Food & Water: Start & Finish if hotel is open/O’Connell @ ~25km
Renshaw’s Bikes Lithgow: 199 Main Street, Lithgow NSW Ph: +61 2 6355 5500
Phone Reception: Coverage in Tarana and O’Connell is good, however there is very limited coverage in the remote areas on this loop. (See ‘Cycling Check List’ which lists the major mobile phone carriers coverage maps.)
Bikes: Gravel/MTB/Hybrid Flat Bar/e-versions of these bikes with suitable gravel tyres
Paved vs un-paved: 74% vs 26%
Highest & Lowest Elevation: 910m above sea-level at 39km/705m above sea-level at 25km
Level: Intermediate and up
Timing: 2:30 @ 20 kph/2:50 @ 18 kph/3:10 @ 16 kph/3:40 @ 14 kph
Cue-sheet: turn by turn instructions can be found on the Ride with GPS
Notes : There is quite a lot of accumulative climbing throughout this loop. You need a decent level of fitness to complete this loop. You will also be riding on O’Connell Road which has sections of 100kph so riders need to be comfortable with riding in such a situation.
Please make sure you go through the ‘Cycling Check List’ below.
- Your own cycling safety is your responsibility so stay aware and take stock of your surroundings
- Follow the road rules at all times
- Check your bike and equipment before you depart, i.e. tyre condition, well lubed chain, helmet condition etc. Make sure it is all in good working order and if in doubt take it to your local bike shop before you venture out
- Always tell someone where you are going and your estimated time of return
- If you open any gates, please close them immediately once you pass through them
- Check the weather forecast for the area where you will be riding
- Carry maps &/or a well charged GPS device for the area you are riding in
- Carry spare tubes, tyre levers, pump and multi-tool at a minimum
- Always carry enough water, food and suncream as you will be in remote areas
- It is highly recommended that you do not ride alone in remote areas
- Always be aware that roads and conditions regularly change, especially in NSW Forestry, National Parks and on country gravel roads
- Check the Live Traffic website for information about Road Closures: https://www.livetraffic.com/
- Phone coverage is not always available, but a well charged phone should be carried in case of emergency
- Mobile phone coverage providers:
Telstra : https://www.telstra.com.au/coverage-networks/our-coverage
Optus : https://www.optus.com.au/living-network/coverage
Vodaphone : https://www.vodafone.com.au/network/coverage-checker
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