On your bike!
With the summer sun shining down, it’s a great time of year to get outside and enjoy some exercise. So why not take the bike out for a spin and feel the wind in your hair as you ride one of the North Shore’s finest tracks and trails?
North Shore Living looks at the top five cycling spots on the North Shore.
Akuna Bay loop
This route has earned its reputation as one of the best rides in all of Sydney. The scenic ride provides you with views of waterfronts, bays, beaches and hills.
Beginning in Mosman, the all-road loop takes you north through the lower North Shore and over the Spit Bridge towards the coast at Narrabeen. From there, it’s a mostly flat ride through Mona Vale and on to Church Point.
This route is only suitable for experienced riders, as it features challenging technical climbs and descents. But if you’re searching for a rewarding ride that brings you through some fantastic scenery, look no further than the Akuna Bay loop.
It’s a challenging ride, and a long one at 72km. If that seems too daunting, try reducing the distance by riding Mosman to Mona Vale.
Cascades Trail, Garigal National Park
With a name like ‘Cascades’, you know you’re in for a scenic ride with this one.
This off-road track is located within the Garigal National Park in St Ives, a short trip away from the lower North Shore. Start your ride at the St Ives end of the track, and head down to Davidson.
The track is three kilometres one way and does not loop.
It’s a relatively simple trail and therefore suitable for riders of all ability levels, but keep in mind there are a few challenging climbs which you should be prepared for.
It’s also important to note that walkers and horseback riders make use of the track as well and it does get busy, so be mindful of others on the track.
Artarmon to Naremburn
This is another route that is suitable for riders of all ability levels.
Starting at Weedon Street in Artarmon, this ride takes you through the lower North Shore to leafy Naremburn. It’s a flat track and a relatively easy-going – just over seven kilometres from Artarmon to Naremburn and back again.
This route passes through bushland pathways, under bridges and alongside motorways.
If you start to get a bit peckish and want to rest your legs, there are plenty of great cafés and restaurants you can stop in at along the way for a drink and a bite to eat before heading back out.
This ride is suitable for younger riders with some experience, but keep in mind the path can get busy with other riders.
One for the kids, Brightmore Reserve is a popular spot to take young ones or inexperienced riders who will benefit from the laid-back atmosphere.
At the reserve there are swings and slides, and plenty of green open space for the kids to run around in, should they have more energy to burn after hopping off the bike or tricycle.
There’s also simulated traffic signs and signals, with roundabouts, pedestrian crossings and road signs. It’s a great way for the little ones to learn about the road system in a practical, safe environment.
The ‘Brightmore Village’, featuring a mock service station and fire station, complements the track and only adds to the fun.
Harbour Bridge to Balls Head
Explore the beautiful Sydney Harbour with this ride through the lower North Shore.
Start at the northern tip of the Harbour Bridge. Use the bike lanes and cycleways to make your way through Milsons Point and down to picturesque McMahons Point.
You probably won’t need a break at this stage as you’ll only have travelled a few hundred metres, but why not take a few minutes and enjoy the views of the harbour?
If you’re in the mood, have a seat on the grassy area and fuel up with some exercise-friendly snacks and drinks.
When you’re ready to get back to it, hop on the bike and head over to Balls Head, where you’ll be greeted with more fantastic views.
From here, you can continue heading north through North Sydney and Wollstonecraft, and all the way down to Artarmon and Chatswood if you’re looking for a serious ride.