Ben Chifley Dam

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Ben Chifley Dam

The Dam

distance

Distance

67.1km

road-sealed

Sealed

42.4km

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Unsealed

0 km

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Difficulty

Tough Gig

terrain

Terrain

Flat Hills

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Time

3 hours

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Average Speed

21

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Climb (m/km)

7.5

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Climb

502

descend

Descend

502

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Min Elevation

655

max-elevation

Max Elevation

825

At a Glance

A picturesque ride on sealed roads over rolling hills to “the Dam.”

Why I choose this course and the bike(s) I prefer to ride

I love this ride.  I ride this course on my road bike for a good workout on rolling hills, and because of the scenery. These are roads that are often ridden by local cyclists either alone or in groups.  There is plenty of native wildlife on these roads, so I am always mindful on the fast descents.

Route Difficulty

I rate this ride as 4 on a scale out of 10, only because of the distance and a couple of the climbs on the Lagoon Road and the road to the Dam.  A climb gradient of 9.2 metres for every kilometre ridden means this is a good ride for experienced cyclists or, further to my notes above, for me to build endurance when I am training for multi-day bikepacking rides with long days in the saddle.

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Highlights

- Water views over Ben Chifley Dam

- Enjoyable ride through mixed farming county

- Coasting or fast open descents

- Fabulous views over the Lagoon

Traps For Young Players

- Wildlife – kangaroos and wombats

Camping & Accommodation

- Bathurst and surrounds have so many options.

- Cabins and basic camping at the dam

Food & Water

- No supplies on this route

Useful Links

Course notes

Leaving Bathurst and travelling near the railway precinct of the city’s historical industrial heart, I’m soon riding past the local soccer fields and Mackillop College in Gorman’s Hill.  Recently sealed, the road reaches the river flats before rising to cross the rolling hills whilst providing some gorgeous views to the farms in the valleys below.

I turn left on the Lagoon Road and ride towards Ben Chifley Dam.  There is a gentle rise up to the ridge above the Lagoon, before a fast descent into the irrigation farmlands of the area, some of which have trotting tracks that are actively used to train horses.

On my way out to the Dam, I ride past Ryan’s Road (to the right, which can take me to Perthville) and the O’Connell Plains Road (to the left, that takes me over to O’Connell).  I have described these routes as well.

Ben Chifley Dam is Bathurst’s main water supply.  There are two short roads here offering different views of the water.  I also drive to the dam on occasion and paddle my kayak at dawn before the speedboats and skiers start have fun.

To return to Bathurst, I simply go back the same way I came, climbing up out of the Lagoon and back towards Orton Park (I bypass Gorman’s Hill Road on the way home).  Once at the Vale Road at Orton Park (the location of the Bathurst Cycling Club’s velodrome), I turn right and head back to town.  I also often ride back over the rolling roads through to Gorman’s Hill and onto Bathurst (the same way I rode out from town).

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