Up the hill to Caloola
At a Glance
A flat road ride before the long climb to Caloola, coming back the same way with a fast descent on return.
Why I choose this course and the bike(s) I prefer to ride
These are roads that are often ridden by local cyclists either alone or in groups at all times of the day, as well as a race route used by the Bathurst Cycling Club. As a big person, I find the climb difficult, so I back off the pace and take it steady as I climb towards Caloola from Skippy. I ride this course on my road bike, and I enjoy the rural scenery amongst the rolling hills.
- Views, Views, Views
- Enjoyable ride through mixed farming county
- Coasting or fast open descents
Traps For Young Players
- Wildlife – kangaroos and wombats
- Quarry trucks – they are good to cyclists
Camping & Accommodation
- Bathurst and surrounds have so many options.
Food & Water
- Service Station and pub at Perthville
Leaving Bathurst and travelling near the railway precinct of the city’s historical industrial heart, I’m soon riding in picturesque farm country in the valley between the hills after I pass the Farmer’s Arms Hotel and the local dog pound on Lloyd’s Road.
The Vale Road was once part of the original motor racing circuit of Bathurst. I ride past the new velodrome of the Bathurst Cycling Club opposite the intersection with the Lagoon Road (to Chifley Dam) at Orton Park and then through two beautiful avenues of poplars. The change in seasons and the variations of light during the day always promote thoughts in my mind that I am riding country roads in Europe or the UK.
The pub at the historic village of Perthville is a good marker, and I’m now about 10km out of town. I cross the railway line and the wide-open farming valley means I’m enjoying riding away from the domestic mundane. The village of George’s Plains no longer has a pub, but the building still stands in between the next railway crossing and the bridge over George’s Plains Creek.
I turn right after the bridge and continue on the road to Trunkey Creek and Goulburn. It’s only about 6km further out to “Skippy”, a road sign about 20km from Bathurst that has been there for decades and is a known point for cyclists in the district.
At Skippy, the climb starts. For me, it’s a long haul to the top before some rolling hills out to the cross-roads turn at Caloola. The scenery is fabulous, as I ride through more farm country and remnant woodland. In the timbered country, I’ve seen koalas early of a morning many times on this road.
The open farmland means that I’m exposed to the weather. Sun, wind, rain and the cold. I don’t stop long and once I reach the ride’s halfway point at the Lachlan Road (to Rockley), I turn and point my bike back towards Bathurst.
It’s always interesting to get the return view on an out-and-back course. There are different angles to the vistas on the rolling hills, and I also get to descend at speed (looking out for wildlife too) down that hill it took what seemed like forever to climb. Once I return to the “Skippy” sign, it’s a gentle 20km downslope ride back to Bathurst through George’s Plains and Perthville.