O’Connell Loop

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O'Connell Loop

A ride through the Lagoon and O’Connell

distance

Distance

53.5km

road-sealed

Sealed

53.5km

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Unsealed

0 km

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Difficulty

Tough Gig

terrain

Terrain

Hills

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Time

2.5 hours

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Average Speed

20

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Climb (m/km)

9.4

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Climb

504

descend

Descend

504

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Min Elevation

650

max-elevation

Max Elevation

820

At a Glance

A picturesque loop over rolling hills.  The O'Connell Road can get busy on weekdays.

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

I love this ride.  I ride this course on early mornings at weekends 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.  A stop at the O’Connell Café and Store is recommended.

There is plenty of native wildlife on these roads, so I am always mindful on the fast descents. Keep an eye out for koalas in the woodland country on O’Connell Plains Road.

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 O’Connell.  A climb gradient of 9.4 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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Relive

Highlights

- Water views over Ben Chifley Dam

- Enjoyable ride through mixed farming county

- Coasting or fast open descents

- Fabulous views over the Lagoon and O’Connell farming valleys

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

- O’Connell Café and Store, plus the O’Connell pub

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 for events locally and in Sydney.

O’Connell Plains Road rises steadily towards the ridge above Ben Chifley Dam, with two short punchy climbs along the route and up to the trig station.

I ride along the ridge to towards the east, and I’m rewarded with fabulous views all around.  It’s spectacular.  The fast descent is soon upon me, and I tuck in for loads of exhilaration all the way to the causeway at the bottom (I take care here).

Once I meet the T-intersection of the Beaconsfield Road, I turn right and make my way towards Box Flat Road and the O’Connell Café.

After a short time refuelling with coffee, I return to the bike and the 20km ride back to Bathurst.  This road can be busy on weekdays, less so on weekends.  There is a good shoulder left of the white “fog line” but I am always cognisant that this can be a busy road.

The alternative is to return the same way I rode out to O’Connell.  It’s further, hillier and quieter but worthwhile if I’m looking for scenery and extra kilometres in the legs, … and no traffic.

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