Rockley Cross Roads Loop
Foster’s Valley, Rockley and Caloola
At a Glance
A challenging ride to Rockley and Caloola on fully sealed roads to the south of Bathurst. This is part of the course for the Bathurst Cycling Classic, without the lap around Mount Panorama and ride through The Lagoon.
Why I choose this course and the bike(s) I prefer to ride
I really enjoy this course. Although the climb to the top of Rockley Mount is tough for me, I just love the views throughout the farm country localities around Foster’s Valley, Rockley and Caloola. It’s also normally a weekend ride for me when the roads are at their quietest.
This is a road ride on sealed country roads. I back off the tyre pressure to between 80 to 90psi in my 28mm tyres, just for a little extra comfort on these country roads. I also ride my gravel bike out this way, sometimes loaded up with some bikepacking bags for training. I’m really comfy on this bike which has disc brakes, 42mm tyres and 30psi.
It’s just as much fun in the opposite direction as well.
- Rockley Village
- Enjoyable ride through mixed farming county
- Coasting or fast open descents
- Views Views Views
Traps For Young Players
- Wildlife – kangaroos and wombats
Camping & Accommodation
- Bathurst and surrounds have so many options
- Options also available at Rockley
Food & Water
- Pub at Rockley (when open)
- Pub and Servo 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 bluestone pub at the historic village of Perthville is a good marker, and I’m now about 10km out of town. I turn left at the pub and start to follow the road to Rockley. It’s a gentle meandering rise from the village up past Ryan’s Road which is about 2.5km from the base of Rockley Mount (17.8km from the start), where the road rises sharply and overtaking lanes for motorized vehicles.
After my grind to the top, I stop for photos, fluids and food. I also catch my breath. I’m only just 20km into the ride and I’ve still got over 60km to go, including about 570 metres of climbing. But, … here’s the best bit … these are the rolling rural views that I love to enjoy on this ride.
Foster’s valley feels like I’m a world away from home before I come into the historic village of Rockley which can feel like a bit of a time warp. There is a pub here for refreshments, if I time my ride well (mental note, I need to check its opening hours before leaving home). I wind my way through the village, exiting to the southwest on Parkes Street, before turning to the west on the Lachlan Road (35.4km from the start).
The Lachlan Road bitumen sealing program was completed around 2018, which adds about 15km of sealed road riding across to the Trunkey Road. I take my time to immerse myself in rural vistas on this section of the ride. I turn for home at the 50km mark, and cruise back towards town. There’s a little bit of climbing remaining over the next 7km before I hit the last crest (57.5km). Soon after, I stop to take in the views and a photo before hooking in to almost 26km of downhill cycling.
At the bottom of the initial and steeper 6km descent, you’ll ride past “Skippy”, a road sign that has been there for decades and is a known turning point for cyclists in the district. From there, it’s a gentle 20km downslope ride back to Bathurst through George’s Plains and Perthville.