The Bridle Track – Bathurst to Hill End

Rob and I have been talking about riding the Bridle Track for a while and an opportunity during our busy schedules finally presented itself today.  The plan saw us meeting up in Blaxland yesterday afternoon and riding to Bathurst for the night. It was a crappy, hot (up to 38 degrees), slow crawl on the M2 and M7 but we lobbed into the Panorama Hotel around 8pm. We cleaned up and hit the Bistro and Bar for some good food and appropriate beverages to wash it down. Great service and pretty good food.

Karl rode from Dubbo to meet us at 8am for breakfast and we were on our way not long after, although perhaps longer than Rob and Karl expected given the ungraciously accepted comments about how long it takes me to pack my bike.

Karl led the way out on Duramana Road where the signs to the Track are obvious, just ignore the road closed signs (if you are on a motorcycle). The first part is ever narrowing tar then you get to this sign.

It’s a pretty good description of what was up ahead.  I haven’t been off road since April, boy was I rusty!  I was glad to have a new set of Motoz Tractionator Adventures on the bike they inspired some confidence while I got back into the groove!

These two defendants were completely unphased however.  The track meanders along the Macquarie River with drops off the side that vary in height.  It was incredibly scenic and not too technical however it was better to stop and enjoy the view.

Some of the track in this area was muddy (not sticky though) with lots of dirty puddles to avoid where possible.  Often it wasn’t and I was reminded while riding through one of the deeper, longer ones that water can come over the screen of the Africa Twin if you are going too fast.  Only one reminder was required.

The tops of the large trees behind Karl in the photo below are indicative of the 100m or so drop off the edge of this part of the track.

The only water crossing on the main Bridle Track is a nice, easy causeway, there wasn’t much water running over it today despite the rain early in the week.

The next section was uphill to Hill End.  It was rocky and a bit loose but there were no real traction problems.  A few sharp corners with steepish exits kept us honest but the track itself isn’t very technical.  It’s all about the views.  It’s easy to tell when you arrive at Hill End, there’s a sign.

The Royal Hotel and a nice little cafe opposite are available for refreshments and I’m happy to say that you can get a Soy Decaf Latte at the cafe so they have all bases covered.

We debriefed our ride on the Bridle Track for a while. Rob took the tar back to Bathurst and home. I followed Karl towards Mudgee, and headed home though Gulgong, Ulan and the Golden Highway fuelling up at Merriwa.

The Bridle Track takes about an hour and a half to ride at an easy pace with some stops for pics etc.  There’s a big rock on the track at one point, just ride behind it, there’s room.  It’s a pretty easy ride on big bore Adventure Bikes and it’s really worth doing.  We’ll be heading back to explore some of the tracks that shoot off it one day I’m sure.

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