What better way to enjoy a school holiday than to do an out and back ride along the first NSW rail trail with the kids? “Wrong” my daughters will tell you. Even though the trail was only 42km return with spectacular rolling green scenery and perfect spring weather our kids would have you believe otherwise.
When a non-cycling colleague of mine told me about the route being beautiful, family friendly and worth every pedal stroke, she had my interest. The more she spoke about it to me, the more it crystallised on the “to-do” cycling list.
The October break eventuated and we had made the decision to book accommodation and base ourselves for a few days in Canberra. We would drive one day to Tumbarumba complete the trail and return. That was the easy part.
Next was to convince the two teenage daughters. After listening to all their negativity including sore bottoms, tired legs and sweat, the only way to nullify these were to book them a couple of e-bikes.
Done deal, Carolyn and I would transport down our steel single speeds to level the playing field.
An early rise and a winding 2 1/2 hour country drive from the capital saw us roll into sleepy Tumbarumba by 10am. After the e-bike fit and demonstration for the kids, we were off on a short, sharp 7% incline out of town to get to the start of the trail.
When we laboured to the top of the hill, the kids were right on my tail and the wife not far behind being her own sweep.
The beginning of the official trail was signposted with large old railway signage that can not be missed.
Off after some happy snaps we merrily roll down a 2-3% slope for the first 7km. We stop at Glenroy for a rest and after more photos and a quick drink we’re off again.
A kilometre down the track we stop for a mandatory picture of what looked like the old Windows XP background.
Next stop was after a total of 21 km and a reservation was made at Gone Barney cafe on Rosewood. The burger with the lot and full cream vanilla malt milkshake hit the spot. After lots of chatting with fellow cyclists and happy banter with our girls we finish lunch and make the return journey.
The last 7km of the loose gravel track and persistent incline takes their toll on the legs and the e-bike kids come into their own. The teenagers surge strongly back to the start and complete it with ease!
After some celebratory family photos,
we roll down the steep hill back into town and complete the entire round trip within 4 hours inclusive of photos, lunch and rests stops.
In all, a very safe way to explore some spectacular landscapes and inhale fresh country air by taking the scenic route on two wheels. It allowed our family to get “back to basics” as well as gaining some fitness.