Thursday, November 08, 2007
The Oxley remains one of the top rides in Australia or anywhere. Some roads have lots of corners all squashed together so you spend all your time on mid change of direction rather than enjoying a radius and hang time. The tail of the dragon I am reliably told is like that and super overrated. Other roads are very photogenic, like Stelvio, which I can personally vouch is lousy to ride being just lots of u-turns connected by straights and overrated. The Oxley however is a true riders delight. Not only does it have a huge number of corners but they come at you in every sort of radius, spaced out to be well defined. The road is maintained to near perfect condition by people who themselves ride it and is low traffic not a popular route for cars, campers or trucks
How you get there is half the fun, there are alot of good roads in between there and Brisbane or Sydney. My suggestions is avoid the Pacific h-way at all costs - boring and heavy police action.
If riding from the west then you will wonder what the fuss is about at first. Very open country side that while beautiful doesn't have alot of curves. You can see for miles and the temptation is to open it up a bit but watch out for farmers. Then after awhile you will hit the forest then the curves will begin to tighten. And they continue to do so until you arrive at Gingers Creek general store and the only shop between Walcha and Long Flat.
Dont count on being able to get fuel there despite the pumps. Riders keep saying you can however a mate and I have both been told 'we have no fuel'. (the horse riding holiday retreat half way down the mountain has fuel in an emergency) Update - seems fuel supply has been reliable for some time now.
Leaving Gingers riding east the road is a seemingly never ending series of 30-40k posted corners that goes for 40km. That equals 100's and 100's of corners. After this you drop down into the valley, the sharp corners continue, followed then by more open faster road as you follow the creek in the valley to Long Flat.
Fuel is available at Long Flat. The road then still has alot more curves for you all the way to Wauhope, lovely sweepers and a few more tighter bits in places. All up you have ridden about 170 km of some of the best riding you will experience anywhere.
The road actually rides better in the opposite direction to above and I have always ridden it from east to west the next day on the return. I wanted to explain the road in the above way as many people do approach from the west first due to the lead in roads of the Thunderbolts way from the south or going via Ebor or the Gwydir range from the north.