The Northern Beaches is the most bike-friendly area in Sydney. However, the Manly to Mona Vale is the only ‘safe and scenic’ part if you are a road-averse rider. On this particular ride, I wanted to see how far toward the northern end of the Beaches a road-averse cyclist can ride safely, so I started at the North Narrabeen Rock Pool and headed towards Palm Beach.
From the Rock Pool and Lagoon, it’s a short ride past Warriewood Beach then up to the Mona Vale Headland near the Hospital.
The new path between the Mona Vale Golf Course and the beach is superb; it’s exciting to know that the local council is committed to eventually constructing a bike path all the way up to Palm Beach. On the left of the path you have a glorious golf course and on the right is the ocean; there are very few places you get so lucky. The path takes you right onto Mona Vale Beach.
From Mona Vale Beach, I rode west along Bassett Street until reaching Bayview. The quiet local streets wind their way around to scenic Clareville and Newport. A more direct route is north along Pittwater Road, but all you will see there is traffic; so it’s safer to take the back roads which also stay close to scenic Pittwater bays and marinas.
The back streets are steep and winding, and offer only short glimpses of Pittwater itself until you arrive through the back parts of Newport. From there it’s no longer a Safe and Scenic ride; the road starts to narrow, there are no bike lanes or paths, so that’s as far as I was prepared to ride.
I headed back to Mona Vale via the spectacular Bungan Headland. Too soon, I was back on Mona Vale Beach and then onto the new pathway back to where I started.
The ride covered 30kms in just over two hours. The Bayview to Newport section is steep and definitely needs an ebike. For me, there is an imaginary line from Mona Vale Beach to Bayview: on the south side there are many safe and scenic riding options, but further north is too risky for senior riders.