Day 1 : Purple and Pink Ride – Spotless Stadium to Lawson

Well, this is it! The start of my Purple and Pink Ride, from Sydney to Melbourne. This is a day I’ve been planning for just over a year. And now the day has finally arrived.

It was an early start, at Spotless Stadium, arriving just before 07:00. I had my brother-in-law, Cameron, turning up, along with one of his friends, Marco, and church friends Wallace, Quyen, Lynn, and Joseph. Thanks guys, for turning up!

An early morning at Spotless Stadium
Spotless (Sydney Showground) Stadium – home of the Sydney Thunder and GWS Giants

Friends seeing me off at Spotless Stadium
L to R: Quyen, Wallace, Lynn, Marco, Joseph, Cameron

After a bit of a chat, and a quick prayer, I set off a little later than expected. Joseph, Cameron, and Marco joined me for about the first half hour, or so. It was all pretty easy going. Not too much traffic out along Parramatta Road. They left me at around Westmead, and it was just me. Cycle paths are still very patchy in Sydney, and probably only carried me about a quarter to a third of the way. The aim was to get out to Penrith by about 10:00. I ended up getting there at about 10:30.

Main road through Penrith

I decided to take a break at Penrith, and got myself a chocolate milkshake. šŸ™‚

Stopping for a milkshake. #purpleandpinkride #mcgrathfoundation #epilepsyaustralia

A photo posted by AThousandMiles (Stephen Jones) (@atmrtwbike) on

After about 20 minutes, it was time to move on. Shortly after, I crossed the Nepean River.

About to cross the Nepean

Not long after, I began the climb up the mountains. This is were it really got tough.

This is where the hard work starts. #purpleandpinkride #mcgrathfoundation #epilepsyaustralia

A photo posted by AThousandMiles (Stephen Jones) (@atmrtwbike) on

Suffice to say, I didn’t ride up all the way. I walked up it, for the most of it. Pushing became much easier than riding.


It was pretty hard going, most of the day. I left, this morning, with a developing cold. By the afternoon, it had taken hold. I managed to make it as far as Lawson, about 15km short of Katoomba, before I decided it was getting too dark. I caught the train for the remaining balance of the day’s distance.

Sunset. #purpleandpinkride #mcgrathfoundation #epilepsyaustralia

A photo posted by AThousandMiles (Stephen Jones) (@atmrtwbike) on

My overnight stay, in Katoomba, was at the Blue Mountains Backpacker Hostel, which is located near the railway station. It’s a pretty good hostel, with very friendly staff. I would definitely stay there again. Within an hour of my arrival, I crashed out for the night.

Date 17th September, 2016
Distance 77.9 km
Ride time 5 hours, 49 minutes
Elapsed time 10 hours, 11 minutes
Average speed 13.4 km/h
Maximum speed 46.4 km/h
Altitude gain (alleged) 1,186 metres

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