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Need tip for Cyde Mountain

By jacko121 - 2 December 2014 44

So in January I will be driving to Batemans Bay for the first time from Canberra. I am on my red P’s that I have only had for 2 days. I just wanna get some tips and tricks from anyone who has driven up and down the clyde before. Thanks in advance.

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44 Responses to
Need tip for Cyde Mountain
Masquara 7:53 pm 02 Dec 14

Assume there might be some idiot on the wrong side of the road around any corner. Go slowly, and don’t rely on your brakes! You’ll burn them out. Use your gears. Don’t be intimidated by any tailgater or road-rager – take your time. Note that there’s an earlier really dangerous part of the road after Braidwood and ahead of the Clyde – drive defensively, stick well to the left when approaching a crest, and only overtake when you feel both safe and confident. And enjoy the descent, it’s misty and cool and a bit majical. Open the car windows – you’ll hear bellbirds. And the little grotto on your left going down is a WWII tunnel that was once full of explosives ready to blow up the road when the “Japs” came!

creative_canberran 6:32 pm 02 Dec 14

First things first, make sure your car is in order. In particular, make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure and the tread is good across the whole surface and on the outer edges (which tend to wear quicker on Canberra roads – cheers roundabouts).

Stop in Braidwood for a quick break as someone else has said above. Probably won’t feel like you need it but it’s worth it if the unexpected happens. Good example I encountered not far back was going through the Clyde along with 5 trucks and their support vehicles travelling in convoy hauling demountable buildings plus two sets of roadworks.

It isn’t as difficult to drive as it once was but on the downhills, save your breaks by selecting a lower gear (or in an automatic using the selectable gate or engine breaking to do the same). Break early, turn gently and don’t rush.

A final note, be courteous with overtaking. My number one frustration going through the Clyde is slow drivers who do 10 even 20 below the limit in perfect conditions then gun it when an overtaking lane comes along either blocking drivers from overtaking or forcing them to go above the speed limit by a fair degree.

Southmouth 6:30 pm 02 Dec 14

Two things to add to the mostly good advice so far, travel back from the coast early in the morning as traffic will be lighter and the air temperature cooler so much less stressful on the cars cooling system. Secondly, understand the type of brakes your car has. If it has ABS then be confident that jumping on them hard is the very best thing you can do if you are in an emergency, if no ABS then more driving skill is required. Understand this in advance.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 4:30 pm 02 Dec 14

The Clyde is easy. When going down, use the same gear that you would be using if you were coming back up, and let the engine do the majority of the braking. In an auto change it down manually. Don’t ride your brakes.

Coming back up, let the revs run up to medium (e.g. 3-4000 rpm) but use only light to moderate throttle. Select the correct gear to maintain this rev range.

Before you go, check your tyres (tread depth legal and pressure according to placard), and ensure your oil and other fluids are at the correct level and in good condition.

Be courteous on the road. Don’t speed up at overtaking lanes to prevent others passing you, when passing overtake when you have plenty of visible space and do it quickly but smoothly, then move left again.

If none of this post makes sense to you, you really shouldn’t be driving to the coast (or on any other road for that matter).

RiotFrog 2:58 pm 02 Dec 14

John Moulis said :

thatsnotme said :

Especially if you’re driving an older car, make sure its cooling system is in good order before you go. The Clyde is a radiator killer, especially if it’s a hot day.

A hint. If the temp gauge goes up to the dreaded 100 and shows no sign of pulling back, block the aircon vents and turn the aircon up to full. It works with older model Barinas.

That makes no sense at all.
But what can help, is to turn the air conditioning off (less load on the engine), turn the heat to full, and the fan to full. This will give the engine a (little) bit more cooling.

John Moulis 2:45 pm 02 Dec 14

thatsnotme said :

Especially if you’re driving an older car, make sure its cooling system is in good order before you go. The Clyde is a radiator killer, especially if it’s a hot day.

A hint. If the temp gauge goes up to the dreaded 100 and shows no sign of pulling back, block the aircon vents and turn the aircon up to full. It works with older model Barinas.

Postalgeek 2:21 pm 02 Dec 14

Take a chill pill, be a sensible person, and you’ll sail through wondering what all the fuss was about.

Some people make a big deal out of the Clyde but the road is straightforward to drive, provided you drive within your limits. Accept you’re an inexperienced driver, don’t block overtaking lanes, and go with the flow. Find a competent driver travelling at a speed you are comfortable with and let them pace you, following their line.

When it comes to single lane highways during busy period the faster you go, the faster you’ll be stuck behind the next car. Rushing it will just generate stress, increase risk, and maybe shave a couple of minutes off a couple of hours driving.

And cops have a special place in their heart for P-Platers so don’t give them cause to pull you over.

Ezy 1:23 pm 02 Dec 14

Going down – do your braking with the gears and your brakes. So stay in second a bit longer and let the engine take some strain, don’t be in a rush to change through your gears. This just means that you are going to avoid burning your brakes out and potentially not having any by the end as they have over heated (brake fade).

Going up – check your water levels the morning of your trip back. Top up if need be. Now this is something that I see all the time. Cars will get hot climbing the mountain, so they stop right at the top to let your car cool down… NOPE. Right after you go over the top of the hill you have a great long hill for a rush of air to go through your radiator and into your engine. If you are overheating as you are approaching the top, keep going. If you are overheating 5 minutes later from reaching the top – okay, now pull over. Something might be wrong.

Drive safe!

thatsnotme 12:38 pm 02 Dec 14

Especially if you’re driving an older car, make sure its cooling system is in good order before you go. The Clyde is a radiator killer, especially if it’s a hot day.

Holden Caulfield 12:18 pm 02 Dec 14

ABC129 said :

Do all your slowing down before you get to the corners rather than through them.

This is a very good tip.

Brake before the corner. This allows you to ease off the brakes and turn through the corner without putting unnecessary stress on the tyres.

If you haven’t done a skidpan training day with 5th Gear Motorsport at Sutton Driver Training, ask for a voucher from your folks (or whoever) for Christmas. Or just go and do it yourself, it’s not that expensive.

They will talk you through what happens if you lose control and give you practical experience on how to handle your car if things do go tits up.

Even better, you will learn techniques to help you avoid things going tits up and be in a safe environment where you can see and feel what happens if you do get things wrong.

1967 12:00 pm 02 Dec 14

Take your time.
Leave early so you don’t feel rushed.
Don’t let anyone behind you make you feel that you should go faster than you’re comfortable with.
Treat everyone else on the road like they’re an idiot. (Of course, they’re not all idiots, but one of them will be, and you’ll be ready)
Use the gears as well as the brakes to control your descent and be aware that some of those corners come up on you quickly.
Enjoy your swim / fishing / boating / surfing.

Holden Caulfield 11:39 am 02 Dec 14

– Be patient.
– Be courteous and considerate of all other road users.
– Be aware of your surroundings (ie. your own car, other vehicles nearby, road conditions etc).

More specifically…
– Don’t overtake unless it’s safe (ie. no unnecessary risks)
– Don’t ride your brakes going down the Clyde (use a lower gear when you can).

Enjoy your holiday!

ABC129 11:28 am 02 Dec 14

#1 tip for travelling from Canberra to the coast during any holiday period is DON’T BE IN A RUSH

Honestly, taking it easy will only add 10-15 minutes to your total travel time which is peanuts in the grand scheme of things and if there is any traffic the relative difference will be minimal. Now that I have the safety message out of the way.

Make sure you slow down at the top before descending the hill. Use 3rd or even 2nd gear if you’re in a manual or drop it back out of D to a lower gear in an auto and use the compression of the engine to slow the car so you don’t stress your brakes too much. Do all your slowing down before you get to the corners rather than through them.
Don’t be tempted to drive faster than you feel comfortable if there is a car close behind you.
The Clyde technically stops at Government Bend but there are plenty of corners, dips and rises that can jump out at you between there an the Bay so don’t assume you can just crank back up to 100kph safely after Government Bend. You really need to be careful almost all of the way to Batemans.

On the way up there is no need to absolutely floor it on the overtaking lanes. If there is any traffic at all, or you’re travelling from further away than The Bay it’s going to take you more than 2hrs to get home, so you’ll need to take a break anyway. There is no point rushing up the hill only to stop in Braidwood and have the old couple towing the caravan mosey on past you.

Oh, and one last thing:

Don’t be in a rush 🙂

Felix the Cat 11:20 am 02 Dec 14

Drive to your ability and also the conditions. If it is raining or foggy slow down. Don’t worry about what other people are doing, I don’t mean ignore them but if they want to drive at 200km/h then let them and either Darwin’s Law or the police will get them.Don’t try and block them or keep up with them. Stop for a quick toilet/snack/stretch the legs break at Braidwood.

urchin 11:13 am 02 Dec 14

my advice would be: don’t. it’s not a drive for someone who has just started driving.
if you must, then my advice would be to go at a speed you feel comfortable with and don’t worry too much about the queue of traffic behind you. pull over and let them go by when you can, sure.

but i don’t think anyone who’s had their license for two days should be contemplating a drive to bateman’s bay… i’ve been driving for decades and i hate that ride.

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