Mt Torbreck has been on my radar for a long time now. It's the westernmost mountain in Victoria over 1500 metres and it sits somewhat removed from its neighbours so it stands to reason that the views from up top would be worth seeing. Only problem is that it doesn't have a rideable road or track to the top - the last 2km to the summit is a steep and thoroughly unrideable walking track. I figured it was ripe for a mixed-mode solo mission so I headed out there for a day trip.
I've always wanted to check out the trails around Wombat/Gisborne area so this is the ride where I do that. And I'd love some company!
Start/finish at Sunbury station to meet the train (it's now part of the suburban metro network i.e. NOT v-line, woohoo!). There'll be some paved country roads to get out to Gisborne area where we'll check out the trails around Hobbs Road and then it's into Wombat State Forest to see the famous Wombat Track. Note: There'll be LOTS of singletrack on this ride - feel free to ride a 'crosser or whatever but make sure you know what you're getting into. I'll be on a rigid singlespeed 26er MTB so no speed records will be set though I'm planning to give FUN records a nudge.
Bring heaps of water, we'll probably stop in at Gisborne or Woodend or something for food at some point. Also, if the stars align, we may meet up with a Wombat local mate who'll play tour guide for us and laugh at our bikes. If you're catching the train, get the 7:19am from Flinders Street or, even better, ride out to Sunbury!
Due to unexpected stuff happening, I won't be able to make it on this ride. If anyone was planning on coming, please still turn up and do the ride without me! The route map is accurate (enough) but shoot me an email if you want some notes on the less obvious parts of the course and I'll tell you all I know. Oh, and take a few photos and I'll post your writeup here.
I’ve got a long list of roads and trails I want to ride - this TWBD will seek to shorten that list a little. Centred around the Kinglake/Toolangi area, the highlights for me will be : UP Bald Spur Road
DOWN power lines track on the other side
UP Andrew Hill
Connect from Myers Creek Road to Pauls Range (HAB!)
UP Hunts Lane
UP Mt Jerusalem Track
DOWN Mt Everard Track There’ll be a lot of climbing. This is the first decent ride that I’ll do on a geared mountain bike (ever!) and I want to get my money’s worth! I can say there’ll be some very steep climbs, some singletrack and possibly some untracked hike-a-bike, in addition to the usual fireroads, gravel, paved roads etc. They’re the knowns. As for the unknowns, you’ll have to come out and see for yourself because I’ve got NFI. Bring 2 bidons minimum; we’ll do lunch/beer at Toolangi Tavern; if you’ve got a choice of bike go for the one with the lowest gears (plural) and the fattest tires. NOTE: This one's on the Saturday!
UPDATE: Tobe and Al went and did this ride even though I couldn't. Here's their writeup and photos...
Good times up north! This will be a solid ride through some beautiful country. Straight north from Hurstbridge we'll visit Mt Sugarloaf (because I've never actually been up there before) then down the other side towards Hazeldene before ducking into the Disappointment State Forest. We'll keep heading north and pop out at Murchison Gap before flying down to Strath Creek Hotel for a beer. From there we'll take an old fave, Upper King Parrot Creek Road, before climbing back up to Kinglake Central and then bombing down Bowden Spur Road and back to Hurstbridge.
Beautiful country, some paved roads, some dirt roads, some solid climbs and some screaming descents. And beer. What's not to like?
9:30am start to cater for train commuters, I'll be on a singlespeed with CX knobbies, bring 2 bidons or a bladder.
Maybe it was the lack of deep sleep or maybe it was just general laziness but I didn’t get up at 4am like I’d planned.
It was after 6am when I finally dragged myself out of the sack and started faffing around trying to get ready to ride. It was still windy. Dark. Cloudy. I could see silhouettes of gnarled trees, rocky outcrops, vague shapes down in the valley below. The sky was just starting to turn pink on the horizon. The first signs of dawn.
Visiting : Licola, Wonnangatta Valley, Dargo High Plains Road Distance : 294km When : Wednesday 29th May, 9:00am Where :Click here for route map
I had a milestone birthday coming up so we decided to take the family to Bright for a long weekend of food, booze and chasing the kids around. I figured I’d do a single day ride while we were up there but someone floated the idea of me riding up the day before, camping somewhere and then meeting up the next day in Bright. Works for me! So, I plotted a course from Traralgon to Bright that would take me up a road I’d had my eye on for a couple of years now - Dargo High Plains Road.
Another short hilly mission to some cool places around the Kinglake, Toolangi, Healesville, Yarra Glen area. Will visit the newly reopened Bundy Track and a bunch of dirt roads, fire roads, singletrack and some hike-a-bike.
It'll be roughly 110km with probably over 3000m climbing. There will be water at Toolangi but no planned food stops (unless emergency) so bring a big bladder and plenty of food. The forecast looks hot!
Run what you brung. I'll be
on a singlespeed 29er.
Visiting : The Barry Way, Snowy River, Buchan, Bairnsdale Distance : 240km When : Monday 1st May, 8:30am Where :Click here for route map
The third day of my ride from Canberra to Bairnsdale was the “long” day, the final leg that would take me all the way to Bairnsdale. It was going to be long, scenic and remote - three things that make a ride great.
Visiting : Smiths Gully, Kinglake, Flowerdale Distance : 120km When : Sunday 17th June, 9:30am @ Hurstbridge Train Station Where :Click here for route map
This is a short but hilly mission to check out some roads and trails that I should know but have never got around to visiting. We'll start off with some Smiths Gully trails before climbing up to Kinglake via Mt Everard Track. From there we'll check out the full length of Extons Road/Mt Robertson Road - maybe grab a beer at Flowerdale Hotel - before heading back to Hurstbridge via slightly different trails.
I'll be riding singlespeed so expect a slow pace on the flats (actually there are no flats) and lots of swearing on the climbs. I'd err on the side of fatter tires for this one.
NOTE: Start time changed to 9:30am to sync up with first train into Hurstbridge!
The second day of my ride from Canberra to Bairnsdale was the “fun” day. It was basically a side trip up Mt Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in Australia. It started and finished in Jindabyne so it didn’t get me any closer to my destination but it was a hell of a lot of fun.