Another slacker ride. The Rubicon/Royston area has been on my list for a while now and, after a bit of last minute route planning, I came up with a sort of "back'o'Lake Mountain out'n'back" that would visit Rubicon Power Station and fill in some gaps in my knowledge of the area.
Note: Date change to Saturday 6th June due to clash with DDCX Round 1!
So I'm heading out to Toolangi State Forest to do a lap of Mount Klondyke and check out some sights along the way. Anyone want to join me?
My goals for this ride are to see the power lines track on the other side of Bowden Spur, spend some quality time in Toolangi seeing new (to me) roads, see if I can get down Rocky Track without walking the whole thing or breaking anything and, finally, not burn all my matches before the day is done!
I'll be on a rigid singlespeed 26er so there'll be plenty of walking. Should all be fine on a CX bike except Rocky Track which might not be fine on any bike. There's no planned food stops until 94km in at Kinglake so bring enough food for the whole day. Water will be from creeks so bring your purification system of choice (tabs, filter, iron guts etc.), two bidons should be enough, depending on the weather.
Feels like I haven't done an "open to all" ride like this in ages so let me just point out that I haven't ridden this route before so shit may happen, there's no cue sheets, it's a group ride - we'll stick together, there's plenty of scope for bailing out early so have a look at the planned route and bring your sense of adventure.
The night was cool and clear and I slept lightly. Around 3am I started to feel a bit cold so I lay awake for a while and thought about my plans for the day. The more I did the maths, the more I realised my plans were going to need some adjustment.
Lake Tali Karng has been on my list for years now. A hidden lake high up in the mountains on the edge of the Avon Wilderness with no vehicle access, just a walking track. What's not to like? I had an overnighter pencilled in for March and decided to make Tali Karng the destination. If not now, when, right? So, off I went to see the hidden lake.
Continuing the theme of slacker rides with seemingly more driving than riding, I decided to check out a climb that I've been hearing about for years now but have somehow managed to dodge despite multiple invitations to ride it - Mt Skene. It was beginning to seem like everyone had climbed this mountain except me so I put together a loop out of Jamieson that would put me near the top of the mountain, amongst the most scenic views, right around sunrise. Even a muppet with an iPhone would be hard pressed to take a bad shot up there at that time of day, surely?
Lady Talbot Drive is another road that's been on my list for a long time. It climbs from Marysville up towards Lake Mountain and is feature-rich - it runs right next to a decent river, there's waterfalls, huts, heaps of wildlife and it takes you up to Lake Mountain Ski Resort. What's not to like? I decided to do another slacker ride the other weekend to check it out.
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.