Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Upper Yarra Loop

Visiting : Warburton, Starling Gap, Noojee, Toorongo, Forty Mile Break
Distance : ~128km
When : Sunday 28th February 2016, 8:00am @ Warburton Information Centre
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/982612837

I'm not too familiar with the country east of Warburton so this ride is all about new (to me) roads and finally putting faces to the names I've read on maps. Starting out of Warburton we'll climb up to Starling Gap then bomb down to Noojee for a refuel. From there it's up Ridge Road through some logging areas before joining Forty Mile Break for some awesome ridgeline riding along the border of the Upper Yarra Reservoir catchment area. This whole area is full of lyrebirds, eagles, roos, black stinkers, black cockies, Wonga Pigeons, Sambar Deer etc. etc. etc. Such a beautiful part of the world.

There'll be something like 3000m of climbing and the roads will vary from buff gravel to rooty 4wd track. I haven't ridden a lot of these roads but I reckon CX will be fine and MTB will be cushy. I'll be on fat tires and gears for this one and I'm guessing it'll take about 8 hours depending on how many photos I take and how many lyrebirds I stop and listen to. Pace will be slow and steady - don't expect a smashfest but do bring your climbing legs.

There's only one refuel stop in Noojee (~48km) but plenty of water in creeks along the way. Bring enough food/water/spares to save yourself because no-one else will.

We'll roll out at 8am from out the front of the Warburton Information Centre. Bonus points if you catch the train to Lilydale and do the Warby Trail commute. Double bonus points if you ride all the way to Warby from home. I'll be driving to the start because I'm lazy and want to get home in time for dinner.

See ya there!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hazeldene Pastie Run

Visiting : Ridge Rd, Pine plantation, Hazeldene, Extons Rd, Pine Ridge Rd
Distance : ~110km
When : Saturday 24th October 2015, 4:00am @ Hurstbridge
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/900802943

(Note: I've got a backlog of solo rides that I haven't written up for various reasons. I'm trying to get through them all so I'm up to date. Bear with me as I'm writing these well after the fact and my memory may be hazy.)

This was a nice local roll to check out a few knowns and a few unknowns. I wanted to see some old favourite roads, check out some new roads and also try out a different bike setup on some decent k's. My main "road" objective was to check out Long Gully Road out of Hazeldene as a legal option to access Extons Road. My main "bike" objective was to see how my Inbred would go in fixed/flats mode on some moderately interesting terrain. All objectives were achieved...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Keppel Hut Snow Ride

Visiting : Marysville, Lady Talbot Drive, Keppel Hut
Distance : ~48km
When : Monday 13th July 2015, ~8:00am @ Marysville
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/774619357

Ok, so I had a long one out of Hurstbridge planned for this month's ride but when I saw the weather forecast and read the words "fiercest cold snap in five years", I decided to change my plans. The forecast said there'd be snow down to 700m on both Saturday and Sunday so I took the Monday off work and headed to Marysville for some snow ride action. Hilarity ensued.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Mt Hickey

Visiting : Disappointment SF, Murchison Gap, Mt Hickey, Flowerdale, Bowden Spur
Distance : ~174km
When : Saturday 11th July 2015, 2:00am @ Hurstbridge Train Station
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/758446615 (subject to change!)


It's going to puke snow on Sun/Mon so I'm going to cancel this ride for now and come back to it later. When the weather window opens, you gotta jump through it!


Heading north this time, through Whittlesea, Disappointment State Forest, Murchison Gap and up to the top of Mt Hickey. Not much of a view up there apparently but I want to go see it for myself anyway. Great riding in Dissa on the way there and should be great views out northeast over Yea and beyond from Murchison Gap. If the timing's right there might be lunch and beer at Flowerdale Pub on the way home.

Nice early start time of 2am because I'm still in singlespeed MTB mode i.e. slow and steady. Also, riding at night is awesome and we should be in/around Disappointment State Forest when the sun rises which means lots of animals to say hello to.

No real planned food stops beyond lunch at Flowerdale Pub at 128km but there's also Strath Creek Pub at ~100km which might be a good resupply depending on the timing. Bring plenty of food with you! Haven't scoped the water sitz in great detail but I'd bring enough for a few hours and your purification system of choice and we'll find some creeks along the way.

It'll be a long steady day so switch it into diesel and settle in for an all-day cruise.

Oh, and email/comment/pm/txt/whatever if you wanna join me. If you don't confirm with me first, I won't wait for you at 2am at Hursty Station!

See ya there!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pinnacles Loop

Visiting : Briagolong, Marathon Road, The Pinnacles, Billy Goat Bluff
Distance : ~165km
When : Saturday 13th July 2014, ~4:00am @ Briagolong
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/460515396

This was a ride I did last winter and, in fact, it was the prototypical slacker ride. I wanted to do a "day" ride and I wanted to see some snow and I didn't care if I had to drive a little and dodge some sleep to make that happen. I don't know why I haven't written it up until now but here it is, better late than never, my Pinnacles snow ride.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rubicon Loop

Visiting : Cambarville, Royston River Road, Rubicon River Road
Distance : ~75km
When : Saturday 4th April, 5:45am @ Cambarville Picnic Area
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/668105230

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.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Klondyke Loop

Visiting : Bowden Spur, Spur Road, Toolangi SF, Mount Klondyke, Bald Spur
Distance : ~115km ride
When : Saturday 23rd May Saturday 6th June, 7:30am @ Hurstbridge Train Station
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/685436642

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.

See ya there!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Almost Tali Karng, Part 2

Visiting : Old Moroka Road, Wellington Plains, Marathon Road
Distance : ~145km ride, ~16km hike
When : Saturday 7th March, 10:00am @ Briagolong
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/648561418

(Continued from part one)

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.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Almost Tali Karng

Visiting : Old Moroka Road, Wellington Plains, Marathon Road
Distance : ~145km ride, ~16km hike
When : Saturday 7th March, 10:00am @ Briagolong
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/648561418

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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Skenic Sunrise

Visiting : Mt Skene, Lazarini Spur
Distance : ~105km ride
When : Saturday 21st February, early @ Jamieson
Where : http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/620651502

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?