Mt Howitt Walk

Visiting : Gantner Hut, Crosscut Saw, Mt Howitt
Distance : 20km
When : Sunday 4th December 2016, 11:00am @ Howitt carpark

(Note: This is another solo ride walk from my backlog. Bear with me as I’m writing this well after the fact and my memory may be hazy.)

Vague plans make for vague days sometimes. I had plenty of ideas for this ride/walk and a big list of things to see and do – Mt Howitt, The Crosscut Saw, Zeka Spur, Wonangatta Valley. I had so many ideas, in fact, that I wasn’t sure how to whittle them down into something do-able. As a result, I found myself barreling down the Princes Freeway at 7am, still throwing ideas around my head like I had all the time in the world to plan this imminent adventure.

Hm.

Anyway, here’s how to do an overnight bikepacking trip with 11 hours driving, 5 hours hiking, no bike riding and the most comfortable camping spot you’ll ever find (assuming your own bed is comfortable).

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Lady Rubicon

Visiting : Lady Talbot Drive, McFadyen Track, Rubicon Valley
Distance : 97km
When : Saturday 29th October 2016, 5:45am @ Marysville

(Note: This is another solo ride from my backlog. Bear with me as I’m writing this well after the fact and my memory may be hazy.)

Wow. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I did this ride. Time gets away. From memory, this ride was intended to be a nice cruise through familiar territory. A few old roads, a few new roads and my first time through the area on a geared bike.

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Upper Yarra Loop

Visiting : Warburton, Starling Gap, Noojee, Toorongo, Forty Mile Break
Distance : ~128km
When : Sunday 28th February 2016, 8:00am @ Warburton Information Centre

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.

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Beat The Heat

Visiting : Kilmore, Seymour, Strath creek, Hazeldene, Bowden Spur
Distance : 197km
When : Thursday 31st December 2015, 2:30am @ Hurstbridge

I wanted to squeeze in one more long ride before the end of the year so, in the spirit of leaving things to the last minute, I queued up this little spin for the morning of New Year’s Eve 2015. I’d been banging on about doing a flat road ride for a while so I figured this was my chance – a simple loop up to Seymour and back on country roads. There wasn’t much dirt on this one but it was a nice solid ride through some nice country.

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Midnight Bullfight

Visiting : Mt St Leonard, BNT, Marysville, Keppels Hut, Mt Bullfight, Eildon, Yea, Kinglake
Distance : 294km
When : Sunday 29th November 2015, 4:00am @ Hurstbridge

(Note: This is another solo ride from my backlog. Bear with me as I’m writing this well after the fact and my memory may be hazy.)

It’d been a while since I’d done a good sized overnight ride. I’d been in an interesting headspace for the last few months and I was ready for a long slow solo mission. Wasn’t interested in going fast or covering the most kilometres, I just wanted a long ride with lots of climbing and minimal gear. Old terrain, new terrain, hills, flats, day, night – I tried to pack it all in. Here’s what I came up with…

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Hazeldene Pastie Run

Visiting : Ridge Rd, Pine plantation, Hazeldene, Extons Rd, Pine Ridge Rd
Distance : ~110km
When : Saturday 24th October 2015, 4:00am @ Hurstbridge

(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…

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Keppel Hut Snow Ride

Visiting : Marysville, Lady Talbot Drive, Keppel Hut
Distance : ~48km
When : Monday 13th July 2015, ~8:00am @ Marysville

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.

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Klondyke Loop

Visiting : Bowden Spur, Spur Road, Toolangi SF, Mount Klondyke, Bald Spur
Distance : ~115km ride
When : Saturday 6th June 2015, 7:30am @ Hurstbridge Train Station

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!

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