Volcanoes of Prehistory

Visiting : Werribee Gorge, Brisbane Ranges NP, You Yangs
Distance : ~224km
When : Sunday 7th November 2010, 7am @ Fed Square

Time to head out west into the Werribee Plain and beyond where it’s not about lush, muddy old-growth forest, it’s all ancient geology, gorges, volcanoes and granite outcrops clawing up to the burning sky from beneath antediluvian lava seas.

It’s a straight shot out west to Bacchus Marsh and then we’ll hit Werribee Gorge and continue on up by the train line before visiting the infamous Mt Wallace (going down!). Then we’ll double back and do a top-to-bottom tour of the Brisbane Ranges National Park for more volcanic landscape under the food-hungry eyes of wedge-tailed eagles and peregrine falcons.

Turning back east for home we’ll cane it across the plains with the wind at our back and go straight up and over the You Yangs for some tasty singletrack action before rolling on to Werribee and hooking onto the Federation Trail for a flat and fetid return to the Big Smoke.

This is a long ride but mostly dead flat with only a couple of significant climbs around the gorges. Lots of dirt road and lots of sandy, gravelly loose rocky terrain. I’m considering gearing a little higher for this one due to the looong flat sections.

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Yea Spur

Visiting : Humevale, Kinglake NP, Break O Day, Yea Spur
Distance : ~195km
When : Sunday 17th October 2010, 7am @ Fed Square

This is a nice tour of the hills between Kinglake and Yea. We’ll start off with the Humevale climb and then bomb down through Kinglake National Park before hitting Break O Day Road. Then it’s up Junction Hill and out onto Yea Spur – should be great views from up there. On the way back we’ll go back roads down to Kinglake NP again and climb up a different way than we came down. Then it’s up to how we feel – Hildebrand/Mine down to Hurstbridge? Keep going to the city or bail out on the train?

Lots of km’s in this one and we should see some beautiful country hidden away off the main roads.

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Swollen Dinner Bag

Visiting : Mt Dandenong, Mt Donna Buang, Toolangi, Kinglake
Distance : ~210km
When : Sunday 12th September 2010, 7am @ Fed Square

This is a big ride – I want to cram as much as possible into one day. We’ll see Basin-Olinda Rd climb, Silvan Road descent to the dam, Don Rd and then Donna Buang climb (weather permitting), Long Gully up to Toolangi, on up to Kinglake and then Bald Spur, Hildebrand, Mine Rd before cutting down to Hurstbridge and then ‘burbs all the way back into the city.

A lot of distance and a lot of climbing – we’ll be racing against nightfall from the very start and it’s highly likely we won’t finish it all in time. It’ll be kinda like a naughty dog trying to scoff a whole birthday cake from the kitchen counter when you go out of the room for two minutes.

Except the dog has wheels, the cake is made of dirt and two minutes is more like twelve hours.

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Disappointment Hills

Visiting : Humevale, Hazeldene, Mt Disappointment State Forest
Distance : ~175km
When : Sunday 8th August 2010, 7am @ Fed Square

Heading north again this time. Humevale Rd to start the day and then it’s down the other side to Hazeldene before cutting across Mt Disappointment State Forest to Wallan. Some good climbs in this section – might even check out Strath Creek Falls if the legs are up to it. After Wallan, Old Sydney Rd will take us homeways in the best way – on rollers made of dirt.

I’ll be running a freewheel for this one – time to enjoy some descents!

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Kinglake via alt route

Visiting : Darebin Ck Trails, Blue Lake, back roads to Kinglake
Distance : ~140km
When : Sunday 11th July 2010, 7am @ Fed Square

Some nice challenging terrain on this one. A bit of Yarra Trails to start the day and then up Darebin Creek to Latrobe Uni, finding as much sneaky singletrack as possible. From there it’s a short hop through suburbia to Blue Lake for some gnarly technical hills – hope you’re not afraid of heights! A quick spin up Greensy Hwy and then we hit the country roads all the way up to Kinglake West. Lots of hills, lots of dirt roads, beautiful farmland as far as the eye can see and plenty of animals to spy on the way – the scenery around this area is awesome – just don’t forget to look up every now and then on the short sharp climbs and sketchy loose descents.

Cadel grew up around these parts in his MTB years and look what happened to him – riding these hills will make you a goddam world champion!

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Dandenong Rangers

Visiting : Mt Dandenong, Silvan Dam, Sherbrooke, Lysterfield
Distance : ~120km
When : Sunday 11th April 2010, 7am @ Fed Square

Again, lots of climbing and lots of dirt on this one. We’ll head up the front face of Mt Dandenong and then link a bunch of good spots on the other side including Silvan Dam, Sherbrooke Forest, Micawber Tavern and then straight across to Lysterfield Lake Park and on through Churchill National Park before hitting the Princes home.

Beautiful old forests, plenty of dirt (i’ll be running knobbies for this one) and stunning views. Why do yet another boring 1:20 repeat with the roadies when you could come scurrying through the bush like a little wombat with me instead?

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