Wombat

Visiting : Gisborne, Blackwood, Wombat State Forest
Distance : 105km
When : Sunday 25th September 2011, ~7:00am @ Gisborne

This ride will start in Gisborne and dive straight into the Wombat State Forest where we’ll spend all day on dirt roads and maybe some singletrack. We’ll travel the length of the forest, from east to west and then back again via a different route. Not a great deal of climbing but a lot of dirt and a lot of trees. Should be awesome.

I’ll be riding to/from the start/finish and I encourage others to do the same. Meet at the roundabout at the corner of Robertson Rd and Aitken St. Contact me if you want me to wait.

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Cathedral

Visiting : Toolangi State Forest, Cathedral Ranges, Mt Margaret Gap
Distance : 155km
When : Sunday 24th July 2011, ~7:00am @ Toolangi

Another long one with lots of dirt and lots of climbing. This will also be the first TWBD that I’ll ride on a geared bike.

We’ll start from Toolangi and dive straight into the awesome Toolangi/Black Range State Forest and head north to Taggerty before ducking around behind the stunning Cathedral Ranges for a good solid climb up to Mt Margaret Gap (1100-ish metres). Then it’s down to Buxton for a refuel before heading back into the State Forest to go up and over the Black Range again back to Toolangi where we started.

There’ll be about 2750m of climbing (nearly all on dirt) and there’s a very good chance we’ll encounter snow on Mt Margaret so gear up accordingly. There are no easy bailout points once we get on the other side of Black Range and there are only two places to get water and food (Taggerty at 68km and Buxton at 111km. There are NO shops at Toolangi) so be self-sufficient or be prepared to hitchhike home. Make sure you’re equipped to carry enough water and food to get to the next town – there are no other servos or shops or anything to pull into halfway. Mobile phone coverage might be very patchy. A space blanket and emergency rations might not be a bad idea.

I’ll ride to/from the start at Toolangi and treat it as a “transport stage”. Feel free to join me for all or part of that if you like. Because I’m riding to the start, I ask that you contact me so we can swap phone numbers so we can coordinate on the day. I won’t wait around at Toolangi unless you’ve contacted me beforehand to confirm that you’ll be there.

This is going to be an amazing ride. So much dirt… so much climbing…

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Lake Mountain

Visiting : Warburton, Marysville, Lake Mountain, Mt Donna Buang
Distance : 160km + transport
When : Sunday 22nd May 2011, ~7:30am @ Warburton

Some proper climbing this time. Starting from Warburton we’ll head straight up Mt Donna Buang. Halfway up we’ll detour along the Acheron Way to Marysville and have a look up Lake Mountain before retracing our steps and completing the Mt Donna Buang climb. Then it’s down the back way to Don Road where we join the Warby Trail at Launching Place.

This ride is a little different to previous TWBD rides in that it starts away from the city far from the train lines and, in fact, before the first train even arrives at the closest station (Lilydale). This means you can either sleep in and drive to Warburton or, alternatively, get up early and ride to Warburton and treat it as a “transport stage”. I’ll be doing the latter.

Because of this transport stage before the start, I’ll have to ask everyone who decides to come on this ride to email me (andrew at fmod dot org) so we can swap phone numbers and coordinate on the day. I can’t guarantee I’ll be at Warburton at exactly 7:30am (my transport stage will be about 80km) and I certainly won’t wait around for people who may or may not be coming if I get to Warburton early.

Big climbs, big miles, this is going to be a big day.

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Toolangi Hills

Visiting : Buttermans Tk, Yarra Glen, Toolangi State Forest, Kinglake
Distance : ~140km
When : Sunday 6th March 2011, 9:30am @ Hurstbridge Train Station

This is a hilly one. We’ll see 2000+ metres of climbing as we hit a couple of spots that have been on my todo list for ages.

We’ll start out of Hurstbridge (NOT Fed Square, woohoo!) and head straight to Buttermans Track which will take us up and over to Yarra Glen. From there we’ll hit Long Gully Road on up to the town of Toolangi for a refuel. Then it’s time to get amongst the big boys – straight into the Toolangi State Forest for a long climb around Mt Tanglefoot before dropping down to follow the Murrundindi River up to Glenburn. We’ll fuel up at Glenburn and then take Kinglake from behind before coasting back down to Hurstbridge with a salt-crusted grimace and a thousand yard stare.

Bring your climbing legs, this one’s going to hurt.

(Note: If you’re catching the train to the start, get on the 8:12 from Flinders St. I’ll get that train but I’ll jump on at Macleod.)

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The Wombats That Ate Lancefield

Visiting : Wildwood, Lancefield, Cherokee, Riddells Creek
Distance : ~180km
When : Sunday 9th January 2011, 7am @ Fed Square

A long, cruisy (mostly) flat ride to start the new year. This one heads out north for a tour of some beautiful country roads and lanes in the shadow of Mt Macedon. Big views, big skies and big wombats will be the order of the day as we hit up Lancefield in search of long-extinct megafauna before paying a brief visit to the lower parts of Mt Macedon to check out some of the back roads and big trees in its foothills.

Not too much climbing and no singletrack on this one so it should be a pretty cruisy ride through some of my favourite country places.

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Come And Try

Visiting : Mt Dandenong, Silvan Dam
Distance : ~70km
When : Sunday 19th December 2010, 10am @ Fed Square

A nice cruisy one to finish off the year. If you’ve been wanting to check out these rides but were turned off by the distance and/or early start time, this one’s for you. It’s relatively short, it starts at a reasonable hour and it still hits some awesome terrain.

We’ll head out east on Canterbury Road and then hit Basin-Olinda Road for the first (dirt) climb of the day. Then it’s past the amazing Woolrich Lookout before bombing down through the national park to Silvan Dam. We’ll take Olinda Creek Road back up to Kalorama and then cut across the front face of the mountain before closing the loop at the Basin roundabout.

Depending on who turns up and how everyone’s feeling we can bail out on the train at Boronia or keep riding back to the city. Cruisy fun to farewell another year of TWBD.

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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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