Visiting : Sunbury, Gisborne trails, Wombat trails
Distance : ~120km (depending on mood…)
When : Saturday 29th November 2014, 8:20am @ Sunbury Train Station

Long time, no ride.

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!

See ya there!

Just a few quick notes on this one…

Four of us rolled out of Sunbury on boring roads ’til Mt Macedon. Coffee, baked goods, met up with our guides for the day, rolled out, BAM! Gnarly raw singletrack that set the tone for the rest of the day. Our guides were on full squish and knew the trails so we just tried to keep up.

Two of us were riding SSCX which was very inappropriate for the terrain but, all credit to Che and Ed, they took it in their stride and tackled rocky DH trails and recently fuel-reduction-burned “trails” like champs.

For my part, I alternated wildly between “Oh shit waytoofast, waytoofast, waytoofast!” and “Faster! Faster! Faster!” which I took as the sign of a good challenging ride. We were all worked by the end of it – it was hot!

We said goodbye to our guides (thanks M and M!) and cruised back to Gisborne for PCs and coke, then straight on to Sunbury. Didn’t ride all that we planned to but that just gives us an excuse to visit the area again.

Our actual route is linked above ^^^^ Couple of things to note: Getting out and back from Sunbury was boring, skip it if you can. We missed out on a big bunch of ST in the pineys due to “thinning” of the plantation which leaves crap all over the trail – note the sawtooth part of the route along plantation roads which were horrendously slow chunky gravel. Avoid if possible!

I didn’t take a single photo of the ride but I did take a few snaps earlier in the day. For fun, I drove out there early and had a look at Camel’s Hump, the highest point on Mt Macedon. Had some breakfast up there, enjoyed the serenity etc. etc. Beautiful low-lying cloud over Woodend and environs.

I’d just packed up to leave and head back to the car when I heard some movement in the trees down below. Must be a roo, I thought and took a look down the hill. Imagine my surprise when I saw it was a bunch of goats! Three black goats and one brown one, big style. I snapped some photos, they spotted me and let out funny sneezing warning sounds. Watched them for ages until they eventually snaked away down the hill and out of sight into the scrub. Did not see that coming! Awesome.

And then, on a nearby tree, like some sort of Lovecraftian epilogue all in italics :

(Cue “For Whom The Bell Tolls”…)

Nature is so metal.

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