Visiting : Blue Range Rd, Lady Talbot Drive, Upper Taggerty Rd, Lake Mountain
Distance : 98km
When : Thursday 28th December 2017, 7:00am @ Taggerty
The name says it all. Dirty Lake Mountain. In the tradition of finding a “back way” up a well-known climb, I thought I’d do a nice big loop up Lake Mountain on nearly all dirt roads. The concept is sound and the ride did not disappoint.
The drive out to Taggerty was uneventful, as far as I recall. I parked up, saddled up, pedalled down. The first leg was a paved road commute over to Rubicon and the start of Blue Range Road. Plenty of time to scope out Blue Range as I approached in the cool overcast morning.
No pics of the climb up Blue Range Road. Guess I was just enjoying the scenery and wanting to get that first climb out of the way early. Lovely climb, by the way. It’s a consistent, nice, wide, gravel superhighway. Wunderbar.
And fortunately we were still in December because…
Felt like I dodged a bullet there.
But, all jokes aside, I wonder how many log truck rollovers occur every year? I mean, such that you’d need to put a big banner out there going, “Hey, log truck rollovers are such a common (and expensive) problem that we put this sign here to remind you to not roll your truck!”
Sounds like dangerous work.
Specially for the trees.
Dunno why that one got a special sign on its carc.
Anyway, on I cranked, up the hill until I found, aha, Park Rd.
I wouldn’t be riding this road today but I was interested in seeing it, and in seeing that it was a decent-looking road that has been travelled lately. Apparently, Park Rd goes all the way over to Rubicon Power Station – a short-cut with plenty of elevation change and a ridiculously steep descent down to the power station area.
Yes, definitely have to work that into a ride one day.
But, on this day, I kept wombling along Blue Range Road, enjoying the tall trees and the cool green surrounds. The road stays at an elevation of around 1000m for quite a while so it was just nice gentle rolling in the WHAT WAS THAT?!?!?!
Just up ahead, about 100 metres away, a cat slinked off the road and disappeared into the bush.
Not a “big cat” cat. Just a normal feral cat. Of course, it was gone before I could even roll to a stop, let alone point a camera at it.
I crept around on foot for a while, looking for footprints or any other signs but couldn’t find anything. Dang it. Par for the course. Those things are ghosts, in my experience. Blink and they’re gone.
Must be plenty of them out there though.
I rolled on and enjoyed the ride. Such a nice area.
Next up in my list of roads to check out was Ruoak Road. On the maps, it looks like Ruoak Road splits off Blue Range Road, snakes around a little and then pops out just near Keppels Hut. That’d be great if it went through but I had a feeling it might be a little overgrown. The truth on the ground confirmed my suspicion.
Maybe it goes through?
Hm, I dunno.
Alright, I’m done.
Looks like a good one to come back to with more bush-bashing time up my sleeve. The bike was no good here so I’d probably dump it and keep clambering in on foot.
Another time, Ruoak Road.
Blue Range Road continues.
Ooh, there’s even some nice fens up there. Love a good fen.
The grey skies and grey tree branches made the red on these Gang-gang cockies really stand out. Wish my camera saw it as my eyes did.
Blue Range Road finally came to an end at a big intersection. I took Lady Talbot Drive, a road that never fails to please, whatever the weather, day or night.
Lake Mountain just across the way.
I can never tell when I’m looking at the top of Lake Mountain. It’s definitely more of a hill than a mountain, as so many of our Australian “peaks” are. It doesn’t really go above tree-line and the ski resort buildings are kinda small and hard to see from a distance.
Lady Talbot Drive was a treat, as usual, and soon I was heading down Upper Taggerty Road, a first for me. I’ve ridden past it a few times but never gone down it.
It did not disappoint. What a beautiful road.
High, scrubby, grassy, the sun was coming out and making it feel like a nice alpine summer day. In fact, the day was heating up and it seemed like a good time to look for…
Yeah, I see you in there. Little rascal.
I poked around for a while looking for more long buddies but my heart wasn’t in it today. This was a ride with a clear target – Lake Mountain – and I wanted to hit it before too much of the day was gone.
Upper Taggerty Road has some steep pinches and my legs were feeling it. The effort felt good. I took it at my own pace and enjoyed the views. Hard to feel bad when the road looks like this.
But, all good things come to an end.
I’d popped out the top of Upper Taggerty Road and onto the main road to Lake Mountain Resort.
I tapped out the last couple of kays up to the ski resort on the paved road. Dirty Lake Mountain success.
Nothing was open at the resort so I figured there was only one thing I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long. And by that I mean, put it in the big ring and gun it down the main road all the way to Marysville with maximum speed.
Yew! I love that descent off Lake Mountain. So fast, so fun. Nice big well-maintained road, plenty of room, hardly any traffic, just get down low and go go go!
Strangely, I stopped for a couple pics on the way down…
…but mostly it was just tucking down, tears streaming from my eyes, seeing how fast I could go down that mad road.
So much fun.
At the bottom of the hill is Marysville. I refuelled there and then started the cruisy flat roll back up the main road to Taggerty.
I didn’t mind the traffic. Didn’t mind the paved road, the narrow shoulder in places, the beautiful but relatively pedestrian scenery. It was nice to close out the ride with a simple flat smooth effort, in the drops, tapping it out, emptying the tank, rolling up to the car, loading up and then peeling out of the carpark on four wheels, Ian Mackaye shouting out the window as I wound it up to 100km/h with a smile on my face.
“What happened to you?
You’re not the same
Something in your head
Made a violent change”