I’m pretty used to riding off-road for half a day in rough country, but there’s something really challenging about riding nothing but single-tracks. They’re narrower and more physically demanding than fire trails and gravel roads, but they’re a lot of fun.
Bayview has a variety of vegetation and terrain, which makes for interesting rides:
We started at the “Chicken Run” trail, aptly named after the nearby poultry farm. The track twists through open Eucalyptus forest, slowly climbing as it heads west. After a couple of minutes I started to drop behind my riding buddies, but they kindly waited for me at each intersection.
Grass trees filled the forest as we rode south on mile after mile of single track. There was no need to follow any fire trails – the twisty narrow trail snaked forever through the trees.
We rolled over endless logs and tree-roots. I stubbed my toes on small stumps poking out of the ground. Somewhere in the back of my head I was reliving my childhood antics – a ten year old riding a single speed “dragster” through the bush near home. As I sweatted and puffed up some of the hills I wondered what the younger “me” from over 40 years ago would have thought of all this.
Grass trees gave way to Casuarinas, growing tightly together in thickets that blocked the hot sun. My handle bars narrowly missed the tree trunks. I had to push my rear-view mirror out of the way under the bars to make sure it didn’t snap off. My eyes were fixed on the track in front of me as I tried not to hit the trees.
Darb and Dean flew through this section while I plodded behind. I don’t know how they were able to go so fast. Afterwards Dean suggested I reduce some of the pressure in my front tyre.
At each intersection he and Darb were still waiting for me.
As we moved from one section to the next, friendly red signs announced the track names: “Vegemite”, “Fluffer”, “Sock Puppet”, “Maze”, “You’re Kidding”, “Doom Hippy”… whoever made these up had a fantastic imagination. The unending ribbon of single track continued, 10km, 20km, 30km… this was extraordinary.
Dean must have sensed I was having trouble keeping up and took a few shortcuts.
We got back to the cars after after riding for over four hours including breaks. We covered about 33km and climbed 670m in vertical ascent.
I burned just under 2,000 kcal.
On a hot day, trying to keep up with the others, this was a tough ride for me. Some of my friends are lucky enough to ride these trails regularly – they must be pretty tough.
I’m giving this one 9 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. In cooler weather or at a more leisurely pace it might rate 8.
Thanks Dean and Darb for letting me ride with you today. I had a great time 🙂
Max elevation: 95 m
Min elevation: 21 m
Total climbing: 1006 m
Total descent: -994 m
Average speed: 10.44 km/h
Total time: 04:12:51