Big Kids on Bikes

I enjoyed hours of fun as child on my bike, rolling around the local neighborhood with friends.

Today, when Calum took us for a spin around some local trails, I realized I am still that same kid, just in an older body.

We started at Calum’s place, set among thick bushland near the shore of Lake Samsonvale, and headed south towards Bunyaville.

Instead of just coasting along the road, we made small detours over adjacent hills.

We weren’t commuting, we were having fun.  Calum led us up one steep detour beside the road…

…and down the other side.

We skirted around Clear Mountain.

A couple of weeks ago we spent a strenuous morning tackling some of the steep hills in the area.  Today we wanted to avoid most of those slopes.

We entered the state forest at the bottom of Cashs Road and followed it upwards.

Cashs Road is one of the easier climbs in Clear Mountain State Forest.

It’s also one of the older historic remnant-roads in the area.  Vestiges of the this road follow Four Mile Creek to the northeast, eventually joining up with the Old North Road.

At Eatons Crossing Road we pedaled along a dirt service track parallel to the main road.

It was steep in one or two places.

We built momentum going down one side, which made it easier to get up the other side.

Russell got a puncture.

The rest of us watched him, offering unsolicited advice and a running commentary of his repair skills.

When we reached the South Pine River, we followed its banks downstream towards a shallow crossing.

Recent rainfall has been generous.

The banks of the river are lush with thick green grass.


Our leisurely peloton continued along the river bank for a few kilometres…

…over an impressive suspension bridge…

…and through more thick grass.

We crossed the river at Bunya Crossing.

From there, it was a short ride up Dugandan Road to the trails at Bunyaville.

Bunyaville is a maze of exciting single tracks which twist around the hillsides.

We followed “Mini Van” track through the eucalyptus trees.

Unfortunately, Paul had a crash.

His front wheel slipped out in loose gravel, and he banged his head hard.

As I joked with him about his buckled front wheel, I noticed his responses were a little odd.  I asked a few simple questions and realized the knock to his head had disoriented him.

I was unsure what to do, but Calum was adamant – Paul had a head injury, he was concussed, we needed to call an ambulance.

The ambulance was there in about ten minutes.

They assured us we had made the right decision, and took Paul to hospital for observation.

Good on ya, Calum.

A tow truck turned up at the same time.

He kindly offered to take Paul’s bike to the nearest fire station for free.

I’ve never seen a truck tow a mountain bike before.  How unusual.

We cautiously continued our ride along “Mini Van” track…

…past the wreck of the old mini van after which it is named.

From there we crossed Bunya Road and rode on to “Dark Side” track…

…and more endless twisting trails over hillsides thick with eucalypts.

The crash had delayed us by almost an hour.

We detoured to a local cafe, so we could discuss our options.

After a quick coffee and a short break we decided to continue into Samford Forest as planned, but we’d cut out one of the loops.  This way we’d still get back at the time we had originally planned.

We followed Calum into Samford Forest.

The single track snaked gently upwards

At the “three-ways” we had a bit of fun on the “play hump”.

What else would you expect from big kids on bikes?

We left Samford Forest and rolled down the hill to Surrey Farm Park.

We followed some easy tracks through the trees back towards Bunyaville.

Some of the fire trails on the boundary of Bunyaville are steep.

Eventually we emerged back on “Mini Van” trail and followed it down the hill, towards the South Pine River.

From there we followed the river downstream towards Cashs Crossing.

The “Cash” name had popped up a few times today.

James Cash was an early settler in the area, who built a house overlooking this river, next to the Old North Road.

His family became famous for their hospitality.  In 1859, Thomas Dowse wrote:

Cash’s shanty stands alongside the road leading to the Upper Brisbane and the North or Burnett country, and is consequently much troubled with the visits of the passing tramps; but I must do Cash the justice to say, that though his means and accommodation are far from ample, I never heard of a man passing his door without getting a feed or a pot of tea, if he required one. Rough bush hospitality may be sure of being secured by the foot-sore or weary traveller at Cash’s.

I wonder if he had any tramps who visited him on bikes?

We followed some quiet roads back towards Clear Mountain…

…through a short section of bushland at the end of Warners Road.

“Warner” is another name that cropped up a lot today.

James Warner was a surveyor who was responsible for charting much of the land in the Moreton Bay district, shortly after European settlement.

His hard outdoor work eventually caused him to suffer from rheumatism and partial blindness, which forced him to retire.  Despite this, he continued working privately as a surveyor, and actually surveyed James Cash’s property in the 1850’s.


We then followed an old track along Four Mile Creek towards Clear Mountain.

This old track was part of the original “Cashs Road”…

I mentioned to Calum that it had probably been around longer than most of the nearby paved roads, and was likely to have been an aboriginal pathway before European settlement.

We followed it back towards Calums place.

And as any “big kid” would, we jumped into the dam in his back yard for a cooling swim.


Total distance: 46.97 km
Max elevation: 169 m
Min elevation: 22 m
Total climbing: 1344 m
Total descent: -1330 m
Average speed: 17.97 km/h
Total Time: 05:30:54
More data

We rode just under fifty kilometres in about five and a half hours.

During this time we climbed 1,000 metres in elevation, and I burned about 2,300 kcal.

I’ll rate this ride 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Calum for organizing a fun ride, and helping me to relive some childhood bike experiences.

Thanks also to Darb, Kaye, Jason, Adam, Russell, Paul G, Paul B and Bruce for a fun day out.

UPDATE: At the hospotal, Paul was diagnosed with concussion and minor face abrasions. Staff kept him in for most of the day, but he was able to return home late in the afteroon. He is recovering well and looks forward to his next ride. When he recovered his bike from the local fire station, he discovered that the front wheel of his bike was “taco-ed” – buckled beyond repair, and had to be replaced. Mountain bikers are tough, but sometimes their bikes don’t fare as well.

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