Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

…and down the other side.

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

Big Kids on Bikes

Russell got a puncture.

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

Recent rainfall has been generous.

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

 

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

…over an impressive suspension bridge…

Big Kids on Bikes

…and through more thick grass.

Big Kids on Bikes Big Kids on Bikes

We crossed the river at Bunya Crossing.

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

Unfortunately, Paul had a crash.

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

The crash had delayed us by almost an hour.

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

Big Kids on Bikes

We followed Calum into Samford Forest.

The single track snaked gently upwards

Big Kids on Bikes

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

What else would you expect from big kids on bikes?

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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?

Big Kids on Bikes

We followed some quiet roads back towards Clear Mountain…

Big Kids on Bikes

…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.

 

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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

Big Kids on Bikes

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.

Big Kids on Bikes

We followed it back towards Calums place.

Big Kids on Bikes

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
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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.

Big Kids on Bikes

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