Winter in this part of the world is usually dry and pleasantly mild. This year we’ve had a lot of rain which has turned dusty creek beds into pleasant streams. We thought it was a good excuse to get our feet wet.
We’ve started many of our previous adventures at the Goat Track. Over about four kilometres, the dirt road winds up the D’Aguilar Range towards Mount Nebo with pleasant views out to Moreton Bay.
We put the bikes in granny gear, spun the cranks, and enjoyed the view.
The sun had only recently risen. The mountain forest was dark and cool. We rolled quickly through the shadows following a walking track to avoid the road.
Piccabeen Palms and Strangler Figs lined the path. It would be hours before the sunlight broke through here.
We emerged at South Boundary Road where we enjoyed an easy downhill run towards the Scrub Road bush camp.
Although there was no fire, we still sat around the cold fire pit, chatting to a few other mountain bikes on their way to Enoggera Reservoir. We traded stories about different tracks, new bike models, and old adventures. What else would mountain bikers talk about?
Leaving the bush camp, we continued coasting downhill to an intersection.
Today we’d be venturing down Creek Road towards the back of Lake Manchester.
I’ve ridden up this steep track before. Today we’d be riding down it.
Creek Road follows Cabbage Tree Creek, crossing it many times. Winter rain had filled it with fresh water. This was what we had come for.
We splashed through numerous rocky crossings.
Adam and Nick had fat bikes, and showed us how easy it was to ride over bumpy cobbles with their big tyres.
A few years ago I would have tried to avoid getting wet feet. Today I embraced it. Our bikes handled the terrain perfectly.
After months of dryness we delighted in the clear creeks, and thought the same thing – this would be great spot to come and camp in. As we rolled through each creek crossing I noticed we all imagined where we’d pitch a tent next time though here.
“Creek Road” seems an apt name for this track. It’s all about the wonderful creek.
We eventually emerged at a large flat grassy expanse – the official Cabbage Tree Creek camping area. There was room here for dozens of tents.
Today we took a quick break and had a snack in the warm winter sun.
The track twisted beside the creek for several more kilometres before finally pointing back up the hill.
Lightline Road is a steep climb, stretching from Lake Manchester up to Mount Nebo.
We slowly gained altitude as we laboriously mashed the pedals.
Nick is a strong climber and kindly waited for us at each intersection.
As we ascended, we could see across the rolling hills of the Brisbane Valley towards the Great Divide on the horizon.
Lightline Road passes numerous hills strewn with large boulders.
A couple of us had to walk when the gradient grew steep. We each climbed at our own pace and waited at regular intervals for everyone to catch up.
The higher we got, the better the views became.
While he waited for us, Nick clambered up on one of the boulder patches and sat like a gargoyle among the Bungwall Ferns.
These ferns are good “bush tucker”. When they relied on this landscape for food, local aboriginal people would pound and wash the fern roots before grinding them to make flour for cakes. It was an important part of their diet.
The Lightline Road Bush Camp was our third camp site of the day. It’s not far from the trail head at Mount Nebo, so we didn’t have much further to ride. We stopped briefly for another quick snack.
The last few hundred metres uphill spread us out. I climbed alone through the last bit of eucalypt forest, savouring the greenness.
We finally came out on Forestry Road at Mount Nebo. It was downhill from here all the way to the cars. We rolled down the quiet paved road through the trees.
As we descended the Goat Track, a plume of smoke rose in the still air above the House Mountain Range to the East. The waters of the bay sparkled in the distance with Moreton Island on the eastern horizon. We could see the sandhills where we had ridden last week. One of the joys of being able to ride this area so extensively is to look at a hill on the far horizon and know that your tyre tracks are on it. I belong to this place. I’m so grateful to be here.
I’m grateful for good friends too. Thank you Nick, Russel, Adam and Simon for sharing today with me and helping me regularly rediscover how fortunate I am.
Max elevation: 537 m
Min elevation: 61 m
Total climbing: 1581 m
Total descent: -1565 m
Average speed: 14.99 km/h
Total Time: 05:36:55
We rode a total of 41km in five and half hours. During that time we climbed about 1,500 metres in elevation, and I burned about 3,000 kcal.
This ride rates 7.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. In hot weather I’d rate it 8.5.