So we did!
Parts of this reserve contain a hoop pine plantation, whose trees are harvested every twenty or thirty years, then replanted. The hills had changed drastically since our last visit, and were now awaiting a fresh crop of new saplings.
For the first part of our ride we followed an “out and back” track through parts of the lower forest.
The track was overgrown in parts, but wasn’t too steep. It was a good warm-up for the big climb up the range which we’d have to complete a little later…
Shallcross Road is a three kilometre climb which ascends three hundred metres. It’s not as imposing as some hills, but it still took me over half and hour to get to the top.
There were plenty of pleasant views to enjoy as we made our way up.
We reached an intersection at the top and split into two groups. One bunch turned left and headed directly for the lookout…
… the other group took a more round-about way to get to the look out, with a few hike-a-bike sections…
… and some overgrown creek crossings.
We all met up again at a mobile phone transmission tower, then rode on together to the summit.
What a great spot!
We stopped for a snack and enjoyed the view.
On this cool clear day we could see over the northern end of Lake Somerset, past Kilcoy and back towards the Glasshouse Mountains.
When we felt like we had rested enough, we jumped back on the bikes and set off down the hill towards the other end of the forest.
A pleasant dirt track led us through the forest, while soft light filtered through tall hoop pines.
Eventually the plantation ended. We rode alongside rolling mountaintop paddocks with the Great Dividing Range in the background.
I stopped and looked cautiously to my right.
“Well you’re a big boy, aren’t you!”
An impressive bull stood silently in the tall grass. We looked at him. He looked at us, but in typical bovine fashion, he didn’t reply.
As we followed Pohlman’s Range Road northwards, the slopes dropped away on either side of us…
The panorama opened up.
This was stunning country.
After all the uphill slogs earlier in the day, it was tempting to let go of the brakes and enjoy the rush of a quick descent, but most of us wanted to take it easy and soak up the views.
The downhill slope grew steeper.
We eased off the brakes.
The grass and trees blurred as we sped down the hill.
We stopped one last time to appreciate where we were…
…then rushed down the last few hundred metres to the bottom.
We followed the paved road back to the start for the final eight kilometres.
Total climbing: 1423 m
Average temperature: 16.7
Total time: 05:13:17
We rode about forty kilometres in just over five hours. During that time we climbed about 1,300 metres in elevation and I burned about 2,500 kcal.
This was a challenging ride with some steep sections. It was easier than usual today because of the cooler weather. I’ll rate it 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. In summer, it would probably rate 9.
Thanks everyone for another fun day out.