Fun in the Mountains

Susie Hike a Bike
I was stunned when sixty-eight riders turned up to take part in this year’s adventure through the Glasshouse Mountains.

Stunned, and worried, because I was unable to ride due to injury. I couldn’t even drive. So today I was a passenger, and relied heavily on my wonderful friends to help make this day a success

Flinders Park
(Photo: Russel Scholl)

The Ride-off
After giving everyone a quick safety briefing, I watched as a long line of eager mountain bikers snaked out of Flinders Park at Beerburrum.

Mount Tibrogargan
(Photo: Russel Scholl)

Muddy Tracks
Eric led the pack while Darb and Paul rode at the rear to make sure no one got lost.

Robert was my chauffeur for the day. Our challenge was to drive Darb’s 4WD and try to meet the riders at a couple of dozen points throughout the day, help out where necessary, and cheer everyone on.

Muddy Tracks
At first, as we saw people struggling in the mud, I thought us “motorists” would be waiting a long time for the mountain bikers to catch up.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

First Man to the Top
Hike a Bike
One of the first points was a super steep “hike a bike” track just below the lookout.

I hopped out of the car and jogged to the top of the hill, only to find these gnarly riders had already beaten us there.

Dozens of smiling puffing people pushed, dragged, carried and even pedaled their bikes up the hill.


After the first major climb of the day, some riders even had enough energy to pop a “wheelie” while riding up the last steep climb to the lookout.

Glasshouse Mountains Lookout

We enjoyed the panorama of the Glasshouse Mountains from the lookout.

Glasshouse Mountains LookoutGlasshouse Mountains Lookout

Glasshouse Mountains Lookout
(Photo: Russel Scholl)

Some of us took the chance to do some minor repairs, or have a quick rest. Others just soaked up the amazing views.

Hennessey Hill

Hennessey Hill downhill track is not far from the lookout. A few people, like Aaron, took their chances with the gravity gods and let their bikes fly down the hill – wheels hardly touching the ground.

Hennessey HillHennessey Hill
Hennessey HillHennessey Hill

Each rider descended at their own pace, and I was relieved when everyone reached the bottom safely.

Around the puddle

From there we rolled off through the muddy pine plantation in search of the next hill to climb.

Riders in the distance
"This is fun!"

Once again the riders beat the 4WD to the next waypoint, but they kindly waited for Robert and me to catch up.

Despite the forecast of rain, this was turning into a glorious day.

Tough CLimb
Tough CLimb

The next big hill stretched out the group.

I watched in awe as the stronger riders easily crested the climb.

Tough CLimb
They kept coming: some grinding up in “granny gear”, others pushing, no one complaining.

Violet Flower
Mike had a couple of flat tyres, and took a bit longer.

Robert and I checked out the local flora while waiting for Mike to catch up.

Ridinght through a pine plantation
Ridinght through a pine plantationRidinght through a pine plantation

The other thing that slows riders down is sand. While everyone else struggled with some soft sand long a creek, Robert and I caught up with pack leaders by taking the long way round on the road.

Robert Watches the Riders
Creek Crossing

Not far from Woodford, the group was now stretched out over a couple of kilometres. We waited in the car at the last waypoint before lunch as the last riders splashed through the creek.

Lunch in Woodford

Feeding 68 hungry mountain bikers is a logistical challenge. People spread out through town in search of lunch.

Lunch in Woodford

Half an hour later we regrouped in the park, ready for the return leg.

The Peloton

With full stomachs, the “peloton” of mountain bikers slithered out of town back towards the forest. They were impressive to watch.

Heather and JaimeSonja

They approached, and then like a herd of stampeding beasts, thundered past us into the bush.


As silence strangely returned, Robert and I hopped back into the 4WD in search of our next meeting point.

Robert expertly navigated around a few deep looking puddles. When you can’t see the bottom, it’s always wise to treat these sections with caution.

Around the Puddles
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Meanwhile the riders were dealing with their own puddles. And unlike us, they were getting wet feet.

Riding  Through the ForestRiding  Through the Forest
Riding  Through the ForestRiding  Through the Forest

Not long after we stopped the car, after what seemed like too short a time, dozens of smiling riders popped out of the forest.

Obviously those puddles in the forest were no obstacle to them.

Riding  Through the Forest
(Photo: Tony Ryan)
Riding  Through the Forest
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

The bikes and their riders took a “short cut” north towards Millwood Road, while Robert and I took the long way round to meet up with them.

Darb tells me that Wendy tried to climb a tree to get a photo of everyone. I’m glad she didn’t fall πŸ™‚

Riding unterh the Powerlines

At our next waypoint, Trig Hill, we watched as ant-like cyclists emerged from the forest below and slowly made their way up the hill.

Climbing a Big Hill

Way quicker than I had anticipated…

Climbing a Big HillClimbing a Big Hill

How did they climb so quick?

Climbing a Big HillClimbing a Big Hill


When you ride a bike you quickly discover that hills are a fact of life. Every adventure has a few hills, so the best approach is to embrace them and get used to them. When hills don’t deter you, a whole world of adventures opens up.

At the Summit

It took a while, but everyone made it to the top of the hill.

Mount Beerwah

Hilltops are perfect places to stop for a short break, enjoy the view, and catch your breath.

Motocross Riders

A trio of motorcyclists looked familiar. As we passed them in the forest earlier in the day, Robert asked if they were ok.

“Do ye have a bog roll?” one of them asked in a broad Irish accent.

“Bog Roll?” Robert replied quizzically.

“Toilet paper,” he explained.

I was amused and found it hard to stop laughing.

But to top it all off, Robert reached into his pocket, magically produced a huge wad of toilet paper and handed it to the motorcyclist, who gratefully accepted the gift.

So when we met our newfound Irish friends again at the top of the hill, I asked if they minded if we dubbed their friend “Bog Roll Paddy”.

They laughed before roaring off on their bikes.

Chasing the Ute

Robert and I mistakenly thought we should get a head start on the riders, and set off down the hill towards our next point.

We didn’t take into account that in a downhill race over rough ground, the mountain bike will almost always win.

Thankfully everyone gave us plenty of room as we bounced over the corrugations.

Secret Single Track

“The Secret Single Track” is almost 6 kilometres of flowing sandy trails which follows a creek through the pine plantation…

Secret Single TrackSecret Single Track

In previous years it was sandy and difficult to ride, but this year the rain had dampened the sand, making it firmer.

Secret Single Track

I sat by the side of the track and watched in delight as my friends rolled past.

Secret Single TrackSecret Single Track

It looked like they were enjoying themselves.

Secret Single TrackSecret Single Track
Secret Single TrackSecret Single Track

It took about an hour for them to emerge from the other side.

Rather than wait, we decided to head off towards the next waypoint.

4WD in the Glasshouse Mountains
Unfortunately we got badly bogged. I was too worried to watch, or even take photos.

As I turned my back and panicked, I thought, “this is Darb’s brand new car!”

Thankfully, Darb bought a good strong car, and with a combination of skill and good luck, Robert was able to free it.

4WD in the Glasshouse Mountains

Unable to go through the bog, we retreated a few kilometres before heading around the back of Mount Beerwah to rejoin our friends.

Unfortunately my GPS ran out of batteries, so I had to navigate using the paper map I had brought.

In hindsight, I’m very glad that I brought the paper map!

Mt Beerwah Picic Area

Towards the end of the ride, we caught up with the mountain bikers at Mount Beerwah.

Legs were tiring. Some riders were keen to get home on time. The group now stretched out over about 5 kilometres. We took on a couple of passengers who opted to be driven back to the start rather than pedalling.

Sargeants Rd

It had been a big day…

Bikes and Car

… and Darb’s brand new car was covered in mud.


The riders started rolling back into the car park around 2.30 pm after about seven hours of riding, including breaks. They kept coming for the next 45 minutes.

Happy Mountain BikersHappy Mountain BikersSusie

BeccaSamHappy Mountain Bikers

PaulHappy Mountain BikersHappy Mountain Bikers

Happy Mountain BikersIanHappy Mountain Bikers

Happy Mountain BikersJasonTony

MikeWarrenHappy Mountain Bikers

Happy Mountain BikersEricSimon

As I thanked people individually for coming, everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

And, as we drove home, as if to underscore our good fortune with the weather, the forecast rain finally started falling.

I have some amazing friends. Thank you, Eric, Darb, Paul, Becca, Russel and Jason for managing this ride for me. You’ve proven that mountain biking is still fun, even when we can’t ride.

Thank you Darb, for entrusting your shiny new car to Robert and me, and letting us get it filthy.

Thank you Robert for being a great chauffeur all day, and for having the necessary super human skills when it counted.

And thank you to everyone who turned up today. It felt great to see your smiling faces.

Hennessey Hill

Here’s Darb’s video of the ride:

Beerburrum Woodford 2015-08-29 from Darb Ryan on Vimeo.

Here’s the route I took in the 4WD:

Total distance: 98.64 km
Max elevation: 214 m
Min elevation: 26 m
Total climbing: 1724 m
Total descent: -1724 m
Average speed: 37.66 km/h
Total time: 07:53:32
More data

Here’s the route the riders took, courtesy of Darb:

More data

18 Replies to “Fun in the Mountains”

  1. Thanks for a great ride Neil and team. I didn’t think I would be able to complete it after 4 months of mostly RPM classes in the gym but I did and feel great today. Can’t wait for the next ride.

  2. Neil and the gang, my first ride out for way too long- thoroughly enjoyed it, thoroughly stuffed, and thoroughly great riding company. Thanks.

  3. A massive thank you to Neil, Eric and everyone else who drove, photographed and showed the way. Great day, great photos and great crew. Just fantastic.

  4. Can only add my thanks to the list for your generosity Neil (as well as Eric, Darb and others). I’ve always wanted to get amongst that area for a good XC adventure but would have been stuffed trying to find a route myself. Where’s the best place to keep an eye out for any future group rides you’re planning?

    All the best for a speedy recovery so you can get back on the bike where you belong!

    1. G’day Terry
      Thanks for the kind words.
      To get info about future rides, just click on the blue “Subscribe” button at the top right of this site.
      Or add me as a friend on facebook.
      Or sign up at
      I hope we see you again.

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