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Glasshouse Adventure

Fat Bike Downhill
On a hot October morning, thirty-seven energetic mountain bikers embarked on large loop through the rugged terrain around the Glasshouse Mountains.

Flinders Rest Area

We’ve had lots of fun riding variations of this scenic route in previous years, so it was no surprise when a large group of eager participants crowded the carpark at the start of the day.

Tibrogargan Trail
Tibrogargan Trail

Fat bikes, Semi-fat (plump?) bikes, Cyclocross bikes, dual-suspension, hard-tails – we set off under the grumpy gaze of Tibrogargan as he scanned the distant horizon.

The Legend of the Glasshouse Mountains
The Glasshouse Mountains are sacred to the Gubbi-Gubbi / Kabi aboriginal people who tell fascinating stories about this troubled family of mountains. Whenever I ride here, each mountain seems to take on a personality of its own as my mind places them in the timeless tableau of family tragedy and conflict.

Tibrogargan TrailTiberoowuccum Trail
Old Gympie Road

Our lengthy convoy of several dozen riders snaked along forest trails, under power lines and over roads as we slowly made our way up the hill towards the lookout.

Resting in the Forest
We regrouped at the foot of the steep part of the ascent to let everyone have a short rest before trying to nail this tough hill.

What followed was delightful mayhem…

Hillclimb MahemHillclimb Mahem
Hillclimb MahemHillclimb Mahem

Some tried and failed, others looked on in dismay, as if to say “You want me to ride up THAT!?”

Hillclimb Mahem

Everyone had to push – but I think the people who enjoyed it the most were Darb and me as we filmed everyone’s attempts.

Hillclimb MahemHillclimb Mahem

No one complained.

Hillclimb Mahem
Hillclimb Mahem

Troy and Mike had huge tyres on their bikes, and gave the rest of us a lesson in climbing dusty hills.

Glasshouse Mts Lookout

As always, the panorama at the top was worth the effort.

Glasshouse Mts Lookout

The entire Glasshouse family were decked out in their best clothes.

Handlebar StreamersHandlebar Streamers

While he wasn’t looking, someone put some pretty streamers on Banger’s bike. Although the air was blue with his colorful language, he played along and kept them on the bike till the end of the ride. Few people I know get teased more than Banger, and nobody takes it with better good humour than he does. He’s a good sport, and a lot of fun to ride with. We all love ya, Bangers πŸ™‚

Glasshouse Traffic Jam
After the lookout, we rode westwards towards Hennessey Hill downhill track.

Henessey HillHenessey Hill
Henessey Hill

This is like a mountain-bikers amusement park. The jumps and berms are challenging, and hair-raising, but everyone arrived at the bottom with wide grins on their faces. It was a lot of fun.

Pine Forest Single Track

At the bottom of the hill we followed some tight single-tracks through the forest. As we dodged the Lantana, a few friends teased me about my unfortunate night stuck in a Lantana thicket. I don’t think we’ll ever live that one down.

Mt Tunbubudla

As our dusty convoy continued westward along dry clay tracks, I was grateful for the dry weather. This surface can be difficult in the wet.

Downhill FunDownhill Fun
Downhill FunDownhill Fun
Downhill Fun

The steep tracks were covered with loose powder. We skidded down some sections unable to stop…

Mud

Until we hit the mud.

Mud

There were a few muddy spots, but they didn’t slow us down much.

Powerline Track
Mount Beerwah

We stopped at the top of another hill to chat and wait for the slower riders to catch up.

Pine Forest Single Track
Woodford Fire Trails

The narrow forest tracks eventually opened up into wide management roads as we neared Woodford.

Woodford
Woodford

Woodford was an ideal place to stop for lunch. There were too many of us to visit one shop in town, so we split up and bought our lunch in a variety of places.

Noahs Thoroughbred Pigs

We could tell it was racing season. Outside the local pub, a race track for “thoroughbred pigs” had been lovingly set up. That would have been a sight to behold!

Brack Rock Creek

After lunch, the shady trails along Black Rock Creek gave us shelter from the heat as we headed for home on the return leg.

Bridge in the Forest

We passed a couple of “pick-a-plank” bridges in the forest. Because the gaps between the planks ran length-wise along the bridge, we had to be careful to ride on the planks to make sure our tyres didn’t get caught between the gaps.

Jumping a FenceForest Management Road

We worked like a well-oiled machine as we quickly lifted several dozen bikes over a barbed-wire fence.

Powerline Track

The last big climb of the day was the toughest. The temperature was between 35C and 40C as we ground up “Trig Hill” under the power lines.

Mount Beerwah Track

About 6 or 7 km of tight and sandy single track eventually spat us out under the imperious gaze of Mount Beewah. The tallest of the Glasshouse Mountains she reaches almost 560m in height, and can be seen for miles around. The legend is that Beerwah is a pregnant mountain, but she won’t have her baby for a long time, because it takes ages for mountains to give birth πŸ™‚

Mount Beerwah Track

We enjoyed a few more rough and rutted 4×4 tracks as we made our way to the picnic area to top up our water.

Beerwah Picnic Area
The hot weather was taking its toll. Riding these tough and dusty trails was thirsty work. I think I ended up consuming about five litres of water. Thank goodness for the water tank at the picnic ground.

Sargeants Road
Sargeants RoadSargeants Road
Sargeants Road

The last major descent of the day was Sargeants Road. A few bikes flew high as we rushed down the hill.

Coonowrin

Tired but happy, we slowly made our way back towards Beerburrum along quiet roads and bike paths.

UPDATE:

Here’s Darb’s video of the ride:

Beerburrum Woodford 2014-11-01 from Darb Ryan on Vimeo.

All-up we rode 66km in 7.5 hours including breaks.

I burned up 3,300 kcal as we climbed about 950m in vertical ascent.

I’ll rate this 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Next time we should probably aim to do this ride a month earlier to avoid the hot weather.

Thanks everyone for an enjoyable time. I’m grateful to have such a great bunch of friends!

Ngun-Ngun

7 comments to Glasshouse Adventure

  • Ian Morrison

    It’s a great ride Neil, enjoyed 2013 and will be ready ++ for 2015. Hot or cold.

  • Lisa Quinn

    Thanks for giving my hubby Jason a great ride! You tell the story of the ride a lot better than he does lol

  • Pinesheriff

    Neil, great write up and as always the pics are the icing on the cake to a great MTB adventure. I noted in your last paragraph above that you say “you are greatful to have such a great bunch of friends”. Mate, I’m sure I speak for all the people on the ride and many others that we are the ones so lucky to have a friend like you. Your passion and indulgence of Mtb’ing along with the endless Km’s and time you devote to preparing and organising rides like these makes our time on the MTB just all the better. You take us to places both physically and mentally that for many of us would probably never experience and for that mate I/we thank you. Not just another ride but a ride to be remembered.

  • Lisa

    Hi, Yes Zar! Thats the one πŸ™‚

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