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 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.
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.
What followed was delightful mayhem…
Some tried and failed, others looked on in dismay, as if to say “You want me to ride up THAT!?”
Everyone had to push – but I think the people who enjoyed it the most were Darb and me as we filmed everyone’s attempts.
No one complained.
Troy and Mike had huge tyres on their bikes, and gave the rest of us a lesson in climbing dusty hills.
As always, the panorama at the top was worth the effort.
The entire Glasshouse family were decked out in their best clothes.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
The steep tracks were covered with loose powder. We skidded down some sections unable to stop…
Until we hit the mud.
There were a few muddy spots, but they didn’t slow us down much.
We stopped at the top of another hill to chat and wait for the slower riders to catch up.
The narrow forest tracks eventually opened up into wide management roads as we neared 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.
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!
After lunch, the shady trails along Black Rock Creek gave us shelter from the heat as we headed for home on the return leg.
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.
We worked like a well-oiled machine as we quickly lifted several dozen bikes over a barbed-wire fence.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
The last major descent of the day was Sargeants Road. A few bikes flew high as we rushed down the hill.
Tired but happy, we slowly made our way back towards Beerburrum along quiet roads and bike paths.
Here’s Darb’s video of the ride:
Max elevation: 227 m
Min elevation: 25 m
Total climbing: 1379 m
Total descent: -1330 m
Average speed: 16.34 km/h
Total time: 07:38:04
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!