The annual Glasshouse Mountains Social Ride is quickly approaching, so a few of us decided to spend the day riding around the area to make sure we had the best route. Each time we’ve done this ride over the last few years we’ve always tried to improve the course. This sort of groundwork sometimes means that we make a few “wrong-turns” as we search for the best tracks.
Today was different from other rides. I recently broke my collar-bone, and will be unable to ride a bike for a few months. So I drove the support vehicle…
“Lone Tree Break” is beautiful track through thick bush, but it’s notorious for puddles. We’ve enjoyed dry weather for ages, but a couple of the boggy patches remained un-rideable.
There are several ways through the forest between Dunning Lane and Millwood Road. In previous years we had to climb over a huge log and barbed-wire fence, so we were keen to find a more pleasant way.
After a couple of false starts, we managed to find a gate which will make things easier on future rides.
While my friends rolled along some pleasant forest tracks, I took the car the long way round to “Trig Hill” and waited for them to catch up.
At first I could barely make out a couple of riders in the distance…
… but they soon caught up – even though the climb up is quite steep.
After “Trig Hill” we rolled down towards a wonderful stretch of tight twisty single-track that snakes through the pine forest for almost six kilometres.
I parked the car nearby, and sat by the side of the track waiting for my friends to turn up. While I waited about half a dozen motorbikes thundered past.
The mountain bikes were much quieter 🙂
After my friends passed, I trotted back to the car, eager to hurry off to the next rendezvous point.
What surprises me is that I never had to wait very long. Even though I was driving, the riders were never far behind on their bikes.
We eventually met up at the Glasshouse Mountains lookout, a high point with a spectacular view of many of the Glasshouse mountains.
I was able to pack a whole lot of “extras” in the car. I brought my Jetboil and made everyone a cup of coffee. I think they enjoyed it!
We wanted to check out a new trail between the Lookout and Hennessey Hill. It looked great on paper – but when everyone (except me) turned up, they were faced with the unhappy task of pushing the bikes up a very long steep track.
“I don’t think you should include that in the course,” Eric suggested to me as I waited for them at the top.
We then made our way to the Hennessey Hill Downhill Track. It was buzzing with armour-clad downhillers.
A few of my friends gave this section a miss and took the smooth way to the bottom of the hill. A couple of others were so eager to ride the rollercoaster to the bottom that they left before I got there.
So I just sat by the side of the track for a few minutes and watched the crazy guys do it.
They’re amazing to watch.
One of the tracks we’ve ridden in the past has now become overgrown with Lantana. We decided to remove this section from the course in favour of something a little friendlier.
I had no idea about this at the time and was wondering why they were taking so long. We had packed CB radios and I called Eric to find out where they were.
His reply was not repeatable. It’s sufficient to say Eric doesn’t like Lantana very much.
Our game of cat and mouse continued as I rushed off up another hill in the 4WD and waited for the riders.
They were doing all the hard work while I hardly broke a sweat. This wasn’t very fair, but no one (including me) was complaining.
It’s amazing what you find in the forest.
This burnt-out rusty wreck sat forlornly by the road as we rolled past.
The riders followed another pleasant track beside a creek while I drove ahead.
Large tracts of cleared land reminded me this is a “working forest”. Plantation pines are harvested and replanted over a 30 year cycle. The bare land doesn’t look very pleasant, but as a beneficiary of the almost limitless recreational trails in the area, I couldn’t complain.
It was nice to get a clear view of the sky and the horizon too.
We rolled back into Woodford around lunch time. The ride was just under 50km which took a little over five and a half hours including breaks.
Thanks Eric, Darb, Becca, Russel and Jason for including me in today’s adventure, and for testing out some new courses.
Here’s the course I took in the 4WD:
Max elevation: 110 m
Min elevation: -76 m
Total climbing: 3220 m
Total descent: -3212 m
Average speed: 31.85 km/h
Total time: 05:46:56
Here’s Darb’s track log showing the route the riders took: