Gravel Grind

Gravel Grind

My friend Andrew asked me to show him some good off-road ways between Brisbane’s north-side and the Sunshine Coast. What a great excuse for a ride!

Gravel Grind

We started at Caboolture.  Originally I had hoped we would ride to Mooloolah Valley Railway Station, then catch the train home.  But the trains weren’t running today, so I parked my van at the end point on the previous day, and rode back with my friend Justin.

So today was a point-to-point ride.

Gravel Grind

We took a quick roll across the Pumicestone Road overpass towards the forest…

Gravel Grind

…and after five minutes we were rolling through cool shade in the endless pine forests that cover the landscape of this part of the world.

Gravel Grind

Dirt tracks lead off in all directions through the plantations.  You could spend days in here exploring if you wanted.  If you weren’t familiar with the area it would be easy to get lost.  GPS or good maps are essential around here.

Gravel Grind

We pointed the bikes north and enjoyed the easy terrain.

Gravel Grind

In a couple of places the grass grew higher than expected.

“Sorry about that everyone!” I yelled out as I ploughed ahead on my fat bike.

Gravel Grind

The grass parted and we emerged on a straight flat gravel road beside fields of emerald turf.

There were no big hills or tricky obstacles – this was a perfect day to chill out, enjoy the cruisy ride, …

Gravel Grind

…and chat with friends.

Gravel Grind

We stopped for morning tea at Wildhorse Mountain.

Gravel Grind
(Photo: Russel Scholl)

Just as we were getting ready to ride off again, I noticed my front tyre had gone flat.

Fat Bike tyres take a long time to inflate – which gave everyone a chance to relax some more, or to enjoy the entertainment.

Gravel Grind

With the flat tyre sorted out, we headed towards Mount Beerwah.

Gravel Grind
(Photo: Andrew Cole)

Andrew sketches some of the places he visits.  Here’s his wonderful drawing of Beerwah and Coonowrin.

I don’t know how he managed to draw it so well with one hand on the handlebars 🙂

Gravel Grind

We continued north through more pine plantations.  The overcast sky kept temperatures cool – it was a perfect day to be out on the bike.

Gravel Grind

A little further on we passed by more farms…

Gravel Grind

…and around fields full of juicy pineapples.

Gravel Grind

Gravel Grind

The terrain changed regularly.  For a while we rolled along a sandy track through a paperbark swamp.  We haven’t had much rain recently, and the swamp was dry.

Gravel Grind

Near Landsborough, the familiar peak of Bald Knob came into view over the tops of young pines.

I’ve walked up that hill before, and we’ve ridden down it.  It offers some great views.

Gravel Grind

At Landsborough we followed the remnants of an old railway line north.

Gravel Grind

It seems like some riders on furry mountain bikes had the same idea too.

Horses can be unpredictable, so we dismounted and walked past them.

Gravel Grind

The railway tunnel is curved.  That means you can’t see the other side when you enter it.

I didn’t have any lights, so had to ride into the darkness hopefully, trusting that there were no obstacles in front of me.

Gravel Grind

We reached the Mooloolah trail head at the other end of the tunnel.

Peter and Andrew decided they’d like to ride some more, and made their way back to Caboolture on the bikes.

Gravel Grind
(Photo: Russel Scholl)

The rest of us loaded our bikes in the van, and enjoyed a cramped but friendly ride home.

 

Total distance: 47.75 km
Max elevation: 18 m
Min elevation: -34 m
Total climbing: 662 m
Total descent: -656 m
Average speed: 16.62 km/h
Total time: 04:30:20
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We rode 47km in about four and a half hours. During that time we climbed about 380 metres in elevation and I burned about 1,600 kcal.

This was an easy, pleasant ride – a perfect relaxing day on the bike.

I’ll rate it 4.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks everyone, for a great day out.

Gravel Grind
(Photo: Ruth Campbell)

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