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Jimna Timber and Gold

Lassi on Steep Descent

Todays social ride was the culmination of several weeks work exploring some of the wonderful trails around Jimna. The ride was in two halves with the morning loop exploring the Timber history of Jimna, and the afternoon loop exploring the Gold Mining history.

Bronwy & SteveBronwy & Steve

Our first loop followed some single track south-west from Jimna though the forest up to Mile and a Quarter Road.

Mile and a Quarter Road

The road is about a Mile and a Quarter from Jimna, hence the unimaginative name. But it boasts a wonderfully fast descent down the range towards Ponderosa Station.

Ian on Mile and a Quarter Road

Part way down we had some great views of the endless hoop pine forests stretching to the horizon.

Nick, Mick, Lassi and Adam
Ponderosa

We waited at the bottom for everyone to catch up while we said “G’Day” to a couple of friendly horses.

Ponderosa

Our course led us from farmland to national park and back into plantation forest several times. The temperature changed abruptly with the various vegetation in one or two spots.

Conondale National Park

The forestry trail twisted through sections of trees all at different stages of their growth cycle from short saplings to towering giants.

Ninjas

We had several very strong riders with us who we affectionately dubbed the “Ninjas”. We sent them off on an extra hilly section while the rest of us mortals rode ahead. That way nobody got too far behind or in front.

Mike
Conondale National Park

The reset of enjoyed a relaxing ride our track slowly wound back up the range towards Jimna.

Jimna Fire Tower
Ninjas

Back at the top we had a quick break at the fire tower as we waited for the stronger riders to catch up after their additional section.

Lassi the Vegetarian Viking

I was amazed at the strength of the single-speed riders, Lassi and Glen, who rode those hills without the assistance of any gears. Lassi is a vegetarian from Denmark, which (I suppose) makes him a “Vegetarian Viking Ninja” 🙂 Who would have thought radishes contained so much energy?

Donkey Falls Road

From there we enjoyed a scorching descent down Donkey Falls Road. I was amazed at how much speed we picked up, and was secretly relieved there were no vehicles coming in the opposite direction.

Gnarly Descent
Gnarly Descent in Jimna Forest

The forests around Jimna have one or two really fun downhill sections.

We all made our way down this treacherous section at our own pace. Some walked. Some raced. Others performed a half-controlled skid to the bottom.

Everyone had fun.

Lunch at Jimna
Lunch at Jimna

Back at Jimna, Dave Wright from the visitor centre had cooked up some perfect steak burgers.

“Can’t talk, eating” I heard someone say as I wolfed down the delicious meal. I don’t think it touched the sides.

Jimna Weir

After lunch we set off through the forest again past the weir to the gold fields.

Jimna Gold Fields

I was quickly left behind by the stronger riders – perhaps the lunch was too good? Thankfully Darb, Mike and Tony stayed back and rode with me.

Gigher Road Conondale National Park

The roll down Gigher Road was thrilling. The trees closed in on either side, the track dropped, and whe rocketed through the undergrowth, a blur of green on either side.

Gigher RoadGigher Road
Gigher Road

We shot out of forest at the bottom of Gigher Road onto the bleak plains around Yielo Station.

Yielo Road

This old farm has been here for over a century.

Yielo RoadTungi Road

We followed the dirt road past brown fields and the occasional old Bunya back towards Jimna.

Tungi Road

I love feeling of open space I get while riding through Yielo. The horizon seems a million miles away, and open plains make the sky feel like it’s huge.

Tungi Road

Eventually we met up with Tungi Road and made our way back into Jimna about half an hour after everyone else.

I’m really grateful to the guys who hung back and rode with me.

UPDATE: Here’s Darb’s video of the ride:

Jimna 2014-07-26 from Darb Ryan on Vimeo.

All up we rode almost 65km in seven and a half hours, including breaks. We climbed almost 1,850 metres in vertical ascent, and I burned about 3,800 kcal.

I’ll rate this ride 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. You can split it in two if you like. The first loop by itself is about 35km, and rates about 7 out of 10 for toughness. The second loop by itself is about 30km, and rates 8.5 out of 10 for toughness.

Thanks everyone for a great day!

Hoop Pine PlantationNickBronwyn at Jimna Fire Tower
RemkeDonkey Falls RoadStumpy Greens Hut

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