Mount Kilcoy

Mount Kilcoy

Today’s adventure took us through the scenic southern section of the Conondale Range near the small town of Kilcoy.

Mount Kilcoy
(Photo: Jason Grant)

By Queensland standards it was cold.

When we rode off from Mount Kilcoy State School, the temperature had only reached 5C.  A stiff breeze was blowing, and grey clouds kept the sun away.

Mount Kilcoy

We donned our jackets and leggings, bunched up, and set off up Mount Kilcoy Road towards the mountains.

Mount Kilcoy

Eventually the paved road ran out and we crunched happily on the gravel until we reached the bottom of the Hill.

Mount Kilcoy
(Photo: Jason Grant)

The steep four-kilometre climb spread us out – the stronger riders surged ahead; the slow-coaches like me brought up the rear.

Mount Kilcoy

I arrived at the top of the hill to find my friends shivering from the cold.

“Let’s get moving and stay warm,” Jason suggested.

Mount Kilcoy

Eventually we left the main track to follow a little-used fire break – Cockalorum Creek Road.

Branches and leaf litter covered slowed our progress as we disappeared into the thick forest.

Mount Kilcoy

I had ridden through here about eight years ago with a couple of mates.

At that time, this track was quite overgrown.  When planning for today’s ride, I wasn’t certain we’d get through, so I had a “Plan B” in reserve in case we were thwarted.

Thankfully, that was unnecessary – the track was rough and overgrown, but it was rideable.

Mount Kilcoy
(Photo: Jason Grant)

Quiet creeks stood mirror-like at the bottom of steep descents.

This was beautiful country.

Mount Kilcoy

The rough track emerged on Sunday Creek Road.

We rode for a few minutes, then took a short break at the Sunday Creek Environmental Education Centre to shelter from the cold.

This area was very busy with gold-mining a hundred years ago.

Peter asked me, “How did they know gold was here?”

Good question, Peter.  I have no idea.  Perhaps we should bring a pick and shovel next time.

Mount Kilcoy

“Pick a plank!”

The gaps between the plank yawned hungrily at us, daring us to try our luck and ride across.

We decided to play it safe and walk, instead.

 

Mount Kilcoy

We stopped for a quick break on Ten Mile Road.

It was still cold, so we didn’t stop for long.

Mount Kilcoy

The sun popped out for the first time today.

I smiled.

My GPS told me the temperature was now a balmy 6.5C.

Woo hoo!

Mount Kilcoy

The track got very steep along Willogan Road.

None of us could ride it – although a couple of the “Ninja’s” tried.

It was steep and muddy.  I had trouble even walking up it.

Mount Kilcoy

The view from the lookout was stunning.

Mount Kilcoy
(Photo: Jason Grant)

Lake Somerset stretched off in the distance, with the peaks of Deer Reserve to the west.

Mount Kilcoy

We followed an exposed ridge along the top for a while.  It felt like we were riding on top of the world.  Icy wind cut our faces, trees rustled loudly, and the horizon stretched off forever.

Places like this are why we love to ride.

Mount Kilcoy

We followed an old road reserve down the mountain.

Mount Kilcoy
(Photo: Jason Grant)

It was covered in grass and strewn with rocks.

But if you took it easy, it was quite safe to ride.

Somewhere in the back of my head I imagined a downhill mountain biker racing down the slope.

“Nope.  Not for me.  I’m happy to go at a slower pace”

Mount Kilcoy

Part of a track meandered onto Ed’s farm.

He was waiting at the bottom of the hill to say “G’day”.

“Geeze your face looks sore, Ed,” I said sympathetically.

“Yeah.  I had an argument with a tree branch,” he replied.

Farmers are tough.

Mount KilcoyMount Kilcoy
Mount KilcoyMount Kilcoy

We rode a total of about 63km in about six and a half hours including breaks.

During that time we climbed about 1,700 metres, and I burned about 3,500 kcal.

I’ll rate this one 9 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.  It’s steep, rough and remote.  Add an extra point in summer, when the heat would make it even more challenging.


More info

Thanks Eric, Calum, Jason, Kaye, Simon, Paul, Peter and Aaron for another amazing adventure.

I’m looking forward to the next one!

Mount Kilcoy

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