The idea was to ride up from Lacey’s Creek (near Dayboro) to Kluvers Lookout, and then back to our starting point in a loop. I’ve done it many times before with different friends, and we’ve all loved it. But the difference was that this time we’d go off our route at some stage to see where we ended up.
We started our adventure rolling along Wirth Road, twisting between quiet farms and slowly rising up into the D’Aguilar Range. Although it was summer, the morning breeze felt quite cool.
Eric and Becca are much faster riders than I am, so when Wirth Road started to get steeper, they inevitably pulled ahead and I had the trai to myself. While Mountain Biking is a social sport, I often find myself doing the big climbs alone with the only encouragement coming from my inner voice telling me not to stop.
My buddies kindly waited for me at the top of Wirth Road, and we completed the last section of the climb up to the lookout together.
It had been a slow grind to the top. Our climb to the lookout had taken an hour and a half, during which time we had only ridden 7km.
But the views were worth it: Kluvers Lookout was spectacular today. We could see out to Moreton Island on the other side of the bay.
I heard a roaring sound above my head and spotted a Peregrine Falcon shooting by. These birds of prey fly incredibly quickly: so quickly that you can hear the wind rushing over their feathers in a roar akin to a small jet plane. I’ve never experienced this before. A couple of seconds later the bird came back from the opposite direction with the same roar. I wondered if it was checking out if we were edible, and thought that the roaring of wind over Falcon feathers is probably the last thing that many small mammals hear when this bird is on the hunt.
There are a couple of fun descents on the other side of the lookout where we were able to pick up a lot of speed over the loose gravel. Eventually we had to climb more hills as we wound along the western escarpment of the range, enjoying some beautiful scenery over the mountains to the west.
On previous rides, when we reached the foot of “Bulls Knob”, we’d normally roll back down the hill towards Laceys Creek. Today Eric wanted to keep climbing towards Northbrook Parkway. This was the “Let’s see what happens” moment, but I had a bit of a clue what was ahead:
Simon and I had ridden DOWN this trail a couple of years ago. At the time, the steep drop from Northbrook Parkway was fast and exhillarating. Today we were riding in the opposite direction, so steep drops would be punishing climbs. With the summer sun rising higher in the sky we had some hard work to look forward to!
The views to the west over Lake Wivenhoe improved as we gained height.
Eric and Becca slowly pulled ahead again on the long slow climb. Eventually I caught sight of them at the top of the hill waiting by the gate on Northbrook Parkway.
I slowly neared them and felt a sense of relief at finally making it to the top.
On the other side of the gate the busy traffic whizzed by on its way down from Mount Glorious towards Fernvale…
But busy roads are not for Mountain Bikers, so we pointed our steeds down the hill and started the long ride back…
… making sure to have a bit of a rest on the way back 🙂
All up we rode about 45km, climbing over 1,800m in vertical ascent. That’s a LOT of climbing. It took us just under 6 hours including breaks, and I burned about 3,000 kcal.
With the temperature hovering around low to mid 30s, I think this ride rates 9 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. It’s hard work, especially on a hot day.
Thanks Becca and Eric for a tough but fun ride!
Max elevation: 666 m
Min elevation: 98 m
Total climbing: 2110 m
Total descent: -2079 m
Average speed: 17.92 km/h
Total time: 05:49:42