The Powerline Highway

The Powerline Highway

Q. How does a mountain biker get from one side of town to the other?
A. Via as many dirt tracks as possible!

The Powerline Highway

Today’s adventure started at Springfield Central – a new housing development south of Ipswich.

We caught the train to the end of the line, jumped off, and pointed our bikes to the east.  We wanted to follow power line tracks for much of the way to Beenleigh, on the other side of town, where we’d catch another train home.

The Powerline Highway

But like most mountain bikers, we weren’t interested in riding on the road, so we tried to keep off-road as much as possible.

The Powerline Highway

The Powerline Highway

After a few minutes pedaling through Springfield, we jumped the gate and disappeared into the thick bushland at Spring Mountain.

The Powerline Highway

It’s a bit hilly in places, with soft sand on the tracks.  We had to push the bikes in a couple of spots.

The Powerline Highway

Eventually we reached the Yaddamun Trail.

The Powerline Highway

We’re ridden through here several times before…

The Powerline Highway

… following power lines over tree-clad hills.

The Powerline Highway

After a few kilometres, we left the familiar trails and headed down the hill towards New Beith.

The Powerline Highway

It’s not a good place to park your car 🙂

The Powerline Highway

We emerged among quiet acreage properties with friendly dogs, and followed horse trails eastward behind the houses.

The Powerline Highway

Around Greenbank, we had to ride on quiet paved roads for a while.  We stopped to refuel at the local shopping centre, then headed back into the bush.

The Powerline Highway

Power line tracks are a godsend for mountain bikers. We continued to follow the magical wires east for a few more kilometres.

The Powerline Highway

“Oh look! Single track!” Jason yelled out.

“Let’s follow it!”

The Powerline Highway

We tagged along behind him while he snaked through the trees.

The Powerline Highway

The detour only lasted a few minutes.  Eventually the narrow track emerged back on the course we were following.

The Powerline Highway

At Park Ridge we found more power line tracks.

The Powerline Highway

These trails were covered with large jagged rocks.

I bounced over them, grateful for my tubeless tyres.  I don’t think inner tubes would have lasted long on this surface.

The Powerline Highway

The jagged rocks finally disappeared, and we ended up on a pleasantly smooth trail which disappeared into the distance between two endless rows of trees.

The Powerline Highway

At Logan Village we stopped for a quick snack at the local pub.

“You’re not going to like the next bit,” I casually said to Paul as we rode away.

“Why not?”

“It’s a bit steep”

The Powerline Highway

The climb up into Plunkett Reserve from Millar Road was brutally steep.  I had difficulty even walking up it with my bike.

 

The Powerline Highway

“This is the sort of place you should bring people you don’t like” I joked with Paul.

The Powerline Highway The Powerline Highway
The Powerline Highway The Powerline Highway

 

Everyone agreed, and wondered what they had done to me to cause me to bring them up such a horrible hill.

We stopped for a while at the top of the climb to catch our breath before following the ridge northwards.

The Powerline Highway
(Photo: Jason Grant)

The track led us northwards along a farm fence line, then suddenly ended.

The Powerline Highway
(Photo: Jason Grant)

The Powerline Highway

There was no trail for the final pinch of the day.  It was a tough slog through scrub, clambering over rocks and fallen trees.

The Powerline Highway

The Powerline Highway
(Photo: Jason Grant)

After a bit of bush bashing we emerged at a clearing on top of the hill, with great views to the north.

The Powerline Highway

My brakes complained loudly as we rolled down the other side of the hill. I made a mental note to pay the bike shop a visit over the next few days.

The Powerline Highway

Buccan Reserve was our last section of bushland before we reached Beenleigh.

We had already climbed about 1,300 metres in elevation and our legs were sore.  Thankfully the tracks were reasonably flat. It was a pleasant roll through the eucalupt forest.

The Powerline Highway

To avoid traffic in Beenleigh we followed bike paths through Mount Warren Park

Total distance: 61.24 km
Max elevation: 190 m
Min elevation: -15 m
Total climbing: 1495 m
Total descent: -1498 m
Average speed: 15.96 km/h
Total Time: 06:46:54
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We rode sixty-one kilometres in about six and a half hours including breaks.

Because of the tough climb through Plunkett Reserve I’ll rate this one nine out of ten on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Darb, Eric, Jason and Paul for a fun adventure.

The Powerline Highway
(Photo: Jason Grant)

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