I have amazing friends. When I told them about some rugged hilltop tracks than I wanted to explore, they gladly joined me for another adventure on the bike.
Mount Sylvia has been the starting point of many exciting rides for us.
We rolled out of town on a crisp clear winter morning, past fields full of promising crops.
And so began our second climb, up Zischke Road. Although it is designated a “No Through Road” it is on a road reserve which led over this hill and down the other side to Rockside. I wanted to know if it was possible to follow that road reserve.
We had difficulty following the road reserve at the top of the hill, so we did the best we could, following a steep rocky track down the other side.
I sheepishly walked over to the farmhouse to confess our sin of trespassing. Mick, the land owner, was surprised to see us, and most amused when he found out where we had come from.
He explained how we could escape his hidden valley, but I told him we were going in the opposite direction, over Rockside Mountain.
“I’m telling you this in case anyone wants to know where to find the bodies”, I joked.
He chuckled quietly.
Rockside Mountain Road twists and drops steeply down the other side. We rocketed down the hill grabbing handfuls of brake levers before the tight turns, then tucking in as we accelerated out of the bend.
I am glad there were no cars coming up the hill.
For the next eight kilometres we followed a quiet bitumen road with a gentle downhill slope from Mount Berryman to Blenheim. The kind gradient and generous tailwind pushed us quickly along the road. We were in Blenheim in a matter of minutes. I am sure it would have taken ages if we rode this stretch in the opposite direction.
After satisfying my OCD map-demons, we turned our bikes homeward and slowly ground our way up Kawaltzke Hill.
“All these German names” I mused to myself as I fell further behind the stronger riders, and thought about the German settlers who came to the Lockyer Valley to carve our farms in the nineteenth century.
I continually checked my GPS for some reassurance of how far we had left to ride.
We climbed about 1,400m in vertical ascent, and I burned about 2,900 kcal.
I’ll rate this ride 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Thanks, Becca, Tom and Simon for another exciting adventure.
Max elevation: 466 m
Min elevation: 112 m
Total climbing: 1944 m
Total descent: -1937 m
Average speed: 20.32 km/h
Total Time: 05:51:38