The Teviot Range is a wall of mountains and hills running between Deebing Heights near Ipswich in the north to Wyaralong Dam in the south. Today’s adventure led us in a big loop up steep tracks, over the range, down the other side, then back again.
We started at the small town of Peak Crossing and followed some quiet back roads up into the hills.
I warned everyone that the first part of the ride was a fifteen kilometre climb towards Mount Flinders.
Thankfully the first half of the climb along the road to Flinders Plum Picnic Area was reasonably gentle – we hardly noticed it.
After the picnic area, we left the road and pointed the bikes along pleasant grassy tracks into the bush.
(Photo: Russel Scholl)
Slowly the gradients increased, forcing us to work hard.
We had to get off and push up the steeper bits.
As we neared the back of Mount Flinders the slopes got tougher – we had to push harder.
And then… relief. We crested the highest point of the ride and enjoyed the respite of gentle tracks twisting through the Lantana behind the peak.
Unfortunately, Simon broke a derailleur (the gear-changing thingy on the back) when a stick got stuck in his wheel.
The standard solution to a broken derailleur is bypass it, shorten the chain, and convert the bike into a single-speed – no gears.
Nick and Russel had done this many times, and kindly helped Simon repair his bike.
But – it now had only one gear. No low gears for hill climbing, no high gears for long flat stretches.
Fortunately, Simon stood at the top of the 15 kilometre climb we’d just ascended. The simplest solution for him would be to turn around, follow his GPS plot in reverse, and roll back down to the bottom of the hill.
That would save him having to worry about the tough sections of the ride that lay ahead.
A few minutes later the track emerged at the top of Mount Elliott Road.
We took a short break to soak up the view.
We took our time on the way down to admire the summit of Mount Flinders (also known as Flinders Peak) with the smaller peak of Mount Elliott in front.
Flinders Peak is known as “Booroong’pah” in the indigenous Ugarapul language. They believe the frog spirit “Yurangpul” lives there and protects their stories and places.
In 1799, Matthew Flinders saw the peak from his ship “The Norfolk” as he sailed along Queensland’s east coast. He named it “High Peak”, but twenty-five years later, John Oxley referred to the same peak as “Flinders Peak”. The latter name stuck.
With the big climb behind us, we rolled down the wonderful descent, stopping occasionally to enjoy the view.
But the quick descent was a lot of fun…
It was a long way down.
At the bottom we followed dusty Undullah Road southwards towards the next segment of our ride.
I had seen Wild Pig Creek Road on maps before, and wondered if we could include it as part of a ride loop. (It’s amazing what you discover when you spend too much time looking at maps.)
This pleasant road twists up the Woollaman Creek Valley behind Mount Joyce.
The signs say “No Through Road”, but I’ve learned that sometimes that’s not always true.
As we slowly gained altitude, the full shape of Flinders Peak loomed ahead of us.
(Photo: Russel Scholl)
Around each corner it looked down at us, growing larger.
Half-way up the valley, the road reserve divided into two tracks. We took the less-travelled grassy track through a quiet paddock.
I had spoken to the local land-owner earlier in the week who kindly gave his permission for us to cross his land.
We left the road reserve and followed a farm track up into the hills.
The day grew warm, and we decided to rest in the shade for a bite to eat.
The pleasant farm track rolled over grassy hills and through creek beds. It was perfect terrain for a bike.
But then it became steep and rocky.
Some of us slowly rode up to the top, others pushed the bikes.
Once again we had crested the Teviot Range, now we were on the homeward leg as we rolled down the other side back towards our starting point.
The higher peaks of the Great Dividing Range stood on the western horizon while we rolled down Washpool Road, the breeze blowing away the sweat of the recent hard climb.
As we neared Peak Crossing we had the option of finishing the ride on the main road, or following some faint grass tracks along an old road reserve…
It wasn’t much of a choice – faint grass tracks will always be our first preference.
We didn’t know if there would be a track to follow. There was, but it was steep and rocky in parts.
“I’d like to go back and try to ride that” said Nick. I’m sure if he set his mind to it, he would be able.
Our mystery track emerged out of the trees and at the end of another dirt road.
It’s always handy to discover new tracks. They’re useful in stitching together future rides.
We rolled down another delightful gravel road to the west. On the horizon the strange trapezoidal peak of Mount Walker poked above a hillside.
It’s a pleasant feeling to look at a hill or a place and recognize it as somewhere you’ve been on a previous trip. The familiarity reminds me I’m at home. As more places become familiar, my “home” gets larger.
A bovine single track appeared beside the road. Eric decided to follow it. He insists that cows are smart when it comes to picking the easiest route through a field, so it’s often worthwhile to follow those tracks.
Mount Flinders receded behind us as we rolled into Peak Crossing.
Max elevation: 396 m
Min elevation: -1 m
Total climbing: 1198 m
Total descent: -1255 m
Average speed: 18.04 km/h
Total Time: 05:17:00
We had crossed the Teviot Range twice, covering about 55 kilometres in just over five hours including breaks.
We climbed about 950m in vertical ascent, and I burned about 2,200 kcal.
Because it has two challenging climbs I’ll rate this ride 7.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Thanks Eric, Russel, Nick, Simon and Kaye for another fun day out in beautiful country.
Thanks also to Peter K for letting us ride through your property. We loved it.