Topics

Comments

Archives

West to Walloon

Bangers on Dundas
We’ve enjoyed several rides there before, so when my friend, Neil Bang (“Bangers”) asked if I’d like to join him for another adventure to Walloon, how could I refuse?

Walloon is a small town west of Ipswich, on the railway line to Toowoomba. Using as many off-road tracks as possible, the aim was to ride from home; meet everone at Bunyaville; ride westwards over the D’Aguilar Range to Walloon; then catch the train home.
Albany Creek Bike Paths
AS6 Break, Bunyaville
In the crisp morning air we followed bike paths through Albany Creek to Bunyaville.

Bike Path, Bunyaville

We met Bangers at Bunyaville then headed westwards through “Ironbark” in Samford State Forest.

Lanita Road Rail Trail
Lanita Road Rail Trail

The Ferny Grove Rail Trail is a great offroad way to get from Ironbark to the Pony Trails near Samford. We followed it westward.

Samford Pony Trails
Samford Pony TrailsSamford Pony TrailsSamford Pony Trails

I remember riding these trails about five years ago and thinking how difficult they were. These days I think they’re a lot of fun. A little bit of practice and fitness can make a big difference.

Samford Pony Trails

The Samford Pony Trails snake around the quiet rural properties of Samford Valley and Wights Mountain…
Samford Pony Trails
Samford Pony Trails
… they go for miles, and offer an enjoyable alternative to the busy Mount Glorious Road.
Samford Pony Trails
Tea Tree Ct, Wights Mt

As the name suggests, they were originally intended for use by horse riders, but these days mountain bikers and walkers also enjoy them.

The Goat Track
The Goat Track

We eventually reached the Goat Track. This road up to Mount Nebo was damaged by heavy rain a few years ago, which caused land slides and rock falls. When it was damaged, we worked out a rough path through the debris. It has taken a couple of years, but now the road is nice and smooth again. While that’s good for the community, a few of us admitted to feeling a sense of loss that the fun trails through the debris were gone.

The Goat Track

Despite it now being a “tame” road, the Goat Track still offers some great views of Moreton Bay to the East.

Dundas Road

We slowly made our way up Mount Nebo Road to the Dundas Road fire trail.

Dundas Road
Dundas RoadDundas Road

There’s a great little camping spot on Dundas Road complete with Picnic Table, water tank and log seats.

Jason got a puncture so we all had a bit of a rest here while he made a few quick repairs.

Dundas Road

We followed Dundas Road down hill to the west. As we progressed it slowly grew steeper…

"Whoah Boy" Break
"Whoah Boy" Break
"Whoah Boy" Break

We eventually reached “Whoah Boy” Break – a very steep descent which gets its name from the dozens of water bars or “Whoah Boys” that you have to roll of jump over on the way down.

It’s not the sort of place to ride if you don’t have good brakes 🙂

"Shanty Town" Banks Creek
"Shanty Town" Banks Creek

In order to avoid some steep climbs at a hill called “The Wall of Dirt”, we decided instead to cut through a small bush camp complete with caravans, satellite dishes and clothes lines. The people there are very friendly but unfortunately there was no one home today.

Banks Creek
Banks Creek Road

The trail eventually dropped us out on Banks Creek Road. The terrain changed abruptly from eucalyptus forest to open cattle country.

A few of us have commented before that if you want to see a number of different Australian landscapes in one day – this is probably the way to do it.

Banks Creek Road
Banks Creek Road

We all rolled westward at an easy pace, enjoying the conversation as we rode over the undulating hills towards Fernvale.

Banks Creek Road
Savages Crossing

We eventually crossed the Brisbane River at Savages Crossing.

Savages Crossing

The crystal clear water sparkled under the blue sky. Somewhere east of here this sparkling stream morphs into a wide muddy river slowly winding through a busy city. I much prefer the rural version.

Fernvale Bakery

In Fernvale we stopped at the Bakery to refuel, then said “G’day” to a couple of riders from Austria who were cycling around the world. To date they had ridden over 20,000 km. It put our small “epic” into perspective.

BVRT South of Fernvale
BVRT South of Fernvale
Fairney View Bridge

From Fernvale we followed the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail southwards, past a couple of disused bridges.

Fairney View

The Fairney View section has been opened since we were last here. It was good to be able to try out a new section of the trail.

Leschkes Road
By Road

At Wanora we left the rail trail and headed west again along some more gravel roads.

By Road
By Road

We then followed a road reserve called “By Road”. It’s rough, and we had to push the bikes in one or two places, but we agreed we’d rather do this than ride on a paved road.

Coach Lane

We then followed Coach Lane southwards. This old track is rutted in places. If you pick a wrong line you can end up in a ditch. I was at the back of the pack and played it safe by picking the line that everyone else took.

Missigs Road, Haigslea
Warrego Highway

We then followed some dirt roads south, and crossed the busy highway to Toowoomba at Haigslea.

Walloon Trails
Walloon Trails

For me, part of the fun of planning a mountain bike ride is to try and get from “A” to “B” while avoiding as much paved road as possible. That’s why I love trails like these dirt tracks just outside of Walloon.

The Walloon Saloon
The Walloon Saloon

We arrived in Walloon with time to spare before the train arrived, so we stopped in at the “Walloon Saloon” for a few drinks.

Walloon Station
Mountain Bikers on a Trail

Then we bundled the bikes into the back of a train for the two hour trip back home.

I always enjoy this ride – it’s a fun way to cover a wide variety of terrain and a reasonably long distance in a single day, without having to work too hard.

All up we rode about 85km in 8 hours including breaks. I burned about 4,000 kcal and we climbed about 1,500 metres in ascent.

This ride rates about 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Bangers for inviting me to ride with you today.

Thanks Geoff, Greg, Rick, Paul, Darb, Jason and Bangers for the great company – I really enjoyed it!

UPDATE: Here’s Darb’s video of the ride:

Walloon 2014-08-30 from Darb Ryan on Vimeo.

2 comments to West to Walloon

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>