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Woodford Adventure

"Riding" through the swamp
I was stunned when 32 people turned up for our group Mountain Biking ride from Beerburrum, through the forests of the Glasshouse Mountains, to Woodford and back. This is the largest social ride that I’ve been a part of, and I was amazed how smoothly it went, despite several crashes and a few equipment failures.

This ride was a combined effort between the online Mountain Biking community at MTBDirt.com.au and the Bushrangers Mountain Biking Club from the Sunshine Coast. Because there were so many people on the ride, I took a lot of photos, and have included a lot of thumbnails in this post to make it easier for anyone who was on the ride to take copies of any photos they want.

Adrian
Off We GoOff We GoDerekOff We Go

We started from Matthew Flinders Rest Area at Beerburrum. This is the site where, in 1799, the English explorer Matthew Flinders camped for the night before climbing Mount Beerburrum. He had originally planned to climb the taller (and steeper) Mount Tibrogargan, but found the sheer cliffs on the eastern face too intimidating, so opted for the easier scramble up Mount Beerburrum instead. Every year in July the local school celebrates the event with a commemorative climb up the hill to re-enact Flinders’ efforts.

Hill Climbing Madness
Hill Climbing MadnessHill Climbing MadnessHill Climbing Madness"I Think I Can"
But we engaged in a dfifferent sort of “Mountain Climbing” on our ride. The track behind the Glasshouse Mountains lookout is particularly steep. Everyone attempted to ride up it, but everyone (except one) couldn’t quite make it over one nasty little hump. Matthew Flinders would have been proud πŸ™‚

Glasshouse Mountains Lookout
Glasshouse Mountains LookoutGlasshouse Mountains LookoutGlasshouse Mountains Lookout
After a final steep grind, we eventually made it to the lookout where we enjoyed the panorama and a quick rest.

Hennessey Hil
Hennessey HilHennessey HilHennessey HilHennessey Hil
Hennessey HilHennessey HilHennessey HilHennessey Hil
One of the best things about going UP a hill is the being able to go DOWN it afterwards. We had a ball riding the Hennessey Hill downhill track. It’s a purpose-built track for riding downhill really quickly. There are enough jumps, banked corners and rock gardens to keep even the gnarliest downhiller happy. More importantly, each challenging section has a “B-Line” to allow less skilled riders to go around the features that they don’t want to ride.

Follow Me!
Follow Me!Follow Me!Follow Me!Follow Me!
Follow Me!Follow Me!
There’s a maze-like network of tracks in this part of the forest. We decided to try out some single-tracks instead of following the dirt roads. This meant everyone had to ride single-file, which caused a bit of a traffic-jam whenever we encountered obstacle like fallen trees.

Another Hill
"Mind the Gap"
"Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap"
"Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap"
"Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap""Mind the Gap"

After the fun of Hennessey Hill, we thought we’d do it all over again with another hill… A little bit of hard work to get to the top, then another exhillarating flight down a steep and bumpy track while trying to avoid the deep ruts.

Trail Through the Forest
Trail Through the ForestTrail Through the ForestTrail Through the ForestTrail Through the Forest
Trail Through the ForestTrail Through the ForestTrail Through the ForestTrail Through the Forest
Trail Through the ForestTrail Through the ForestTrail Through the ForestTrail Through the Forest
Trail Through the ForestTrail Through the Forest

When given a choice between dirt roads and single-tracks, most mountain bikers will chose single-tracks. The quiet trails make it easier to enjoy the surroundings without having to worry about Four-Wheel-Drives and motor bikes whizzing past. So where possible, our route kept to the quieter tracks through the forest.

Eric The Invincible
Refuelling
Simon"This is serious"
We were all glad to arrive at Woodford for a rest and a bite to eat. Because there were so many of us, we split up and ate at different cafes to keep the queues short. Eric gave us a demonstration of hard-core relaxation πŸ™‚

"Riding" through the swamp
"Riding" through the swamp"Riding" through the swamp"Riding" through the swamp"Riding" through the swamp
"Riding" through the swamp"Riding" through the swamp
What cross-country adventure would be complete without a swamp?

The north-east track out of Woodford took us through some beautiful secluded woodland. Unfortunately, parts of the track were quite muddy, and we had to tip-toe around the edges to avoid getting wet.

"I could have bunny-hopped that log"
Eric Directs Traffic"I could have bunny-hopped that log""I could have bunny-hopped that log"Eric Directs Traffic
Eric Directs TrafficEric Directs TrafficEric Directs Traffic

At one point, we had to cart the bikes over a huge fallen log followed by a barbed wire fence. I’m really grafetul to Eric who helped keep people moving in the right direction. One of the things I love about mountain biking in a group is how everyone works together and helps each other out.

Crash Bangers 1/4
At the top of “Trig Hill” we encountered another white-knuckle descent which I like to call “The Giant Drop”. It’s steep, sandy, dusty and bumpy.

As I wached Neil (“Bangers”) ride down it, I was reminded of Banjo Patterson’s description of another rider on another hill in “The Man From Snowy River”:

But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,
And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
While the others stood and watched in very fear.

Crash Bangers 2/4Crash Bangers 3/4
Crash Bangers 4/4
Unfortunately, Neil was more “Bangers” than “Man from Snowy River” and had a bit of a crash on the way down. Nevertheless, “It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.” πŸ™‚

"I Think I'll Walk"Dartedevil Darb
Linda: "Will I, won't I?"The Giant DropDown We GoDerek
Thankfully, everyone made it down the hill in one piece – some walked, some rode (amazingly well).

Downhill MayhemPaul
"I Survived The Giant Drop"Tony

I’m definitely going back to Trig Hill and “The Giant Drop” again πŸ™‚

Suzanne
Three AmigosThe Flying PiemanEric

Mount Beerwah
SuzannePaul
From there we made our way to the picnic area below the northern face of Mount Beerwah. The largest of the Glasshouse Mountains loomed over us for most of this part of the trip.

LindaAaronJason
PaulSimonPaul
"We Like to Ride"
Everyone got to the end of the ride safely – tired but happy.

Terry
One or two people had a crash. I tried my first aid skills on Terry. Unfortunately I couldn’t unroll the “Micropore” tape so resorted to taping him up with duct tape. Ah the myriad uses of duct tape – one of the reasons I always carry a roll in my pack.

Fixing a Hanger
Geoff broke the hanger on his bike. That’s the thing that connects the gear-changing mechanism to the frame of the bike. When it breaks, the chain can no longer go round, and you can’t change gears. Normally the solution is to break the chain, shorten it, remove the hanger, and complete the ride with no gears (not much fun). David showed us an ingenious bit of kit he brings on his rides – a temporary hanger you can screw into the skewer on your back wheel. The end result is gears that still work, and an enjoyable ride home.
GeoffTony
Yet Another Hill
Thanks to everyone who came on the ride today. I loved being able to share this adventure with so many great people.

63km, 3,500kcal, 1,200m of ascent, six and a half hours of riding including breaks. 32 people started this ride, 32 people finished. If you’re looking for a fun adventure, grab a few friends and give this one a try!

9 comments to Woodford Adventure

  • Awesome write up Neil. Thoroughly enjoyed that knowing some of those trails/sections myself.

  • Jon Douglas

    Cracker of a ride Neil! Will have to join you one day (Banger gave me a heads-up), but I’d already committed to a big workout the preceding day at OHV.

  • Fantastic Blog, I am just getting into MTB riding after recently purchasing an Avanti Montari 29’er. I have done a bit on an old heavy MTB years ago but this is the first time on a light (ish) bike with disc brakes – wow what a difference.

    I haven’t seen a report about this area anything like this, with so much detail and great photos. Makes me want to get on the bike right now (except it’s about to turn into a new year and very dark outside) and have a go at some of these trails. Maybe after a bit more training.

    I off now to check out some more of your blogs.

    • Phil

      If you live in the Sunshine Coast area you might want to get in touch with the Bush Rangers MTB club. They regularly do rides in this area:
      http://www.bushrangers.org/

      If you live in Brisbane, why not join the forum at http://mtbdirt.com.au – there are several regular social rides per week in different areas at different speeds.

      I think I might be heading back to the Glasshouse Mountains some time in the next couple of weeks, so if you’d like a riding buddy, just give me a yell πŸ™‚

      Neil

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