Jul 26, 2010

Little River

Cold water was not enough to deter a planned ride along some creek crossing trails. Middle creek is a small stream that runs beside Upper Middle Creek Road (Yinnar South Vic) & we peacefully meandered through the bush & open countryside. Several trails enter from the road & we found six creek crossings. I found it difficult to ride the crossings due to slippery rocky/gravel river bed, so I mostly walked through  & got wet, although I did almost make it across on one attempt, just wetting my big toe. (I also ended up sitting in the creek on another, and yes it was cold).  Creek apparently contains eels and spiny freshwater crayfish, so I wasn’t to keen to spend too much time in the water. Also headed up to a forest Plantation & logging coupes with great views of Strezlecki ranges, couldn’t enjoy the damp, slippery & steep single trail back down but really enjoyed the Creek Crossings.

Jul 21, 2010

Walhalla Goldfields Rail Trail (Thomson to Erica 9km)

Erica was once the highest stop on the Moe to Walhalla narrow gauge railway (given a choice I like to  start with an uphill battle and enjoy downhill return) so we started from Thomson Station near Thomson River Bridge, 4km before the historic Walhalla Township.

Thomson to Erica Rail Trail (line opened in 1910)
    Distance : 9km
    Surface: gravel, earth,
    Gradient: Moderate uphill and downhill riding

Access to Rail Trail at Thomson  is via a narrow side track at the end of  the Station yard.300m along trail there is a goat track around half dismantled old trestle bridge frame (this track can be very slippery after rain).  The rail trail follows Thomson River on a continuous climb through heavily mountainous terrain. At Cooper’s Creek bridge we headed down a Steep decent to the river to see the Horseshoe Tunnel outlet (man made diversion blasted through sheer rock face used for gold extraction) Then rode along some single trail and dry riverbed around to see the tunnel inlet. Back on the rail trail we travelled under Coopers Creek bridge, passed a local walking group at Platina platform site, and continued to climb around and up to main road crossing, then downhill through deep cuttings to  Jacobs Creek and up to finish at Erica station site (next to caravan park)
 mobile phones are unreliable

Jul 18, 2010

Bass Coast Rail Trail (the only coastal rail trail in Victoria)

former Wonthaggi rail line opened in 1910 to service the Coal fields. Now preserved as Bass Coast Rail Trail  16km from Wonthaggi  to Anderson. Much of the history of Bass Coast region of Victoria has its roots in the coal industry, Locals suggested to start along East Area path  at State Coal Mine Historic Reserve (down Cape Paterson Rd turn right into Garden St) East cycling path joins Rail Trail at Old Wonthaggi Rail Station (in Murray Street) and headed of north west against a strong wind (can see why the area is also popular with hang-gliders) And meanders through farmland and  along coastal bushland crossing the famous Bourne Creek Trestle Bridge with wonderful  coastline scenery.

Surface- Fine packed gravel
Terrain - undulating w/ moderate climb when travelling west to Anderson car park.
Trail ends at old Anderson railway site on Bass Highway (roundabout to Phillip Is)
 (named after the Anderson brothers one of the first Europeans to settle in the area)
- dogs on leads are only permitted from Wonthaggi Railway Station to Lower Powlett Road Wonthaggi.
- State Coal Mine, Garden Street, Wonthaggi offers above ground tours

Jul 15, 2010

The inherent dangers of MTB

Still recovering with wrist strain from last fall. Sad part is that this most recent fall occurred on a rail trail. I acknowledge the inherent risks, but that risk is not so great that the MTB should be hung up. Hope the Cycling gods smile this coming weekend in the direction of the Bass Coast Rail Trail.

(Falls Compilation video clip)

Jul 13, 2010

Wirilda/Tyers Park loop (Hills Ride)

Push bike ride out at Wirilda Environment Park, where 'push' became the prominent  word with mix between walking the bike and cycling up some hills. Started at picnic area on the banks of the Tyers River near the water pumping station. From there accessed surrounding gravel roads only used by local farmers, so great for quiet hassle free pedal. This loop ventured onto some of the gravel roads (no cars) in Tyers State Park (access via bike lift over gate) making for some interesting roller-coaster cycling, holding onto both breaks and dear life on the descents. Stopped at the top of the steeper slopes to let the heart rate drop & enjoy the view. The scenery was a good distraction from the pain, but it was the Toughest hour I've spent with the bike .....

Distance - 10.2km
Highest point-  230m
Maximum incline-  18%  
Elevation-   341m

May just stick to 11km Wirilda Park loop & not venture into Tyers Park

Jul 11, 2010

Moe-Yallourn Rail trail

former rail line (opened 1953) serviced Victoria’s first power station established in 1924. We started the 8km (5miles) trail from the Yallourn Power Station BBQ area in the shadow of the large cooling towers and meandered along the trail to Moe, enjoying farm land & mountain views. Finished shortly after crossing the old rail bridge at Moe Botanical Gardens

picnic tables and BBQ area at both ends
No gates to open
detour via side tracks for views of man-made Lake Narracan
Dogs are allowed but best kept on a leash

Visit www.railtrails.com.au for more info on this trail

Jul 7, 2010

Forward speed + front wheel stop = over the bars (Boob plant)

   First spin out in the bush on the new beast ...yep... over the handlebars. I didn't seem to be going fast enough but apparently I hadn't exerted enough arms and legs force to stop the forward momentum that carried me over the handlebars ending in what I call a Boob plant.
   Practiced moving back my weight (of which there is a lot, let's just say a wee bit heavier than the bike) and learnt to clip and unclip the pedals and mastered the art of jumping the kerb.
   All this should assist me in avoiding any more nasty accidents ...lol .... I did manage to stay upright on my first night ride (need better lights before I go out on the trails in the dark though)  

Been picking up a lot of pointers from Jess & Norm Douglas at MTB skills.Com

We're back

Jul 5, 2010

Sunday Mountain Bike time,

....for that I need a MTB (I won't dispose of the hybrid but it will stay in the shed for a while). Daughter Peta had suggested I check out moronis bikes. So with the chance to catch up with her, we headed off to Bendigo. Looked at a few bikes, but couldn't pass up a  merida Matts xc (son's name is Matt so that had to be a good omen) for a great deal. Bike came with clip-in pedals & hubby convinced me to get MTB cleat shoes. I wasn't comfortable with dual sided clip-in pedals, but moronis bikes staff recommended I try a safer pedal with clip in on one side and flat on the other, they felt great & much easier to get in & out of. If you watch the new bike video, yes I did say I would do a 6 hour (husband wife catagory) but I will have to do a little more MTB'ing before that challenge.

Thanks to the staff at Moronis Bikes for great service.

- a six hour round trip to moronis bikes is worth it
- turn suspension off  for uphill & on for downhill terrain.

New Bike

Bike adjustments since last ride

- lowered seat a little
- shoe cleats back a little