Ed contemplates the wild descent off Mt Wandera
How does a 200km MTB ride starting in Canberra in the middle Winter sound? Yeah I thought you would say that. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I figured this was one ride I had to give a try. It's been going on for a couple of years I think run by some MTB diehards from CORC, yep them boys (and gals) down south sure do love their riding. I'll have to keep this post short, but here are the salient points
- 6am start at Dickson Maccas, there are about 15 riders gathered. This is a self-supported ride, so I have enough food and drink to get me most of the way plus more spares than I care to recall. Thankfully the ride went without a hitch for everyone I think, not so much as a pinch flat in sight
- we roll out into Majura, the first little climb to warm us up, but we have been blessed with perfect weather conditions, some high cloud, no wind or rain, I have less layers on than when I hit Bobbo Tuesday mornings!
- after Majura it's a fairly long road section out to Captains flat road. The climb out of Queenbeyan is a beauty, and the bunch breaks up into three groups. Everyone here is a seasoned cyclist and we form into groups of matching ability. I am happy to be near the front but I know the quicker guys will drop me before too long. This is coined as an unofficial "race" but I have to say it was just like our epic rides with TORC where the bunch sets a manageable pace, yet it is clear who the strong ones are as they take the main share of turns (Thanks Andy and Dave!) Later, Ed takes the reins for our sub-group , ensuring our quartet (Ed, Kev, Jeff and I) stick together and noone get's lost.
- Main Range Road at the 70km mark is a tough climb, but there is a monster lurking further down the road in the form of Mt Wandera.
- Once at the top the views and riding are spectacular as we cruise down to Harold's Cross
- Passing through towns like Hoskinstown and Rossi makes you think you are from the future, these tiny hamlets seem so remote and again I am struck by the beauty of this country and how lucky we are to be riding together enjoying this creation that rolls by.
- Major's Creek Mountain Road is a decent like no other. 600m straight down the escarpment, well thankfully not straight down, there were quite a few sharp turns to negotiate but we hoot and holler all the way down to the Araluen Valley.
- From there we follow the gorgeous meandering Deua River, and just as I ask how long does this undulating (think bucketty challenge dirt road) ride go for, we arrive at a climb that really will rip your legs off. 5km averaging 10%, with most inclines around 20% before it levels out ready for the next effort. That hurt, but rolling over the top was a great feeling and hitting 70k's down the other side on groomed dirt roads was fantastic, the grin get's bigger as the km's clock up at speed.
- Finally we hot Mogo forest and the reward is single track like Snake Trail, love it! Just hang on and rail those massive berms.
- Mogo is a welcome checkpoint were we can get some fuel in and set up for the last hour continuing through the forest onto Batemans Bay.
What a ride! Thanks everyone for an amazing experience, I enjoyed EVERY minute, I'll be back.
Who's coming with me from TORC next time?
3 L energy
hot chips and chocolate milkshake at Mogo
Here is the ride