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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Mooloolah XC

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Forest Trail

Over the last couple of months I’ve been planning a cross-country ride I could bring some friends on. Today, those plans came to fruition.

Like our previous group ride, the idea was to start at a railway station, ride as far as we could, then catch the train back home.

Pre-ride greetingsPre-ride greetingsPre-ride greetings

Today we started at Caboolture Railway Station. The only problem was that the railway station has two car parks. I was so busy saying “G’day” to everyone that I forgot to check if anyone had gone to the wrong car park. As Murphy’s Law would have it, after we were ten minutes into the ride I got a call from some worried riders wondering where we were. Luckily I was able to direct them to a meeting point a couple of km up the road, and all nineteen of us continued the ride together through the pine forests.

Hill Climb

Hill Climb

The first section of our ride passed through the Beerburrum East State Forest. This was mostly flat, but was often sandy and muddy. Riding through sand can tire you out pretty quickly, so by the time we started climbing a few hills, we started to feel it.

Bike FuelBike Fuel

Luckily our route passed through several towns so there was plenty of opportunity to “fuel up” at local shops :)

Bike vs Mountain

The second section of our ride passed through the Glasshouse Mountains. They looked great today. Even though it was overcast, there was no rain, and the visibility was perfect.

MTB Pwns 4x4

There are some tough hills in the Glasshouse Mountains. This one was so steep it stopped a 4WD. We couldn’t ride it either, but at least we were able to push our bikes up the hill.

Chilling at the lookoutChilling at the lookoutChilling at the lookout

After the steep climb to the lookout, we all had a break and enjoyed the view before some more punishing descents and climbs near Mount Beerwah.

Streek Road, Glasshouse Mountains


Yes – I had a crash. Porfiri Road is steep, and my seat got stuck in my bike pants, which kept my body (and head) too far forward. I came off, and scraped my face and knee along the rocks. Thankfully I didn’t suffer any major damage, and my mates were really helpful getting me patched back up. It’s much safter riding in a bunch!

Porfiri Road, Glasshouse Mountains

As the day wore on, I became more aware of our deadline – we had to get to Mooloolah Railway Station by 3pm to catch the train. I pushed the pace in the third leg of the ride through the state forest at Beerwah. This made the going a bit too difficult for some of the riders who bailed at Landsborough Railway Station, allowing the rest of us to finish at Mooloolah.

And then there were seven

And so although we started out with nineteen riders (increasing to twenty, when another rider joined us at Beerburrum), by the time we got to the train, there were only seven of us.

All up 78km in just over 5 hours with about 900m of vertical ascent, and about 4,300 kcal burned. I’d give this 9.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. The same hills which are easy on shorter rides become tougher on longer rides – especially when you have to push the pace to meet a deadline.

Despite the difficulty, riding with a great bunch of friends made it a fantastic experience.

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