Please note: you can find a more up to date version of this blog at

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Peachester Forest

Read More

(Many thanks to Ron Perske for taking the pictures today. My camera has broken from over-use, so Ron very kindly agreed to be our photographer)

The late Autumn weather in South East Queensland has been amazing, which inspired me to do some more exploration around the Glasshouse Mountains and Peachester. The only problem was that once I’d committed with a couple of friends to do the ride, it started raining :) So it ended up being a bit muddier than we had anticipated.


(Photo by Ron Perske)

Eric, Ron and I started our ride from Matthew Flinders park at Beerburrum, under the brooding watch of Tibrogargan. The park is named after Matthew Flinders who camped there in 1799 – the first european to visit the area. He intended to climb Tibro, but it proved too steep for him, so he decided to have a go at the much easier Mount Beerburrum instead.

Beerburrum State Forest

(Photo by Ron Perske)

We headed west through the forest towards the lookout. Rain from the night before had soaked some of the trails, so within a quarter of an hour we and our bikes were quite muddy.

Glasshouse LookoutGlasshouse Lookout

After completing the steep climb through the bush up to the lookout, we took a break to enjoy the view and try and get some of the mud out of the bike chains. I brought an old rag, and a bottle of wet-weather chain lube. I discovered that drowning the chain in lube kept most of the mud at bay.

Dodging MudPeachester Forest

(Photo by Ron Perske)

As we headed into Peachester Forest, we just followed whatever trails looked interesting. We had a basic plan of where we wanted to go, but whenever we came across a winding trail heading off to the side, we checked it out. Sometimes that turned out well. Sometimes we ended up to our axels in muddy water :)

Mawhinney Road

(Photo by Ron Perske)

…sometimes we got our feet wet.

Eventually we ended up at Peachester for a bit to eat and a drink, followed by a quick descent down Old Peachester Road, then back to the cars along Old Gympie Road.

The fun thing about today was that we didn’t have a fixed agenda / schedule. The flexibility meant we could follow a whim and see where some trails ended up. The knowledge we gained will be really useful in planning future group rides through the area.

This ride was about 50km, and took about 4 and a half hours. I burned about 2,700kcal and climbed about 900m in vertical ascent. I’d rate this ride about 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. There are one or two short difficult pinch-climbs, and the mud made it a bit more of a challenge. It’s not really a ride to do in wet weather so leave it for the dryer winter months.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kluvers Lookout

Read More

Kluvers Lookout is a 680m high peak west of Dayboro in the D’Aguilar Range. My friend Wayne and I took a mid-week ride up there today.

Kluvers Lookout

We started from Laceys Creek, riding 6km up Wirth Road, and ascending 400m through the rainforest in the process.

From there we climbed another 200m as the road wound slowly up to the lookout.

Kluvers Lookout

The lookout itself is quite small, but the views are fantastic. We were really lucky with the clear blue skies and views out to Moreton Bay.

Looking West

From the lookout we started the long descent back down to the valley. One the way down we were treated to some great scenery of low-lying clouds in the creek-beds to the west looking out towards Mount Byron. Wayne and I kept stopping frequently to enjoy the view.

Wayne the Helicopter

Half-way down the mountain, we came across this helicopter landing pad which was built in the park for emergency rescue. Wayne did an amazing impression of a helicopter. His “chooka chooka” noises were so authentic I expected him to take off.

From there it was a fast descent down Lacey’s Creek Road back to the bottom of the range. I worked my brakes so hard that they started to fade half-way through, and I had to pump them furiously to get them working again – not the sort of surprise you like to experience on a quick downhill run!

We rode 25km with about 930m of vertical ascent, and 2,300kcal. This one rates 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter because of the long climb and the tricky descent.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Clear Mountain

Read More

Here’s some photos from a recent ride I did with some friends from at Clear Mountain.

The tracks are not far from my place, so I get to ride them once or twice per week. But I enjoyed this ride even more than usual because I was able to share it with friends. I suppose when we share with others something that’s familiar to ourselves, we experience it for the first time again – which adds to the enjoyment.

We started the ride on a couple of sections of tight twisty single tracks, followed by some steep lung-busting ascents and descents, then a climb to the summit of Clear Mountain, and finally a fast snaking down-hill run to the bottom.

Everyone got back happy but exhausted.

Car ParkChilling Out

Let's go!

I think I can...

Downhill Fun

Brian does the drop

Don't just stand thereFollow me

I’d rate a big loop of the tracks at Clear Mountain as about 9.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. You need medium to high fitness. If you’re going to try some of the steeper descents, drop-offs and downhills you’ll need at least medium technical ability or better. If you’re not confident with some of the more intimidating sections, there’s nothing wrong with playing it safe and walking those sections.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Labor Day 2012

Read More

I slept in this morning and didn’t have a clear plan for where I wanted to ride today. I just knew I wanted to go for a long-ish ride and visit some places I hadn’t been before.

I eventually decided to head out into the hills west of Dayboro and see what happened.

MP 4 1/2

It’s amazing what you discover on a bike when you have the time to look around and enjoy the view rather than focusing on goals. (That’s one of the main reasons I don’t do races) This tree stump had an odd mark on it: MP 4 1/2. “What the heck does that mean?” I thought to myself. After a short time I figured it out. It was a “mile stone” marking the distance to the nearest town. Mount Pleasant was about 7km back along the road, so this marker was telling me Mount Pleasant (MP) was 4 and a half miles (7km) away. This got me day-dreaming about what life would have been like here in the early 20th century…

Old Hall - Laceys Creek

… Not much further down the road I came upon this old building. My friend, Leith Barter, tells me this was the old Laceys Creek Community Hall. It doesn’t look like much today, but I’m sure it was the hub of local social activity on a Saturday night in days gone by.

Wirth Road CausewayWirth Road

Leith tells me that Wirth Road is named after the Wirth Family who grew Bananas at Laceys Creek after World War II. The road is a bumpy dirt track which leads up into the hills, so I decided to follow it. As I progressed down the road it became narrower and steeper and the surrounding vegetation became thicker and greener. It took me about an hour to ride to the top, where I discovered I was on one of the main Four Wheel Drive tracks in D’Aguilar National Park – Range Forest Drive. The climb is about 6km long and rises about 500 metres, so it’s hard work.

At this point, I had two choices. The easy option was to roll back down the hill I had climbed up. The more challenging option was to head north through the park until I came out at Mount Brisbane, north of Dayboro. I decided to head north.

Butcher Shop Creek Road

“Butcher Shop Creek Road” is one of the roads heading off the main drive to the North West. It’s gated which means 4wds and Motor Bikes can’t drive on it. I would have checked it out but it was heading in the wrong direction for me. I’m not sure where it got the name from, but I’m pretty sure you can’t buy good cuts of meat at the end of this road :)

Jacky Creek Road

Jacky Creek Road is another gated road heading off to the North West.

Jacky Creek RoadRange Road Forest Drive

The main road follows the ridge line along the top of the range. Some of the views to the east and the west are fantastic. I found myself stopping too often wanting to take photos and enjoy the view, then reminding myself that it was mid-afternoon and I needed to get out of the park before dark.

Range Road Forest Drive

As it turned out, Range Forest Drive is a fairly easy track to ride, so I had plenty of time, and stopped for a few more photos.

When I eventually got to Peggs Road I realized I had made it, and let out a few loud cries before zooming down the steep descent to Mount Brisbane Road below.

D'Aguilar Range from Mount Pleasant

On the way back to the car I stopped one more time for a great view of where I had ridden. The track pretty much followed the top of the range in this picture.

55km with 1290m of ascent in almost 4 hours with 3,500kcal of energy. This one deserves 9.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. Do it in the cooler months. Some of those climbs would be horrible in summer.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Wildhorse Mountain

Read More

Riding Through the Forest

My friend Tony has been holidaying near the beach at Beachmere, so we decided to ride from there to Wildhorse Mountain and back. It involved about 80km of fairly flat trails through the pine plantations heading north towards a spectacular lookout that offered great views of the Glasshouse Mountains.

Deception Bay

As its name suggests, Beachmere is right on the beach near where the Caboolture River meets Deception Bay. It’s a quiet place with beautiful views across the water towards Moreton and Bribie Islands.

Just north of Beachmere is the town of Ningi, named after the Ningi-Ningi – a coastal dwelling Aboriginal group. One of the most famous Ningi-Ningi people was Ker Walli, also known as “King Sandy”, who was born in this area in the late 1830′s and was leader of the local Ningi-Ningi from about 1864 until his death in 1900. He was a good friend of local settler Tom Petrie whom he helped in harvesting timber on the Mooloolah River. In fact, Ker Walli thought so highly of Tom, that he carved the letter “P” in a circle on his arm with broken glass, and rubbed some charcoal in it to make a permanent mark. Ker Walli’s descendants still live in Brisbane, some of whom have taken the name “Sandy” in honour of “King Sandy”.

Strawberry Farm

The pine plantations stretch northwards from here for almost 50km and the forests are criss-crossed by numerous dirt tracks and gravel roads. There are also several strawberry farms, and poultry farms.

Pine ForestPine Forest

Cross Country Horse Racing

We encountered numerous horse riders in the forest. They appeared to be competing in a cross-country horse race. The pace was relaxed enough for most of them to wave and greet us as they rode past.

Flooded Creek

Recent rain flooded some of the causeways in the forest, and made a few places quite muddy. When I came to this causeway, I decided to scramble along the log in the background in an attempt to keep my feet dry. Tony was a lot tougher than me and just waded through the water. He also used it as an opportunity to wash some of the thick mud out of his chain.

Wildhorse Mountain Lookout

Wilhorse Mountain Lookout

At the half-way point we stopped for a bit to eat at a cafe, then rode up on the only major hill of the ride – Wildhorse Mountain. There’s a lookout at the top with some great views of the Glasshouse Mountains. You can also see out to east Moreton Bay, and can even make out the sky-scrapers in Brisbane to the south.

Visiting the Nudists

On the way back we took a short cut along an old dirt road which eventually deteriorated into a cattle track through shoulder-high grass. When we came out the other side we found ourselves in a Nudist Retreat. The members were quite friendly and didn’t seem to mind us passing through. Tony and I decided to keep our gear on, as I imagine it wouldn’t be very comfortable riding a mountain bike naked.

This ride was about 83km, with about 500m of vertical ascent. It took about 5 hours, and I burned about 4,000kcal. I’d rate this one about 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. The weather was perfect (low 20′s). In drier weather it would be even easier. The mud made us work a bit harder than we otherwise would have.