I maintain a FourSquare Mountain Biking List here
Some Favourite Aussie Trails
- about 20km there and back starting in Katoomba. Rode this on 21 Jan 2012 (in a thunderstorm) and it's fantastic - even if it was thrashing down at the time. The second two-thirds is stunning, but the hills in the first third make it a bit punishing. Getting There (starts Inner West)
. Beware the sandy soil in wet conditions - it destroyed my rear wheel due to aging seals on hub and cassette. My blog about the Narrowneck trail
I re-rode the Narrowneck trail 19/2/12
in the company of Dave The Happy Singer
and found that in the dry it's fantastic proposition, scenic and with surprisingly pleasant riding in the last two thirds. The descents with waterbars provide some massively fun airtime but take care you don't hit any riders coming back up
the hills. For cyber riders, there are two Foursquare checkin points along the trail, one at the Narrow Neck
itself (where the trail narrows and moves between sandstone promontories) and another at the fire tower
. Two category 5 climbs and a category 4 make it fairly hilly (climbs according to GPS data on MapMyRide). The worst climb on the track is at about 26.1km on the return run
, and is particularly nasty, crossed by several waterbars which really only give you a spot to let the lactic acid bite properly. According to the GPS, the 4km category 4 from the lookout back looks like the worst bit, but the really nasty climb isn't long enough to register on that scale.
I think Narrowneck
is probably the best trail I've done in Australia, in terms of scenery alone. It's a good length for a half-day, and could only be improved by some singletrack, or perhaps by omitting the section before the locked gate.
The OaksThe Oaks
is a fantastic ride between Woodford and Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains. It's between 25 and 30km in length depending on where you actually start - the sign at the Woodford gate says 28km, but my GPS record from 25 Feb 2012 logged the two-way at just over 50km, starting maybe 100m from the National Park Kiosk at Glenbrook and turning round at the gate.
It's the most accessible trail for Sydneysiders heading to the mountains, and it's extremely popular, though it's mostly ridden in the downhill direction from Woodford to Glenbrook.
The two way is probably the most rewarding way to do the Oaks, to my mind, though the following beats it into a cocked hat for fitter riders with a full day
, a 100km loop and return starting from the foot of the Oaks Firetrail in Glenbrook. At the top of the Oaks, head left and down into Murphy's Glen to join the Murphy's and Ingar Firetrail (sharp right after the Bedford Creek crossing, big climb) and climb this to Wentworth Falls. Head south again on joining Tableland Road past the QVH and onto McMahon's Firetrail as far as the Anderson's Firetrail turnoff. Follow Anderson's back down to Bedford Creek, then return via Murphy's Glan and The Oaks downhill, not forgetting to take the Singletrack from the locked gate back to the causeway. NOBMOB Listing
The Old Volvo Track
Technical Singletrack within spitting distance of the car in the Blue Mountains. Lots of sharp corners, short climbs, quick drops, aerial platforms, a see-saw, some splashes, banked corners and an old Volvo Estate you can ride right over. Win. A million stars for the riding, but minus a ten stars for the scenery or lack thereof. I rode the Old Volvo Trail on the 10th of March 2012 (among other trails) and blogged the day here YouTube vid from CrankyTheMTBer
Yellomundee Regional Park
Maintained by local MTB club riders, Yellomundee consists of about 12-15km of fantastic singletrack riding. The firetrail through the middle branches off at numerous points into switchback-filled singletrack ranging from crank-scuffing rocks to fine sand and everything in between. Anti-erosion measures mean the trails stay in good shape, and a fun afternoon out can be had by all. It's 75km of road from my place to get there, which is ridable for a full, looong day out. (Trailflix
OthersCooks River Cycleway
is my local training ride. Here's a 50km blast I just did on it
, which I really enjoyed. More recently, a 60km ride out towards Kurnell
on the same path network, including the Brighton-Le-Sands cycleway. All the way to Kurnell from my old place is a 70km return. From my new place, heading out to Rookwood then going to Kurnell and back comes out to just under 100km
Some Aussie Trails I'd like to do
- Mt Scanzi - Nowra area
- Illawara trails - Guide Rev 4
- Manly Dam Circuit
- The Oaks - highly regarded firetrail and singletrack, can be linked into Andersons for a Bigger Day Out
- Yellomundee Regional Park - Handy for Penrith, so maybe the WSF folks would like to join me?
- Kedumba Valley Road is a firetrail from the QVH in Wentworth Falls, south into the valley bottom and to the edge of Lake Burragorang, partially parallelling the McMahon's Lookout Trail. I'd like to do this as a bike ride, which looks to be around 25kms out with one monster climb up the valley side. It looks like permission may have to be gained for access, since it's in the water catchment.
- State Mine Gully Road in Lithgow out to Glow Worm Tunnel, then to Newnes, outwards on the Wolgan Road then Blackfellow's Hand Track, Beecroft Track and back to State Mine Gully. Ridiculously scenic. Plenty of ways to vary the distance. DONE
- Across the Blue Mountains By Bike - my plan to cross the Blue Mountains* over a weekend
- Ourimbah State Forest
- Red Hill/Oxford Falls (Oxford Falls currently closed, according to Gaby Mayo - stay out)
- Kanangra-Boyd National Park - I'll be racing here in October 2012, in the Kanangra Classic 100km Enduro
- This looks like a fun little trail - Garigal National Park between Mona Vale Road and Wakehurst Parkway
- Bromance - done. Quite technical, steep, a bit scary in places
- Cabbage Tree (Nowra)
* not actually mountains, but a sandstone plateau with canyons
- I really want to ride Rotorua
- I'd love to re-ride Gap Road and the Ridgeway in the UK
- I've ridden a hell of a lot of the trails around the Gower Peninsula - Singletrack's Guide here
Suggest trails by pinging me an email: stopthatastronaut (at) Gmail (dot) com